Mark Adams discusses Rocketclips beginning
August 7, 2014 Leave a Comment
Artbeats’ customers and subscribers have evinced a lot of interest in learning more about our footage producers: e.g., how they started in the business, what challenges they met, what cameras are their favorites, what advice they would give when shooting stock footage, and so forth. What would be a better way to start off a series of producer interviews than to feature Mark Adams of Rocketclips?
Q: When did Rocketclips begin shooting?
A: I started as an assignment still photographer in 1978 and began shooting stock stills in 1984, by the mid-90’s shooting stock stills was my full-time living. I founded Rocketclips and picked up my first video camera in 1999, by 2001 the change-over to motion was complete.
Q: Your library is full of great shots of people doing various activities. What is your favorite setting for capturing this “lifestyle” footage?
A: I’ve been working a lot with a set we built. We can dress it for business and medical. Sometimes it’s a living room or a bedroom. We’ve even turned it into a clothing store and a spa.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face with doing studio shoots vs on location?
A: I prefer to shoot indoors. It’s easier to control the environment. Being on location allows the talent to interact with the real world, things can feel more natural but the trade off is just what you would expect; weather, dirt, sand, less than interesting backgrounds, police. Among the biggest challenges we face wherever we shoot are the logistics of managing props and wardrobe. Also camera movement is a huge challenge, especially on a budget. After years as a still stock shooter, working with talent comes very naturally. It’s all the gear necessary for shooting motion that makes us crazy.
Q: What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?
A: I don’t have favorite clips. I have favorite shoots. Those are the shoots when I’m at my best and I’ve got terrific talent. I bring it, they bring it and the footage looks great.
Q: What¹s the best or worst thing that happened to you on a shoot?
A: The best was shooting childbirth. The worst, getting arrested for shooting with out permits.
Q: What is the one thing you wished you¹d been able to capture?
A: One time I splurged and rented a helicopter to shoot the Las Vegas strip at twilight. I didn’t have the money for a stabilized camera mount, so they took the doors off for me and I hung out hand held, totally useless footage. I envy Phil; he does wonderful aerials.
Q: Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?
A: Right now I’m shooting with a Red Epic and I love it. Shooting raw is like a dream come true.
Q: What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?
A: Anyone being honest will tell you that shooting stock has taken a hit from lowering prices. It’s tough to make a living solely from stock. My advice? Anyone with the skill to use a tool, whether it’s a law book, a wrench or a camera can make a living with that tool, if they are talented, committed and passionate.
Rocketclips, Inc was founded by Mark Adams in 1999.
Mark is an experienced professional photographer and videographer who lives with his family in Long Beach, CA.
He graduated in 1978 from the commercial photography program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
He began shooting stock stills in 1984 and migrated into motion with video in 1999.
Rocketclips always uses professional talent and specializes in lifestyle, business and nature imagery.