03 Jun 2015 Simon Krzic – Microstock Celebrity
He’s known as “The most prolific stock video producer in the world”. If you haven’t heard his name, you’ve definitely seen his footage. He has over 27,500 video files and sold over 100,000 licenses on iStock alone. His footage has appeared on National Geographic, BBC, Disney and MTV, and sold to big international companies like Gillete and AOL.
Simon Krzic, and his production company, SimonKr, hail from Slovenia. He’s been producing stock video footage for 10 years now, exclusively for iStock since 2007.
While Simon himself can’t say much about it, I was able to piece together the broad parts of an interesting story.
Back when iStock first announced the introduction of video files in their first higher-priced collection, Vetta, there was a massive fallout. The rates at the top end were insulting for video contributors. Simon and three of the other top exclusive video producers got together to discuss their options.
Three agree to drop their exclusivity and distribute widely, while Simon stayed exclusive. They agreed to share their experiences among each other to have access to information about each strategy.
iStock eventually improved the Vetta video deal, but the three other contributors have stayed non-exclusive, and all, including Simon, appear to be content with their decisions knowing how the others are going.
There aren’t many contributor in the market with over 27,000 files. Simon has that many, but in video! Most struggle to get there with still photos, which are obviously much easier and cheaper to produce.
It is also remarkable how extensive his portfolio is. Though he likes to focus in human emotions, his videos display a broad range of styles and subjects, covering lifestyle and wildlife, to travel and business. This has allowed him to sell his work in high volume to a lot of different markets.
How does he do it?
Simon is assisted in his production by his team at SimonKr. He is very involved in the creative process; the inspiration for every new video comes from his mind. He then presents the idea to his assistants for pre-production. They’re in charge of doing the research for the idea, from psychological background of the concept to location and models. His wife, Tea, works in the company and is in charge of casting, logistics and planning. Simon also assigns staff members to post-production. As for shooting, he directs all of his videos with help of a 1st Assistant Director, a DOP, a DIT, a Gaffer, a Key Grip and 2 or 3 other technicians who assist in all areas.
Simon often works with inexperienced models, and he has mentioned more than once that his direction style is “to keep it simple” which avoids over-stressing models. The first shot, which according to him captures reactions and emotions as natural as possible, is most often the one chosen for final footage.
Simon uses high-end equipment to produce top quality footage. Currently, he works with Phantom Flex 4K, Phantom HD Gold, Weisscam HS2, Sony FS7 and Red Dragon cameras. For grip, he uses Sacthler (tripods), Matthews (stands, frames, cutters, etc…) and Grip Factory Munich (dolly, tracks, u-bangi, etc). His lighting is done with Kino Flo (4×4, 4×1), Arri (D12, M40, D40) and LitePanels.
As you can say, high quality video production requires a LOT of gear!
Some of you may know Simon from his appearances in some of the most relevant industry events. At the STOCKinRUSSIA 2011 conference he directed a workshop called “Creating your stock footage portfolio”, which targeted newbies who wanted to get into stock video production.
In 2013 at Microstock Expo in Berlin, he leaded the Pond5 Masterclass – a fully produced stock shoot to demonstrate a professional production. He also won the MEXPO award for Most Expensive Shoot.
As if all his production isn’t enough, simon also invests in product development. He and his team are currently working on a cable cam for Phantom Flex 4K to handle heavy loads at fast speeds -Simon considers this an innovation, saying there’s nothing like this in the market yet. They’re also developing a robot arm to take outstanding slow motion shots, inspired in the Spike robot by The Marmalade.