Yesterday I decided to call Google to try to speak to their Public Relations department to see if they had some images of the Googleplex that I could use in the documentary. Surprisingly I got the typical automated machine runaround, but after punching in a few ‘zeros’ I was able to get a live person.
I asked to speak to their PR department, but interestingly they weren’t allowed to transfer me without mentioning a specific name. But being Google, the operator asked what I needed and I explained what I was doing and that I was looking for footage of the Googleplex. She then directed me to their Media Room web page with images that I was allowed to use. But this is where things started to get interesting.
I noticed on the Media Room page that they had a link to a Multimedia Press Room, advertising broadcast-standard video. It says you have to be a member of the press, but I gave registration a shot using my school email address and explaining my situation, and within a few hours my application was approved and I was granted access to some B-roll gold.
They have lots of generic shots of Googlers hanging out in cafes, working at multi-monitor computers, playing pool and video games, and doing other Google stuff. You just browse the footage, add it to your cart, check out and wait for an email with an FTP link to download the full resolution video. All for free.
Then I noticed that this is just the Google section of the much larger site The News Market. Having registered through Google, I was also registered with them. The News Market has footage covering all sorts of areas, including more corporate footage from Ask.com, Yahoo.com, Microsoft, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and more.
Fortunately this satisfied a lot of my B-roll needs (but I’ll still take more). I suppose the lesson here is you never know where one phone call will lead, especially if you call Google.