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StormStock celebrates over 30 years of stormy weather capture

PAN advertiser, StormStock, has sent us this overview of 30 years in the business – This from the agency: Way back in 1993, filmmaker Martin Lisius was wrapping up work on another documentary about severe weather when he began receiving phone calls from TV producers needing extreme weather footage for their projects. Soon after, Lisius organized his content and gave it a name. He called it StormStock. “I had been shooting storm footage for several years, but I didn’t know that much about archiving content and licensing intellectual property,” Lisius said. “So, I contacted fellow producers for advice and did a lot of research, and quickly became a rights and clearances professional.”

StormStock was and still is a brand of Lisius’ production company, Texas-based Prairie Pictures. “Some people call StormStock a company, but it’s really just a collection owned and operated by Prairie,” Lisius said. “We’ve kept it that way because we want to maintain it as an artisan brand, content created and offered by artists. It’s sort of like farm to table,” he said.

One of the unique characteristics of the StormStock team is their commitment to the quality of their product. They have always shot footage on state-of-the-art formats using innovative techniques. In 1998, Lisius began shooting weather and climate footage on Super 35mm motion picture film in preparation for HD video which would not arrive as a standard format until about 2005. As soon as HD became the norm, the film footage was transferred for that use allowing StormStock to have a 7-year head start in the weather and climate footage market. StormStock soon turned their attention to 4K and had another 7-year jump on that emerging format. Because Lisius can sometimes be impatient with the slow development of new technologies, he developed and built a 16K video camera system in 2018 which he has captured content with over the past several years. “It was so cutting-edge that we received phone calls from both Apple and Intel asking how we did it.”

But, what about the content itself? “We have two styles of weather and climate footage,” Lisius said. “One is dramatic, the other is beautiful with a cinematic quality.” The StormStock team tracks and films hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, flooding and blizzards. The imagery ranges from scary shots of tornadoes and hurricanes tearing things apart, to rock-steady, beautiful footage of storm clouds and lightning captured on film, 4K, 8K and 16K video. The team spends long hours on the road to reach their subject, sometimes driving several days to intercept a storm such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That effort paid off and StormStock now holds the most-sought after Katrina footage in the world. “We literally had to drive around refrigerators that were scattered on the highway to move to new shooting locations that day,” said Lisius.

Clients worldwide have utilized content shot and licensed by StormStock including the BBC, Nat Geo, Warner Bros., NBC Universal, Google, Verizon, Cisco Systems and others for documentaries, films and commercials. Recently, the legendary Irish rock band U2 came to StormStock to license footage for their highly-successful “U2:UV Achtung Baby” concert series at the Sphere in Las Vegas. To date, that event has grossed over $110 million in ticket sales.

About StormStock: Prairie Pictures’ StormStock is a collection of premium weather and climate footage produced by their storm tracking team in Texas since 1993. StormStock content is licensed for use in TV commercials, feature films, documentaries and other videos. Clients include Netflix, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., BBC, Google, Microsoft, McDonalds, and more. You can visit StormStock at

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