Metadata Guide



What is Metadata?

Metadata is data about data. Too easy, right? Metadata is data that describes a data object. In our case, the data objects are video clips and images.

Why is it important?

Metadata helps people and systems process, administer, and discover the content you create. Good metadata is critical to ensuring customers discover your data and purchase the correct license for their projects. 

Help us help you

Think about metadata as a fundamental part of your content creation process. You wait for the best light, you hike to the perfect vantage point, you work with the right talent — do you describe your content with the same care and attention? If you don’t, you’re doing your work a disservice.

Your descriptive metadata should reflect the quality of your content. Better footage warrants better metadata. Above all else, our customers want accuracy in the product. Concise, accurate descriptions and straightforward keyword are crucial. Every customer should be able to find the right clip, and every clip should be able to be found by its customer.

You can help ensure this happens by providing the best metadata possible. Here’s how:


Provide a short, clearly written description of your clip. This description will be both visible and searchable on Dissolve, so strive for accuracy in capitalization, spelling, and grammar. Use common, plain, everyday language.

For a good description:

  • Focus on what the clip is of, rather than what the clip is about.You may include the latter, but you should always include the former.
  • Strong descriptions cover the following: 
    • One sentence in sentence case.
    • The subject(s): who or what is covered in the clip.
    • The action: what takes place in the clip. 
    • The location: where the action takes place. (ONLY if the clips is of a cityscape or the location is a focus of clip)
    • Qualitative descriptions of the subject are acceptable if they are relevant: Happy couple gazes at each other over a candle-lit dinner table.
    • Exclude: ethnicity, suggestive usage, shot type, camera information and resolution
    • Example of a good description: Young woman sitting at a cafe working on her computer.
    • Example of a bad description: Young attractive Caucasian woman sitting in a cafe on a bright summer day. Freelancer working on her laptop computer. Slow motion, zoom in, 4K. 


Keywords — either single words (e.g., flower) or multiple words (e.g., basketball court) — must be separated with commas (e.g., sand,  towel, beach umbrella, sunscreen).

The strongest keywords are specific, cover the entirety of the clip, and do not introduce irrelevant concepts. Strive for an average of 20-40 keywords but only with respect to the primary subject of a clip and what the clip is about. Don’t worry about describing incidental subjects, such as a rock in the background. Excessive or irrelevant keywords will harm the retrieval of your clips in search.

For good keywords

  • Include a specific reference to what the clip is of (e.g., hydrangea) and to what the clip is about (e.g., botany).
  • Include the subjects and the action. 
  • When keywording theme, think about what customers may be searching for (e.g., travel, nature, performing arts), but be sure they are relevant.
  • Use your knowledge of the shoot to include specific terms that may not be obvious to a customer. For example, if a clip shows a particular dance movement, include the name of that move.
  • Include roles and/or relationships (e.g., firefighters, mother and daughter) if they are relevant. Keyword only what is depicted.
  • If relevant, use qualitative terms to describe the location depicted (e.g., crowded street).
  • Include gender and ethnicity.
  • Include age range or age type i.e. infant, baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, middle aged adult or older adult. 
  • Avoid the use of repetitive keyword, this will be considers as SPAM and will negatively affect your content. For example: you can keyword "painter" instead of multiple variations such as "painting" "painters" "painted"
  • If it is an important part of the subject, include a reference to the time of day depicted in the clip (e.g., dawn, dusk, evening, night, day, sunrise, noon).
  • Exclude: age, suggestive usage, shot type, camera information and resolution. 


Other Metadata Fields 

Associated Releases: Provide the correct model or property releases needed for your content.

People Count: The number of people depicted in the shot. Fill in "0" if the shot isn't of people but instead of landscape, cars, animals building, etc. Only leave this section blank for crowd shots where the number of people seen cannot be counted. 

People Ages: A list of age ranges of the people depicted in the clip or photo. (Also include this in keywords)

  • 2019: Newborn/Infant/Baby 
  • 2016 - 2018: Toddler
  • 2007 - 2015: Child
  • 2002 - 2006: Teen
  • 1994 - 2001: Young Adult
  • 1974 -1993: Adult
  • 1954 - 1973: Middle Aged Adult
  • 1953+: Older Adult

Ethnicity: Provide the correct Model ethnicity from the options provided. Only fill out this section for shots of people. 

Shot Type:  Provide terms that describe the type of shot, technique used, or camera movements from the list of available shot types.

Geographic Location Depicted: Provide the geographic place name of the location of your clip if its relevant. This field is important for aerial establishing shots, cityscapes, landscapes, or if the geolocation is distinct or central. For example, a model shot in front of the Golden Gate Bridge should have “San Francisco” in the Geographic Location Depicted field. However, geographic locations are unnecessary for interior or studio shots. 

Shot Location: This is necessary for every single clip whether its from an interior, exterior and studio shoot. Provide this as city, state, country. 

Shot in the USA (yes/no): This may be important to some customers so please specify whether your shoot was from the USA or not. 


For more information on metadata, see the Metadata FAQs.

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