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Must-Know Filmmaking and Music Trends for 2018

Michael Maher

In their Creative Trends 2018 report, Shutterstock reveals the most-searched keywords for royalty-free footage and music.

All images via Shutterstock.

Whether you sell them stock footage or simply license royalty-free video clips and music, the global marketplace Shutterstock has released their report on the biggest Creative Trends of 2018. This report details how some keywords have seen an astronomical increase in searches.

Must-Know Filmmaking and Music Trends for 2018 - Trends

It’s worth knowing about these trends, as you may find yourself tasked with creating a video using some of these trending topics. More importantly, you have the opportunity to sell any trending footage you might own through Shutterstock’s contributor platform. So here’s what you need to know to make some money — or start working on some trending projects.


Major Trend 1: Fantasy

Whether it’s for a traditional fantasy like Game of Thrones or the modern horror-fantasy crossover Stranger Things, people have increased their searches for mystical creatures massively. Terms like “unicorn” are up 297 percent and “mermaid” 145 percent.

Must-Know Filmmaking and Music Trends for 2018 - Fantasy

In terms of music, there seems to be a crossover in this genre. Epic orchestral music continues to grow in popularity, but the synthwave soundtrack to Stranger Things has seen an even greater boost, as synthwave sound has increased 494 percent.

You can check out the Shutterstock Fantasy footage collection here.

Here are some royalty-free playlists worth a listen:


Major Trend 2: Space

Maybe you don’t want to live on this planet anymore, or maybe you’re a dreaming of a dystopian sci-fi future — either way, searches for space are on the rise. Searches for “solar” are up 991 percent, and interest in “astro” has increased 671 percent. As with its popularity in the fantasy genre, synthwave continues to dominate — likely based on the incredible score to Blade Runner 2049.

Must-Know Filmmaking and Music Trends for 2018 - Space

Dive into this popular look and these popular sounds:


Major Trend 3: New Minimalism

For filmmakers, new minimalism isn’t only about images — it’s also about creating clean lines and bold looks. With increases in the search terms “continuous line” up 432 percent and “neon circle” up 387 percent, this look represents a rising public interest, reflected in films like John Wick, Atomic Blonde, and countless music videos. The use of quasar lights has become a standard on many sets, not only because of their affordability but also because of the dynamic look they create.

Must-Know Filmmaking and Music Trends for 2018 - New Minimalism

Check out these collections from Shutterstock:


See More Creative Trends

You can discover all of the 2018 Creative Trends on Shutterstock. The page houses some really beautiful collections of images, footage, and music for each of these trends — as well as many other design-oriented topics. Here’s the full list:

  • Natural Luxury
  • Punchy Pastels
  • A Global March
  • Cactus
  • Digital Crafts
  • Ancient Geometrics
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Holographic Foil

You can also see trends from around the world based on geography. It’s a really cool dive into Shutterstock data, and I highly recommend giving it a read.

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