Hmm. Could stock footage basically do the same thing as famous film directors getting paid millions to make a film? Sort of! (of course not, well, depending on the director and depending on the shot) Here’s a video from VideoBlocks that compares stock footage versus scenes from famous films like Top Gun and Drive and The Shining. Some of the scenes are pretty much exactly the same.
Obviously, these sort of establishing shots can only be done in so many ways in the first place but it’s interesting how directors can stitch together a story with footage that “anyone” could take – but it's an eye-opener to see what can be achieved.