Video production has changed dramatically over the last few years. Not too long ago, if you wanted to produce a video, you had to hire an entire team of people, transport and feed them, shoot for days on end, manage the post production and then finally have something ready for the director to see (praying that he likes it). It’s expensive, time-consuming and at the mercy of so many uncontrollable forces like weather, permits and more.
These days, things are very different.
With the explosive growth of internet speed and more affordable high-quality cameras, there is now a massive market for buying one’s footage instead of producing it yourself. There are now hundreds of stock footage websites which allow you to search for the exact thing you’re looking for. Whether it’s a seagull flying through the air, or a car crashing into a pole, there is literally anything and everything available for immediate download.
Most of this footage is known as royalty free stock video footage. This type of licensing allows the buyer to use the video in any way he or she likes without having to pay extra fees. It can be used in a student film, big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, on Youtube, in any locations and any time frame. The only real restriction is that it cannot be resold on it’s own. This is all covered under it’s one-off fee and that’s exactly the problem with it – you still have to pay an upfront fee to use the footage. This is simply not feasible for many people doing school projects, charity work, video blogging or just making independent movies without a budget. This is where free stock video comes in really handy. This doesn’t have any upfront fees whatsoever and can create eye-catching special effects or help to keep the viewer’s attention.
Here is a list of the top 6 websites for getting free stock video footage:
This site has an awesome selection of different stock footage clips that you can use. After signing up for a free account you get access to their entire video library. They have both high definition and standard definition clips and loops. All their footage is free and legally usable in your projects.
This site has become well-known for it’s massive creative commons licensed content, so all the videos on this site can be used for free. One cool thing to search for are ‘VJ loops’. This will give you a whole bunch of cool, free stock video loops that you can use as backdrops in your videos to make it more visually interesting. Another great search to try is for the term ‘stock footage’, clicking on the first link that comes up. This will give you access to their huge stock footage library where you will find everything from old newsreels to static TV screens to fireworks.
A great way to find clips that you can use in your videos is to find content that’s copyright has already expired – and that’s where this site comes into play. For the most part, public domain movies are usually 50 years or older, but you can still get some good content here. You can download entire movies from this website and then just cut out the good parts that you want to use in your videos.
If you’re into special effects and making things blow up, then you’re probably eager to get your hands on some good pyrotechnics stock footage. This site has a pretty generous selection of free stock video effects such as bullet hits, blood splatters and of course explosions that are shot against green or black screens. All you have to do is key it, composite it into your footage and you’ll have some great action scenes.
Aside from the site www.stockfootageforfree.com, there isn’t a site with a huge selection of free HD stock footage to choose from. However, a generous user at Vimeo has decided to take a bunch of different HD clips that he shot and offer them as a free download to use in your projects. Be sure to check out the link and thank him.
This site has a very impressive free stock video footage library with clips from all over the world. This site specializes in animals, indigenous people, buildings, the sea, coastal scenery and more. These are good quality generic clips that can be used in almost any project. They are mainly from Australia and the US with each section separated into cities such as Las Vegas, New York etc.
That’s it! Visit these sites and you can get your free stock video clips download now.
When looking for more free videos on the internet, be sure that they have a creative commons license attached before you use it. There are a few basic licenses available and each allow for different uses and restrictions. What you’re looking for is ‘Attribution 3.0 Unported’. This means the video can be used in any projects, commercial or private, and has no restriction, other than needing to be attributed somewhere. This means you have to mention the creator’s name in the credits, on your website on in your documentation.
To see some really great use of visual effects and the possibilities of stock footage, visit Freddie Wong’s Youtube account here:
Every week he posts new crazy videos of him and his friends acting out scenes and showing off their video editing and effects skills. It’s perfect for a quick jolt of inspiration.
Using free stock video clips in your productions can immediately take it from being bland and boring to engaging and interesting. Since it’s never been easier to access so much free content as it is today, why not take full advantage of it? You might need to practice your compositing skills in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to make awesome videos forever.