The Best Free Stock Footage Sites
As video editors, we are often strapped for time and under a tight budget. Which is why stock footage can be a lifesaver when it’s just too time consuming or unrealistic to shoot it yourself. So to put your mind and budget at ease, we went ahead and scoured the internet to create a list of the Top 10 Online Resources for Free Stock Footage.
1: Mitch Martinez
Mitch Martinez is a professional director of photography that offers completely free 4K stock footage on his website. His stock footage can be found in commercials as well as feature films. Footage on his website ranges from animals to time lapses and composting elements, all shot on RED cameras. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, his website is worth a bookmark.
2: Beachfront B-Roll
Quality over quantity rules at Beachfront B-Roll. Beachfront hosts a collection of high-quality, high-definition footage including time-lapses, nature, technology, animals and animations that can maintain or improve your production value. The footage is completely free, but the author requests attribution if you use their footage in your project. A small courtesy to pay for the gorgeous footage.
You might know Vimeo as the video hosting rival of Youtube, but Vimeo has carved out a few features that set it apart. One of these is the ability to create groups where users can post and share videos in communities, and with that comes free footage. Groups like freehd and VFX Footage focus on sharing user-created stock footage and footage for usage in compositing projects. There are more than 400 clips between these two groups, so free up some hard disk space and get downloading.
The Internet Archive is a free resource dedicated to collecting materials and resources from all across the web to make them accessible to everyone for free. Community members can upload and share footage, images and audio clips. The Community Video section hosts footage uploaded by users and is available for free download under a Creative Commons license. Being such a huge archive with more than 500,000 videos means that quantity is the name of the game. Be sure you have some spare time while browsing this one.
Videvo is a UK-based website that has over 3,600 free HD clips with many more added daily. The only price of admission is creating a free account. Once you create your account, download as many clips as you want and even contribute your own clips for others to use. Footage ranges from Animals to Food and everything in-between.
IgniteMotion is a great starting point for motion backgrounds. You can browse different types of moving backgrounds to get inspiration for your next main title or sequence. Download a few of these and use them in your next Titler Pro project for some creative results. Note: The selection of footage is somewhat limited, but free HD footage is never a bad thing.
Videezy is another community-driven website where users can share their stock footage for free. You can find the video you need by browsing by category, latest uploads and more. Discover some unique footage that you might not be able to find anywhere else.
XStockVideo offers a wide variety of footage for use in “Free to view” video projects. This includes promotional, event, educational and non-monetized productions. If you would like to use the footage in for-profit productions, you can purchase an extended license for just a few bucks. All of their free footage comes in 960×540 (with a few in 1080p). Extended licenses tend to not go for more than 5 bucks. It’s worth a look if you can’t find what you need somewhere else.
OrangeHD offers great stock footage for free, no sign-up required. The only caveat is that the footage can only be used in non-commercial projects. That aside, orangeHD contains some of the most unique and original content that can be downloaded for free. Feel free to use this resource when testing concepts, making tutorials or for personal projects. The content here feels natural and honest, which may be the most appealing aspect of this website.
Last on our list is Youtube. Youtube hosts millions of videos of all kinds and genres. If you look hard enough, you can find some free footage. It takes some work and a lot of patience, but users like Free Stock Footage Archive make it a bit easier. Youtube itself has also taken baby steps toward free footage by allowing users to share their content under a creative commons license. In fact, most free footage on Youtube will be licensed under Creative Commons. You can search creative commons content on Youtube by filtering your search. Just be careful and use your best judgment when using people’s clips. Due to Youtube’s large size, sometimes non-free content filters through. It truly is the wild west of content.
Have a favorite free stock footage website that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below.