Are you eager to start producing content but lacking the budget for additional footage? Are you bootstrapping a personal project with close to no resources to invest in b-roll? Do you simply love a chance to save some bucks? In these cases and a number of others, you will likely conclude free stock footage is the answer to your needs. But then, how to get stock footage for free? How to find free videos of decent quality? How to ensure they are legally safe to use?
At Footage Secrets, we put our expertise to work to give you straight-forward info about free stock footage. Read on!
How to Get Stock Footage for Free
There are a lot of websites and even YouTube channels offering completely free stock footage. While some of them are serious regarding both content quality and legal status, they are immersed in a pool of less-reliable sources with poor resolution and outdated videos, unclear or plain dodgy copyright, and licensing info, or both.
Reputable, premium, and cheap stock footage agencies, on the other hand, take great pride in offering the highest quality imagery, all rights-cleared for commercial and/or editorial use, and large collections with lots of variety.
Premium Quality Free Stock Footage
Of course, these assets are paid. But if you know how to, you can get these premium clips without paying a penny! Here's how to get royalty-free stock footage from premium suppliers (many of which are listed amongst the Best Stock Footage Sites), free of charge. We also got an awesome guide on how to buy stock video here:
One of the biggest and most popular stock media companies in the world, Shutterstock delivers awesome stock footage for customers for years, with its Shutterstock Video division (of which you can learn all in our dedicated Shutterstock review). Their content is high quality, cheap, and very varied. Learn all about them in our Shutterstock Video review.
But this is about free stuff, right? Well, Shutterstock has an amazing freebie deal in place! You can now download 40 videos edited and resized for social media, YouTube and website use, completely free!
And as if that wasn’t enough, their new Small Footage Subscription gives you 5 video clips per month for just $99, and for a limited time Shutterstock is throwing in two curated videos a month, totally free of charge! All subscribers get 2 curated clips every month, in addition to the 5 downloads allowed in the plan. This offer is valid only until December 2020, so make sure to grab it while you still can, and do so with 15% off thanks to our Shutterstock Coupon Code!
While you're at it, why not explore the new Shutterstock Video Subscriptions? Again, they aren't free, but with rates of less than $9 per HD or 4K clip, they're certainly worth checking out! And the best of all: you can get one of these plans with a cool 15% discount thanks to our Shutterstock Coupon Code!
The name couldn't be more straight-forward: Free Video Footage is a website offering a large collection of stock footage free of charge, ready to download and use. It's developed by Stock Photo Now, a network of online stock media shops under the Stock Photo Press umbrella. It has content up to HD quality, and it's all Royalty Free and commercial-use enabled.
They offer video backgrounds, stock footage clips, motion elements, animations, video special effects, and more, all completely free of charge. There are hundreds of free stock videos available already –coming in different resolutions up to HD– and new content is added regularly, so the library keeps growing in a variety of topics, styles, and resources.
This is a service developed by experts in the stock media business, and all files have been checked for legal status. What's even better, all videos come with a Royalty Free license that allows for commercial usage –opposite to the variations of the Creative Commons license most free download sites use–. These factors combined guarantee that all free videos in this library are totally safe to use in your work!
Videvo is a website that made a name for itself by offering free stock footage and free stock audio files. It amassed a collection with well over 15,000 free files, curated by theme and free for all. More info can be found in our Videvo review.
Their free content comes under a custom, attribution-required license or a Creative Commons 3.0 license, and is perfect for students and a variety of personal projects. But for professional, commercial-oriented work, they have a much better offer in their Premium stock video library, which has 500.000+ videos available under very affordable subscription plans.
Best of all is their annual subscriptions, as they come with unlimited downloads allowing you to get the most value out of your money. Even better, Footage Secrets has a special deal: a 20% discount on your Videvo annual subscription!
Pond5 is a footage-first stock agency specializing in content for filmmakers. Coming with one of the largest libraries including over 6 million clips in HD and 4K, they have different, very affordable buying systems and plans to fit any budget. Plus, they include additional filmmaking assets such as music, sound, and special effects files. Read more in our Pond5 review!
As for the free offer, they host and give away a substantial collection of free public domain stock footage and stills. They've well over 9000 free stock clips with historical themes for you to download and use totally free of charge, all you need is an account on their site, which you can create for free as well!
While initially you might be turned off at the mention of “historical” (and just as you guessed, this is all B&W footage), we advise you don't underestimate the quality and value in Pond5 public domain library and tap on the many creative possibilities it withholds. On their website, the agency themselves share some of the best creative uses for their free clips, to inspire you.
By the way, we have a special offer to give you 20% off your purchase at Pond5!
iStock is a pioneer stock media company with an excellent reputation, backed by renowned stock photography agency Getty Images. With years in the market, they offer a large collection of high-quality stock footage that includes a high-profile collection of exclusive clips. Find out more details in our iStock Video review.
iStock's clips are very affordable, and as they are priced based on the collection (exclusive or non-exclusive) and not by resolution, you will find that their 4K content can be much more conveniently priced than at other platforms. Check all iStock prices here.
But they also have freebies that you can seize! iStock releases a set of free files every week, available right on their homepage. This set includes one stock photo, one illustration, and yes, one free stock video. Downloading these free assets is a super simple way of getting premium stock footage from a renowned supplier without spending a penny!
ProVideo Factory is, like the name gives away, a company that produces professional-quality stock videos. Their content is created by talented filmmakers from all over the world, and they offer you both on-demand buying and subscriptions. All the details, in our ProVideo Factory review.
But we include them in this list because they also have a cool selection of free stock footage that they give away, all you have to do is sign up for an account, all completely free of charge. They have hundreds of clips on the most varied topics, and they include new ones every month. That's as good as it gets.
Artgrid is a young, yet very high-end stock footage site. Their subscription-based service offers thousands of videos produced with the ultimate cameras and skills, in a storytelling format designed to inspire creativity. Find out more in our Artgrid review.
What you're going to be interested in knowing is they are currently offering 20 LUTs and 100 SFX clips completely free with your subscription.
Their pricing is already super affordable, and with these bonus freebies on top of it, it becomes a real deal not to miss.
To access Artgrid's free files plus unlimited downloads from their paid library, subscribe today!
Storyblocks Video (formerly Videoblocks)
Storyblocks Video is an innovative and very popular stock footage provider, offering flat-fee memberships with unlimited downloads from a large collection of HD and 4K footage. Learn more in our dedicated Storyblocks review.
While they don't have a free trial or giveaway offer, Storyblocks' pricing is just as good. At just $199 a year for unlimited video downloads in HD and 4K quality, including 360º and VR shots, this deal gives you footage for less than pennies per clip!
You can download your choice from a pool of over 1 million assets that is Storyblocks' wholly-owned library, full of the most popular and varied themes and styles. No limitations, no extra fees!
A great chance to get premium-quality footage for your productions at a minimal cost.
Dissolve is a high-end stock footage agency offering first-class footage from renowned professional filmmakers to use in your own work. Their premium offer has higher price points than some of the others in this list, but their content certainly worths it. More details on this company are found in our Dissolve review.
But you don't have to spend money to explore and use Dissolve content in your productions: they include a freebies section, packed with high-quality clips and additional stills that you can download and use, completely free. A chance not to be missed!
Visit Dissolve's free clips page for awesome, free stock footage.
How to Use Free Stock Footage
The best in our list of free stock footage deals is that they are all free giveaways, trials, and special offers from professional, premium stock footage services. The seriousness and reliability of these sources eliminate one big problem with regular free videos from the web: the uncertainty of their legal status. All free video deals listed above provide content that has been legally verified and cleared for commercial or editorial use or both.
Seize Free Premium Stock Footage to Enhance your Productions
Stock footage has a lot of potential uses in video production. All you've to do is let your creativity flow! B-roll (additional secondary shots), transitions, backgrounds, and even relevant scenes of your videos, are only some of the most popular uses for stock footage.
Ready to edit your custom footage and your stock video shots in one unique production? Here you have valuable tips to edit footage like a pro!
Moreover, since you're saving some bucks by using free videos, you may as well maximise your savings by using one of our listed professional free video editors!
Go the extra mile and add awesome music tracks and sound effects! You can use our expert tips for sound editing right here!
Increase your Film's Value with Awesome Free Video Resources
Now you know how to get stock footage for free that is not only high res and suitable for professional use, but also legally safe to include in your work.
Using content from any of these suppliers you can complete your projects and improve the level of your productions without hurting your budget.
Even more, these deals are a valuable opportunity to test how well these services work for you, with which you might decide to upgrade to paid content from any of them, with the certainty of knowing exactly how they work and the quality of footage they provide.
Which one are you trying first?