Are you eager to start producing content but lacking 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 in 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both content quality and legal status, they are immerse in a pool of less-reliable sources with poor resolution and outdated videos, unclear or plain dodgy copyright and licensing info, or both.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 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:
Videoblocks 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, and adding on-demand offers from a crowd-sourced marketplace. Learn more in our dedicated Videoblocks review.
While super cheap at just $99 a month, Videoblocks videos can also be downloaded for free. How? Very simple: they offer a 7 Day Free Trial for their service, which gives you access to 20 free videos to download per day, for 7 days.
These free downloads are your choice from a pool of over 115,000 HD and 4K videos in Videoblocks wholly owned library, full of the most popular and varied themes and styles. After the one week trial, you can upgrade to a paid membership, or simply cancel your account, no strings attached! A great chance to get premium quality footage for your productions at no cost, and testing a very affordable and professional service at the same time.
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's 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 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 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!
Pond5 is a footage-first stock agency specialised 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 theme 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 advice 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.
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 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!
Depositphotos is a well-established stock media agency that offers a significantly large collection of stock footage on their online library. With very affordable prices and a lot of buying options, they are a great source for b-roll and additional shots for your productions. Read more in our Depositphotos Video review.
And the best is they also have a whole free files section where you will find free videos for commercial use, plus free photos and illustrations that you can use in your work, totally free of charge. All you need to do is create a member account on their site (which is also free), and you'll get access to these freebies. Free files are updated from time to time, so you should definitely visit the section periodically to catch up on the new additions. A very useful resource for free, premium stock videos.
Sign up for free at Depositphotos and start downloading awesome free footage on their free files section! And if you want to get more great videos at super low price, seize our special Depositphotos offer with 5 free credits + 15% Off in your purchase!
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 that 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.
One of the biggest and most popular stock media companies in the world, Shutterstock delivers awesome stock footage for customers since 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 does not normally offer any kind of freebies, but not long ago they released a huge set of free video production assets via Rocketstock, a video editing store plus blog under the Shutterstock umbrella.
While not exactly free stock footage, this free giveaway set is packed with all kinds of video production resources, from lower thirds and transitions to titles, presets and music tracks. In total, the free toolkit includes over 1000 items, all totally free.
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 on 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?