Just a few weeks into the pandemic lockdown, Netflix released the full documentary Coronavirus, Explained. How? By using a mix of animations, voiceover by J.K. Simmons, and, perhaps most importantly, stock video sites.
But stock video sites aren’t just a great way to create content when you can’t shoot. They’re also a great way to save time and cut production costs without sacrificing quality.
Here are 11 stock video sites you can use for your next project.
Dareful offers free 4K stock video footage you can use whether you’re looking to incorporate holiday-themed b-roll or aerial footage to establish a scene. With Dareful, you can integrate their content into commercial projects.
However, you must follow the guidelines outlined by Creative Common’s Attribution 4.0 International License.
Without going too far in the weeds, Creative Commons Attribution License allows for the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted piece. This license gives others the right to build upon the work the original content creator developed. The license conditions covered by Attribution International 4.0 License include:
Sign up to Dareful’s email list to get updates as they add more to their stock video site.
For many videographers, Pexels is the free stock video site they’ll use.
Along with photos, Pexels provides Go Pro action videos, drone footage, and a wide mix of other free content. Their library includes pieces clearly marked under Creative Commons 0 License videos.
For this license, the original creator dedicated the work to the public domain, waiving all of his or her rights to the content worldwide under copyright law.
Both videos under Creative Commons and Pexels’ license do not require attribution. View specific restrictions for content covered by Pexels license here.
Use the follow feature on their site to get notifications from your favorite producers uploading content on Pexels.
Pixabay’s free stock video features a large range of commercial-free content with no credit required. While their content can be used for commercial purposes, the restriction Pixabay outlines here.
Browse by effects, categories, and resolution to key in on specific content. This stock video site even has free animations, illustrations, music, vectors, and photos.
Videezy’s stock video site contains both free and paid options. If you’ve got a tight budget and looking to avoid paying for footage, look out for the green “Pro” tagged thumbnails. Keep in mind you can use their free stock for commercial productions, but they require you attribute the videographer.
If you’re looking to weave in graphics faster, they also upload free animations and After Effects templates. Their sister sites include free vectors, Photoshop files, and website themes.
Storyblocks contains over 1 million HD, 4K, and 4K+ clips. Their subscription-based site offers three membership options:
Each license provides:
View the full license terms that cover restrictions for sensitive subjects such as politics. If you need more indemnification, multiple team member access, and other features, reach out to their team for Enterprise pricing.
Artgrid backs up their curated library of professionally shot footage with a 14-day money back guarantee. Their three different pricing levels:
You can also test out any clip watermarked as you’re collaborating in post-production before you decide to subscribe. Even after your subscription expires, you get a license for footage for use in any private or commercial production on any platform worldwide.
The hardest part of sifting through stock video sites is finding the perfect clip for a project. Narrow down your search on Artgrid by:
Envato is a go-to site for stock resources if you’re looking to create different types of content. With individual plans starting at $16.50 per month, you also get unlimited access to assets like Powerpoint templates, graphics, WordPress themes, and audio tracks.
Each license covers the right to utilize the Item through communication to the public (performance), broadcast, display, distribution, and reproduction.
Pond5 is one of the largest royalty-free stock video sites with over 17 million clips. Their membership plans are $199 monthly ($999 per year) and include:
For 4K and 4K+ downloads, they give you the RAW and .mov file. They also provide free format conversion.
Commercial-ready clips come with an individual license that contains restraints on sensitive and morally questionable subjects and limitations to distribution. For projects outside of your sizzle reel and social media content, you can purchase further licensing on their stock video site starting at $149.
Shutterstock also has a colossal collection of footage with 85,000 new clips added per week to their stock video section. They offer two membership plans:
10 clips for $1,599 per year if you pay upfront ($359 month-to-month or $159 monthly if you commit to a year) 20 clips for $1,999 per year if paid upfront ($669 month-to-month or $199 monthly if you commit to a year)
You can also purchase packs where you can pay for 5, 10, or 25 clips and redeem them for your future undetermined projects. Video pack downloads are available for 12 months from the date of purchase.
Beyond the somewhat convoluted pricing, all subscriptions and clip packs include a standard license that covers web usage and live performance (such as corporate presentations, concerts, and musicals with an audience size limit of 500,000). You will need additional licensing for broadcast, theatrical releases, and streaming services with films and television shows such as Netflix.
ProVideoFactory’s stock video site offers unlimited downloads for over 150,000 clips used also by BBC, NBC, Samsung, and other big brands. Their HD plan includes royalty-free licenses to those clips and 10% off the ala carte premium library for $149 annually. Their 4K package provides a 50% off discount to their premium library plus a $300 bonus towards it for $299 per year.
ProVideoFactory also has free video stock options.
Biteable is a web-based video tool that allows you to create professional-quality videos in a matter of minutes. You can browse their library of over 800,000 free stock video footage clips and create a video for free. If you’re searching for specific types of video stock footage, you can narrow down the video stock options by keyword or even use one of the pre-made video templates to streamline the video creation process.
Biteable has free, individual, and business subscription plans.
Ultimately the stock video sites you bookmark and keep coming back to will come down to preference in pricing, licensing, and of course the footage.
If your team needs to track your stock footage expenses, Wrapbook makes it easier to recoup and report those items. Plus, you can streamline more of your operations including logging timecards and automating payroll for both film and television. If you want tips on storing and tracking your footage, dive into our next post that covers the post-production workflow.
Scouting production locations? We’re breaking down 10 states with considerable film tax breaks so you can get the most bang for your budget buck.
Wrapbook's newest resource is our podcast, "On Production," which features experts in the field and tips on how to navigate the production world. Check it out!