Where can you find high quality stock footage to download for VFX practice or to add shots to your demo reel? I’ve made 2 lists of links: “Free” and “Paid” for you to compare and utilize.
With free sites, there are less shots available and you will have to navigate through ads. I’ve tried to make that process easier.
Pixabay: They have some 4K footage in mp4 format, but limited variety. Most are less than 1 minute long and the variety is limited. Shutterstock, a paid stock footage service, displays their own search results at the top of your search in Pixabay. Just skip the top row if you want free videos.
Videvo: They have limited 4K. Some are mp4’s and others are Quicktime files (MOV). The top row of search results are from Shutterstock and ads are clearly mixed in between rows of real results.
Videezy: It’s a sketchy name for a site but they actually have some nice 4K mp4 videos. The first two rows of search results are from Shutterstock.
Pexels Videos: While they don’t have any 4K videos, they do have a wide selection of HD (1920 by 1080) mp4’s. I also like how their ads from Shutterstock display at the bottom of your search results instead of at the top.
Shutterstock: You should know their name by now. They have lots of 4K and HD clips in many different file formats (make sure you’re getting the format you want). You can choose to pay per video ($199 US Dollars for 4K, $79USD for HD) or get a ” video pack” of 5: HD clips for $359 ($71.80 per video) or 4K clips for $899 ($179.80 per video). They have pricing options for packs of 10 and 25 too, in HD or 4K. Be careful: if you don’t spend your video pack credits within 12 months, they will expire.
Videohive (from Envato): They have a smaller selection of 4K compared with Shutterstock. Some are mp4’s and others are MOV’s. The price per video varies widely. If you pay $29USD per month, you have access to unlimited downloads. You purchase credits to buy videos, similar to Shutterstock, with the same possibility of your credits expiring after 12 months without spending. I have personally used them for music (Envato’s Audiojungle) for commercials and was satisfied with the result.
Pond5: They have lots of 4K videos in MOV format. You can pay per video ($33 Canadian dollars is the lowest) or pre-fund your account by paying $650CAD for a credit pack (which includes a $33 bonus in credits). These credits are valid for 2 years, instead of 1. I especially like how much camera data they display for each shot. You can pay $260 per month or $1,295 per year to download 10 videos each month.
Big Stock Photo: They have photos as well as HD videos in MOV format (no 4K yet). You cannot pay per video. Their cheapest package is 5 videos per day (150 per month) for $79USD, which is only $0.53 per video.
Adobe Stock: As you would expect, Adobe has a lot of high quality 4K videos in MOV format. Videos aren’t included in their subscription payments, so you will need to purchase credits. With 16 credits at $150USD, you can get 2 HD videos and save about $10. A single 4K video is $200, while the HD version is $80.
Vimeo Stock: Royalty-free clips ranging from $80 (for HD) and up, to $200 (for 4K). It’s convenient to be able to pay in Canadian dollars. They have special deals related to their membership that are worth checking out if you plan to be a Vimeo Plus or Pro user.
RawFilm: All of these videos are Royalty Free and shot on RED cameras, available in Raw files, H.264, and ProRes 422 LT formats at 4-8K! A one month subscription is $199, and you can download up to 20 clips per month (so $20 per clip).
Filmsupply: They have a variety of 4K, RAW/LOG, and clips shot on 8mm/16mm/35mm film. Prices are high but the quality is quite good.
Storyblocks: Monthly plans are available for $19 a month (5 videos per month) or $39 a month (unlimited video downloads) as of this writing. HD and 4K plates are both available, and their selection is impressive (835,000+ videos).
In general, I recommend you search the free sites first. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, then check the paid sites. The number of videos you need, the videos available, and your budget will determine the rest. If you know any other helpful stock footage sites, feel free to comment below. Happy hunting!