We know a lot of the Lights. Camera. Help. audience is constantly looking for creative content available through the public domain. So here it is!
We’ve compiled a list of sites that your nonprofit or cause-driven organization can visit to get your hands on some of this free footage.
Here is an archive.org search page that’s been pre-configured to return only media in the public domain. Everything’s already been entered in the search field, you just need to add “AND search term” to the end of the text in the search box to retrieve what you’re looking for.
While archive.org may be the best place to search for public domain media, Wikimedia has a lot of good content as well. And if you’re looking specifically for pyrotechnical goodies, Detonation Films offers a lot of SD footage, most of which is shot across a black background and some is even pre-keyed, making it easy to integrate explosions into existing footage.
If you’re just distributing your content on the Web and aren’t really worried about how high of quality your footage is, you can access great low resolution footage at Free Stock Footage. (And if you wish to upgrade your clips, it’ll cost you about $15 for each one.)
We know that low-res footage won’t be suitable for everyone, so if you’re looking for stock with higher production value Pond 5 has a lot of great content and it’s one of the cheapest places to get high-end stock. Plus, every week they give away a professionally shot HD clip. By downloading these free clips every week your nonprofit can build a great HD stock library that you can access later. Talk about a time-saver.
All media created by the federal government is also available in the public domain. It’s not going to be easy to find, but if you really need it, it’s available and free online.
Some other great sites for public domain clips include:
By accessing these sites on a regular basis, your nonprofit can build a great library consisting of mostly free, or at least decently priced, stock footage that will really enhance your video projects now and in the future. Have any other sources you like? Please let us know!