Most of these aren’t usable in actual film projects (unless you need the random shot of a beachfront, fireworks, or a cute dog). And some are just plain odd (like the :10 clip of a cat’s nose). Yet short stock video clips are kind of fun to use as full-sized web site backgrounds.
A few words of warning before using these free video clips.
- Make sure video clips are public domain or that the End User License Agreement allows you to use them
- Some EULAs may restrict usage to, for instance, noncommercial or nonbroadcast, or may require crediting the author
- If there are recognizable people in the shots, and there’s no subject release included in the download or elsewhere on the web site, be aware that privacy rights for each individual may be in force.
- This is why many of the stateside video clips are blurred. People in videos shot outside the U.S. are often in focus. Apparently, we’re not too worried here in the United States about foreign copyright and privacy laws.
- Some clips are 4:3 and others 16:9.
- Some of the sites listed below offer both paid and free clips.
Some of the video clip web sites do a great job packaging multiple formats (such as .mp4, .ogv, .webm, and even a clean high-resolution .jpg into your download). You’ll need to use all of the video formats to help ensure your video plays as intended across a variety of web browsers. The .jpg comes in handy when you need a static featured image for a post or page.
I’ll keep adding to this list as I find more good video web sites.
- Pixels Videos
- X stock video
- Stock Footage for Free
- Dissolve (one free clip a month)
- Neo’s Clip Archive
One last suggestion about using these free video clips
If you’re using these on a web site, don’t upload them to the web site. Always embed a link to them from your YouTube (or Ooyala or Vimeo) channel. Your web server probably isn’t prepared to serve 5+ MB video clips and will often either not load them in the first place or stop serving them partway through.