Free Video Stock Footage Resources Online
Photo credit: Pedro Nogueira
Until now, producing quality opening titles and station breaks for your online video channel has required lots of extra work and often the purchase of quality (and often expensive) DVD catalogs of stock video footage. Watch this video for example:
Outside of the interest for such a new innovative way of using the world blogosphere collaboratively, I am sure you have noticed the nice, high-quality, free stock video footage utilized to create this clip with a low-budget but with professional results.
Just like you have seen it happen with royalty free images and royalty free music there are tons of royalty free video footage resources online where we can find some interesting free video stock footage archives that open up a universe of opportunities for anyone wanting to produce more professionally-looking video online.
Here is the first hand-picked selection of readily-available, 100% free stock video resources online that you can start using immediately:
Public Domain Video For All of Your Mashup Needs - 9 Legal Sources
by Michael Pick
"Public Domain Video is out there in plentiful supply if you're willing to have a poke around, which is a godsend for those looking to source moving image content free of copyright restrictions.
The emerging medium of the video mashup - remixes that recontextualize and repurpose video content - can be a powerful way to communicate your message. Here is a list of archives jam-packed with weird and wonderful content you can snip away at and mash together as you see fit."
A blog that features extensive search and syndication options, along with a healthy catalogue of free-to-download public domain movies across a range of genres, featuring classics, cartoons and shorts. You can download or stream the videos.
2. Openflv ***DEAD
Openflv features a good selection of b-movie trashola fare which you can stream or download for the most part via the services it aggregates (such as Google video). This is a great place to get hold of such timeless classics as Reefer Madness and the 1968 delight Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women.
3. Internet Archive
Internet Archive is the lodestone of public domain video, and there is a huge selection of video to download or stream in multiple formats across a range of genres, from advertising and ephemera to features and old TV shows. This is a treasure trove for the would-be mash-up-meister.
4. Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons features plentiful public domain video content, a lot of it from amateur sources. You'll need to be patient though, the organization of the content leaves something to be desired.
5. The National Archives
The National Archive has a nice collection of historical movies, including lots of great NASA footage for all of those wonder-space scenes you might want to create. A web-based video editor is available to satisfy your video production needs.
If you're looking for comedy footage in the public domain - think everything from unintentionally humorous kitsch to cartoons and I Love Lucy - this should definitely be on your list.
7. Stage6 ***DEAD
Stage6, the video sharing platform for high-quality DivX recordings, has a nice selection of public domain videos to explore. The quality is among the best you'll find, although you may need to install DivX on your PC first to watch the movies. Buster Keaton, Betty Boop and Charlie Chaplin prevail.
8. Public Domain Torrent
If you're familiar with BitTorrent technology, this site has nearly a thousand movies in various formats for you to download without wondering if the MPAA are going to come to your house and flog you with a law suit. Well worth a look.
EMOL has great selection of public domain video free to download across a vast range of genres. The highlight for me has to be David Hasselhoff's delightful music video "Jump in my car" (yes, featuring the inimicable K.I.T.T.).
There are a lot more sources out there, especially if you are willing to stray into Creative Commons waters - but bear in mind that the popular Non-Commercial license won't allow you to use the footage in any commercial work - if you want to promote your business, sell your video, or even run it along web-based advertising, you are stepping into murky waters.
If you know of any more public domain sources I would love to hear about them in the comments - especially those featuring public service announcements and vintage computing.
Originally written by Michael Pick for Michael-Pick.com and first published on August 28th, 2007 as "Public Domain Video For All Of Your MashUp Needs - 9 Legal Sources" - Updated by Daniele Bazzano.