At KitSplit, we know as well as anyone that being a filmmaker is resource intensive and video or photo production is costly. After all, the high cost of production is one of the very reasons we exist! Part of our mission statement is to help democratize film production by making access to great gear less costly and more accessible. In the interest of keeping costs low and quality high, we are excited to bring you this roundup of free (***or cheap***) post production resources available across the world wide web.
We divided this list into five categories: footage, music, images, interactive, and transcription. Did we miss an amazing free (or affordable) resource that should be on here? Contact us!
Archive.org is easily one of our favorite, and most-used resources for free video footage. It’s a non-profit library with a vast, easily navigable library of public domain footage (as well as books, movies, music, images and more). Lots of great resources if, say, you need historical footage for a specific event, or generic footage of something random like phones ringing. We especially like The Prelinger Archives, “a collection of films relating to U.S. cultural history, the evolution of the American landscape, everyday life and social history” and endlessly useful resource for filmmakers.
We know that this site might not look like much, but it certainly promises a lot! Detonation Films has a variety of isolated visual effects material such as bullet hits, blood spatters, bomb detonations and much more. Seems like a handy tool for the filmmaker with action projects and no VFX budget!
With over 6,000,000 (!!!) video clips in their library, Pond5 is bound to have something that will work for your project and budget. They also have Music, Sound FX, Images and other great tools! There is a good amount of royalty-free footage, as well as a large selection of footage you need to buy a license for. Pond5 also has music and images.
A quick jaunt over to the MovieTools FAQ page answers our most immediate question: ‘Is it really free or is there a catch?’ To which MovieTools answers, “No catch. Our animations are free to use in your video production.’ Sounds good to us! They have a great selection of video loops and animations for background graphics (think credits stuff).
Videezy is a free library of HD stock footage that is uploaded by the public and perfect for filmmakers. The material is shared between a community of content creators and is thus available for use free of charge. It is unique in that it offers you the opportunity to promote the material you have shot and wish to share for use. Videezy is part of a network of ‘eezies’: brusheezy, vecteezy and themezy, all of which offer the same free and easy access to different types of production materials.
Distill offers curated free HD stock videos and clips for personal and commercial use. They have videos in many different categories including nature videos, videos of food, people and technology that you can browse to find the one that suits your needs.
Mazwai has a collection of HD video clips and footage that are free for use in commercial projects. Mazwai has a lot of unique timelapse and slow motion footage, if you’re into that sorta thing. New videos are added regularly and you can even send your video suggestions to them.
Video Pexels is a video library that brings together Creative Commons Zero licensed stock videos from different sources at one place.
Free Music Archive is just what it sounds like…a vast archive of free (yes free!) music, and one of our favorite music resources for editing—especially if you’re on a low or nonexistent budget. There is a ton of great stuff here, though it may take a little digging. And make sure to check the license before you list a song—some licenses are more lenient than others.
Ok, so Musicbed isn’t exactly free but it is truly an amazing resource for filmmakers looking to use indie music and pay their dues to the artists. Tracks run about $50 each but with each purchase you fully license the material. Sometimes, big name music pops up on the site for access, so it is certainly worth having on your radar no matter how teeny your budget.
Audio Jungle is just one of a slew of ‘ecosystems’ (read: Code Canyon, Theme Forest, Graphic River and so on) brought to you by Envato Market. These services bring sometimes free, sometimes low-cost content that can be used in your projects. Audio Jungle also has a wide selection of music available royalty free for $1 per track.
Jingle Punks is a super inexpensive resource for licensed music from great independent artists. Support artists while saving a few bucks? Yes please!
Unsplash offers (in our opinion) the best collection of free high-resolution photos. The Unsplash team combs through new submissions and features 10 high quality photos every 10 days. And you can do whatever you want with them, including copying, modifying, and distributing.
We mentioned Arhcive.org for video footage, and they’re also a great resource for images! A It’s a non-profit library with a vast, easily navigable library of public domain images (as well as footage, books, movies, music, images and more). It’s an indispensable resource for documentarians.
StockSnap has a huge selection of beautiful free stock photos and high resolution images. Plus, the handy search feature makes it easy to browse through the thousands of images available. All photos on StockSnap fall under the Creative Commons CCO license (which means you can copy, modify, or distribute the work without asking for permission).
Negative Space provides 20 new photos every week, and they’re also released under Creative Commons CC0. The photos are searchable and can be sorted by category, copy space and color.
All pictures on Gratisography are captured by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design. Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects.
We love this site – it features vintage photos from the public archives that are free of known copyright restrictions.
Rev is a pretty neat company located in San Francisco that offers transcription, subtitles, captions and translation services at affordable prices. They work with freelancers with the aim of giving their employees the freedom to work from home but the tools to develop an unbeatably speedy workflow. They offer transcription and captions at $1 per minute, subtitles for $7.50 per minute and translation at 10 cents per word. We’ve used their services and in our experience, they’re quite speedy and reliable.
Transcription Divas is solely a transcription service that guarantees on-time delivery and a transcript that will exceed U.S. courtroom standards of accuracy. Transcript Divas is $1.29 per minute of recording (for standard interviews). The Divas are a reliable source for top-notch material. We’ve used them, too, and always been happy with the results.
Trint is different from its competitors in that its transcriptions are generated by robots, not humans. For this reason, Trint is far less pricey than its competitors ($10 for an hour long interview), but may be less reliable.
Eko (formerly Interlude) makes EkoStudio (formerly Treehouse—yes, we’re a little confused too), a super nifty tool for making interactive videos. Eko has made a lot of buzzy projects, like Possibilia with Alex Karpovsky (just mentioned in this week’s New Yorker). Getting started with Eko is free, and the software is pretty intuitive—it’s a fun way to explore interactivity! This software is made mostly for film-based projects (ie, as far as we know, it doesn’t support data visualization and that sort of thing).
Adventr is the simple platform for creating and sharing interactive, web-native video experiences. Just drag & drop your clips to create seamless, personalized HD videos in which viewers can interact and choose their own paths – in real time. Adventr has a free option (which may include ads and a watermark), or you can upgrade to pretty affordable paid options. Filmmakers rejoice.
Atavist software markets itself as “A powerful tool to tell stories and build websites,” and enables filmmakers to quickly and easily tell their stories through digital apps, ebooks, and magazines. It seamlessly integrates multimedia across mobile devices and the Web. It’s a little more geared towards writing-driven stories than video-driven stories, but it supports integration of videos, photos and other mediums. There is a free plan, as well as paid tiers.
FrameTrail is an open source software that let’s you experience, manage and edit interactive video directly in your web browser. It’s open source and totally free! According to their site, “It enables you to hyperlink filmic contents, include additional multimedia documents (e.g. text overlays, images or interactive maps) and to add supplementing materials (annotations) at specific points.”
Klynt is an editing & publishing application dedicated to interactive storytellers. It was designed originally for Honkytonk Films in-house productions to create an affordable and easy-to-use solution to explore new narrative formats on the Internet.
Multipop transforms your video with interactive content. Within minutes, add e-commerce, new advertising opportunities, in-depth information and voting, all without disrupting the show!
Did we miss something? Let us know – email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what to add!