Filmmaking is no easy task, especially when you’re on a budget.

At KitSplit, we’re doing all we can to democratize filmmaking by making professional gear affordable for all types of projects and budgets. We’re also constantly learning about, and connecting filmmakers to, awesome resources. Below we’ve rounded up a list of more than 50 free or inexpensive resources available across the great world wide web!

We divided this list into eight categories: Music, Transcription, Images, Footage, Cinematography Web Apps & Software, Work Forms & Finances, Downloadables, and Interactive. Did we miss an amazing free (or affordable) resource that should be on here? Contact us!


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Free Music Archive

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.

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Audio Jungle 

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.

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Sound of Picture / The Podington Bear

We discovered The Podington Bear, a musical artist, a while ago on Free Music Archive. They have a vast collection of beautiful instrumental songs—with a wide range of moods—that work well to score videos or short films. Turns out they have their own site with all of their music and a really nice filtering system! Make sure to read about licensing—you may need to pay but the prices are very affordable. Pricing depends on use case and project budget.

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Musicbed

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.

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Audio Network

Audio Network has a massive database of 140,000+ tracks that you purchase for $9.99 each to use for personal or student projects. For professional use, the tracks will run you $99 each.

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Jingle Punks

Jingle Punks is a super inexpensive resource for licensed music from great independent artists. Support artists while saving a few bucks? Yes please!

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Rev

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.

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Transcript Divas

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.

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Trint

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.  

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iScribed

At .89 per minute for creating closed captioned titles and $7 per minute for subtitles, iScribed is an audio and video transcription service that allows you to convert audio data into text data quickly and pain free!

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Verbal Link

Verbal Link doesn’t provide an exact price for their subtitling services, but they provide you with a synchronized text in the language of your choice, offer multiple formats, and will even add the subtitles to your video!

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TranscribeFiles

TranscribeFiles makes transcribing files, documents, audio, and video files easy–and with services starting at .80¢ an per minute it’s super affordable!

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Unsplash

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.

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Archive.org

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 indispensible resource for documentarians.

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StockSnap

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 CC0 license (which means you can copy, modify, or distribute the work without asking for permission).

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Negative Space

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.

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Gratisography

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.

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New Old Stock

We love this site – it features vintage photos from the public archives that are free of known copyright restrictions.

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Archive.org

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.  

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Detonation Films Stock

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 those low budget action projects with no VFX budget!

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Pond5

With over 10,000,000 (!!!) 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.

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MovieTools

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).

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Videezy (well, all the eezies)

Videezy is a free library of HD stock footage that is uploaded by the public.  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.

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Distill

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.

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Mazwai

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.

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Pexels

Video Pexels is a video library that brings together Creative Commons Zero licensed stock videos from different sources at one place.

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Adobe Stock

While it’s not free, Adobe Stock has tons of high quality stock footage. HD clips are $79.99 and 4K clips are $199.99.

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RED Cinephotography Tools

This web tool from RED Digital Cinema contains a crop factor, recording time, flicker free, and depth of field calculator and is also available as a smartphone app.

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ARRI Alexa Toolkit

The ARRI Alexa Toolkit has everything you need to use an ARRI camera all in one place–Frame Line Composer, Camera Simulator, Pocket Guide Webapp, Look Creator, ARRIRAW Converter, Meta Extract, and the LUT Generator.

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ARRI Alexa Camera Simulator

ARRI also gives anyone access to their Alexa Camera Simulator; knowing how to move your way through a camera can help you save precious seconds on set.

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Canon C300 Menu Simulator

Canon has a C300 menu simulator as well–the EOS C300 Menu Simulator is an interactive training tool to help you familiarize yourself with the camera’s Custom Picture and Main Menus.

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DSLR Camera Simulator

While nothing can replace using a real camera, this DSLR simulator aims to teach you about still photography, it’s an easy way to learn about the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO — among other settings.

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VideoLAN (VLC)

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files–when you encounter some weird file type you’ll be thankful you have VLC to play it.

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DaVinci Resolve 15

DaVinci Resolve 15 is the world’s first solution that combines professional offline and online editing, color correction, audio post production and visual effects!

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Automatic Duck Xsend Motion

Xsend Motion converts your FCPX timeline into a Motion project in just seconds, translating Transforms like Position and Scale, opacity and blending modes, titles and many third party effects as well.

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Film Rate Calculator

A super simple tool for those of you shooting on film, this tool is intended to give an indication of the number of film rolls needed to shoot a given amount of footage.

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KitSplit Blog – 7 Apps All Filmmakers Should Know About

Okay okay, so this one is a little self promotion, but come on! We’ve already rounded up some great smartphone apps that’ll make your life easier–go check out that list!

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FreshBooks

FreshBooks is accounting software that makes billing for freelancing easy, fast and secure. Spend less time on accounting and more time doing the work you love.

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FilmContracts Invoice Templates

Stop stressing over how to format your invoice, just use these free templates! FilmContracts also has an invaluable collection of sample Entertainment contracts, Production Forms, Deal Memos, Union Agreements, Insurance Forms and other industry agreements.

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David Elkins’ Production Forms

From Deal memos, equipment checklists, camera reports, and even film can labels–David Elkins provides a huge selection forms for you to use and exploit.

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Romancing the Day Rate

It can feel awkward for a new filmmaker to ask “What’s a decent day rate for a [crew position]?”, but this day rate survey will give you a good idea about where to start.

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KitSplit Blog – A Taxes Guide for the Freelance Filmmaker or Videographer

We compiled these tips on our very own blog to help guide you through the not so fun world of taxes for freelance filmmakers and videographers.

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Mint

Part of the struggle of freelancing is being your own accountant– the free money management tools at Mint.com are a big help!

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DSLR Cinematography Guide

Subscribe to No Film School and get a FREE high-resolution PDF of The DSLR Cinematography Guide and you’ll be subscribed to one of our favorite newsletters!

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Technicolor CineStyle

Harness the full potential of your DSLR Camera with Technicolor’s CineStyle Profile – A FREE download that boosts the dynamic range in your camera.

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David Elkins’ Film Magazine Threading Diagrams

This website has threading diagrams for some of the most commonly used 16mm and 35mm cameras, n invaluable resource for new filmmakers.

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Panavision Technical References

Don’t sleep on Panavision–from manuals and quick start guides to charts to reports, they have it all!

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Digital Cinema Pocket Guides

Whether the camera you’re working with cost $5,000 or $50,000, these 30 pocket guides will help you be ready to shoot with whatever digital cinema camera your production chooses. Grab all 30 for $9.99!

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Kodak Tools for Students & Educators

If you’re looking for a basic overview of color, cinematography, and filmmaking, then Kodak’s Essential Reference Guide for Filmmakers is your one stop shop!

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EkoStudio

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).

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Adventr

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 adds and a watermark), or you can upgrade to pretty affordable paid options.

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Atavist

Atavist software markets itself as “A powerful tool to tell stories and build websites,” and enables you to quickly and easily tell your story 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.

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FrameTrail

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.”

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Klynt

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.

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Multipop

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!

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Did we miss something? Let us know – email contact@kitsplit.com and tell us what to add!