Share via Email Regardless of a project's existing merits, there are times when you'll want to splice and spice up your footage with a little something extra. Be it a sequence from a classic silent movie or footage of an Arctic icesheet breaking apart, the internet boasts achives full of wonderful and weird footage just crying out to be in your film.
Sadly, but obviously, you can't just take your pick of footage from any TV or film, as almost all video and music too is subject to a strict licence agreement. Making use of such footage, even for personal use, is illegal without the consent of the copyright owner.
However, help is at hand in the form of "royalty-free" footage, of which plenty is available for download on the web. Free, or not so free However, royalty-free simply means that additional fees are not due to the originator every time the item is used.
This kind of footage has either been shot with the express intention of being royalty-free, or for other reasons has passed into the public domain as part of a national archive, say.
But before you type in "free footage" on Google and go download crazy, note the word "additional" is in italics. That's because most royalty-free stock footage still costs money to use - it's just that you only have to pay for it once, with a simple flat fee. This is known as "payable" stock footage: Thankfully, there are also plenty of absolutely free stock footage sources, and many of them boast incredible footage.
Download differences Most stock footage websites make their content available for immediate download. Downloading footage requires a couple of considerations: Video around the world is recorded to differing broadcasting standards.
This discrepancy is largely transparent when editing, as programs like iMovie are smart enough to know the difference. However, these programs can get a little unstuck if different formats are inadvertently mixed in the same project. In short, if you shoot footage with an everyday MiniDV camcorder, look for clips marked as "standard definition Pal" sometimes also described as x If your project is in HD resolution, look for footage that matches your HD settings "i", for example.
Be aware that any lengthy sections of full-resolution footage may download at glacial pace, even on a fast broadband connection.
Therefore, it is worth considering the destination and the audience for your project. For example, if you only ever intend to show your video project online, don't remortgage your house for a slice of footage in HD resolution that will take three years to download, as all the extra detail contained in the footage will be lost when viewed online.
Get your Nasa rockets and black holes here Free stock footage.