Finding free footage to include in your iMovie projects is easy, but finding footage that students are actually allowed to use, is free, in HD quality and doesn’t require registration can be another story. Here is a list of websites that I regularly tell my students to use to download quality video footage from.
All of the below do not require students to create an account. However, some offer advertising, or popups to prompt students to signup. I have marked those sites with this icon ⚠. I have organised the links in alphabetical order, for ease of maintenance (I will most likely add to this list).
Please note there is likely to be overlap between some of the databases below.
Free video footage for iMovie
- Archive.org – Over 1,600 videos mostly in the public domain
- British Council Film Collection – Over a hundred videos under Creative Commons license
- British National Archives – Over a hundred videos under Open Government license
- Canadian Forces gallery – A collection of videos shot by the Canadian forces under Crown Copyright (no permission required for non-commercial use).
- ESA/Hubble – Hundreds of beautiful HD videos under Creative Commons license
- FootageCrate – ⚠ – A few dozens pre-keyed (great for green screen effect) HD footage under Creative Commons license. Note: Limited to two downloads per day without registration.
- Free HD Stock Footage group on Vimeo – Over 200 HD videos in the public domain (please note not all videos have licensing information, but the group is curated and moderated so there should be no problems)
- IgniteMotion – A large number of motion graphics under no specific license, but terms are permissive
- Mazwai – Beautiful HD videos under Creative Commons License
- NASA – Around 60 stunning HD videos in the public domain
- OrangeHD – A great collection of HD video footage under Creative Commons license
- Public project – Nearly 10,000 HD videos in the public domain
- US National Archives – Nearly 6,000 videos in the public domain
- Videezy – ⚠ – Hundreds of HD videos organised in categories, under either Creative Commons license, or in the public domain
- Videvo – ⚠ – A large number of HD video footage, and motion graphics under either Creative Commons License, or Videvo license (permissive license)
- VidsPlay – Around a hundred HD video footage. Royalty-free (and free). Some very basic restrictions apply (e.g. link to site is required)