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17 Free Resources to Step Up Your Filmmaking Game

17 Free Resources to Step Up Your Filmmaking Game

Everybody loves free, right? Whether you’re a growing filmmaker or a seasoned professional, here are seventeen free, high-quality resources that can boost your creativity and make your videos look even better.

BEST FREE VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE

HitFilm Express
If you’re wondering where to find the best free video editing software, you’ve come to the right place!  Normally, the free video editing software available on the internet has always left something to be desired, or installed some kind of annoying adware to try and persuade you to buy the “premium” version.  However, HitFilm Express’ goal is to offer an unparalleled level of functionality for the attractive price of...well, free.

No watermarks, no paywalls, no limitations.  

From their website, “HitFilm Express gives you access to the most powerful free video-editor and VFX software on Earth and a community of 2.7 million filmmakers.”
It includes:
  • Professional-grade video editor
  • Full 2D and 3D compositing
  • 410+ effects and presets
  • Free video tutorials and projects
  • Unlimited tracks and transitions
  • Windows and Mac compatibility
Of course, if you’d like to grow even further, they also offer some really interesting software, such as HitFilm Pro, which is geared towards VFX, and Action Pro - a revolutionary program that lets you create animated movement using a mouse, joypad, and Leap Motion controllers for input.  

We are big fans of HitFilm, and you won’t be disappointed with the unbelievable value in what they offer.  Their community is outstanding, and their YouTube channel is updated weekly with tips, tutorials, and everything you need to get the most out of their software.  Plus, HitFilm Express is a great match for compositing with all our ActionVFX products.

ACTUALLY FREE ROYALTY-FREE MUSIC

Purple Planet, Free Music Archive, YouTube Audio Library
While there are plenty of websites that offer royalty-free music, you often have to pay quite a bit for the license to use the music.  On the other end of the spectrum, there are sites that offer actually free royalty-free music, but the quality is lacking.

Purple Planet
Purple Planet, the Free Music Archive, and the YouTube Audio Library are some of the best-sounding tracks you can get for free.

I have to throw bonus points to Purple Planet for their exceptional level of quality in their music.  Their tracks all have a very polished, vibrant, modern sound.  The only thing to keep in mind with Purple Planet is that they have strict guidelines on attributing their music if you use it on a free project.  However, their affordable licensing model makes it possible to get by without attribution if you purchase a license for the song you choose, and you even get a higher bitrate audio file.  

The YouTube Audio Library also gets bonus points for including a substantial sound effects library.  That, combined with its quality tracks, frequent updates, and ease of use offer a lot to love about this great audio library.
While the Free Music Archive doesn’t always offer the highest level of quality on every track, you will find a lot to love about the wide range of genres available, and the wide selection of tracks available.

GREAT FREE FONTS

DaFont, FontSquirrel
DaFont
DaFont’s interface makes it easy to find the right fonts for your project, and their site is updated daily with user-submitted fonts.  Just make sure you’re mindful of any potential licensing restrictions depending on which fonts you choose

FontSquirrel isn’t updated as often as DaFont, but it offers some exceptional fonts in unique styles.

FREE SOUND EFFECTS

FreeSound, YouTube Audio Library
FreeSound.org
Updated frequently, this is a great repository of free sound effects.  It may take a little time to find what you’re looking for with a good bitrate, but the majority of their free SFX are great for most projects, and they have a vast catalog.  

Again, the YouTube Audio Library is awesome not just for music, but sound effects as well.

BEST FREE AUDIO EDITING SOFTWARE

Audacity, Ocen Audio
Audacity
For years, Audacity has been the go-to of free audio editing software - and for good reason!  Many of its features can stand side-by-side a lot of commercial audio editing applications, and you can accomplish almost any audio task in this great software.  There is a bit of a learning curve, though, and the interface can sometimes be a challenge to navigate for newcomers.

Cross-platform and completely free, Ocen Audio is similar to Audacity, but it features a slightly more intuitive UI, with an emphasis on ease-of-use, and almost instantaneous render times of effects on even lengthy files.  Just an FYI, you may have to use Google Chrome to translate the page from Portuguese to English.

FREE ROYALTY-FREE STOCK IMAGES

Pexels, Unsplash
Pexels
What’s great about Pexels (besides its stunning library of beautiful photos), is its library is updated constantly, thanks to user-submitted photos that are simply free for commercial and personal use - no legal fuss.  It also features a few helpful search filters that will quickly let you find the photos you’re looking for.
Like Pexels, Unsplash is updated frequently, features incredible photos, and its photos are also completely free. 

Pikwizard
Pikwizard is an awesome new stock photography website with over 100,000 images. 20,000 of these are completely exclusive to Pikwizard and there is no attribution required. It prides itself on its high-quality images of people, which are few and far between on stock photography websites.

FREE ROYALTY-FREE STOCK FOOTAGE

ActionVFX, RodyPolis, Pexels Video, Pixabay
ActionVFX
Our free visual effects page offers an incredible amount of top-notch stock footage for compositing.  Our latest update to our free effects page includes our unique Spell Hits - plus we even offer Textures, Explosion and Bullet Hit Sound Effects, and more, all for free.  Download and enjoy to your heart’s content!

RodyPolis
Our founder, Rodolphe Pierre-Louis also has a great stock footage website, and offers a lot of great free there resources, as well.  RodyPolis’ free pre-keyed bullet hits and fire collection go great with ActionVFX’s collections, too - so check it out!

Like the awesome free royalty-free photos website, Pexels Video offers the same free experience with professional, eye-catching videos.

A massive library of quality stock videos and photos await you - completely for free!  Pixabay’s library currently houses an impressive 1.4 million+ photos and videos.  

We hope these free resources help you save time, be more creative, and become an even better filmmaker!

First time here? ActionVFX creates action stock footage for VFX and filmmaking. 

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