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Paid Stock Footage vs. Free Stock Footage: Which is better?

Film editors use stock footages, paid or free. Royalty-free movie clips can save time in shooting. It also saves money in traveling.

Filming is a fascinating industry. From the celebrities, the acting, the visual effects, these and more make a film both a science and an art. We still believe, however, a film without stock footage is incomplete. Movie goers might not have noticed its presence but it's the little thing that brings an added unique touch to the order of scenes. For this, there's still a big debate going on. Some of you go for paid stock footage while others, in an attempt to cut production cost, choose to use free.

Paid or free? Free or paid? The talks never end unless you clearly understand your goals. Does a paid product always superior than the free? Is it worth spending more money for quality? Are you sacrificing quality when you're not willing to pay? These and more questions are answered below. But before the details, it helps to go back with the basics. Let's start with the question...

What Is A Stock Footage?

A stock footage is a video content. Like the food you eat every day, a stock footage is seen in all movies that you watch. Old films, docU films, romantic-comedy, a footage is used to improve the overall quality of the scenes.

Big and small production companies need video clips to capture a shot that isn't shot specifically for the said production. You, as part of the editing team, need to insert these clips as the story approaches climax. Those who will watch your movie won't notice it as the usual length of a clip is shorter than a minute.

A stock footage is also called B-Roll. You buy its license either as royal-free or rights managed. Not all stock footage is created equal but we give you the better and hassle-free license agreement.

Paid Stock Footage: The Advantages

If you're the kind of film editor who choose quality over quantity, you believe all paid stock footages have pristine quality. We at aim for 4k resolution. We make sure these are well-preserved and uploaded in our site where you can preview, download and use it. Listed below are the many benefits of our paid stock footages:

1. All clips are high quality

Quality is everything. When you buy and use stock clips, you can make sure you get what you pay for. You also feel confident the movie becomes more aesthetically pleasing to the millennial audience.

2. The team can save money

Filming is a glorious job yet it's expensive. To travel for personal satisfaction is an expense. What more if you'll travel with a team of 250 only to find the unique shot for a two-hour documentary. That's why; having a gallery filled with vintage and cinematic retro clips saves money and time for traveling.

The White House plays an essential role in all movies about politics. We understand the feeling if you're shooting scenes in New York but no one has the time to travel in Washington due to deadlines. Never lose hope. The best solution then is to have an instant clip worth $188. No stress. No hours wasted.

3. A special kind of feel

Box-office films have the ability to capture the emotions of the audience. An example of this is the 1994 Academy Best Picture "Forrest Gump." It's filled with retro stock clips (we have plenty!) to show the interaction between Tom Hanks and President Nixon. Movie experts say Forrest Gump reveals the real function of stock footage. It brings the audience to a time where no one has been.

4. Buy the clip immediately

Filming needs quick decision-making. You'll always need extra number of shots to achieve a smooth-sailing edit. Fortunately, we can give you all types of clips with a clearer resolution. See our Shutter Stock Gallery and stay patient finding the clip that you want.

5. Clips are royalty-free

Stock clips with royalty-free licence are popular than those with rights managed. Our clips are bought only once but it can be reused multiple times in any purpose. You can even give it to your children for their little movie project.

6. Easy and faster sharing

It's a no-brainer. We're now living in a digital world. We have smart phones instead of beepers. In the of filming, sharing clips with anyone becomes a priority. While at home, Team Member A suddenly comes up with other ideas and wants to merge it with what Team Member C has created. Without directly informing Team Members B, D, E, F and G but still keeping them in the loop, Team Member A can still send it over wherever they are. Fast delivery yields better results.

7. Getting a unique shot

A good example of this shot is the moon. No one can get to the moon without a space rocket, right? There are other movies recreated by stock footage. These are: Epic Boat Fail (1997), Cats Vie For The Throne (1994), Arrogant Pilots In The Danger Zone (1986) and Psycho (1960).

8. Saves time from editing multiple shots

Paid stock footage make life easier for you. The editing time-frame cuts to ten days instead of 31 days depending on what further techniques are needed in a single scene.

9. No copyright issues

No worries on copyright. The processes of purchasing and downloading a clip are simple. It's safe. You can also guarantee all our clips have a royalty-free agreement allowing you and your team to edit, crop and reuse. No strings attached.

10. Clip adjustment based on your needs

A stock footage with stricter licence agreement is stressful. Never allow this problem to happen to you. Take a look at this sleeping baby with a milk bottle. A royalty-free clip like this allows you to edit and modify into something more different. You're even allowed to add a flying bee if it makes sense.

11. Own the clip anytime

This is the most convenient part of having a royalty-free clip. This clip is available for download all the time. Once it's stored in your computer, it's yours! Do anything you like with it.

Paid Stock Footage: The Disadvantage

Paid stock footage are always worth the buy but once you're tied with a stock media agency, you'll eventually have to pay for a video content you want to put in a commercial or any public medium. As a result, it is always going to be expensive - even more expensive than photos. There are times additional restrictions are agreed upon before the purchase. Modification is never allowed.

Free Stock Footage: The Advantage

Most free stock footages are also high quality. These clips are usually under the Creative Commons Zero license that is free for any purpose, even for commercials. Attribution is not required. Amateur filmmakers will go for these clips. To them, the desired result remains the same.

Paid or Free Stock Footage: The Right Choice?

Consider yourself a professional filmmaker if you use expensive equipment operated by professional videographers. Your vision is to create a high quality motion picture packed with an extraordinary storytelling. While adding clips is time-consuming and expensive, our vintage clips help you achieve the kind of vision you have in mind for many years. A great vision does include the right budget for high quality stock footage. provides royalty-free classic movie clips in 4k resolution. All clips have cinematic retro color correction, manual speed adjustment, custom action crop movement and modern halogen lighting with advanced degrain filters. Our quality clips are found in Pond 5, iStockPhoto, VideoBlocks, Shutter Stock, Stock Adobe, Nimia, Artbeats Express and Video Hive.

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