Any action movie ever created usually relies heavily on a large number of different stock footage elements for things like explosions, blood hits, muzzle flashes, smoke, debris and more. I use plenty of it myself as it is easy to integrate into your shots and, with a little bit of work, looks really great.
In this post I want to show you a few of the best action stock footage resources that I know of, both paid and free. I will update this post from time to time as I discover new great sites worth checking out.
If you got yourself some free stock footage that is not pre-keyed make sure to check out my post on how to remove black background from stock footage.
Action Essentials 2 by Video Copilot
Personally, I use the stock footage elements from the Action Essentials 2 pack by Video Copilot almost exclusively. The pack costs $100 for the 720p version and $250 for the 2K version. It contains over 500 high quality, pre-keyed action stock footage elements.
While it’s not free, I did not regret purchasing the 720p version a couple of years ago. I have used elements from Action Essentials 2 for almost every single one of my YouTube videos and I am considering upgrading to the 4K version now that higher resolution video is going more mainstream.
Definitely the recommended option if you can afford the money!
If you are looking for free stock footage elements, Detonation Films is still one of the best places to go. While the Detonation Films website is a little bit hard to navigate and the stock footage elements are somewhat scattered and of varying quality, it is an excellent resource to get started to practice your VFX skills.
There are 2 areas where you can find free action stock footage on Detonation Films:
Free Stuff Pages
Follow these links:
- Detonation Films – Free Stuff Page One
- Detonation Films – Free Stuff Page Two
- Detonation Films – Free Stuff Page Three
These pages contain some of their older material, but it is conveniently packaged up into a number of larger ZIP files that you can download for free.
In order to download the stock footage from the Free Stuff pages, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the big Detonation Films logo.
A popup will come up with some information and a preview video for the the selected stock footage pack. To proceed to your download, click on the ‘I want this!’ button.
A new popup asking you for your details and a price will appear. Wait what? It’s not free?!
I encourage you give them a little bit of money for the pack, but you can also just enter ‘$0’ into the price box and download the stock footage pack for free. Phew!
Once you submit the form the download link for the free action stock footage pack will be sent to your email address. Just download, unzip and enjoy!
Miscellaneous Free Clips
Besides the above mentioned free stuff packs, you can also find miscellaneous free stock footage clips all over the Stock Directory pages on Detonation Films.
Visit to the Stock Directory page and look for links that indicate ‘free’ elements. You can then download individual clips for free on the sub category pages.
Another site where you can find some cool free stock footage elements is FootageCrate.
Simply expand the ‘Royalty Free Video FX’ and ‘Royalty Free Sounds’ menu options, select your desired sub-category and off you go!