Best Action Stock Footage for Film Making & Visual Effects

User avatarMay 10, 2015 by Surfaced Studio

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!

Detonation Films

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:

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!

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User avatar
4 Years Ago
June 11, 2015 @ 23:39 am

very good

User avatar
Ochiagha Fidelis
4 Years Ago
June 29, 2015 @ 1:56 pm


please I love ur job and u have inspired me to go into editing. but I don't know how to go about it because I am lacking the softwares for it

User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ Ochiagha Fidelis
4 Years Ago
August 1, 2015 @ 17:43 am

Check out HitFilm 3 Express: It's free!

User avatar
Randy Forgaard
4 Years Ago
July 5, 2015 @ 18:25 am

Tobias, love your After Effects tutorials. I've watched several and have applied them to my budding VFX work. Your tutorials are information-filled, super well organized and planned, zipping quickly through the less-interesting parts, and you cover truly important and interesting topics. THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge and for communicating so professionally and efficiently, it helps enormously!

Quick note - this is really just a typo. On this blog post on your site ("Best action stock footage") you say that Video Copilot's "Action Essentials 2" comes in 720p and 4K, but actually, VC calls the high-res version 2K, not 4K. Not a big deal, just wanted to mention. I actually did get the 2K version, and have found it useful even for normal 1080p videos, because the 720p effects (some of which, like muzzle flashes, only take up a small part of the screen) are slightly too small for some of the close-up gunfire. I agree with you, Action Essentials 2 is awesome!

User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ Randy Forgaard
4 Years Ago
August 1, 2015 @ 17:44 am

Hi Randy! Glad to hear you're enjoying my tutorials. I've since fixed the typo - thanks for pointing that out

User avatar
Peter Solomon
4 Years Ago
July 15, 2015 @ 20:49 am

I agree that Video Co Pilot Action Essentials are an excellent selection of "natural" elements to add to video composites. Even so, Rampant FX files (consisting of fire, embers, smoke, ink splashes etc) are probably better. Rampant certainly provide a larger number of files in each category than Video Co Pilot, and a wider format choice.

User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ Peter Solomon
4 Years Ago
August 1, 2015 @ 17:47 am

Haven't heard of Rampant FX before. They certainly have a larger variety, but they also seem a fair bit more expensive as you'd have to buy a set of packs for each different category. I do like Action Essentials as it's a pretty wide mix of a bit of everything so I usually have something that suits whatever effect I try to create. But to each their own

User avatar
rayyan ali
3 Years Ago
December 5, 2015 @ 2:17 pm

A very nice effects that you have i liked it very much i also want to make

these effects i want to buy a effect pack

User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ rayyan ali
3 Years Ago
January 1, 2016 @ 16:19 am

Simply follow the links provided

User avatar
Vihaan Dheer
3 Years Ago
September 4, 2016 @ 12:38 am


Your tutorials are amazing! THANK YOU!! You inspired me to start filmaking! You're doing a great job, keep up the awesome work.


User avatar
cyril dova
2 Years Ago
June 15, 2017 @ 5:18 pm

I like your tutorials thanks so much

User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ cyril dova
2 Years Ago
June 17, 2017 @ 17:42 am

Thank you!

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I am passionate about providing high quality VFX & Film Making Edutainment online. Check out my training courses on Udemy
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