Free Stuff for Lockdown Filmmaking

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Feel like getting creative in the audiovisual sense (perhaps joining in with our #lockdownremakes challenge) while we are all being safe and staying in the house? With a bit of imagination, even the most high-end hollywood techniques can be approximated in almost any setting…

If you’ve got a phone or tablet to hand then you are pretty much sorted for camera and sound, to take things further there are loads of apps and resources you can get for free – here are some to get you started:

Editing

Once you’ve shot some footage, taken some photos or drawn some pictures, then unless you’ve done it all in one virtuoso take, you’ll need an editor app to organise it and fulfil your artistic vision. If you’ve got an iphone, then you may already have iMovie on it – if not, it is free to download from the app store. On Android, have a crack at Filmora Go – also free and ideal for beginners, I am assured.

Video: Intro to iMovie on iPhone/iPad

Video: Intro to Filmora Go on Android

If you want to get deeper into editing on your phone, then there are loads more free and paid apps, here’s a roundup that could be worth a look.

Alternatively, you can put your footage onto your computer and edit it there, again iMovie is your starting point for Mac and on PC you can use the photo editor for simple video editing, or have a look at this list of alternatives.

Video: Intro to iMovie on the Mac

Stop Motion

Stop motion is a great way of creating something epic and otherwise unfilmable by taking loads of photos and stringing them together.

You can do stop motion inside a ‘traditional’ video editing app, but there are also specialist apps that will probably be a bit easier if you want to get some Isle Of Dogs quality action going on.

On the iphone there is iMotion which can be downloaded for free – you can also get a free trial version of the feature rich Stop Motion Studio for both iOS and Android – think the full version costs a few quid.

There is a bigger list of stop motion apps here.

Stock Footage and Sound

Almost every film you’ve ever seen will have cheated and used some stock film and sound here and there (in some cases almost entire films) – and if you’re stuck in the house it is going to be hard to get that wild alligator attack footage that you need.

So here are a bunch of places where you can get free content to include in your homemade flicks…

Archive.org is a wealth of all sorts of copyright free old footage and sound (amongst other things) check out the Prelinger Archive for example, or the feature films section.

Pexels is a site full of user submitted photos and videos that are free to download and use in your projects (often you will just need to attribute the creator in some way).

Pixabay is a similar site featuring free-to-use user submitted stock footage.

The BBC Sound Effects site is a trove of over 16000 sound effects that are free to download and use for non-commercial projects. My favourite is “Animated crowd reaction at a wrestling match”

The helpfully named Freesound is the place to get hold of free creative commons music and sound effects, you’ll need to create a free account to download stuff – and you can also upload your own sounds if you feel like sharing.

Mobygratis is the site for getting hold of free-to-use music from well, Moby – he wants to know why you want to use his music, but it is free.

Publishing

It is quick and easy to stick your videos on Youtube and Facebook. A good alternative if you want to avoid giving the big evil corporations your carefully nurtured epic is Vimeo – you can use it for free, it is very filmmaker-focused and has loads of cool content on there to check out and be inspired by. Like this for example:

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