Marketing With Digital Video Chapter 5 – The Goldmine of Public Domain Stock Footage


from the book

Marketing With Digital Video Buy The Book Here


by Hal Landen

Remember when I told you to brainstorm any kind of scene you could imagine? And not to worry whether it was practical to produce that scene on a low budget? Here’s a scene that demonstrates what I mean:


For the cost of a copy you too can use this dramatic footage from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in your video. Since this NASA footage was bought and paid for by tax dollars, NASA can’t very well copyright it. In fact, almost everything the U.S. Government has ever filmed can legally be used in your video for the modest price of the copy.

See The Best of NASA Video (item #108) collection which can save producers a lot of time and money with this amazing space footage.

In fact there are thousands of films, videos and still photographs you can legally use in your videos. Here are just a few examples:

Health Care

DNA Technology


Women Working in Non-Traditional Roles


Latin American Indians

Marketing and Salesmanship

Combat Operations

Wright Brothers

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The range of subjects will surprise you. Every agency of the government has produced films and videos, but finding the footage you need can be a challenge. You can do what I used to do and spend hours calling agencies and then tracking down the video librarian of that agency and describing the footage I wanted.

Of course there are stock footage houses and researchers that can do this work for you, but they can be expensive. Many people think that producing a video entirely from stock footage is less expensive. The fact is it’s one of the most expensive ways to produce a video. Be prepared to pay at least $20 a SECOND just for the rights to use footage from a stock house.

Public domain footage, on the other hand, can save you a fortune and make your videos look pretty spectacular. And when you buy a copyright-free government video, you can use that footage again and again. One ambitious filmmaker even made an irreverent feature length film from government footage. You’ve probably seen the TV shows and home videos that have been made from the government’s World War II footage. Profitable ways to use this footage are limited only by your imagination.

See Guide to Public Domain Footage CD ROM (Item #103) shows you how and where to buy low cost public domain videos.
The Marketing Video Magazine DVD (Item #102) shows examples of how we’ve used this footage to produce incredible looking videos on unbelievable budgets.

While almost all films and videos produced by the government are free of copyright, there are some exceptions. The classic films Frank Capra produced during World War II are copyrighted even though he produced them with government funds. He is, after all one of America’s best filmmakers.


from the book

Marketing With Digital Video Buy The Book Here

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