If you do commercial work and/or are looking for a specific clips that you can’t find on the free market, the following resources might be of help.
Envato’s marketplace is a great location for affordable videoclips, after effects templates and stock footage.
A great resource for double-wide or triple-wide projection setups. Focussed on churches, but also non-church performers can find some good footage. At the time of writing clips cost $12USD and for that price come in HD, double-wide and triple-wide resolutions.
Pond5 offers stock-video usually under $100USD.
VideoBlocks offers access to their entire library for a monthly fee ($79USD a the time of writing).
iStock offers high quality footage at high quality prices.
Creative Commons Licensing
Creative Commons (CC) licenses have become a popular copyright licenses that gives the author protection of their work while still allowing others to use it within certain limits. This is good news for artists trying to sample, remix or incorporate media into their own work.
Creative Commons currently offer six licenses:
Four out of the 6 allow remixing and with that are perfect for VJs. Two don’t, so make sure you steer clear of clips using those.
Attribution (CC BY)
This license allows you to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the original, even commercially, as long as you credit the author for the original creation.
Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
This license is identical with the one above, but requires you to share your work under the same license.
Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)
This is the attribution license limited to non-commercial work.
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
This requires attribution, only non-commercial use and requires you to share your work under the same license.
For non-commercial VJ sets all of these are an option and will open up a larger pool of media when searching the sources below.
For commercial use the first two still provide great options.
I usually start searching for (CC BY) and then expand from there.
There are two licenses that do not permit remixing (No derivative works). In most cases these won’t work for a VJ setup and I recommend steering clear of them.
Attrribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
Free Video Sources
Vimeo let’s you filter by any or all Creative Commons licenses as well as for downloadability.
YouTube gives you fewer controls, but does offer an extraordinarily large collection of videos. To download a tool like KeepVid will be needed.
Wikimedia has a good collection of videos from the Wikipedia universe that is full of interesting short clips and video footage.
Archive.org is a large library of media in the public domain or otherwise free to use. It is great for vintage finds. Dario Salvi recommends the Prelinger collection and the Ephemeral library.
Beeple aka Mike Winkelmann is a generous 3d video artist and a VJs best friend. His always growing collection of mesmerizing 3d video loops will have something for you.
A/V Geeks is another great place for vintage footage.
Videopong is VJ specific and offers a collection of VJ loops.
This video loop store has a special giving away 10 high quality loops a day.
For a few more free resources, check out Dario Salvi’s list of free resources.