Filmmaking Tools for Educators

Basic softwares and tools to help bring the power of storytelling and filmmaking into the classroom (Source: The Redford Center)

We understand that guiding students through media exercises of any kind can be challenging, but you do not have to be a filmmaking expert or a filmmaking instructor to bring filmmaking into the classroom. If should be fun, and not intimidating. No matter what technology you have access to, whether it is editing on an app on a phone or an iPad, or moving into iClips and iMovie, ultimately it’s about the storytelling experience more than the filmmaking excellence. We encourage all educators to embrace creative exercises. 

This resource guides educators through utilizing basic softwares and tools in the classroom. There are free tutorials, stock photography and music resources, and camera resources to help bring the power of storytelling and filmmaking into your classroom – even if you’ve never done it before.

  • QuickTime
  • Royalty-free Audio & Images
    • YouTube audio library
      • In the Audio Library in YouTube Studio, you can find royalty-free production music and sound effects to use in your videos. Music and sound effects from the YouTube Audio Library are copyright-safe. The Audio Library is found exclusively in YouTube Studio. To access YouTube Studio, you must sign in with a YouTube/Google account.
    • Bensound
      • Bensound is a website where you can download royalty-free stock music for YouTube and your multimedia projects. All of the music found on Bensound is under the Creative Commons license. This means that you can use the music in any multimedia project, provided you credit
    • Pixabay (Images & Video & Audio)
      • Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright-free images, illustrations, videos, and music. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes.
    • Unsplash
      • Unsplash is a platform powered by an amazing community that has gifted hundreds of thousands of their own photos to fuel creativity around the world. So sign up for free, or don’t. Either way, you’ve got access to over a million photos under the Unsplash license—which makes them free to do whatever you want with.
    • Shutterstock
      • Although there is a charge for Shutterstock images, once you have purchased them, they become what is known as royalty-free. This means that you are granted copyright to the intellectual property and have the license to use what you buy in multiple ways on multiple applications. Shutterstock allows you to try out the service for free and download ten images a month at no cost. The free trial will expire after 30 days, regardless of whether you use up your allowance of ten images. The ten free images that you download are yours to keep, no matter whether you continue or cancel your annual plan.
    • Nasa Image and Video Library
      • The NASA Image and Video Library website consolidates imagery spread across more than 60 collections into one searchable location. It also allows users to search, discover and download a treasure trove of more than 140,000 NASA images, videos and audio files from across the agency’s many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight, and more. News outlets, schools, and text-book authors may use NASA content without needing explicit permission, subject to compliance with these guidelines.
    • Smithsonian Open Access
      • The Smithsonian Open Access content includes high-resolution 2D and 3D images of collection items, as well as research datasets and collections metadata, which users can download and access in bulk. All of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo contributed images or data to this launch. The program includes content across the arts, sciences, history, culture, technology and design, from portraits of historic American figures to 3D scans of dinosaur skeletons. Previously, the Smithsonian made more than 4.7 million collection images available online for personal, non-commercial and educational use. Now, with Smithsonian Open Access, nearly 3 million of those images carry a Creative Commons Zero designation, which waives the Institution’s copyright and permits a greater variety of uses, both commercial and non-commercial, without the need for Smithsonian permission or payment.
    • Pexels
      • Free stock photos, royalty free images & videos shared by creators. All photos and videos on Pexels are free to use. Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the photographer or Pexels is not necessary but always appreciated. You can modify the photos and videos from Pexels. What is not allowed? Identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that is offensive. Don’t sell unaltered copies of a photo or video, e.g. as a poster, print or on a physical product without modifying it first. Don’t imply endorsement of your product by people or brands on the imagery. Don’t redistribute or sell the photos and videos on other stock photo or wallpaper platforms.