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Hundreds of FREE Assets for Building Your Demo Reel

Jourdan Aldredge

Revisit your demo reel and give it some new life with this dynamic treasure trove of stylized (and FREE) video editing assets.

It’s a well-known fact that one of the hallmarks of film and video work is all the downtime — don’t let any jet-setting YouTuber convince you otherwise. It’s a boom-and-bust industry where you can be busy for weeks on end, then work dries up, and you’re sitting around for a week or two.

The real trick isn’t to lament downtime; rather, turn it into something productive. And, while there are plenty of ways to stay active between projects and shoots (for example, take up screenwriting or try out diversifying your revenue streams), one pragmatic decision you can make is to reinvest in yourself by updating (or creating) your demo reel.

And what better way to give your demo reel some new shine than by boosting your editing arsenal with hundreds of FREE assets. From anamorphic lens flares to volumetric light to cinematic atmospheres, we have you covered. So, let’s dive in!


COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

The Shutterstock Resources page offers curated assets that can help support those in the creative industry. Image via Shutterstock.

First and foremost, for anyone who’s been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and looking at more downtime than usual, our hearts go out to you. But, we’re all in this together, and as one industry friend to another, here are some curated assets to help support creatives on the Shutterstock Resources page.


Cinematic Atmospheres

Right off the bat, one great trick for sprucing up your demo reels doesn’t actually have anything to do with graphics or visual effects — rather, it involves the sound behind your exceptional footage. A cinematic atmosphere can be a powerful tool for editors to add depth and emphasis to their best compositions. You can get 80+ FREE cinematic atmospheres here.


Accent Animation Motion Graphics

Want to make your demo reels pop? Like, literally, pop with colorful circles, stars, and other designs? These accent animations are just the motion graphics you need to make your demo reel sizzle. Check out the 51+ FREE eye-catching accent animation motion graphics here.


Anamorphic Lens Flares

Despite Michael Bay’s best efforts to overuse them for everyone, there’s really nothing more stylish and sleek than a well-placed lens flare. Especially if you’re editing demo reels for flashy industries — like fashion, cars, or design — these anamorphic lens flares are great finishing touches for your final edits. You can get 17 FREE anamorphic lens flares here.


Textured Motion Graphics for Premiere Pro

An important thing to remember about demo reels (that many video professionals often forget) is that your reel should say something. It could be simply, “Hire me!” Or it could be something more specific like, “Check out my full website.” Leaving out creative and stylized text in your videos is a missed opportunity, so check out these 13 FREE textured motion graphics.


Hand-Painted Brush Stroke Motion Graphics

Along with the textured motion graphics above, we also have some stylistically designed, hand-painted brush strokes. They’re a great — and fun — way to make your demo reels more engaging and intimate. You can get the 21 FREE hand-painted brush stroke motion graphics here.


4K Volumetric Light + Dust Elements

For those interested in showcasing your outstanding cinematography skills, here’s a great way to give your compositions that extra level of depth and distinction. These volumetric light and dust elements are available in 4K, and they’re compatible with Premiere Pro, After Effects, FCPX, and other NLEs. Download the 16 FREE 4K volumetric light overlays and dust elements here.


Camera Shake Presets

Another trick many seasoned video editors use to add energy to lagging projects is a bit of camera shake. These custom-made After Effects presets are perfect for action and adventure videos. They can really give your content that rough-and-tumble appeal. Check out the 15 FREE camera shake presets here.


Footstep Sound Effects

One subtle way you can impress with your demo reels is to show off your fully comprehensive filmmaking knowledge. Especially for filmmakers who want to work in narrative film and documentary, a demo reel is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your ability to truly create real life scenes and sequences. An often-neglected element of believability is footsteps, which can be very tricky to record or recreate. Luckily, we have you covered with these 40+ FREE footstep SFXs here.


Free Demo Reel Music

Free Music

Add a little flare to your demo reel by incorporating music. Image via PremiumBeat.

Finally, we also have your back when it comes to the soundtrack for your new and improved demo reel. And, while you certainly should check out the full catalog of royalty free music, you can dive right into our curated FREE music selection here.


Cover image via PremiumBeat.

For more film and video assets, resources, and inspiration, check out these articles below.

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