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                                 26 February, 2018.  8 Minute Read. By Stanley Obiamalu.

When you don’t have a big budget to work with and you have a nagging desire to make a video, it looks daunting and very unlikely especially when you are cash strapped.

But never fear, there are some tried and tested tips that I have used over the years that can help you make any video on a budget look like a multi-million dollar production.

When I started out as a director, I wasn’t perfect. I did not have a big budget and I did not have the best cameras, I did not have the best set designers either. When I started out, I started small and I worked with what I had. This does not mean that I did not have anything at all. I don’t believe in the concept of something for nothing in fact I advocate that if you have nothing, then you get nothing. So, if you are reading this and you have nothing at all then you may want to stop reading right now and go and get something to work with.

Now, to those reading this and working with a minimal budget, I want you to grab a pen and a paper and take some notes because I am about to give you tried and tested tips on how to work with a minimum budget.


Yes, right now pause for a little bit and take a look around you. What do you see?  If you are in your apartment, your Grand ma’s house or any interior look around you and say to yourself, this could be my set, my shooting location.

                This is someones living space and the colors here are primarily brown and neutral/off-white walls. This room can be used for an african themed shot, a modern shot, a rustic shot, the potential is endless.

Close your eyes for a few seconds and imagine your immediate setting with  models, some minimal props and voila! You have a set. I encourage you to look at your immediate environment right where you are sited, ask yourself, what can I do with in this space? Or how can I make use of this space in my up and coming shoot.

In the beginning stages of SOS Media Production, I have shot some of my best videos using my immediate environment. I have even used part of my apartment my own living space and made some really good videos.


No matter where I am, I am constantly  associating with people I believe can propel my business . I take every meeting as an opportunity to show my talents and what I am passionate about. I have found that as a film director I have grown through referrals in addition to the marketing strategies that I infuse into my business.

When you are at the beginning stages of a film production business, you wear many hats and take on many duties and you are a one-man show until you grow a team that you can designate duties to.

I met everyone in this picture through a friend that I had made in the past and these people have in turn introduced me to other people.

To get noticed, you have to get out of your comfort zone and mingle with a variety of people and in turn you will find that most people you mingle with end up offering you  support in one form or another. Meet with all sorts of people no body is too low-class or too high-classed to interact with, mingle with hotel managers, restaurant owners, waiters at an event, architects, luxury car traders, fashion boutique owners, petty traders in the public market, taxi drivers and the list goes on and on, mingle with as many people as you  possibly can and you will find that most of the things you need are a phone call away.

There is nothing like linking up with men and women who share your passion for the cinema and film. You could make lifelong friends who will stay with you well into your career decades from now. And in some instances, the connection you make could help build  your reputation as a solid professional leading to other business opportunities from those that you meet.


The aerial shot is done primarily with a drone and although it costs something to have access to a drone, it is a must have for any aspiring production company or business in this current age. The drone is small and runs most times on one battery but it works wonderfully in capturing elevated shots. You can start with a $99 drone or you can get a rental and hire a professional to fly it so that you don’t crash it and lose a worthy investment.

A drone is a powerful tool and asset for anyone who would like to go into film making and is starting out on a budget.

Aerial shots are beautiful when applied in motion picture and can make an awesome finishing for a video shoot.


You can’t go wrong with a kitchen set. If you have been out and about and you have spoken to a few enthusiastic  people, then you may have gotten ahead in your quest for getting the best film location for your shoot. One of the locations worth investing in, is the kitchen set!

A kitchen is one of the easier rooms to work with on a film set, it requires natural light and all the props that is needed is already available, you can also add on a few elements like fruits and moment to give an awesome overall effect like I did here.

The kitchen location needs little or no equipment save for the camera and sound and artists that will interact with the set and props. The kitchen location needs natural light and minimal lighting if it is being shot at night or when the sun has set.

A beautifully finished kitchens with an  attractive kitchen islands and wooden backdrops of an array of colors,  infused with the right type of direction and camera work, can make your shoot look like you were working with a lot of money for the film shoot.


Nature is beautiful! It is complete, it is without a doubt a show that God in his might is the greatest artist of all.It has everything you need and any extra prop added on makes for attention grabbing piece of visual enjoyment that works wonderfully well whether by night or by day. Take a minute to look out side your window, take a walk in the park, get your self onto a pathway with trees and you will find that there are endless shots that are accessible to you.

This is a beautiful shot! Green Grass, Green lush leaves, sunlight and a model dressed in a bathing  suit holding balloons that did not cost an arm and a leg. Now, this is a great example of making the best use of my environment!

Other natural attractions  such as, to streets, open fields,  the exteriors of colorful shops and  commercial hubs and buildings can be added into a shot and this comes at little or no costs. And do not forget to add on the little extra, the model above  is good without the balloon, but the added balloon alters the shot in a pleasant way.

The path to success is froth with many stumbling blocks but when there is a will, there is a way and these are just some of the methods SOS media production company has used over the years. And if these methods have worked for me, I believe they could work for you too.

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