How to create videos without filming

Making a video without using a camera. You might find yourself in need of footage that you can’t shoot yourself. What then? I would like to share my experience!

Writing books is a great passion of mine. And I was thinking: how could I get the attention of a publisher? Then I decided to create a book trailer. Hopefully, this would help convince them. But there was one problem: how could I get the footage I needed? I live in The Netherlands, the story takes place on a fictional island in Florida. Furthermore, it’s a thrilling story, bombs are dropped, people shoot at each other. No way could I film this myself.

Free footage

Luckily, there are websites you can use to find the footage you need. This way, you don’t have to fly to Paris to film the Eiffel tower, or ask permission to use a drone to film a city. I used to find all the scenes I needed. You can also try Of course, when you want to use something for free, the options are limited. I had to be creative, what footage would fit a text like “I don’t want to die” or “I don’t think they’ll let us live that long”? I found images from someone walking on the edge, dark clouds, a fire. So even though I would never find someone that resembles my main character on this website, I had enough footage to create a fitting video! You can watch the result below.


Payed footage

Of course, you can also decide to pay for footage. If you do, then there is a lot more to choose from. Maybe you’ll even find the perfect actor for your main character. A website you could use, is On average, a HD shot costs € 60. If you only need a few shots, this will be much cheaper than hiring a camera operator! We used this website to create our homepage video as well.

Free music and sound effects

Of course, you need music to make a good video. I used to find royalty free music and the sound effect of a bomb exploding. Keep in mind both free and payed material can be found on this website. In case you only want to see the options that are royalty free, you can disable ‘Preview Pro Content’. You can also find free music at and And if you post the credits, you can use music from and


If you’ve watched my trailer, you have heard that I used a voice-over. I asked a colleague to record the text I wrote. Of course, you could also ask someone you know to record a text. But if you can afford it, you can also hire a professional voice-over. You can use Google to find voice-over bureaus in your country that would happily assist you.

So the good news is: everyone can create a video. And when you use free footage and music, it won’t cost you anything. All you need, is creativity. Good luck!

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