Guerrilla Filmmaking Examples

Guerrilla Filmmaking Examples

photo credit: Sérgio Savaman Savarese

There are many guerrilla filmmaking examples that are well documented and are great sources for learning filmmaking.

Recent Guerrilla Filmmaking Examples

Among the best recent examples is Paranormal Activity which was produced for a budget of $15,000 and went on to gross $150 million. The first-time director, Oren Peli, used one video camera and shot the movie in his house.

It follows a well known template for low-budget film success of using a simple but emotionally involving story line, a small number of actors, cheap equipment and limited location, props and effects. The idea of the movie being a compilation of “found” footage has also been used before, such as in the Blair Witch Project.

Robert Rodriguez and El Mariachi

One of the best documented guerrilla filmmaking examples is Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi. Rodriguez had been making very modest shorts since childhood using his siblings as actors. A good example is Bedhead which you can see here.

Roderiguez was determined to make a feature length, action film despite his lack of money or even much formal training in filmmaking. He volunteered to have his body used for medical experiments to raise his $7,000 budget, made an inventory of what was available and wrote his script based on what he thought was possible with his resources.

He had a lot of luck being able to borrow some equipment and he chose to shoot in the small Mexican home town of his good friend. This gave him an exotic location, free food provided by his friend’s family and the cooperation of the local police who volunteered as actors and even provided guns for use in the film.

His story is entertainingly documented in his book “Rebel Without A Crew” which is required reading for anyone thinking of doing a shoe-string budget feature film. There are many other guerrilla filmmaking examples but few are as well documented.

What are your favorite guerrilla filmmaking examples?

Let us know.