When most people think of guerrilla filmmaking, they think of reality TV. They think of things like MTV’s “The Real World” or the dozens of knockoff shows that were created as a result.

But the truth is that guerrilla filmmaking can be done in any genre, whether it’s a documentary, a narrative film, or even something that you might consider non-fiction.

Guerilla Filmmaking Tips

What Is guerilla filmmaking?

The guerrilla filmmaker is someone who takes a more independent approach to filmmaking, typically eschewing the use of professional equipment and techniques in favor of a more “underground” aesthetic.

Guerrilla filmmaking is typically done on the cheap, with a low budget and low-quality equipment. While it has been around for decades, it has taken on an entirely new meaning in the digital age.

Guerrilla filmmaking is not just using cheap cameras to make a movie that looks amateurish. Instead, its true meaning lies in its philosophy behind the making of the film itself.



The goal of guerrilla filmmaking is often to challenge mainstream viewpoints and make films that are outside of the mainstream Hollywood tradition.

Some guerrilla filmmakers have used their movies as vehicles for social or political unrest, while others have simply used them as an outlet to express themselves creatively.

What Is Guerilla Filmmaking?

When I say “guerrilla filmmaking,” what I’m talking about is a way of making films without the resources to make them conventionally.

That could mean working without permits in public spaces where filming isn’t allowed or using locations that are convenient to you but aren’t necessarily part of your story.

It could mean working with actors who volunteer their time because they are passionate about the project and understand that they may not be paid for their work. It could mean using equipment that is borrowed or otherwise unavailable to you.

In order to pull off a successful guerrilla filmmaking operation, you have to be willing to make sacrifices and do things differently than they’ve been done before.

You have to be willing to get creative in order to achieve your goals when you don’t have access to all of the traditional tools at your disposal. This can be an exciting process for filmmakers.

What Are Guerilla Filmmaking Characteristics?

A lot of people are creating films on their own, and they don’t have access to the same kind of equipment that a big production company would. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make great films. Here are some characteristics of guerrilla filmmaking.

A Plan

When you’re making a film without a big budget, you’ll want to plan things out as much as possible. You don’t have the luxury of taking days or weeks to get shots in the can. You might only have a few hours, or even minutes to get each shot that you need.

If you don’t exactly know what you’re going to do with your camera before the shoot, chances are you won’t get it done in time.

Be Flexible

Since you can’t create a shot list ahead of time, you’ll want to be ready to try new things once the camera starts rolling. This means having an open mind and being able to adapt to changing circumstances quickly.

If an actor wants to try something different than what is written on the page, then consider letting them do it if it makes sense for the scene. It’s always better for your actors to feel like they had some input into the script and how their characters are portrayed in the final edit than for them to feel.

Guerilla Filmmaking Tips

The first lesson of Guerilla Filmmaking is that you should never use the word “Guerilla.” Seriously. There are so many negative connotations with that word — from the military, and politics to subversive, underground movements.

The word Guerilla evokes images of cavemen with spears or Robin Hood using a bow and arrow or some other form of primitive weaponry. It’s serious stuff. You don’t need that kind of drama in your life, especially when making movies. You’re trying to have fun, even if you’re serious about what you’re doing.

That’s why they call it “fun”. If you can embrace the fact that you’re having fun, you’ll be more relaxed and your filmmaking will improve greatly. The key to Guerilla Filmmaking is flexibility and just going with the flow. You’ll discover this as you go along, but there are some definite pointers I can offer you here:

Always expect things to go wrong; always have a Plan B. Even your best-planned shots will sometimes fail. If something goes wrong with one shot, don’t worry about it; just roll on to the next shot without missing a beat. If something goes wrong with multiple shots in a row, consider shooting something else.

Guerilla Filmmaking Definition

Guerrilla filmmaking describes the type of filmmaking where the film crew goes off to a difficult or dangerous location to film, often with little in the way of planning or equipment. It is a term used mainly in the early days of cinema and has become less relevant as technology has improved.

Performing Guerilla Filmmaking

Guerilla filmmaking is one of the most challenging forms of video production. The filmmaker has to be able to think on their feet and get good footage without any kind of planning or preparation.

The filmmaker must also be skilled enough that they can operate all necessary equipment without any assistance. One of the biggest challenges is getting access to the shoot location and convincing subjects that they are not in danger.

History of Guerilla Filmmaking

Filming was first done by a one-man crew using a hand-cranked camera. This process was hard enough because it required moving heavy equipment, but it was even harder to get cooperation from subjects who were worried about being harassed by police or other forces that could ruin their careers if they were seen cooperating with an underground film producer.

Because of this, guerilla filmmakers often used disguises, fake names, and subterfuge to gain access to their locations and actors.

Shooting Film Production Guerrilla Style

If you’re a producer on a film set or in a television production office, there is an amazing amount of gear that comes with the territory. Most of it will be used first thing in the morning by the gaffer and his crew, but there is plenty left over for you to use for other purposes.

The best way to get started with shooting film production guerrilla style is to know what you’re looking for. Cameras are bulky and heavy, which makes them a pain to lug around if you don’t have to.

If you want to experiment with using film production equipment as a still photographer, then your best bet is to find out where the camera department stores some of their stuff. If they aren’t using it that day, then they’ll probably let you borrow it.

You can also ask if they have any old lenses lying around that are no longer compatible with the cameras they were made for. While there may not be any zoom lenses available, there are plenty of older primes that can produce excellent images when used on modern digital SLRs.

You might even find some lenses that work well on smaller-format cameras, like Sony’s RX100 or Canon’s G-series PowerShots.

How Do You Film Guerrilla Style?

Guerrilla filmmaking is an ideal scenario for being able to get the shots you want on your own. You can spend a little cash on some good lenses and then take to the streets, no crew in tow.

Guerrilla filmmaking doesn’t have to mean putting yourself or your actors in danger while trying to get that “real” feeling. It can also mean doing things cheaply and efficiently. With the right tools and knowledge, you can film guerrilla style without breaking the bank.

Here are some tips from video pros who have filmed guerrilla style: Think about what you’re doing before you do it. Have an idea of what will make your movie special before you start filming.


This means having a plan for locations, dialogue, and other elements that will help define your movie. Once you’ve settled on a plan, you’ll be more organized and efficient in getting your shots.

Before you get started, make sure that you have all of the equipment that you need for filming a scene from beginning to end. Don’t just grab one camera and some lenses when planning to do multiple takes of a scene — you might need additional cameras or microphones depending on how complex the scene is and how many different shots or angles it will require.

If necessary, rent additional items or borrow them.

Is Guerilla Filmmaking Illegal?

Is Guerilla Filmmaking Illegal?

Guerrilla filmmaking is a term that generally refers to low-budget filmmaking. But, in this day and age of the internet with all its social media channels, the most important aspect for guerrilla filmmaking is really the marketing.

Telling your own story – to generate buzz, build hype and interest, and ultimately send traffic to your main website – is what guerrilla filmmaking is all about. In fact, the actual filming part is quite secondary. Sure, it’s essential to get good footage but you can do that work with a consumer-grade camera or even a smartphone.

So let’s start by having a look at exactly what sort of films qualify as guerrilla films: They’re usually ultra low budget films. They’re usually shot on consumer grade cameras such as DSLR’s or even mobile phones.

They’re often shot by students or first time filmmakers (guerrilla filmmakers) because they don’t have access to professional equipment or crew members They’re shot in a very short amount of time (minutes)

Guerilla Filmmaking Tips: Learn How To Covertly Make Films They’re not meant for commercial release in cinemas – although some may be later adapted for that purpose. If you’ve got one thing in common with those films above then you probably aren’t shooting a guerrilla film – you.

How Do I Get Better At Filmmaking?

As a filmmaker, you want to know how to get better at your craft. You’re here because you want to know the steps you can take to improve your filmmaking. How do you get better at filmmaking? The best way to become a better filmmaker is to keep making films. As you make more films, you’ll learn from your mistakes and you’ll perfect your skills.

But in the meantime, here are some ways that will help you get better at filmmaking right away: Watch more films. Watch as many films as possible.The more films you watch, the more inspiration you’ll draw from them.

Take notes while watching movies. Make notes of things that inspired you while watching movies and the techniques that filmmakers use. Write down things like: What was the purpose of this scene? – What was this character feeling? – The color scheme for this movie is cool! – This scene was shot really well! – I’d like my next film to be like this one… and so on…

Make your own film list for inspiration. Think about what kind of films inspire you most and then come up with your own list of must see films or favorite films that inspire you. I’ve been making films for over 25 years, both narrative and documentary. I’ve had projects in film festivals around the world and on TV. Every year I make at least one short film. I love to write, direct, act, produce, and edit my films.

Thing is, I’m not very good at any of it.

I am a much better teacher than I am a filmmaker. So today, let me share with you some of the things that have helped me get better at filmmaking. Learn how to shoot. Go out and shoot a lot of stuff. The more you shoot, the better you will become at directing actors, composing shots, lighting scenes, and editing footage together.

Your first shoots will be bad but you will get better with experience and eventually, you will start to make great stuff.* Learn how to edit. There are many ways to cut up your footage but there is only one way to edit well: learn about it.

You can read books or take classes or even study the masters – Bergman, Hitchcock, Fincher – and try to understand what they did that made them so good at editing their films together.

How Do You Film Cinematically?

Let’s face it. Filming a video is not easy. Even the most skilled filmmaker will admit that they are constantly learning and practicing their craft in order to perfect their art. Trying to achieve a cinematic shot can be one of the hardest things to do in filmmaking because of the amount of work involved, technical knowledge, and equipment needed for the job.

But how do you achieve that perfect cinematic shot? Here are 5 tips from experts on how to film cinematically, as well as some examples from some of your favorite movies:

Fill Your View.

One way to achieve a cinematic look is to frame your shots with something within them or not cut them off at the top or bottom. You don’t want to cut off heads or limbs when filming, especially if you are filming an interview or any action scene.

If you don’t fill the screen, then it will have an “off” feeling like something is missing, thus causing it to seem less than cinematic.

Use Angles and Light Well.

Angling and lighting can make a difference too! Angles can range from extreme close ups to wide views that include more than just your subject’s face/head but everything around them too (the setting).

Run And Gun/Guerilla Filmmaking Tips

Being able to shoot effectively under pressure is a talent that anyone in the video production industry should have. Many times, these shoots come up at a moment’s notice and you need to be ready with everything you may need on hand.

Trying to do quick turnarounds and short schedules are the norm for high-quality productions. You will rarely get multiple takes on your scenes, so it is important that you are fully prepared and have everything ready to go before starting the scene.

Here are some tips to help you make your next run & gun or guerilla shoot easier to manage and more fun: Bring as much stuff as possible*  – There is no time for running back and forth looking for gear; it just slows down your shoot.

You are usually only allowed a small time frame so don’t waste time looking for things, pack everything in one place (your car) if possible. If you have too much gear, then rent a vehicle with an open trunk space like an SUV or truck.

Bring extra batteries – Cameras and lighting equipment can eat up batteries very quickly, bring at least one or two more than you think you need of every battery type (camera batteries, radio batteries, light batteries).

Tips For Run And Gun Filmmaking

Run and Gun Filmmaking is a style of filming that’s all about capturing the moment, even if it means not getting the perfect shot. Trying to create a film with a professional sound and video crew on your film can be a costly and time consuming process. If you’re a filmmaker on a budget or in a rush, you may want to consider doing some run and gun filming to get the footage you need without spending too much time or money.

Trap your talent if you don’t have room for them to move. By placing your talent in front of an object that they are forced to stay close to, you can prevent them from moving too far away from the camera.

For example, if you have a group of people sitting at a table, put flags on their chairs so they don’t scoot away from the camera.  If possible, ask your actors not to move at all when they aren’t speaking so you don’t lose any of their performance.

Avoid shooting directly into sunlight.

The sun is bright and it will reflect off of just about every surface making it hard for your camera to capture anything but glare. If you can avoid shooting during times of day when the sun is high in the sky, do so!

Examples Of Guerilla Filmmaking

A guerrilla filmmaker is a movie director who makes films without the support of established infrastructure. The term “guerrilla” is used in analogy to guerrilla warfare, and can be applied to individuals or groups of any size.

Guerrilla filmmaking may take place on a grand scale with hundreds of participants, or involve small numbers of people working independently. It can involve high-profile events such as large street demonstrations, or involve only a few people shooting footage in a deserted place.

Tactic: Filmmakers often use this technique to obtain shots that would be impossible with standard equipment in a more traditional context. A film shot with a hidden camera would be considered guerrilla filmmaking, because it is shot without the permission of the people being filmed (and possibly without their knowledge).

In fact, some guerilla filmmakers prefer not to reveal their identities at all — allowing the film’s events and images to speak for themselves. This is sometimes done to protect themselves from reprisals; other times it is simply used as a device to draw the audience into the story.

Guerilla filmmaking frequently uses one or more of the following tactics: Shot from inside a moving vehicle (such as a helicopter or car), looking out windows, through sunroofs, etc., so as not.

Zero Budget Filmmaking Tips

If you’re looking to make a movie with a budget of $0, then this is the right place. TIP 1: Write a Script If you don’t have money, the best way to get your movie made is to write a script. You don’t need to be a professional, or even have any experience as a writer. Just use some paper and a pen or computer application.

When writing your script, keep it simple. Don’t try and make it perfect, because there will always be room for improvisation. If you get feedback from friends while you’re writing, they are likely to give you ideas that will improve the script. If it’s good enough, they may even want to be in the movie!!!

TIP 2: Use Free Software

There are lots of free video editing software packages out there you can use such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. There are also free online sites like YouTube or Vimeo which allow you to upload your videos for free and share them with others all over the world!

TIP 3: Use Your Camera Phone

If you have access to a decent camera phone, then this could be all you need to get started as a filmmaker and make your first zero-budget movie!