5 Guerrilla Production Tips

So you're not a Hollywood production outfit, but that shouldn't stop you from coming up with an excellent video output. With the advent of digital technology, more and more people are able to get into video production and filmmaking. Though getting your hands on a camera is becoming cheaper, being able to mount your production is still much of a challenge. Oftentimes you will find yourself resorting to that beloved pseudo-arm of production that passionate indie artists love so much: guerrilla filmmaking. Here are the top tips you should keep in mind before venturing into this exciting, low-budget yet creative ride.

1. Stay Motivated

True to its term, the primary driver of guerrillas is passion. Focus on what keeps you driven, and don't let go. With this burning passion for production, you'll be able to come up with creative ideas on how to pursue your vision.

2. Know Your Equipment

Do an inventory of your equipment, production-related or otherwise. If you know what you're working with and you know your limitations, you'll be able to map out a master plan for mounting your production. Don't have a dolly grip? Maybe you can borrow a wheelchair from someone, or a swivel office chair from the office will do the trick. Got a shot that will need a crane shot? Maybe you have a garage pulley that can do the trick.

3. Improvise

This leads us to one of the most important tips in guerrilla production: improvising. Necessity is the mother of invention, and this holds true even in video production. If you don't have a boom mic, then simply tape up a good working microphone to a long wooden pole, and you got your problem solved. Rummage in your parents' storage rooms, and you'll find a whole load of stuff you can use as props, lighting supplements and more.

4. Tap into Your Resources

Don't be afraid to tap into your resources on hand. You'll be surprised to know that a lot of your friends will be willing to help out gratis just to see you succeed. If you still need extra hands, maybe some college kids will be willing to volunteer for the experience. Looking for actors? Try to get ones with a load of personality. Or if not, your community theater might provide some interested talents.

5. Maximize Your Location

Most skeletal productions will not have a location manager or production designer; you will have to rely on your own ingenuity and whatever set and location you can manage. You also probably won't be able to gather and pay for the necessary city permits for shooting. If you script calls for several locations, see if you can manage to wing it in one. For instance, if you have a scene at a restaurant, you may simply set up your backyard to look like al fresco dining. Just dress up what you have, and you'll find that you don't need that many places to shoot in. 

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