So what is Corporate Guerrilla Video all about? It’s about taking the philosophy behind Guerrilla Filmmaking and applying it to the corporate world. Maybe we should take a step further back and explain Guerrilla Filmmaking.
Guerrilla Filmmaking is a way of making low, or no-cost, indie movies with small crews and cheap or borrowed equipment. It gets its label from the practice of using locations without obtaining permits or paying to film there. Hitting it ‘Guerrilla-style‘ means to go to a location with the minimum of fuss, gear, cast or crew and to film your footage and get out before anyone notices you were there. Beyond this questionably-legal tactic, Guerrilla Filmmaking is categorized by participants having more passion than money or experience, and a can-do attitude that allows them to make movies with whatever resources they have to hand.
Popular culture’s most celebrated Guerrilla Films include Pi, El Mariachi, Clerks, She’s Gotta Have It and Paranormal Activity. The patron saints of Guerrilla Filmmaking are Spike Lee, Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino and, perhaps holiest among them, Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s story is law among wannabe filmmakers as he is the guy that sold his body to be used in a medical trial, to make enough money to put film in a borrowed camera and shoot a Mexican action adventure film, that he made just to get some experience. The film found its way to Sundance, and then got sold to Hollywood and catapulted Rodriguez from an unknown, to a director of major motion pictures over night. Yet, Rodriguez refused to give up his Guerrilla Filmmaker’s cred’ and remains a strong proponent for making movies as cheaply as possible, and being able to do every technical task yourself, or in-house, so that you can retain creative, and financial, control of your work. If you want to read the whole story you have to read Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player.
This is all very interesting, but what has Guerrilla Filmmaking got to do with making Corporate Videos? From a distance Corporate Video looks like it’s the polar opposite to Guerrilla Filmmaking. Guerrilla Filmmaking is all about passion and low budgets whereas Corporate Video seems to be about marketing departments with big-budgets and a crew of hundreds looking to get paid.
But that’s the old story. Things have changed. At large corporations there’s a huge demand for video and new media. The second biggest search site in the world is YouTube and no one wants to read anything anymore. To get your story out it better be moving. The problems is that the central marketing department doesn’t have the capacity to meet demand. They are used to spending a lot of money on a few focused pieces and taking their time. Now every department wants their own content created. It doesn’t need to be TV-ad quality but they need lots of it and quickly. At smaller companies that used to employ small, local contractors to create their video, people are getting dissatisfied with what they’re seeing. They think that they could do better and they’re probably right.
In both these scenarios Corporate Guerrilla Vide0 can fill that gap. Corporate Guerrilla Video is about using passionate members of your existing staff; borrowing techniques from the pros but using prosumer, or consumer, hardware and software to create good quality video, quickly. If you need a TV-ad you’ll still go to central marketing, or a professional agency, but if you just need a talking head or a screencast, you can do it yourself. It’s about corporations using the enthusiasm, tenacity and creativity of their staff to create the media they need.
This site is about using Guerrilla Filmmaking philosophy in the corporate environment. They’re a better match than you might think.