After filming on the fly, during the shooting this foggy weekend gone, some simple rules to follow when you’re a Low-Budget/No-Budget feature came to our attention.
Rules of Guerrilla filmmaking according to Harcourt & Haigh:
- First choose the location or locations (scouting it/them BEFORE the shoot is very handy in case, oh, I don’t know, say when you arrive there they are now out of bounds to the public and/or inaccessible, also see Rule 2)
- If big trucks are moving in and out of said location it will not be a good idea to use the location as injury and/or death could and probably will occur.
- Always remember to get permission (or do it on a Sunday and be quick about it but remember Sunday’s are no longer sacred and most places you think will be closed now run 24/7, hence large trucks moving in and out, see Rule 2.)
- Always maintain a polite demeanour and leave the location as you find it. (or Sneak in and film it and sneak out.)
- Props will never behave how you want them to no matter how you train them to.
- Always try and get hold of stunt doubles if possible. (Stone steps hurt when rolling down them, if you don't know how to fall properly.)
- Always have back-up tripods, as they might go walkies. (Always remember the War Of The Worlds, they may be smaller these days but the little buggers are still not to be trusted!)
- Always make sure to film plenty of close-ups, a good choice to be able to intercut easily with other takes.
- 3 is the magic number, of course I mean always do at least 3 takes (and two writer-come-stars plus one cameraman equals 3!).
- If you can wing a location then do so.
- Improvising can be your friend. (Not at all due to messing up lines, you understand.)
- And just remember if some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favourite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Arthur Harcourt always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Art?" "Yes sir, the check is in the mail.”
Keep it classily.