Friday, September 19, 2008

Client's Corner - Ian Hutchinson

Many people confuse the terms "Down and Dirty" and "Guerrilla" filmmaking as somehow being inferior or half-assed filmmaking methodologies or philosophies that compromise quality and professionalism.

These are the very same type of people that marched the well-uniformed British Army in straight orderly lines across open fields while a ragtag bunch of American patriots whipped their ass with rusty muskets while wearing plain clothes and hiding and shooting from behind any available rock, tree or gulley.

It's not really these people's fault, they just have very limited imaginations, so they don't get it. It ultimately may take a few musket balls in the head and bayonets to the groin to make them realize the potential effectiveness of superior guerrilla tactics that don't depend on overwhelming numbers, superior weapons or endless resources.

As I see it as a bonafide DV Evangelist, guerrilla filmmaking (when done right) often takes MORE careful planning and execution to make the very most of limited resources. Every move has to be thought out, every contingency planned for, and every dollar stretched to make it up on the screen.

Sneak Preview
Down and Dirty Filmmaking: Guerrilla Tactics for Professional Results DVD

Down and Dirty Filmmaking DVD - Guerrilla Special Forces from Anthony Artis on Vimeo.

(*This full 1hr. 22min. Seminar DVD will be available soon on this website.)

So to the Down and Dirty guerrilla filmmaking philosophy is not about being cheap and taking shortcuts that make things easier and compromise quality. Rather, it's about being ultra-efficient and using creativity, labor and planning to make up for your lack of resources and find a way to match or emulate the big budget filmmakers with half the money and crew.

The video below was done by talented animator/filmmaker Ian Hutchinson, one of my very first consulting clients. I helped Ian figure out where to put the (very limited) dollars in the budget for this project, so that they would have maximum impact onscreen.

People always ask me things such as should I rent a stedicam? A 35mm lens adapter? A Red Camera? A jib?...and my answer is different for every case, because it always depends on the COST vs. VALUE that that element brings to a particular project. In this case the big ticket item was a Steadicam operator and it was money well spent to execute the concept.

So don't get it twisted, I'm not a proponent of cheap and quick...I'm a proponent of effective and efficient. Peep Ian Hutchinson's video, Chocolate Pom Pom, below and see what can be accomplished with a small budget using creativity, hustle, an smart planning...