Several years ago the concept of Guerrilla Filmmaking was brought to the forefront of media when Robert Rodriquez created “El Mariachi” for $7,000 and parlayed that into a career in Hollywood. If you watch the movie you’d never know that the budget was so small and if you read Rodriquez’s book Rebel Without a Crew he explains rather simply that “Creativity, not money, is used to solve problems”.
Now all of us that work in the realm of Catholic media weather it be new or traditional can relate to working on a shoestring budget. Weather you are producing a radio show, podcast, TV show or YouTube video, just because you don’t have a large budget or any budget for that matter doesn’t mean the quality and content have to reflect that fact. If we are to succeed in answering the call of the New Evangelization we have to do more then just “do the work”. We have to do it in a way that doesn’t look or sound like it should be featured on public access television.
So what lessons can we take from people like Robert Rodriquez and Spike Lee?
- Set expectations and play to your strengths – Understand that you aren’t going to create Avatar or produce The Tonight Show, but that doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer. Determine what you are best at and focus on making those areas the most polished and refined, it’ll make the rough edges seem less so.
- No money, no problem – This is where creativity and resourcefulness comes into play. Just because you can’t buy the best microphone or video camera on the market doesn’t mean you just shouldn’t do anything. Find a way to make what you have on hand work. For example, if that means recording in a closet to create a more soundproof environment for your podcast then that’s what you should do.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – This is the purpose of group such as the Austin Catholic New Media group and Atlanta Catholic Media Users Group. If you don’t have a group in your area, start one!
- Time to call in all those old favors – Remember all those times that you helped your friends move or did a solid for someone? Well it’s time for everyone to make good on their promises. Weather that means being a co-host on your podcast, running the camera for your on your Vlog or just being there to bounce ideas off of for your latest blog. This could also be an opportunity for evangelization to those of your friends that might be struggling in their faith.
- Pray – This isn’t actually taken from guerilla filmmakers but from Our Lord. Ask The Spirit to guide you, call on the intersession of the Saints and always trust in Christ.