Guerrilla filmmaking si riferisce ad una forma di cinema indipendente caratterizzata da basso budget, attrezzature base, e oggetti di scena semplici, utilizzando tutto ciò che è disponibile. Spesso le scene sono girate rapidamente in luoghi reali, senza alcun preavviso, e senza aver ottenuto il permesso dai proprietari dei luoghi.

Il Guerrilla filmmaking è fatto solitamente da registi indipendenti, perché non hanno il budget per ottenere i permessi, affittare luoghi, o costruire set costosi. Studi di maggior fama tendono a non usare tattiche di Guerrilla filmmaking perché potrebbero essere citati, multati, o rovinare la loro reputazione, questo però rende le loro produzioni anche se di altissima qualità "standard", omologabili; caratteristica che nel guerrilla filmmaking non è presente per via della sua stessa natura, donandogli un senso di "realtà" che lo rendo unico.

"Il Guerrilla filmmaking è guidato dalla passione con tutti i mezzi a portata di mano", Yukon Film Commission manager Mark Hill.

Esempi di Guerrilla Filmmaking: (fonte wikipedia)

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, directed by Melvin Van Peebles, was funded and distributed outside of the Hollywood system and broke conventions with its visual style, as well as its content.

Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It was a guerrilla film on a budget of $175,000 which made $7,137,502 at the box office. This highly stylized film received much acclaim. It was Spike Lee's first feature length film and inspired Spike Lee to write the book Spike Lee's Gotta Have It: Inside Guerrilla Filmmaking.

New Queer Cinema director Gregg Araki shot his first two films, Three Bewildered People in the Night (1987) and The Long Weekend (O' Despair) (1989) using a spring-wound Bolex camera and scrap film stock, on a budget of $5,000 each.

Robert Rodriguez shot the action film El Mariachi in Spanish, inspired by John Woo films. El Mariachi, which was shot for around $7,000 with money partially raised by volunteering in medical research studies, won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992. The film, originally intended for the Spanish-language low-budget home-video market, was distributed by Columbia Pictures in the United States. Rodriguez described his experiences making the film in his book Rebel Without a Crew. The book and film inspired legions of hopeful filmmakers to pick up cameras and make no-budget movies.

Pi, directed by Darren Aronofsky, was made on a relatively low budget of $60,000. It proved to be a financial success at the box office ($3.2 million gross in the U.S.) despite only a limited release to theaters. Aronofsky raised money for the project by selling $100 shares in the film to family and friends, and was able to pay them all back with a $50 profit per-share when the film was sold to Artisan.

Bookwars (2000), was produced by Camerado director Jason Rosette at sidewalk book stands on the streets of New York City, using a variety of inexpensive small format cameras. No permits were secured (or sought) for the ultra-low budget documentary, which was funded through the sale of used books at the book stand during shooting and a small grant from the Playboy Foundation. The film went on to win the best documentary award at the 2000 New York Underground Film Festival and was nominated for an IFP Gotham Award.

Troma Entertainment is a film production and distribution company founded by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz in 1974. The company produces low budget independent movies, many of which have developed cult followings around the world. Many Troma films are intentionally produced in the Brechtian form which is vastly different from mainstream horror movies. Troma is also known for reusing the same props, actors, and scenes over and over again, sometimes to save money. Lloyd Kaufman has written the books All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger and Make Your Own Damn Movie! which outline his philosophy of quick and inexpensive independent film.

Looking For Kitty is a 2004 written, directed, and starring Edward Burns. The film was shot with a hand held $3,000 digital Panasonic AG-DVX100 camera with a Mini35 adapter. The film's entire budget was $200,000 and was filmed in New York City with a tiny crew and without standard permits. Burns discussed this unusual film-making process in the director's commentary on the DVD.

Silence, ça tue ! (BELGIUM- 2008), is a mockumentary, directed and starring Chris Lamot AKA Ljo Menzow. A young director disgusted by the financing system of the movie industry decides to shoot a feature movie made from live scenes without any financial support in order to denounce the difficulties to achieve a cinematographic project in Belgium. The rivalries between the cast members, the excesses and the frustrations will slowly lead him to a surrealistic disaster.

Onan (INDIA - 2009), is a Tamil/English language feature film, directed by Shyam Madhavan Sarada. The film, produced for a budget of less than $7,000 by Wannabe Studios, an online network for independent filmmakers, is touted as "India's first full-length guerrilla feature film" and as the result of a unique online collaboration among independent filmmakers and film lovers from 7 countries around the world. The film premiered at the Global Cinema Festival on 11 October 2009, as part of the 'Vista India' section.

Paranormal Activity directed by first time director Oren Peli and filmed in his house with one camera for a budget of just $15,000 most of which he said was spent on "a camera and new furniture". It went on to make a gross revenue of $153,469,744


L'avvento delle macchine fotografiche digitali e sistemi di home computer di editing come Final Cut Pro , Avid Media Composer e Premiere sono un fattore che contribuisce all'aumento della produzione cinematografica  "guerriglia". Il Montaggio digitale è una forma semplice ed economica di editing che permette al regista di modificare qualsiasi location ripresa in un budget ridotto.

Molti registi della guerriglia oggi utilizzano fotocamere digitali di qualità professionale visto il  loro costo economico, e la possibilità di impostare scatti senza preoccuparsi troppo di preparare la scena, ma cogliendola così com'è;  vista la luminosità elevata degli obiettivi usati.

Molti film guerrilla sono stati girati con macchine fotografiche digitali al posto di fotocamere a pellicola come ad esempio: 28 giorni dopo , Miami Vice e Sin City . Un film girato recentemente con videocamere consumer che ha ricevuto molta attenzione e riconoscimenti è My Date with Drew , diretto da Brian Herzlinger.