Video: guerrilla filmmakers go Gangnam Style in Media City

Article published: Monday, November 26th 2012

Local filmmakers have gone guerrilla style with a parody video of South Korean pop star PSY’s global hit Gangham Style. Made in just four days, the video is part of the Filmonik Mini Kabaret and has already clocked up over 2,500 hits on YouTube. 

The video, ‘Guerrilla Style’ was filmed at various locations in Manchester and Salford, not least BBC’s Media City UK.  It takes a comic look at guerrilla filmmaking and follows Filmonik’s motto, “Do well with nothing, do better with little and do it now!”

Guerrilla filmmaking is based on having low budgets, simple props and using whatever is available. The crew’s challenge was to make a video quickly, with no money and without being caught.

They took advantage of what the city had to offer, including shooting outside the Palace Theatre and Lowry Outlet mall and inside a Sainsburys. The crew had from Friday morning to Sunday evening’s screening to produce a video and so the pressure was on to prove that good filmmaking isn’t just about money.

The video, written and directed by Chris Lane and starring Joseph Stacey and Emma Lambert, was part of Filmonik’s Kabaret; a guerrilla filmmaking event that invites actors, filmmakers and scriptwriters to come together and produce films on a tight budget.

Filmonik is the Manchester “cell” of the worldwide Kino00 movement that began in Canada as a bet between friends to make a film every month until “the end of the world”. There are now 50 cells in 14 countries.

Chris Lane began producing films in Greater Manchester 5 years ago and attended his first Kabaret last year. He told the Mule that because the event is held around Halloween, the films usually have a Halloween theme. Unhappy with the titles he had come up with this year, ‘Paranormal Inactivity’, Horrorscope’ and ‘Broommates’, he decided to make a film with a difference and so the idea of Guerilla Style was born.

The song is about making the “best video ever” with no money. The crew had to shoot quickly in real locations, without any warning, and without obtaining permission from the owners of the locations. Lane was surprised that the footage outside Media City was quite easy to shoot and that they weren’t approached by security.

“The closest we got to being caught was when a security guard walked past us on the Media City tram stop”, he told Mule. Lane admitted that “we can’t have looked like the most inconspicuous bunch of people.” Despite having filming equipment he was surprised that “the security guard didn’t suspect a thing and we continued to shoot the film.”

Lane is enthusiastic about Guerrilla filmmaking. “To be honest it’s really not that difficult to make a film with no budget when you’re at the Filmonik Kabaret and surrounded by so many talented people”, he said.

The crew had less than 8 hours to shoot the whole video and Lane explained that many of the shots had to be done in one take. They also had to be careful not to get caught filming and Lane remembers feeling frustrated when trying to film in Sainsburys as the aisle was so busy.

“We waited, and waited. In an attempt to keep a low profile I even began looking at what cheeses they had available.” He added that “Eventually they moved, I coughed to indicate that the coast was clear, Richard pressed record, Joseph danced around the corner and we kept walking down the same aisle and straight out of the store.”

The video was scripted, shot, cut and screened in just four days and has already been a big hit on YouTube.

The next Filmonik event is on the 16th December at MadLab and the week-long Kabaret will return in April. Further info on Filmonik and the Kino movement can be found at www.filmonik.com.

Natasha Bolton

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