The Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook

Crammed with information, bang up to date, and designed to snugly fit in any film makers pocket, the new tiny shiny Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook is the natural evolution for our hugely successful series of handbooks which have now sold over 100,000 copies… created to inform and inspire in equal measure, we guarantee that as soon as you pick it up, the only time you will put it down will be to slip it into you pocket!’
Chris Jones

With the Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook you will learn…

  • How other new film makers made their first movie and found success
  • How to take your great ideas and turn them into great films
  • How to build a team to make your movie now
  • How to harness cheap technology to make expensive looking films
  • How to avoid hundreds of pitfalls many other film makers will fall into
  • How to find audiences and even make money from your movie
The ultimate guide to guerrilla filmmaking with the pocketbook of the filmmakers.
A person holding a gurilla film book.

Veterans of the indie film scene, the authors have produced numerous low budget feature films, sold projects to Hollywood studios, come perilously close to an Oscar nomination, and even ended up in prison! They’re also the team behind the best-selling Guerilla Film Makers Handbooks series, selling over 100,000 copies around the world, and they’ve taught thousands of emerging film makers the key skills needed to make their own great movies to launch a career. Their offices are at Ealing Studios in London and in Los Angeles.

Read Sections

A pdf icon with the word pdf on it, modified to incorporate "gurillafilm" keyword.

The Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook contents and inspirational quotes
GFPOCKETBOOK, Introduction and Contents.p
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.8 MB

A pdf icon with the word pdf on it, modified to incorporate "gurillafilm" keyword.

The Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook Screenplay section
GFPOCKETBOOK, Screenplay.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.9 MB

A pdf icon with the word pdf on it, modified to incorporate "gurillafilm" keyword.

The Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook Planning and prep section
GFPOCKETBOOK, Planning.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.8 MB


The book is a series of expert interviews, each being complimented by a series of ‘box-outs’ crammed with tips, tricks and hints for you to get the most out of your time, budget and great ideas.


Chapter One – Screenplay
Writing A Feature Film – Blake Snyder 32
Writing For Low Budgets – Genevieve Jolliffe 36
Script Doctor – Julie Gray 42
Writing A Short Film – Chris Jones 48


Chapter Two – Planning
Producing For Low Budgets – Genevieve Jolliffe 54
Funding – Chris Jones 58
Doing Deals – Ivan Clements 66
P.A. – Judy Goldberg 72
Production Management- Andrew Zinnes 74
Casting – Terry Tocantins & Jj Mayes 76
Locations – Kathy Mccurdy 82
Insurance – Paul Cable 94


Chapter Three – Production
Camera – Philip Bloom 100
Sound – Adrian Bell 110
Assistant Director – Nicolas D. Harvard 118
Production Design – Melanie Light 124
Costume – Shanna Knecht 130
Make-Up – Kat Bardot 136
Stunts And Fx – Nils Stewart 142
Working With Actors – Jan Dunn 148
Producers Overview – Chris Jones 154


Chapter Four – Post Production
Editor – Eddie Hamilton 160
Audio Post Production – Bernard Oreilly 172
Music – Jermaine Stegall 178
Documentary Edit – Amaya Cervino 184
Post, The Producers Overview – Chris Jones 189


Chapter Five – Festivals & Sales
Festival Organiser – Patrick Schwiess 194
Festival Veteran – Susan Cohen 200
Marketing – Sheri Candler 208
Sales Agent – Julian Richards 218
Domestic Distribution – David Wilkinson 230
Short Film Sales – Linda ’O’ Olszewski 238
Beyond Traditional Distribution – Jon Reiss 244
What Next? – Chris Jones 250

Chapter Six – Case Studies
‘Colin’ – Marc Price 256
‘Ink’ – Jamin & Kiowa Winans 264
‘Ten Dead Men’ – Ross Boyask 274
‘Treevenge’ – Jason Eisener & Rob Cotterill 280
‘The Black Hole’ – Phil Sansom & Olly Williams 288
‘Dead Wood’ – David Bryant& Sebastian Smith 292
‘Paranormal Activity’ – Oren Peli 298
‘Gone Fishing’ – Chris Jones 304
From Short To Feature – Jonathan Newman 312

Reader Feedback

‘The great strength of the Guerilla books across the board is to give you all the information you want, all the information you need and then a whole load of truly vital information you had no idea you needed, wanted or could even ask about.’
Mr O P Lewington – Film maker

‘If you are serious about making a film (feature or short) then I urge you to check this book out. Full of great advice, tips, and interviews for all film makers of all levels, Experienced or Beginner. And due it being a pocketbook means I will take it everywhere I go, for advice and inspiration.’
M. A. Rawlings – Film maker

‘Other reviews have touched on how much content is jammed in to this 320 powder keg of tips, advice, case studies & interviews. They are correct. It is amazing just how much is in here, with every element of filmmaking included incorporating support for the zero budget first time filmmaker, up to the more experienced crews with a budget that have to take a whole range of scary legal & technical considerations into account. Although this book takes that fear away. It is also genuinely pocket sized and will be able to be on hand whenever & wherever you may need it. Its beautifully designed & has a great feel to it. Its made to be read…. not sit on your shelf.’
Darren Horne – Film maker

‘Size matters, this pocket sized filmmaking bible really is the bees knees and worth 100 times it’s (solid but light) weight in value! I love it and I’m really delighted to own, and recommend it.’
Leilani – Film maker

‘Jam packed full of first rate advice from industry professionals. This is an essential read for anyone venturing into the world of film-making or indeed for seasoned pros who want to expand their knowledge. Set out in a way that keeps it fun and engaging, easy to absorb and could be used on set as a great reference guide. Inspirational case studies give you that boost you need to get your own project on the go. An honest, up to date, realistic view of film making that really does fit in your back pocket. A very wise purchase!’
Don McVey – Film


The Stage Newspaper - Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook

If you’ve ever had the urge to make a film but don’t know how, this is the perfect companion. Part of the popular Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series, this distils everything you need to know to get started into a guide you can carry around. 

The book takes you through the process of making a low-budget movie and is packed with detailed advice, ranging from how to layout a screenplay to choosing a camera, casting, how to handle stunts and how to get your film released. Much of this is in the form of Q&As with experts, which gives you a view from within the industry and makes it easy to read. The guide also has lists of concise but crucial information – what different equipment is best for, the ten things to spot in a contract, etc – and bullet points on topics such as keeping investors happy, writing dialogue and getting great sound. Case studies offer insight from successful low-budget film makers, such as Paranormal Activity writer and director Oren Peli. Passionately written and entertaining to read, this is a brilliant how-to book that makes you want to start plotting your movie right away.
Lucy Brown

The front page of the stage featuring guerrilla film.

Microfilm Maker Magazine -Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook

Microfilmmaker magazine's award of superiority for guerrilla filmmaking.

Getting involved in low budget filmmaking is an overwhelming prospect for most people. It seems awfully complicated and there’s a lot to keep track of. Well the authors of The Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook (GFMP) are here to help you keep it all straight. With that said, let’s break down this barely pocket-size tome.


The layout of this book is essentially a series of interviews with people in the low and Indiewood budgeted film community in both the UK and the USA on a variety of specific topics based on their experience. This helps make it pretty simple to read through and allows you to cherry pick things you know nothing about or things you want to know more about.


Depth of Information
There’s a huge amount of information packed into this little book, largely because so many different film and production people were interviewed. They have exerpts on everything from writing your script, to being a PA, to getting production insurance, to setting up your business, to surviving festivals. Finally, they conclude with case studies of Indie films like 10 Dead Men and the internationally famous, Paranormal Activity.


While the case studies are largely with truly no-budget filmmakers, many of the interviews are with folks who are more in the Indiewood community. As such, a decent amount of the advice leveled is intended for budgets between $100K and $1M. With that said, it’s still valuable advice and stuff that you can really learn a lot from.


Interest Level
Disclaimer: This is not the book to start with to get you pumped about getting into film in the first place. (Unless you first read through the entire case studies section at the back of the book!) You need to go to other filmmaking books, like The DV Rebel’s Guide or Digital Filmmaking, for that.


This is the SECOND book you read after you’ve read the book that made you enter the craziness of filmmaking! This is the book that helps stabilize your expectations and start you planning so that a lot of your excitement can go toward your actual film, rather than get squelched by reality.


With that in mind, this book works very well. The variety of people who are interviewed helps you select the most important things for you to consider at each step of the way. Additionally, you may discover other books you need to pick up, like the late, great Blake Snyder’s writing book, Save the Cat, through the interviews in this book.



This is a book you have to use and reuse, because there’s just too much information to keep in your head at any one time. As such, it’s adequately called a pocket book. Mine is already dog-eared and beat up from the amount of time I’ve spent perusing it and dragging it different places. (Due to its handy size, they might want to consider a special flexi-plastic cover that is more resistant to being banged up.)


Value vs. Cost
The amount of information packed into this little book makes it an incredibly sound investment. It will give you insight and ideas for things you might not have thought of before.

Overall Comment
No matter how long you spend making low-budget films, you can always learn more. As such, whether you’re new to filmmaking or have been doing it for awhile, this book is a must own for your collection. Some of the advice in this book actually changed a few things I was considering for our upcoming Depleted feature franchise.

Empire Review - Guerilla Film Makers Pocketbook

The Documentary Film Makers Handbook: A Guerilla Guide *****
Directly transpose their tried and true formula for movie-making guides to the world of non-fiction films. Packing in everything you could want to know about setting up, shooting and distributing your work, this is the last word on its subject.

Empire the five star film club logo featuring gurillafilm.