What Took You So Long? – Talking Strategy with the Guerrilla Filmmakers

Where has been your most challenging and/or inspiring location to film?
Somalia is challenging day-to-day because you’re never entirely sure that you’ll be safe. Most inspiring is hard to choose, but WTYSL’s recent journeys to Haiti have given us an in-depth look at a very stereotyped country. Western Sahara was problematic due to Moroccan secret service thinking we worked for Human Rights Watch. Uzbekistan was tough because our hosts thought we worked for the BBC and we had to escape.

How did you go about working in Somalia?
Filming the TEDxSummit in Doha motivated us to organise the first TEDx event in Somalia. TEDx Mogadishu inspired UNDP Somalia to contact us, and together we created the Social Good Summit Mogadishu. This lead to our visual capacity training with the UNDP, where we explored with local staff how they could use film and photography to share their work with the world.

How do you decide which organisations to work with?
It’s an organic process that comes from a lot of discussion with the potential partner. But our reputation is a good filter. We don’t often have to say no, because we don’t often get approached by people with missions incongruous to ours.

What’s the story with TEDx?
Sebastian was invited to speak about guerrilla filmmaking at TEDx Athens, and then about camel milk entrepreneurship at TEDx NHH in Norway. At TEDx Doha we met Nate, who was organising the whole conference. He is now an essential part of WTYSL. We like to think we stole him from TED.

Who could join WTYSL?
Anyone with a passion for filmmaking, nomadism and learning. Alicia and Sebastian are amazing teachers. You can tell by the makeup of the current WTYSL that we are all very different. We bring different things to the table and that keeps things interesting.

What’s most exciting about the workshop?
You’ll actually make something. The biggest barrier to break is the one that says we’ll be wasting our time and fail. In filmmaking you have to step outside of your comfort zone and do what’s right for the film.

Participants will get connected to our contacts in over 60 countries, and we’ll help get you kickstarted on your way to making great content.

The comprehensive two-day workshop will cover both technical know-how and guerrilla filmmaking strategies. From live-streaming, iPhone apps (time lapse, photography, quality audio etc.), storyboarding and editing on the road – to finding accommodation (not hotels), inspiring the uninspired and incorporating laughing yoga into your visual life – this one of a kind workshop may change the way you connect to people.

Guerrilla Filmmaking with WTYSL will be held The Frontline Club on Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 June 2013. Click here for more information.

Bring your camera, wear comfortable shoes, and don’t forget your imagination!


All image credits: What Took You So Long?