Randy Moore knew he had to film his new psychological horror flick inside Disney’s California theme park. He also knew something else. The park would NEVER give him permission. So, Moore, and his production team just did it anyway. They purchased annual passes, and kept going every day until the film was finished.
When people ask him how he got permission for such great location shots, he can’t tell the story without spawning an entirely new story. The media loved the idea of a guerilla filmmaker shooting a movie critical of Disney inside the park. They jumped on the story, and gave the low-budget independent horror flick millions in free publicity.
So, what can this story teach us about how to manage successful guerilla PR campaigns?
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, has the secrets.
Tip #1 – Make sure you’re within the law
These filmmakers made certain they were well within the law before beginning their project. One of the downfalls of too many guerilla PR projects is that they walk too close to the line, and eventually stray into the forbidden zone.
Tip #2 – Discretion matters
The production crew didn’t make a scene, and they didn’t make a spectacle of themselves. They used small handheld cameras, and smaller microphones. Mostly in an attempt to stay under the radar, but also in an effort not to draw attention to themselves. This respected the park’s other guests in a way some guerilla productions do not.
Tip #3 – Look for ancillary PR opportunities
Whether they meant to do it or not, the filmmakers created a story within the story. Most people were ambivalent about a movie they had never heard of, but they definitely wanted to know how an entire movie crew was able to film a movie without express permission in one of the busiest places on earth. If you can create a parallel buzz to increase your value to the media, your brand, program, or production will see increased attention.
These tips work for much more than indie movie production. Any brand can benefit from professionally devised, and produced guerilla marketing. If they follow the rules as displayed by Moore, and company.