Found footage

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This article is about actual found footage. For films assembled from such footage, see Collage film. For fictional films that give the appearance of being made from found footage, see Found footage (genre).

In filmmaking, found footage is the use of footage as a found object, appropriated for use in collage films, documentary films, mockumentary films and other works.

Use in commercial film[edit]

Historical found footage is often used in documentary films as a source of primary information, giving the viewer a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. Director and cinematographer Ken Burns is famous for his use inclusion of archival footage in his films. Baseball (1994), his documentary television series for PBS, incorporates historical footage accompanied by original music or actors reading relevant written documents.

Often fictional films imitate this style in order to increase their authenticity, especially the mockumentary genre. In the dramatized and embellished documentary-style film F For Fake (1975), director Orson Welles borrows all shots of main subject Elmyr de Hory from an old BBC documentary,[1] rather than fabricating the footage himself.

Stuart Cooper's Overlord uses stock footage of the landing on Normandy during World War II to increase realism. The footage was obtained from the Imperial War Museum in the UK.[2] Other parts of the film were shot by Cooper, but using old WWII-era film stock with WWII-era lenses.

Well Known Examples[edit]

Several horror films of the "found footage" genre have been fairly successful. Such examples include The Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity series of films.

Music video and VJing[edit]

A certain style of music video makes extensive use of found footage, mostly found on TV, like news, documentaries, old (and odd) films etc. Prominent examples are videos of bands such as Public Enemy and Coldcut. The latter also project video material during their stage show, which includes live mixing of video footage. Artists such as Vicki Bennett, also known as People Like Us, use Creative Commons archives such as the Prelinger Archives.[3]

Practitioners[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Null, Christopher (12 February 2005). "F for Fake". filmcritic.com. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  2. ^ The Criterion Collection: Overlord by Stuart Cooper
  3. ^ Maggie Shiels, Unlocking the copyright culture, BBC News website, June 24, 2002. Accessed June 24, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cut: Film as Found Object in Contemporary Video, Stefano Basilico, Milwaukee Art Museum 2004.
  • Found Footage Film, Cecilia Hausheer, Christoph Settele, Luzern 1992, ISBN 3-909310-08-7
  • Films Beget Films, Jay Leyda, London, George Allen & Unwin 1964.
  • Recycled Images: The Art and Politics of Found Footage Films, William C. Wees, Anthology Film Archives, New York: 1993. ISBN 0-911689-19-2

External links[edit]