Film Art and Cinematography : Found Footage Style

Found Footage Style

Although this style can be traced back to Cannibal Holocaust, maybe earlier, really since Paranormal Activity found footage films have been in abundance. And this goes beyong the genre of horror, noteable example, comedy Project X.

But is this style popular? Or is it because it is cheaper to make a film this way, which is why there are so many of them coming out?

From a technical aspect, they aren't even filmed properly, meaning that you know they were filmed with professional movie cameras, rather than camcorders. And if they are "found footage" than why are they edited in a convieniant way that pushes a story. It just really pisses me off, a movie with a grrod premise, is done this way. Why not just put in the effort and make it traditionally?

One of my favorite films is The Blair Witch Project, because it isn't what you see onsreen that is frightening, we never see the witch, or anything that's terrorizing the trio. When Josh disappears, i is offscreen, we,the other two, and the the audience have no idea what happened, or where he is. If it were made today, the camera would on for some unexplained reason, and probably caputre some bad cgi demon snatching heim away or something. Regardless of it's format, the directors knewthat less was more, and didn't have to oerload the film, even the script was just a 35 page outline, with the dialouge to be improviced.

Whatever you think of that movie, I feel it is still far superior than what has been made in the last five years. Today, these movies are just absolutely awful, with no effort or imaginaion put in them.

When you are afraid; it is difficult to breathe, it is difficult to move, it is difficult to speak. But it is easy... to panic. page

Re: Found Footage Style

I think that found footage films are fairly rubbish. I watched Blair Witch recently and although found footage was new around that time, it was still a fairly awful movie. Now, found footage seems to be an easy way to feed you the plot of a fairly not plausible situation and it ends up being awful. Obviously I don't speak for the entirety of the genre.

"We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it"

Re: Found Footage Style

I think found footage films rise in popularity was tangent to the evolution of DLSR's. All of sudden there were affordable cameras with interchangeable lenses on which you could shoot digital video. However, unless you've got the resources (additional equipment and technical know-how), the end result still looks like it was shot on prosumer-grade cameras.

I think a lot of the early found footage films were born out of trying to figure out how to make the concept/film fit the look/technology the filmmakers could afford and had readily available.

Personally, I think most found footage films are sub-par. They are usually low budget affairs directed by first time filmmakers. However, I love the idea and tend to watch such movies often, because the experience is more akin to wandering through a haunted house or a maze at the carnival. As opposed to a traditional movie experience, which is more comparable to 'a night at the opera,' with the audience being more of a spectator than a participant.

Re: Found Footage Style

There also seems to be a new trend of movies where the action takes place almost entirely on computer screens/cellphones, most notably The Den (2013), Open Windows (2014), and Unfriended (2015). I liked The Den, hated Open Windows, and didn't see Unfriended.

It seems that, like with FF, it is a difficult style to do well without breaking conventions(don't forget, the audience can only see what the cameras or computers can see), also creating plot holes(since many of these films must, by design, take place in real time), or generally just making a mess of things.

To get around this, directors seem to be coming up with novel ideas, like giving villains access to every closed circuit camera in the universe. What? Or maybe they forget the fact that most reasonable people would drop their little handheld and run like hell when some crazy crap started going down. I mean, what doofus stops in mid-zombie-apocalypse-stampede to record a little breathless message about how he picked a bad time to break up with his girlfriend. Oh, and ALL the found footage survived the rain and snow and stomping Cloverfield monsters?


I forgot, there is also a 2015 film called Ratter that plays with the same idea: a hacker watches a young girl through her phone and computer. I didn't find the setup very plausible and the movie was a general voyeuristic mess. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

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Ooops, I almost forgot about these paranormal seeking families with little babies to provide for that can suddenly go drop $200-$400 apiece for a GoPro for every room, hallway, closet, nook and cranny in their lovely home. Again, what?

Re: Found Footage Style

I watched REC and I think that it hit all the right points that it should being a found footage film. It actually made sense to be in filmed in this sub-genre and it had a lot of good ideas about how to work as a horror film with the limitations and possibilities found footage entails. And I also understand that it is an interesting way to make a film in this style because on some level it makes the viewer feel a lot more active. Having said that I really don't see the appeal at all. It was actually an ok movie but in no way superior to classic horror movies.

That is my opinion of course and I would stop there if it wasn't for a lot of other found footage films that took an interesting idea and just copied it again and again, adding nothing new while at the same time stripping it from all ingenuity. I really thing that it was a very limited sub-genre that was treated so badly to the point it lost even the little it had to offer. And really if you are a new film maker with little means to make a movie why resort to found footage? A lot of interesting horror movies where shot for next to nothing in terms of budget and truly horror is a genre that thrives under these conditions. That is if you have something to say. So this is really why I don't like it; some people think that if they shoot the movie like found footage it would instantly make their movie interesting and edgy when it actually makes it boring and trivial if they don't have a specific reason to go that way.

I wouldn’t say it’s just a gimmick but it is really heading to become just that.

Re: Found Footage Style

"Found footage" movies are crap. The only reason Blair Witch succeeded is because it was marketted so everyone in their sick minds thought it was a REAL snuff film. After everyone found out it wasn't, and after the novelty of the concept wore off, it became RECYCLED crap. But these movies keep making money, so obviously there's an audience there that finds them scary or at least entertaining. I liked how the Scary Movies spoofed the concept: "I'm gonna kick you right in your ghost balls!" That was funny.

I suppose the concept of the "real" snuff film can be traced back to Faces of Death in the 1970s.

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I really LOVE The Blair Witch Project myself. I especially love the mockumentary that is, i assume, a DVD extra. Really adds something extra to it.

I like REC a lot.

I can't recall liking any others in this genre other than the reasonably creepy THE LAST BROADCAST (1998) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0122143/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 that , unfortunately, starts off great but falls flat on it's face at the end with a silly twist. Pre dates Blair Witch by one year (although i might be wrong) it ended up coming out after Blair Witch for whatever reason.

Re: Found Footage Style

Found footage isn't a style. It's an excuse.

"I don't need to believe it's real. I just need to believe it."
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