Found Footage Films

aka: Found Footage
Movies that are shot in order to resemble actual camera footage recovered from an event. They typically contain a fair bit of Stylistic Suck, owing to the conceit that, in-universe, they are being filmed by people who aren't professional filmmakers. Of course a few might incur into Fridge Logic if all of a sudden different angles are being shown when it's supposedly just one camera. Another is why, when faced with all manner of horrors trying to kill them, the person holding the camera doesn't just drop it and run.

A large number of films using this approach tend to be horror movies; the approach lends itself nicely to low-budget filmmaking and positioning the audience right in the centre of creepy and terrifying events. The concept initially became a sensation after The Blair Witch Project, though it goes back to Cannibal Holocaust in The Seventies, at least as a technique of film. In other mediums it goes back at least to the early 20th century- the majority of the written works of HP Lovecraft were presented as "found manuscripts", reports, or other such things made to look like an actual first-hand account with the untold horrors. Dracula was written in this style, the story being told through a number of diaries and newspaper articles giving the appearence that Bram Stoker had collected them to document the story.

The subgenre saw a resurgence in popularity starting at the end of the Turn of the Millennium within the horror genre thanks to the success of Paranormal Activity. Other recent, non-horror films utilizing the format include Chronicle, Project X and Best Night Ever, as well as the TV series The River.

Compare Mockumentary, Based on a True Story. See also Apocalyptic Log, which lends itself nicely to this style of filmmaking.


Alternative Title(s):

Found Footage