Found footage (appropriation)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



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

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 used 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 pseudo-documentary film F For Fake (1973), director Orson Welles borrows all shots of main subject Elmyr de Hory from a BBC documentary, 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. Other parts of the film were shot by Cooper, but using old WWII-era film stock with WWII-era lenses.

Music video and VJing

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.


See also

Further reading

  • 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

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Found footage (appropriation)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools