Found footage? What is this?

Hello blogging world!

Anna Sklavos here and I am back with yet another exciting blog that is intended for school purposes! I know ya’ll love it…but just stick with me here. I think this one is gonna be interesting.

So for this post we were told to research current trends in photography or videography. Fun stuff really, cause trends are awesome, our world revolves around them.

Anywho. Although I am a photography student I chose to inform my lovely readers and followers about a trend in filmmaking that had quite the boom in the late 2000’s. Incase you haven’t guessed it yet (hint: check the title) I will be giving ya’ll a little information on the glorious film style of found footage movies. Yay! *applause and excitement*

Thanks, you guys are too kind.

Anyways, enough sidetracking Miss Sklavos.
Alright, so here’s some Found Footage 101:

  • Found footage is a form of filmmaking.
  • It seems to be very popular within the horror genre.
  • Typically, all or a large part of the film is presented as discovered film or video footage. Often left behind by missing or dead protagonists.

Wicked, those are the basics. So how about some history? Don’t groan in annoyance, it’s not like I’m teaching you about how Canada became a country.

So, found footage films. Like I stated above, the whole idea behind them is to have the viewer believe in the story presented, it’s not boring like a documentary; it’s intended to catch your attention and once the film is done, have you think about it. You know the film has done a good job when you wanna research what it was about.

Back to that history lesson:

  • One of the first films to be done in this style was a film called Punishment Park which was directed by Peter Watkins and was released in May of 1971. Yes ladies and gents the first found footage film is indeed that old.
  • The next big one to come out was, Cannibal Holocaust. It wasn’t purely a found footage film but the controversial movie directed by Ruggero Deodato was the next big thing for the genre and style. Released in February of 1980.

Although there was an array of other films within the genre that came out in the 80’s and 90’s it wasn’t until July of 1999 that the next big movie in the genre would come out.  It’s reception wasn’t the greatest world wide but it quickly became a cult favourite and was one of the first films to have an immense campaign to back it’s story.  The Blair Witch Project was probably the first movie to take that extra step and try to promote itself as being real.

It was the first film that I watched within the genre and personally, I enjoyed it. After reading up on it I found that the way Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick approached the filming was really interesting. The dialogue was mostly improvised and they literally sent the actors out to find this witch. Shaking their tents and scaring them in the middle of the night, the reactions were genuine and that is one thing I really liked about this whole project.

I know how other people feel about this specific film, but I will have to say that this movie was definitely a milestone for the genre of found footage.

Movies were still being made in the same style throughout the early 2000’s but it wasn’t until about 2007 and onwards that we were hit with the swarm of found footage movies. Although it hadn’t become the big thing just yet, October of 2007 was the month that Paranormal Activity was released. One of the biggest hits within the found footage horror genre. Paranormal Activity came in, scared us and continued to do so with another four films and one more in the making. This was the next big milestone for this specific style of film.

Following suit with Paranormal Activity’s release, an array of horror films fitting the found footage genre were released in the following years:

  • The REC series. Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza. A series I would definitely recommend. A Foreign film indeed but that’s easy to look passed once you get into the story. A great twist in my opinion. The third one does stray slightly but the first and second are definitely worth watching. The plan for the fourth is to conclude the series, it will also takes place directly after the second film
  • Cloverfield which was directed by Matt Reeves. In my eyes, an interesting concept. If you haven’t seen it I’d say give it a shot.
  • Hollywood’s remake of REC; Quarantine, starring Jennifer Carpenter and directed by John Erick Dowdle. If you saw this before REC that’s okay cause that’s what I did. If there was anything you liked about this one then you should definitely watch REC.
  • The Last Exorcism, directed by Daniel Stamm. I’m not gonna lie, this film wasn’t liked by most. In my eyes, everything was rather interesting. Then the ending happened.
  • Directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, Apollo 18
  • WIlliam Brent Baird brought us The Devil Inside. Not surprising to see another film involving exorcisms, the church and all that fun stuff. There was nothing amazing about the film but in my opinion it wasn’t horrible either.
  • Chronicle, which surprisingly wasn’t a horror film, mostly a sci-fi/thriller. Directed by Josh Trank. A lot of people really enjoyed this film. I really liked how it was put together but to be honest. I got bored rather quickly. Wicked idea though, I can’t imagine how fun it was to film this.
  • Project – X was probably the first found footage film that was intended to be a comedy. Directed by, Nima Nourizadeh
  • It only needed some time before A Haunted House was to come out. A spoof of the found footage genre, heavily based off of Paranormal Activity and all those popular ‘ghost hunting’ shows. Starring Marlon Wayans  and directed by Michael Tiddes
  • The most recent film to come out of the genre that has seemed to slow down slightly, is The Devil’s Due. Directed by Matt Bettinelli – Olpin and Tyler Gillet.

I don’t know if this style of movies will rise back up  or if they’ll just slink back into the darkness. But I know that they’re definitely not gonna disappear. Paranormal Activity five is set to come out soon as is the final chapter of the REC series.

My eyes will constantly be on the lookout for new movies of this genre cause they interest me they really do. If you guys haven’t seen any of the movies I’ve mentioned above, then give some of them a shot. If it’s not your thing, well that’s totally understandable.

I hope you enjoyed this blog, or found it interesting in some way.
Till next time my dear, fellow bloggers.

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