Found Footage




Found Footage is the term used to designate the use of material which had neither been shot by the film maker nor shot under their direction. It is ‘foreign’ material which is incorporated into a film or which comprises the whole. In feature film and documentaries it is often only an illustrative insert, but there is a long tradition of making documentary, art and avant-garde films using this kind of material. Sometimes the material is lent by the owner (who also shot it), sometimes it comes from the archives of the film maker. These archives frequently include donated material as well as that found at jumble sales and flea markets.



In the case of Lisl Ponger’s déjà vu the material is from amateur filmmakers, tourists, in Normal and Super 8. In the case of Tim Sharp’s Traveller’s Tales it was 35mm professional material.





Amateur filmmakers very often used film (and now video) to record moving image versions of events which had previously been captures by still cameras - weddings, holidays, Christmas celebrations, birthdays etc. These were intended for family and friends. Professional documentary films were naturally made for a wider audience, though they have many characteristics with regard to image making and collection in common.

The material itself can be and in format; those intended for amateur filmmaking such as 9.5mm, Normal 8, Super 8 etc. or in professional formats such as 16mm and 35mm. There is also a history of filmmakers using feature film material, deconstructing Hollywood (and other well-known) feature films in order to reconfigure meanings.