An Introduction to the Style of Found Footage in Film Making

Movies have been filmed in several different ways, styles, and framing. However, a new form of cinemetagrophy that appeared flourished after the movie paranormal activity was released sparked the growth of the style popularly known as “found footage.” Using a more commonly used form of filming that generally mimics the way a person records an event as it happens. This technique was used with a horror movie that basically places you inside the movie experiencing everything as if you personally were there.

Paranormal activity opened the world to a new style of footage that embraces reliving experience through a more realistic and more believing way.

To begin with, paranormal activity uses found footage to bring a more realistic vibe to the movie. In the movie the character Micah which is the husband of Katie decides to use a camera to record the experiences they have been having in their home. The camera represents the way an average person in the reality would film a situation.

This places the audience in a more believable environment that allows us to interact with the movie more. The camera has been placed in tripods and has been hand held giving us a variety of shots to complete this style of film. The camera is placed on a tripod throughout the movie giving the audience a wide view of the room where Katie and Micah sleep. This lets the audience look through the entire room freely to see if they can find something that is “irregular” and doesn’t belong.

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In the film they use the footage in a sped up way to make time past faster without missing a second. Once something interesting occurs the film goes to regular speed and continues. The interactions that happen in that moment gives the audience a chance to look at the situation and what is occurring while still being able to freely look around the shot. This is a unique way to give the audience more of a control to look at the movie. The movie shots in the bedroom are clean and still and benefits the movies style.

Following, the movie has smooth transitions that play well with the environment the camera was placed in. When Micah placed baby powder on the floor to see if the “Demon” moved around the house they went to sleep. They were awakened by a loud noise and Micah quickly rushed to the camera to hold it. The way the camera was held was perfect for a transition from a single positioned shot to a hand held “Live” like film. This let the audience engage to the findings as the characters do. This is clever because it produces a more horror type of film that creates a more dark and sinister mood. When the camera moves fast in Micah’s hands the viewer gets stunned with what’s happening quickly observing through the screen to see what is happening. Causing the audience to react more accordingly. The positioning of the baby powder and the low lit footage gives the audience a bluer feel that leaves the audience on their toes. The movements also leaves the audience unsure of what is going to happen. The movement in the camera really emphasized the quick pace of fear running through the characters bodies. In addition, the ending shot with Katie sitting on the floor unsure if she is possessed leaves the audience nervous. When the camera staying in one position as everything happens and after hearing the impact of the sound of screaming but not being able to see implants fear into the audience. When Katie or what we believe to be possessed Katie attacks the camera creating a jump scare for the audience amusement. However, it caught the viewers by surprise when she jumps after sitting in one spot for such a long time. The sense of not being able to move was played for the camera to stay in one position on a tripod not letting the viewers fully see what is happening. The dark and minimal light also played in the role with dark corners and the sense that nothing is being clearly depicted.

In conclusion, the style of “found footage” heavily improved the quality and style of the movie. The lack of sound and only being able to hear loud bangs during night scenes created a sense of uncertainty that left both the main characters and the audience stunned. The shots in the bedroom with the wide still shot view of the room left the audience observing the environment the characters were in while being able to see through a more realistic view. The Shots used to see more because the character is holding the camera also helped the viewers engage more with the film by seeing everything in real time as it happens. The last shot where the camera only showed the room with Katie sitting helped suit the movie better for its genre of horror. The style of found footage definitely helped open a new style of filming that gives a more realistic and engaging vibe.

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An Introduction to the Style of Found Footage in Film Making. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

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