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FILM 47.01 - Video Mashups

This is a course guide for FILM 47.01.

Course description

Individually, in pairs, and in groups, students edit short videos that appropriate, quote, and re-contextualize images and sounds from other sources. These collages include movie trailer mashups, political videos, supercuts, and music videos. In addition to readings, there will be screenings of avant-garde and documentary found footage films as well as a wide variety of digital video mashups.

[Source: ORC/Catalog, 03/28/2022]; Dist:ART

Defining found footage and its relationship to mashups

1. Pre-existing film footage appropriated by a filmmaker and used in a way that was not originally intended.

2. A film comprised, in whole or part, of found footage. The term calls on the idea of a ‘found object’, or objet trouvé, as that term is understood in art history. Unlike the use of stock footage in documentary film, the term ‘found’ suggests a less than respectful attitude to the ownership and provenance of the film footage and to techniques of appropriation, collage, and compilation. Working with found footage requires considerable editing skill. Found footage films are usually regarded as distinct from the compilation film and video essay (see videographic film studies), though the precise boundaries between the two are not altogether clear. Early avant-garde found footage films include Crossing the Great Sagrada (Adrian Brunel, UK, 1924); Histoire du soldat inconnu/Story of the Unknown Soldier (Henri Storck, Belgium, 1932); and Rose Hobart (Joseph Cornell, US, 1936). The use of found footage was common in films of the New American Cinema, with Bruce Conner’s A Movie (1958) considered seminal. It is also a feature of filmmaking practices associated with the structural film movement of the 1970s. Video and digital video technology has made the production of found footage films more straightforward, especially as a consequence of the ubiquity of footage produced by amateur filmmakers, mobile phone users, and webcams, and via the low cost and ease of sharing and duplication. Affordable digital editing software has rendered the practice of re‐editing pre‐existing footage widespread, with mashups a common genre on video‐sharing websites such as YouTube. As a result the term ‘found footage’ has now acquired a further, and constantly evolving, meaning, related to the gathering together of random film clips on the internet. Contemporary filmmakers working with found footage include Leslie Thornton, Abigail Child, Naomi Uman, Michele Smith, Craig Baldwin, and Douglas Gordon, many of whom still work with celluloid film stock. In film studies, the found footage film has been examined in relation to avant-garde filmmaking, editing (see montage), digital cinema, and the ethics of appropriation and recycling (see ethics; holocaust cinema).

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). "Found footage." In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 Mar. 2022

In the Library's collections

To find books and other resources about "found footage" in the Library's collections, use the keyword search listed below. Other, related search terms are listed below.

Selected book title(s)

Other library resource(s)

Finding scholarly articles & journal title(s)

Articles and other writings about "video mashups" or "found footage" can be found in many publications. You can use Film & Television Literature Index, or Academic Search Complete to find articles or use the search box at the top of the screen.

Internet resource(s)

Citing and Tracking Your Bibliographic References

Use this guide to help you learn how to correctly cite and keep track of the references you find for your research.

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