You know all about Found Footage films by now. Everyone does. Films that appear to be cut together from shaky camcorder shots, filmed by participants who are (by the time you watch the film) either missing or dead. It’s a brilliant set-up to build the audience anticipation before the the film begins. From the moment you see the trailer you know the protagonists are in jeopardy of some sort. And jeopardy is, without question, one of the key elements for building dramatic tension and hooking an audience.
You might be less familiar with found footage comedies, but they exist. It’s a formula that’s also crossed over from the cinema into TV series and TV movies too. But where did it all start? The answer most people (except for film buffs and filmmaking students) think of is The Blair Witch Project (1999). But the roots of found footage go way deeper than that.