found_footage

Over the weekend I found all this footage, but now I’m not sure what to do with it. There were all of these Hi-8 tapes in a…box…in an attic? Next to a music box that started playing when I didn’t even touch it? Or wait, maybe I found them in a…backpack…in the…woods? At a campsite that seemed to have been abandoned in a hurry, there was a pot of beans still cooking on the fire? Look, the important thing isn’t WHERE I found the footage but just that the footage was found. There was a note with the tapes written in blood that said “This is real footage that you have found. Please send helllll” but then the message trails off so I am not sure what the end of the message was about. Here’s my question, though: now what?

For one thing, I can’t watch the footage. Who has a Hi-8 camera anymore? If you ask me, this was a weird choice to begin with and I’m not sure what kind of self-respecting community college film class assigning a “documentary” project would make their students use outdated equipment. What is that supposed to be teaching them? That no one and no thing escapes the ravages of time? They’ll learn that fast enough when they graduate and end up having to get a job at a Starbucks inside a Barnes and Noble because there weren’t any jobs available at the Barnes and Noble proper. Also, how long did these kids have to complete this project? There are like 100 tapes over here. You would think at a certain point the teacher would say enough is enough, this is just to give you a sense of how to edit together a narrative from raw footage. Nothing you’re filming is actually important. We have to move on to the next assignment now, kids. But so, like, OK, hindsight is 20/20 and the teacher’s syllabus is junk, but here we are. What’s done is done. What’s been allowed through a portal into our world has been allowed through a portal into our world. And I’ve got all these goddamned tapes to prove it. So do I get the Hi-8 tapes transfered to digital copies? Supposing I am even willing to shell out the cash to do so, now what?

Let’s just go ahead assume that there is an ancient and unspeakable evil captured on these tapes. It’s not going to reveal itself until, like, the 99th or maybe even the 100th tape. Everything up until then is going to be spooky at best, and certainly not terrifying. Do I just skip to this last tape? Or am I somehow expected to go through all of this footage just because I found it? Honestly, if that’s the case, I do not know if I can do it. I can watch maybe five minutes of shaky, handheld footage of “Michael” getting the camera for his “birthday” and then maybe five more minutes of all his friends in the car and at school by their lockers sticking their hands into the lens and saying “Why are you always taping everything, dude, put the camera down for once. YOLO” tops. After that I will just watch something on Netflix streaming or whatever. Last night’s episode of Enlightened, maybe. I’m an adult. My patience is worn thin.

But, OK, so let’s pretend that I make it through the entire box of found footage and discover that the curse is impossible to lift and that death refuses to be cheated and now all of their young but not-innocent souls have been stolen back to the realm of the ancient ones. Worst case scenario: I’m doomed just by watching this stuff. I’ve heard of that happening one time. That’s how Naomi Watts died. That alone is almost reason to not even touch this stuff and to just put it right back in the child’s suitcase underneath the floorboards hidden by the metal dog cage filled with bloody newspapers and dolls where I found it. But, OK, let’s say that doesn’t happen. Let’s say I can safely review the found footage without myself becoming entwined in the endless horrors these poor kids unleashed on themselves (while never bothering to put the camera down, and like, were they constantly having to find outlets to charge the camera’s batteries so they could keep filming? Haha, I don’t know! That’s one for the scientists to figure out!). Now I’m just expected to patiently edit this thing together into a cohesive story for other people to watch? That’s how this works? Do you know how long it takes to edit 100 tapes worth of footage into a digestible 1.5 hours? Do you know how much people get paid do that? Yeah. Fuck you. Do you know how much Final Cut Pro costs? Who’s going to pay for that? These dead children’s ghosts? Hardly.

Forget it. I’m throwing these tapes in the fucking garbage where they belong. They’re on the curb if you want them. Good luck, Susan E. Morse Jr. Knock yourself out.

Comments (17)
  1. Oh man that screencap got me sooo excited that there was going to be a video uploaded of Gabe and Kelly’s found footage! The spooky after-hours Vgum headquarters where an intern mysteriously disappeared 8 years ago! “Kelly, wipe your nose and stop crying it’s just the wind! HOLY SHIT DID YOU HEAR THAT?” “Hear what, Gabe? All I hear is Mary crying in the closet BUT MARY WENT HOME 4 HOURS AGO WHA- WHA- WHAAAAAAAT!!!”

  2. Paranormal activity

  3. Upvote.

  4. Gabe! I’m sure there are plenty of unemployed/underemployed/student monsters who would have love to sift through, digitize, and edit those tapes. We could have watched it as a family! Now we’ll always wonder what might have been.

  5. What if it was just gross home porn?


  6. Would you at least be interested in editing down 17 hours of my first punk band practicing? It has amazing fluorescent basement lighting. I really think we have something here.

  7. Also: Found footage audio is always GREAT.

  8. Is this signaling the return of You Can Make It Up? Because that’s my favorite Videogum feature.

  9. Do these tapes reveal where Facetaco has been the last couple of weeks?

  10. True story: the Scooby Doo parody Blair Witch promos from the Cartoon Network back in the day scared the SHIT out of me. Does anyone else remember those?

  11. Is there a context for this post that I’m missing? Is it a response to S-VHS premiering and getting rave reviews at Sundance? Did any monsters see the first VHS? If not, don’t, it was gross and dumb (except for the final segment about Halloween. That one was great).

  12. Also, yes please more posts like this! If there were pictures involved I would have died of happiness. That could be the secret to these found footage deaths: we all die of happiness.

    • Agreed. I don’t know (or care) what the context of this post was, but this is one of the best posts I’ve seen on here in a while. Granted, I haven’t spent as much time on here as I used to (those calf implants I’ve been saving up for aren’t going to pay for themselves, after all), but I really liked this. Especially since it was essentially a stand-alone comedy piece that wasn’t related to any one thing in particular, save for the found footage movie fad. Hi fives all around.

  13. Don’t Blink.

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