found footage camera?

Anyone shot a 'found footage' film before...We have a script...Film isn't a horror, but about a pair of Journalists investigating a murder....What's the best type of camera to use? Were hoping to shoot it as 'found footage' as it'll keep the cost down

Wanting to make a film regarding two Journalists who decide to record themselves investigating a missing persons...Want the film to be a mix of the Camera they use to record, and how a film would normally be shot (characters camera is switched off).....End of Days is an example, where it has the characters going about their normal day, then cuts to a car camera filming them....How best is this attained? Is it by using different cameras etc?


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In your script what camera would the journalists use?

Or is that your question? I'm a little confused because this is posted in
"Business & Legal". Is the a camera question or a creative question?


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Staff Member
Yes, you would need a distinct change in camera (look) to pull it off so the viewer knows it is the documentary camera when you switch to it. This can also be done with grain, shakiness, and a viewfinder POV (red light on for recording, or battery meter, etc.). There are many ways. The latter would only work if it was supposed to be live when you switch as there is no viewfinder POV on recorded material (except a possible date stamp).
I didn't really like End Of Days. It has to be one of Arnie's worst films...

It worth looking at the cameras they used to shoot Cloverfield, despite wanting the footage to look like that taken on a consumer camcorder. Shoot high quality so you can manipulate it however you want.
I apologize in advance for going off on a tangent, and offering unsolicited advice.

I like found-footage movies. In my opinion, it needs to be all-or-nothing. Either it's a found-footage movie or it's traditional narrative. When you mix the two, you take the audience out of the experience. I'm confident you can find a way to make your entire movie found-footage.

To answer your question, I'd try to find a camera similar to the kind they'd use. So, pro-sumer camcorder?
When watching the news a lot of media cameras have long lenses it seems so perhaps a camera with a long lens like those ones, would be best to give that media look? A lot of times on the news those cameras also shoot in 30fps if I am correct, but most movies are shot in 24fps nowadays. Some people view 30fps as unprofessional looking though, so I would make further inquiries on whether or not that is the way to go.
Don’t forget, the OP is making a film, for the purposes of entertainment. In real life, these investigators may well film themselves with GoPro body cam’s, at 60fps. That doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do for a narrative film.

I mentioned Cloverfield above, but another good example is Chronicle. It was shot on Arri Alexa’s despite the fact that the footage supposedly came from a consumer camcorder.

You could shoot your movie on an Arri. Or you could use a consumer camcorder. Or a GoPro. Or a dSLR. Or your phone. The most important thing is to use whatever camera you can afford, that will give you the best possible results.