In filmmaking, found footage is the use of footage as a found object, appropriated for use in collage films, documentary films, mockumentary films, and other works.
Historical found footage is often used in documentary films as a source of primary information, giving the viewer a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. Director and cinematographer Ken Burns used archival footage in his films. Baseball (1994), his documentary television series for PBS, incorporates historical footage accompanied by original music or actors reading relevant written documents.
Often fictional films imitate this style in order to increase their authenticity, especially the mockumentary genre. In the dramatized and embellished pseudo-documentary film F For Fake (1973), director Orson Welles borrows all shots of the main subject Elmyr de Hory from a BBC documentary, rather than fabricating the footage himself.
Stuart Cooper's Overlord uses stock footage of the landing on Normandy during World War II to increase realism. The footage was obtained from the Imperial War Museum in the UK. Other parts of the film were shot by Cooper, but using old World War II-era film stock with World War II-era lenses.
A certain style of music video makes extensive use of found footage, mostly found on TV, like news, documentaries, old (and odd) films etc. The forefather of found footage music videos was artist Bruce Conner who screened Cosmic Ray in 1961. Prominent examples are videos of bands such as Public Enemy and Coldcut. The latter also project video material during their stage show, which includes live mixing of video footage. Artists such as Vicki Bennett, also known as People Like Us, or the video artist Kasumi with the film Shockwaves, use Creative Commons archives such as the Prelinger Archives.