Essays on Found Footage Horror Films in the 21st Century

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Jackson Cooper
contact email: 

deadline for submissions:

March 1 (Abstract)

September 20, 2017 (Final Draft)


Jackson Cooper/ Film Researcher; Author: Carnival of Souls (Devil’s Advocates, Auteur Press UK, 2017) 

From the earliest example of mockumentary horror filmmaking with Cannibal Holocaust, found footage has become a trope du jour in the horror film genre. FF films are found in a variety of mediums: feature length films, shorts, and web series. According to the site, the sub genre's narrative structure can be identified into four categories:

  • First person perspective (a.k.a. point of view) style – filmed/recorded from the perspective of the main character who is experiencing the event while holding the camera

  • Mockumentary (a.k.a. pseudo-documentary style) – filmed/recorded in the form of interviews and investigative reporting of the event

  • News Footage style – Footage from a professional news crew investigating the event

  • Surveillance Footage style – Footage from a stationary camera automatically filming/recording the event

In considering a film “found footage”, the source of the footage must be established to the audience. Other aspects of the subgenre include small cast sizes, limited locations and unknown casting.

Since The Blair Witch Project which used low-budget filming techniques and mass marketing ploys to raise hype of its release, the sub genre had an enormous output of product, the majority created by amateur filmmakers looking to recreate the Blair Witch success. Independent filmmakers and distributors have released effective FF films that use horror and Found Footage tropes in smart ways ([REC], TrollHunter, Creep). The recent sequel of The Blair Witch Project has been noted by critics for its use of improving on a sub genre which was said to be exhaustive, building on the conversation about found footage film as a growing art form. It is noteworthy that the rise of dependence on technology in America has lead to a new self-awareness in the sub genre with films such as Diary of the Dead and Unfriended.

Despite the influx of Found Footage films into the horror circuit and across mediums such as film, youTube, and exclusively on streaming sites, very little has been written about this specific type of horror filmmaking. This proposed edited book focuses on and explicitly includes a variety of perspectives of context of Found Footage Horror Films from The Blair Witch Project to the Present day. The essays in this collection will seek to survey the past 17 years and the way the subgenre has transformed perspectives on horror films and 21st century culture.

This call for chapters will consider contributions from a wide set of academic disciplines with a focus on film studies, for example: cultural theory, sociological studies, social psychology, psychology, politics, arts, history, philosophy, literature, and film.

McFarland Publishing is interested in publishing the collection. 


Please submit one page abstract (500-600 words).

In this abstract it is important that you 1) highlight your focus on found footage and horror films, noting its impact on various fields of research, culture, and technique 2) draw out your theoretical framework you plan to apply, and 3) state possible contribution made in the chapter.

In addition to the abstract we ask you to submit a short bio. Expected length of final chapter, 5000-6000 words.

Time plan 2017

March 1 – Deadline abstract

March 30-Notification of Accepted/Rejected Abstract

June 1st – Deadline chapter, first draft

August 15– Deadline chapter, second draft

September 20 – Deadline, final chapter 


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