GENERAL COMMENTARY

Why Found Footage Works So Well With Science Fiction

15 August 2019

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Why Found Footage Works So Well With Science Fiction

Found footage found success in horror film, but is it really made for sci-fi?

Have you ever watched or listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast with Bob Lazar, the physicist who used to work at S4, a top-secret site located near Area 51? The podcast itself is interesting even for people like me who aren’t into UFOs or conspiracy theories. As this guy tells his story, I began to really wonder if he was telling the truth…and then documentarian Jeremy Corbell spoke and that all went away.

Rogan and Lazar have this very natural, subdued discussion about Lazar’s purported experience, which made me kind of believe him. But then Corbell jumps in the mix with his over-the-top enthusiasm and wild claims and made me become an instant disbeliever. And if you watch his documentary about Bob Lazar, it’ll remove you further.

That really got me thinking about sci-fi stories, whether they’re told in a film, in a book, or on a podcast. The way we tell stories affects how our audiences experience them, and if our goal is to convince those audiences that what they’re seeing, reading, or hearing is real—which often comes front and center when telling sci-fi stories—then employing certain techniques that help conceal the artifice is incredibly important.

Techniques like…found footage.

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Photo credit: No Film School

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