PollyGrind founder says sky is limit for found footage films
Excitement for genre leads to launch of FoundFootageFans.com as filmmaker says found footage films of all types could be coming soon
“I think now it’s gotten the respect it deserves as a genre,” said Freeman, who just this past week launched the website FoundFootageFans.com. “People now are starting to see and understand it’s not a gimmick - it’s just another form of storytelling - and I think the door is now open for filmmakers to really start to explore this way of filmmaking.”
Freeman says The Blair Witch Project (1999), Paranormal Activity (2007), REC (2007), Quarantine (2008), Cloverfield (2008), V/H/S (2012) and Chronicle (2012) are just the tip of the iceberg.
“The whole concept found footage films are based on dates back to HP Lovecraft and how his woks were presented as ‘found manuscripts’
“But there is no stopping now,” Freeman continued. “The limitation of the types of films made in this genre are only limited to our imaginations. Think about it, we are all being filmed constantly in our lives with cell phones, security cameras and such. In addition, the technology is so good and so simple that anybody can pick up a camera and document their life or put their vision on a screen. So found footage romantic comedies, dramas, and more can be expected from filmmakers hopefully soon. Add in science fiction and the sky is the limit; time travel and found footage could give us westerns, period pieces and historical films, and if the film is set in the future or alternate universes there are even less limitations. Just think about Back to the Future, Star Wars, 300 or even a film like 12 Years a Slave or Titanic as found footage. You might laugh and think I am being ridiculous, but to me it is exciting.”
Freeman has been a fan of the genre since seeing The Blair Witch Project at the theater in 1999. He is currently working on a found footage project called Paranoia Tapes.
In addition, his film festival, which is now accepting entries, awards a Best Found Footage Film each festival season and has a special category for found footage films.
Freeman also debuts the distribution label PollyGrind Presents later this year with the no budget found footage film Play Hooky.
In search for an online community to share his knowledge, excitement and love of the genre, as well as the news he will have pertaining to found footage, Freeman said he was sad to find no such place existed online.
“So I decided to start a Found Footage Films group on Facebook and then I thought, ‘why not just start a blog that centers around these types of movies,’” Freeman said.
From 2006 to 2010, Freeman ran the entertainment and film review website PollyStaffle.com and its companion blog WhatUpThug.com. At the height of their popularity, the websites pulled in as many as 100,000 unique views a month.
“Once PollyGrind took off I didn’t have the time and energy to do PollyStaffle.com right,” Freeman said. “But with FoundFootageFans.com I have a partner in Paranoia Tapes creator Jack Hunter. In fact, I ran the idea of the blog past him and he said he was down, so that is when I felt good about launching it.”
The plan for FoundFootageFans.com (Triple F) is for it to be a community hub for all things found footage with news and information bleeding over into horror, independent filmmaking, pop culture and more.
“Three Questions With” is a popular ongoing feature on the site with various people answering the same found footage related questions. All through February women of the indie genre scene are answering the questions to celebrate Women in Horror Month.
“The hope is fans of found footage to come to the site for trailers, news, reviews, short films, festival information, etc. and that filmmakers and distributors come to the site to share that with us, so that we can share it with the fans,” Freeman said. “As the genre grows, the site will grow.”
He is also currently putting together a list of feature films with a hope that eventually there is a comprehensive list of all found footage feature films, as well as mokumentary, cinéma vérité, hidden camera, reality and public domain works that have helped shape the genre.
“It’s not that I have seen or know about every found footage movie, but as a collective with others contacting us, we can make the information and history of the genre easily available,” Freeman said.
In its first week, the site has gotten close to 3,000 views and the Facebook group Found Footage Films has over 100 members. Freeman said he is happy with those numbers and feels they show promise.
“This is a complete no budget startup with no advertising or anything,” Freeman said. “We’re building this in a true found footage fashion. Like most of the films we talk about on the site and like the genre itself, word of mouth through social media over time will get us where we want to be. Although found footage films are generally fictitious, there is still a level of realness to them. The good ones feel authentic and so I think it make sense that the site overall has the same authentic vibe to it.”
That and experimentation are the keys Freeman says, and that is why he and Hunter used the site with a comic made on Bitstrips during the Super Bowl to help break the news that their film Paranoia Tapes has distribution with Wild Eye Releasing.
Hunter, who goes by Jack Saint on the website, has written for and done videos for a number of websites in the past. He says FoundFootageFans.com is the best he has ever worked on.
“I think this is the perfect time for a site of this nature to come out,” said Hunter, the self proclaimed huge found footage fan that calls the Paranormal Activity saga his favorite. “We are the only site that dedicates this much attention to found footage films.”
Highlights that visitors of the site can expect from him include his written feature “Jack Attacks,” his video feature “Reel Reviews” that are often times done as found footage clips and opinion pieces.
“A lot of people discredit this genre, but what they don't realize is that it takes way more time and a lot more patience to make these types of movies,” Hunter said. “There's certain ways you have to film these movies; a lot of people involved are behind the camera and they have to set it up very strategically.”
For more information on the Triple F website, visit http://foundfootagefans.com/
The website can be followed on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/
The Facebook Group is https://www.facebook.com/
The website can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page Updated Last on: Feb 03, 2014