Help Me Find My Footage

Welcome to the monthly newsletter all about shaky cams, glitchy images, and boundless creativity.

For those of you who are new to my work, my name is Mary Beth McAndrews! I am a freelance horror writer based in Washington, DC. I’m the co-host of the Scarred for Life podcast with Terry Mesnard, my work regularly appears in Nightmare on Film Street, Film School Rejects, and Daily Grindhouse, and I’ve written to lots of other outlets such as RogerEbert.com and Polygon. You can follow me on Twitter. For those of you who know me and follow me, welcome back and I’m so glad you’ve subscribed to my newsletter.

I am an evangelist for found footage horror films. I’ve always loved them and was always quick to defend The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. But the passive enjoyment became a newfound passion during self-isolation when I finally watched As Above So Below one Friday night. I watched it on the edge of my seat and was so impressed with what found footage films can accomplish in terms of scares and tension building. While there are a ton of found footage lovers who have written about the technique, there isn’t a lot of serious research on it. So here I am, trying to do more in-depth research into a technique and style of horror filmmaking that I consider revolutionary.

I’ve spent my time these past few months taking ridiculously long baths and watching some hidden gems on Amazon Prime, Tubi, and more. Essentially, there is so much more to found footage than Cloverfield (although I do enjoy it). But found footage has gotten a bad reputation that is frankly undeserved. My hope with this newsletter is to show you just how crucial this technique is. Here are a few of the films I’m hoping to cover in the coming months:

  • Leaving DC

  • In A Stranger’s House

  • Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum

  • Murder Death Koreatown

  • JeruZalem

I will still keep writing about the genre for Nightmare on Film Street (check out Distorted Memories) and other outlets. I am so grateful to have a recurring column where I can look at the use of evolving digital technology and how found footage is linked to that evolution. This, however, will be a more freeform project where I can ask questions, dig into weird theories, and really just get my hands dirty within the genre/technique of found footage. I’m committing to one essay per month, which will be focused on one movie. Expect those in your inbox on the second Wednesday of every month. I may infrequently post reviews or lists of and about found footage, if that is something you all would be interested in!

The first edition of Finding My Footage will cover Leaving DC, which you can watch on Amazon Prime. This will be coming your way on July 15!

Please let me know what you may like to see covered in this newsletter. This is mostly for me to have an outlet to think through something I’m so passionate about, but I also want everyone reading to enjoy it!

I am offering this for free because I want everyone to have access to it. I will be sharing my Ko-fi and PayPal in case you’d like to tip me for my work. Tips are not expected but of course, always appreciated.