In filmmaking and video production, footage is the raw, unedited material as it had been originally filmed by movie camera or recorded by a video camera which usually must be edited to create a motion picture, video clip, television show or similar completed work. More loosely, footage can also refer to all sequences used in film and video editing, such as special effects and archive material (for special cases of this, see stock footage and B roll). Since the term originates in film, footage is only used for recorded images, such as film stock, videotapes or digitized clips – on live television, the signals from video cameras are called sources instead.

The origin of the term "footage" is that early 35 mm silent film has traditionally been measured in feet and frames; the fact that film was measured by length in cutting rooms, and that there are 16 frames (4-perf film format) in a foot of 35 mm film which roughly represented 1 second of silent film, made footage a natural unit of measure for film. The term then became used figuratively to describe moving image material of any kind.

Television footage, especially news footage, is often traded between television networks, but good footage usually commands a high price. The actual sum depends on duration, age, size of intended audience, duration of licensing and other factors. Amateur movie footage of current events can also often fetch a high price on the market – scenes shot inside the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks were reportedly sold for US$45,000.[1] Sometimes film projects will also sell or trade footage, usually second unit material not used in the final cut. For example, the end of the non-director's cut version of Blade Runner used landscape views that were originally shot for The Shining before the script was modified after shooting had finished.[2]


  1. ^ - Amateur video playing greater role – Retrieved July 3, 2009
  2. ^ IMDb's Trivia page for Blade Runner – Retrieved July 3, 2009

See also

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