This article proposes a reconceptualization of the term “actor” within motion pictures and presents the argument that “acting” is a matter of distributed agency performed by heterogeneous assemblages. What constitutes an actor is what I will label as a “cinematic actor assemblage,” a term that comprises what is commonly known as human actors as well as material entities that play an active part in motion picture images. The use of intra-diegetic cameras in contemporary found footage horror films constitutes a particular case of such cinematic actor assemblages. Through a dynamic relational performance, cameras here take on roles as active agents with the potential to affect other elements within the images as well as the films’ audiences. In found footage horror the assemblage mode of operation creates suspense, since the vulnerability of the camera threatens the viewer's access to the depicted events. While human characters and individual entities making up the camera assemblage are disposable, the recording is not. Found footage horror crucially hinges upon the survival of the footage. I will further suggest that these films allow filmmakers to experiment with the acting capabilities of intra-diegetic cameras.
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