Stock footage is commonly used as establishing shots or cutaways. However, for late cult director Ed Wood, the stock footage he took of actor Bela Lugosi (famous for playing Dracula) before the latter passed away, formed the basis for his film “Plan 9 from Outer Space”. Known for using extensive stock footage for his films, Ed Wood simply added voice-over narrative to fit the stock footage into the film’s storyline. This 1959 film was then marketed as the last film of Bela Lugosi.

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Less than 50 years later, technological advancement has enabled computer generated effects to manipulate stock footage more creatively and effectively. In “Superman Returns” (2006), Marlon Brando reprises his role as the Kryptonian father of Superman, Jor-El, two years after he has passed away. His prior footage were manipulated using computer generated effects to change his original dialogue.

 

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