footage surfaces of someone/something
What does it mean?
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The common news idiom “footage surfaces” means that video has come to public attention, usually online through social media.
For example, somebody can record video of a newsworthy event like an attack or a demonstration. They might then take days to upload it to social media (eg: YouTube) and then it can take weeks to come to the attention of news outlets. The news outlets then publish the video (“footage”) with a description like, “Footage has surfaced of the attack which occurred last month in the disputed territory of Trelvia.” In headlinese this might be abbreviated as:
Footage surfaces of Trelvia attack
Here footage generally means a bit of electronically recorded video but originally meant, "the length of film used to record a scene, event, etc.,"
Surfaces is used figuratively to refer to something “floating to the surface” so that it comes to our attention.