16 Mind Blowing Facts About the Blair Witch Project Guaranteed to Intrigue and Creep You Out
The Blaire Witch Project was a 1999 thriller movie that became a cultural phenomenon. Over the years the film has thrilled and chilled, been mocked and mimicked, inspired other aspiring filmmakers, and spawned a couple sequels but the fascinating history behind the movie really sets it apart. The movie is considered one of the most successful independent films of all time largely because it's budget of a mere $25k ended up grossing over $248 million worldwide. While an entire generation managed to enjoy the movie there are some startling facts about its creation that just beg for your time and attention. Prepare to be amazed.
1. Expensive Music
The most expensive scene of the entire film was when the three characters sat around the campfire and Heather recited the lyrics to the popular 60’s television show Gilligan’s Island. Eventually, the production team actually had to purchase the rights to the song in order to keep the scene in the completed and released movie.via:providr
One of the most fascinating things about the cast and crew was that the actors stayed in character throughout the entire production. For the most part, the actors only interacted with each other and the production team simply sent notes back and forth directing them where to go next. However, because of the intensity of the filming the actors had a safe word for when they needed a break. That word was taco.
3. What they would do for a reaction!
The production team was in charge of providing a lot for the movie. It was their job to provide props and garnish reactions from the actors. In one scene, while running, Heather Donahue’s character yells ‘what the fuck is that?’ at something off camera. It was the film's art director Ricardo Moreno dressed in white long-johns and white stockings with white pantyhose pulled over his head, running alongside them.
4. The entire film’s dialogue was improvised
Directors Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez really wrote more of an outline than a script, if anything. The "script" was a mere 35 pages and only described scenes. It contained literally no dialogue. Later, the directors commented that they, "didn’t want to put any limitations on their actors."via:TheWeek.com
5. Above and Beyond
The production team and actors were diehard level dedicated to making the movie as realistic as possible. Shooting the film in the woods took 8 days and over the course of that time they started out well rested and well fed and then they slowly "were forced to subsist on less sleep and less food, making them believably tired and worn from their journeys." It worked like magic, making the actors quicker to snap at each other which was great for the atmosphere of the movie.via:CinemaBlend.com
6. Mary Brown
The eerie story behind this character was that of a random woman the actors came across while filming who improvised her entire story about The Blair Witch. Later, the directors searched for her in order to get her to sign a release form and they were never able to locate her. Creepy!via:thewolfmancometh
7. Creepiest Fact Ever:
The bundle of sticks Heather finds with hair and teeth was made with real items, not props. Gross! The hair belonged to Josh and the teeth came from Lisa Dane (casting) and one of the director's dentists!via:providr
8. Child's Play
In order to get the creepy sounds of children playing outside the characters' tent, Tony Cora, who did the music and sound for the film spent an afternoon at director Eduardo Sanchez’ mother's house recording the sounds of children outside playing and speaking gibberish. During the scene, to project the sound for the actors to react to, production had three boomboxes playing the eerie audio outside the tent.via:Broadly.Vice.Com
9. The Name Game
Where did Eduardo Sanchez come up with the name the Blair Witch? From his sister of course. She attended Blair High School and fun fact: she played the waitress in the movie.via:providr
10. Magic Number 8
Filming the entire movie only took 8 days but editing took a whopping 8 months. The 8 days of filming left production with 19 hours of footage cut down to a 90 minutes film.via:CinemaBlend.com
11. Marketing Genius
Intentional marketing techniques included: wanting to make their disappearances in the film more plausible the actors were intentionally left behind from both interviews and film screenings. In fact, actress Heather Donahue said that after the film was released and became so popular, her mother ended up receiving sympathy cards from strangers who believed that Heather had actually died!via:CinemaBlend.com
12. Iconic Accident
The most famous scene in the entire movie, a truly iconic shot, was a "fluke." Heather has said that while she was filming her terrified and phlegm-filled apology, she was under the impression that she had framed the shot normally, not realizing she had zoomed in so far. Her little accident ended up being the visual representation of the entire movie, used in marketing and even on the movie's official posters.via:AP Photo/Artisan Entertainment Files and TheWeek.com
13. That famous camera!
The camera Josh used throughout the movie, a CP-16 film camera, was sold on eBay for an unbelievable 10 grand after filming ended. However, today they only sell for around $1500.via:NoFilmSchool.com
14. Unique audtions? Yep!
The audition process was completely dependent on the actors ability to improvise. They were not greeted and there were no introductions, they were just immediately asked questions such as: "You’ve been in prison. You’ve served 10 years of a 25 year sentence, but you’re up for parole. Why should we let you out?"via:Haxan Films and TheWeek.com
15. The truth about Josh
Josh's disappearance was actually a surprise to Heather and Mike. The directors left a note for Josh telling him to wait to leave until the others had fallen asleep so that the effect would be stronger in the morning of his disappearance. He was reportedly thrilled to leave so he could make it to a concert.via:ScreenRant.com
16. Rustin Parr
A few smaller scenes and images were shot later on and added afterwards because the film had been picked up at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. The most noteworthy addition to the story was definitely when the scene where the actors are told the story of Rustin Parr, the hermit who kidnapped and murdered eight children in the 40's under the spell of the Blair Witch.via:providr