Horror History: How The Blair Witch Project Sparked the Found Footage Subgenre

AMPAS LogoThe Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) is back with another installment in its “Academy Originals” digital series, and this time the highlighted “moment that changed the movies” comes from 1999’s iconic The Blair Witch Project.

Written and directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, the film starred Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of The Blair Witch Project, the Academy spoke to cast and crew for an unprecedented look at how the film’s phenomenal success was achieved.

What methods did they use to achieve such terrifying performances? How did the overnight success feel to the filmmakers? Was it truly the first film to be “virally marketed” on the Internet?

The below video provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Blair Witch Project and its impact on the future of movies – from sparking a found footage boom to its innovative use of Internet marketing.

Synopsis
Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

The Blair Witch Project

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Debi Moore

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