The Blair Witch Project: The First Viral Vlog?
By | May 14, 2019
Remember when The Blair Witch Project came out in 1999? People either loved it or hated it, but no matter which side of the fence you are on, you have to admit that this film was groundbreaking. Shot in just eight days, with a tiny budget, and no big-studio marketing blitz, The Blair Witch Project created a lot of buzz, conversations, and debates…as well as $250 million in box office revenues. On the 20th anniversary of The Blair Witch Project, let’s look back to see what made this movie so special and why it is, essentially, the world’s first viral vlog ever. Before viral videos, and even the internet, were even a thing, The Blair Witch Project is the first ever vlog to go "viral," before the internet had even invented the term.
The Brainchild of Two Creative Film Students
Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez were film school students in 1993 when they began working on an idea for a horror film. As students of film, the two friends agreed that, often, documentary films are scarier than movies because of the sense of realism and authenticity that these types of films evoke. By October of 1997, they were ready to start filming. They took out a small ad in Billboard magazine and held casting calls. They hired three unknown actors, Michael Williams, Heather Donahue, and Joshua Leonard, to essentially play themselves. In fact, most of the script called for the actors to adlib their own lines.