1999 was one of the most important years for modern cinema. From defining originals like The Matrix and Fight Club to sleeper favourites like Office Space and Election, 1999 was a landmark year for the internet generation of movie fans and set a high standard for the big screen as we headed into the new millennium. Ten years on, we’re celebrating a remarkable twelve months of movies with new features around some of the year’s best and most important releases.
Shot on a budget of just $22,000 by film school graduates Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick, The Blair Witch Project premiered at the Sundance Film Festival ten years ago this month and started a journey that dominated public consciousness for most of the year. It was an unprecedented success, holding the world record as the most profitable movie of all time after making more than $10,000 for every $1 spent, and became one of the most important horror films of all time. It spawned a wave of imitators both amateur and professional and is the cultural yardstick against which hoaxes, horrors and movies shot with a camcorder are measured.
But for all its apparent authenticity – and the rumours that spread over the summer of ’99 that Heather Donahue, Josh Leonard and Mike Williams had really gone missing in those woods – its directors spoke openly of their production techniques to the press and the trio of actors spent the year giving interviews and appearing in photo shoots. Now, ten years on, RT presents exclusive behind-the-scenes footage sharing the genesis of the film from auditions through to production and revealing the method and planning behind the film’s improvisational approach.
And that’s not all for our celebration of all things Blair Witch. Click here to read our brand new interview with directors Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick, as they reveal the experience of making the film and what they felt about its impact upon its release. And could we be seeing more from team Blair Witch? The pair reveal their desire to create a special extended edition of the movie and share plans for prequels and sequels that might revive the Blair franchise.
The Blair Witch Project is available on DVD. To read the script with which they shot the film and delve into a massively-comprehensive archive of production content, check out woodsmovie.com.