Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Today's film is "The Blair Witch Project." This film from 1999 was a controversial one, kind of like last year's "Paranormal Activity." Although it was thought of as "ridiculous" or "fake," it still scared the crap out of many as we watched it. We couldn't wait to actually see the witch. What are your thoughts on the film? Here is some fun trivia about it. Enjoy!
--The three principal actors, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams, shot nearly all of the completed film.
--The actors were requested to interview the townspeople, who often, unbeknownst to the actors, were planted by the directors. As a result, the expressions on the actors' faces were unrehearsed.
--The actors were given no more than a 35-page outline of the mythology behind the plot before shooting began. All lines were improvised and nearly all the events in the film were unknown to the three actors beforehand, and were often on-camera surprises to them all.
--Some theatergoers experienced nausea from the handheld camera movements and actually had to leave to vomit. In some Toronto theatres, ushers asked patrons who where prone to motion sickness to sit in the aisle seat and to try not to "throw up on other people."
--The house that Heather is in during the opening shot is owned by Lonnie Glerum, the film's key production assistant. He is also operating the camera during the opening shot.
--When promoting the film, the producers claimed it was real footage. Some people still believe it.
--This film was in the Guinness Book Of World Records for "Top Budget:Box Office Ratio" (for a mainstream feature film). The film cost $22,000 to make and made back $240.5 million, a ratio of $1 spent for every $10,931 made.
--The sign for Burkittsville at the beginning of the movie has been stolen three times, and was stolen opening night of the movie.
--The three leads believed the Blair Witch was a real legend during filming, though of course they knew the film was going to be fake. Only after the film's release did they discover that the entire mythology was made up by the film's creators.
--The filmmakers placed flyers around Cannes for the film festival that were "Missing" posters, stating that the cast was missing. All the flyers were taken down by the next day. It turns out that a television executive had been kidnapped just prior, and they were taken down out of respect. The executive was since recovered safely.
--It took a mere 8 days to shoot this film.
--Apparently, Heather Donahue brought a knife into the forest while filming was taking place because she didn't like the idea of sleeping with two guys.
--To promote discord between actors, the directors deliberately gave them less food each day of shooting.
--The 1999-2000 hunting season suffered badly due to this film. The movie was so popular that fans all over the country were hiking into the wilderness to shoot their own Blair Witch-style documentaries. As a result they kept most of the wildlife scared away from hunting areas.
-- Before the film was released, the three main actors were listed as "missing, presumed dead" on the IMDb.
--Heather Donahue's discovery of Joshua Leonard's (presumed) tongue and teeth wrapped in his handkerchief bears a striking similarity to Washington Irving's story "The Devil and Tom Walker". Tom's wife goes to find the devil in the swamp, and never returns home. When Tom goes to find her, he discovers her apron with her heart and liver inside.