Topic: The Blair Witch Project

9/29/12: This thread will become the episode thread later on, but before we tackle this one, I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts on the subject. Maybe we can bring up some of the points y'all have on the recording.

So, how do you feel about the movie? Any problems with it? Anything that particularly works for you?

9/30/12: Here's the "post release" replies.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

I think it completely works. Every time I've watched it, I just get filled with an overwhelming sense of dread about half-way in and want to stop watching because of how uncomfortable it makes me. I think the reason it works better than most newer found footage movies is that they've been trying to progressively get bigger and more elaborate, which just distracts from the believability of the found footage and makes you wish they were shot conventionaly. The rawness of Blair Witch is what gives it it's power.

I suspect part of why it's successful is that unlike most found footage films, this was almost entirely unscripted, with the actors stuck in the woods and the directors making sounds at night and stuff to screw with them and get natural reactions. It's much more of an experiment than a calculated horror film like the Paranormal Activities.

It does only work if you watch it in the right mindset straight through though, you absolutely cannot just watch bits of it out of context.

Last edited by bullet3 (2012-09-29 21:01:24)

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

I saw Blair Witch in the Theater in Michigan near a wooded area.  It didn't freak me out, but several of the other movie goer where scared of that wooded area afterwards.   lol   I think Blair witch is the only one of these found footage experiments that works because of the whole premise of going out there to shoot a documentary.  The last scene of the movie was the only part that really freaked me out.

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

This was the first of the "found footage" things that many of us experienced, and I remember friends discussing if it was real or not.

Re: The Blair Witch Project

I remember the film being a big deal at the time of its release mostly because it was being treated as a true story and was one of the first films to have a viral marketing campaign. It even had its own website that continued the lie that it was all real-http://www.blairwitch.com/legacy.html

It's easy to forget just how much of an impact the film had in this modern age where every film has its own site and a viral campaign. It's hard not to be impressed by it.

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

Ya, I remember the marketing being really effective, going into it initially a lot of people thought it was real footage, which the trailers and everything re-inforced with how raw it was:

It was a huge hit too, it made 250 million worldwide on a $60,000 budget.

Last edited by bullet3 (2012-09-29 23:14:17)

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

I think it totally works. It may seem less effective nowadays, when found footage movies have big budgets and can actually show you the monster, but Blair Witch works for the same reason Jaws does: it keeps you and the characters, quite literally, in the dark.

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: The Blair Witch Project

What I love is that at heart, it's live action roleplaying. You have the director acting as Dungeon Master, setting up encounters for the players. No other movie, I don't think, has tried it this way, where the actors seriously don't know what the fuck is coming next.

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

Invid wrote:

What I love is that at heart, it's live action roleplaying. You have the director acting as Dungeon Master, setting up encounters for the players. No other movie, I don't think, has tried it this way, where the actors seriously don't know what the fuck is coming next.

Yeah, I feel like a lot of people don't know about that aspect of the production. For all the actors knew, the Blair Witch was real and it was stalking them. They were just told to go into the forest and film, and it was the crew's job to set up the scary stuff.

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: The Blair Witch Project

Anyone see the 'sequel'? It was shit.

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project AND Apollo 18?

http://i1.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/003/475/we_are_going_to_die.gif

Re: The Blair Witch Project

I love that gif, his wee frown at the end is great big_smile

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

I saw this in the theater at the time and was in no doubt before or during that it was fiction. It wasn't particularly well-acted or scary, but it was okay until about 45 minutes in, when I realized that there wasn't going to be anything else to it. It was just going to be these annoying people wandering around in the forest.

When the end came, it was worse than I feared—a complete nothingness that barely says 'and then something bad happened which we couldn't really think of what it would be.'

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: The Blair Witch Project

The scariest bit was the scene in the tent when you can hear kids laugh. Although, I think that was put in post, so it actually renders it pointless. I knew it was fake going in, I remember watching a film show that had an interview with the directors and they had no problem saying it wasn't real.

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

I'm with Zarban. I at first bought in to the found footage aspect, but it kind of wore off on me, and it never engaged me when I looked at the movie itself.
If you want to discuss one aspect, I would say, how the found footage part of the movie is used as the hook and whether or not it works.
For me, I echo Zarban's sentiments.

God loves you!

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

While I agree that it did devolve into silliness, it's one of those films that needs to be taken in context of the time, and it did freak a lot of people out.

That said, so did Mayan calendars. And killer bees.

Re: The Blair Witch Project

The only discussion this movie ever really got among my friends concerned our Spanish professor's wife who apparently threw up in the theater because of how shaky the camera work is. For this reason, I never saw The Blair Witch Project in theaters, and I'm not a horror fan, so I never bothered to watch it on tv either.

I'm a bit hesitant to watch just for this commentary as I'm not sure if I have the right mindset to be able to appreciate this as the original found footage film.

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

Sorry to be a pendant but Blair Witch wasn't the original found footage film, that was Cannibal Holocaust back in 1980. There were a few inbetween too, with Man Bites Dog being a 'popular' one from 1993.

Blair Witch opened the genre up to more people, though. That is probably down to the viral campaign and the pretence that it was all real. smile

Last edited by Jimmy B (2012-09-30 16:18:18)

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

Cannibal Holocaust is only partly found footage, though. There are others, but I think most are obscure enough that really nobody (including the creators of Blair Witch) saw them.

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

They saw Cannibal Holocaust which is enough big_smile

My point still stands. smile

Last edited by Jimmy B (2012-09-30 17:48:34)

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

Maybe a stupid question, but I thought you were able to login and hear them recording live... am i doing something wrong or is it not live?

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

Live sessions can be viewed at http://www.downinfront.net/live/

Re: The Blair Witch Project

Much appreciated

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Re: The Blair Witch Project

Jimmy B wrote:

Sorry to be a pendant but Blair Witch wasn't the original found footage film, that was Cannibal Holocaust back in 1980. There were a few inbetween too, with Man Bites Dog being a 'popular' one from 1993.

Blair Witch opened the genre up to more people, though. That is probably down to the viral campaign and the pretence that it was all real. smile

Yeah, it was the online campaign that got me into the theater. It had the reputation of being very scary and to have cost next to nothing. To be clear, I didn't hate the film even tho I'm not a horror movie guy. I kind of admired the work that went into it and the cleverness of what it presented. I just wasn't scared and eventually saw that it was all bark and no bite. Some killbillies would have gone a long way.

If Trey had made it, I would be slapping him on the back and calling it a big success.

EDIT
I spelled "hillbillies" wrong and now am incredibly disappointed that two movies by the title "Killbillies" have already been made and I didn't write them.

Last edited by Zarban (2012-10-01 02:19:14)

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: The Blair Witch Project

As of this post, replies below are post-release.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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