In 1999, the Blair Witch Project came out on our screens and it quickly became the fifth most successful film in the history of cinema. Although it captured the attention of the public really well, the film affected the lives of the actors involved. Directors Eduardo Sanchez and Dan Myrick made the public believe that their film was a documentary portraying the events of students in a haunted forest. But to make the deception more believable, the actors then had to fake their deaths…
To make the script more gripping and terrifying, the directors made a choice to make people believe the documentary.
Very involved actors
The actors in this film were Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams who were chosen to play the three teenagers. It was all filmed in 8 days and numerous scenes were improvised by the actors who filmed these parts themselves in the tent they slept in. The families of these actors also believed that it was all really happening. Donahue then explained.
‘The initial reaction of my loved ones was that I definitely should not go into the woods with a bunch of guys I didn’t know. My mom wanted to know if she could have all of their Social Security numbers. All my friends pitched in to make sure that I bought a knife.’ The actors also weren’t actually made aware of the entire scenario so that their reactions would be even more realistic.
Conditions of difficult filming
The actors knew that the directors were going to scare them during the nights, but they didn’t know how or when. Also, the directors made certain decisions to make the script even more realistic.
‘Over time, we ramped back their food supply a little bit. We never starved them or anything, but we made it so they were sort of grumpy at the end.’ Once filming finished, the directors created a website to make the realism more credible. It was so believable that the actor’s parents each received messages of condolences. Moreover, it wasn’t actually very beneficial for the actors either as Donahue explains.
‘Being dead? How did it affect my career? Adversely.’
The film was a true success and some fans still believe that the legend of the witch in the film is real... Check out the video above for more...