<i>Blair Witch</i>: Fact Or Fiction?

Three film students are drawn to the Maryland woods to document a local legend called the Blair Witch. One year after their mysterious disappearance, their films and videos are found. The Blair Witch Project tells the story of what happened to the group.

Called a ground-breaking bone chiller, the film was a cult hit even before it even opened, reports CBS This Morning Entertainment Contributor Eleanor Mondale.

Â"DonÂ't expect a normal film,Â" warns Blair Witch co-director Eduardo Sanchez. Â"ItÂ's like a home movie of these three kids going into hell.Â"

Sanchez and Dan Myrick wrote and directed the film which they say cost about as much as a nice new car.
Their game plan was unusual. They sent their three actors playing documentary filmmakers into the woods, gave them cameras but no scripts—just notes and instructions about where to go and when.

Â"We immersed the actors in the woods,Â" Myrick said. Â"We did not want them aware of us as filmmakers.Â"

He said the actors could roam through the woods without being aided by the directors and rendezvous at a place where there was a particular scene set up for them.

Â"They had no idea what was coming,Â" Myrick said. Â"When they got to the way points, we had little baskets waiting for them and new supplies and stuff like that.Â"

He said even for the filmmakers, being in the woods late at night was spooky.

Â"You did not have to think hard to get creeped out and let your imagination run away with you,Â" Myrick added.

Blair Witch is a "mock" documentary. What makes it so effective is that it constantly leaves the audience wondering whether it is reality or fiction.

Myrick said some of the supporting cast were actors and others were area locals.

Â"We had some actors that we hired and gave them a little back history of what the Blair Witch was all about," Myrick said. "The three main actors didnÂ't know who was real and who wasnÂ't.Â"

The film created buzz at this yearÂ's Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. Now, this little independent film—shot on a $500 camera using high-eight video—is getting the kind of attention the big studios would kill for.

"Dan and I have always said that we hope the audience keeps an open mind when they go in," Sanchez said. "DonÂ't expect any type of conventional film. Go in there with an open mind and I think you will enjoy the ride."

The Blair Witch Web site has recently drawn up to 11 million hits a week, serving up more of the movieÂ's mythology.
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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