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Suit Claims 'Blair Witch' Role

A central Florida man wants a part of The Blair Witch Project pie.

Sam Barber says he has proof of his involvement in the film, and wants a court of law to settle his claim.

"I was the executive producer of The Blair Witch Project", Sam Barber told CBS affiliate WKMG-TV in Orlando.

Barber was the head of Barber/Myrick Pictures, an independent film company in Orlando, which he says was making The Blair Witch Project.

Then, he claims, his partner, Dan Myrick took records and materials related to the production from their office. Barber's filing suit.

"I made a major investment in our company. What I was thinking was wow, what am I going to do and how are we going to solve this?"

Barber says he spent hundreds of thousands to develop Blair Witch and two other projects, and now that the movie is being released without him, he's almost bankrupt. "We banked everything on it. All of our money's tied up, our credit's tied up, it's a lot."

When Myrick left, so did co-producer Greg Hale. They then joined forces with several other local filmmakers to form Haxan films, the company that eventually made the Blair Witch Project. They say Barber was never part of Blair Witch and is just looking to ride their wave of success.

And what a wave it is. The movie is primed to be one of the highest-grossing independent films ever. Some industry analysts have predicted a $50 million gross, not bad for a low-budget film.

Ray Jenkins has been in the business of show business for three decades, currently as the head of Charismagic Entertainment. He says these types of suits are part of the game.

"We're dealing with ideas and concepts, so it's very important that you begin with the premise that you definitely have attorneys and contracts," he says. "You set down exactly what each person is bringing to the table, so everybody knows what they're bringing and what they're taking away."

Sam Barber says he has proof of his involvement and wants a court of law to settle it. The lawsuit is pending out in California.

The attorney for Haxan films did not want his clients to contribute to this story. They insist Sam Barber had nothing to do with the Blair Witch Project, that any collaboration involved an earlier film idea.

Until then, Sam Barber sits on the sidelines, while the Blair Witch Project scares up a pile of profits without him.