Watch: How 'The Blair Witch Project' Changed Movies Back in 1999

October 15, 2014
Source: Academy Originals

The Blair Witch Project

Though found footage feels like a craze that only started a few years ago with the success of Paranormal Activity, the first massive found footage hit actually arrived 10 years earlier, at a time when the internet hadn't yet been successfully used to market a film to a massive audience. That film is The Blair Witch Project, and in a new short from Academy Originals, the film's unprecedented and breakthrough success is documented, showing how an indie film that was made on a shoestring budget became one of the biggest surprise hits of the summer thanks to some clever marketing and a unique premise. Watch below!

Here's Moments That Changed the Movies from Academy Originals (via SlashFilm):

As someone who was 13 years old when The Blair Witch Project came out, I remember the frenzy to get tickets (before you could buy them online), the buzz to see the film just so you could talk about it, even before I was allowed to see R-rated movies. But thankfully, growing up with a mother who loved horror movies and recognized my passion for film and not just the mystique of a film I wasn't supposed to see, it was a great summer trip to the theater. Germain Lussier at SlashFilm has a cooler, more personal account of his experience when the movie came out as well, so be sure to check that out here. Tell us your story!

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Reader Feedback - 9 Comments


Truly a ground breaking film.

DAVIDPD on Oct 15, 2014


I am not going to judge whether it was ground breaking or not.. but I will say that I truly enjoyed the film when it came out and had not seen anything like it up to that point.

Tester on Oct 15, 2014


I fell asleep trying to watch it...

Bl00dwerK on Oct 15, 2014


If anyone can tell me what the ending means and what the guy facing the wall is doing maybe I change my opinion. But I understand that it was a big success because nobody had ever seen a found footage movie with such a great viral!

Avi on Oct 16, 2014


If you go to the FAQ's of The Blair Witch Project on IMDB, there's a good explanation of the ending (find the question: "What happened to the characters in the end").

SB on Oct 16, 2014


I will do it right away! thanks!

Avi on Oct 16, 2014


Scared the crap outta me when I saw it, and I was almost 20!

Joker's hideout on Oct 16, 2014


I couldn't believe The Blair Witch Project was so popular. I was bored silly. Zero content... ( I can only assume that maybe... that was the point )

Bill on Oct 16, 2014


I absolutely had to see it. I was probably 15 years old and asked an older friend to take my best friend and I. The theater was packed. I had no idea if it was real or fake. Going into it like that, it was a crazy movie experience and one that I will never forgot. Since then I haven't like found footage as much. I think it was the mystery behind it that made it for me.

Emdub52 on Oct 16, 2014

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