The following is an interview I had the pleasure of conducting Interview with Dan Myrick, one of the directors of “The Blair Witch Project” in July 1999. So enjoy!!!!
Caretaker: Are you guys Horror fans??? If so, what are some of your favorite films?
Dan Myrick: We love all “good” films, horror or otherwise. “The Exorcist”, “The Shining” and “The Omen” are just a few of our favorites.
Caretaker: I heard that the original cut of the film was 2 1/2 hr. How is that version different than the theatrical release??? Will some of this cut footage show up on the DVD???
Dan Myrick: The “original” cut was simply a rough cut to screen locally to get some idea
whether or not we were on the right track. Once you get so close to the editing process it’s hard to remain objective, so we had to screen it for a non-bias audience for feedback. We do want to include some really good scenes on the DVD that didn’t make it into the final cut.
Caretaker: What were the influences for your documentary approach to the film??
Dan Myrick: Shows like “In Search Of“, “Chariots of the Gods” and “The Legend of Boggy Creek” were huge influences on us. It was their “reality-based” format that creeped us out as kids. Ed and I wanted to capture that same primal scare within a more contemporary film.
Caretaker: You guys have done a wonderful job promoting the film with your website, the Sci-fi channel special, etc. You have created a real hysteria about the missing students. I probably get about 20 emails a day myself asking if it is real. Who masterminded your marketing approach??? Was it always the matter by which you were going to use to promote the film and did you ever consider trying to promote it as the real deal???
Dan Myrick: It all started with the premise of the three missing filmmakers. We then came up with basic mythology to provide for a realistic setup. From there we just kept embellishing on the mythology as we needed it. It was logical for us to start a website and use it to include elements of the mythology that wouldn’t be in the film. So this web marketing “campaign” just took on a life of its own. Initially, our original 8-minute promo for “The Blair Witch Project” aired on John Pierson’s “Split Screen” show and it was presented as real. As the reactions started pouring in on his bulletin board, the discussion turned from the merits of the premise to a moral discussion about us as “hoaxers”. John eventually came clean and ever since we’ve just been trying to walk the line. We are not here to pull a hoax, but we want the mythology to “feel” real rather than “be” real.
Caretaker: Is there any particular foundation for the Blair Witch mythology???
Dan Myrick: The mythology is fiction. It is rooted in the “boogey man” stories we’ve all
had has kids.
Caretaker: How long did it take you to come up with your cast of Heather, Josh, and
Dan Myrick: We auditioned over 2000 actors over the course of a year. We know they had to have impeccable improve skills as well as the right personalities for the characters.
Caretaker: Can you tell us anything about the alternative ending??
Dan Myrick: There is now an alternative ending. We did some re-shoots, but nothing was as
effective as the original.
Caretaker: Any idea how large your release will be on July 30th???
Dan Myrick: We are being told 800 to 1000 screens. About 800 to 1000 more than we
Caretaker: When should we be expecting the sequel and will it be focusing more on
the Blair With mythology???
Dan Myrick: Of course, “sequel” is on everyone’s mind but we really want to see how “Blair 1” does first. The good news is that the mythology has plenty of possibilities.
Caretaker: How do you feel about possibly changing the face of horror away from the teeny bopper crap of the 90’s??
Dan Myrick: Ed and I just wanted to make a scary movie utilizing the resources we had at the time. We had no idea or intention of “changing the face of horror”. If it does, great. But I think everything has it’s place within the movie going sensibilities of the public. It usually works in cycles and I just think we are on the end of a cycle and maybe the beginning of a new one.
Caretaker: What’s next for you guys???
Dan Myrick: Ed and I, with our roommate Dave Brown, are working on a comedy called “Heart of Love“. It will be the most politically incorrect movie imaginable. It will also probably make enemies out of all of those who are now gushing about “Blair”. Oh well, what can you do?
If you would like to find out more about Dan Myrick, visit his official web site