The Blair Witch Project

by KE Monahan Huntley

The Blair Witch Project, co-writer/director/editors Eduardo Sanchez and Dan Myrick's faux documentary about an urban legend, has created its own mythology. The least of which is its tremendous financial success-a phenomenon sure to be recounted among aspiring filmmakers for years to come.

As a horror story, the scare factor is not as startling as one might expect. At least not when you are aware of how the cinema verite' was really produced. Certainly not when you're watching the film knowing full well one of its stars is appearing on Letterman that night. In spite of this, its realistic intensity and wild popularity indicate there's something about the Blair Witch.

Survival of the fittest is one take on the story -- issuing forth a potential Dramatica grand argument. Student director Heather Donahue is the main character. Capturing the Blair Witch essence on 16mm is the objective story goal. Heather's crew, Josh and Mike, represent the influence character's (dissenting) point of view once the quest goes awry-which is almost immediately. The conflict and eventual disintegration between Heather and the boys is delineated in the relationship story. The outcome is a chilling success, however, the judgment is not just bad -- it is horrific.

The Blair Witch Project may not be a Dramatica grand argument in the strictest sense. Nonetheless, it is a finely crafted work of filmic fiction and I, for one, am superstitious enough to stay out of the woods and in my hotel suite-room service and a concierge my essential camping necessities.

About the Author

KE Monahan Huntley is an editor and publisher based in Southern California. As one of the original contributors to Dramatica, she helped edit and analyze many of the examples. In addition, her numerous articles provided an insightful "conversational" approach to the theory. Today she can be found at Write Between the Lines or follow her on Twitter @kemhuntley.

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