The Blair Witch Project

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In this blog, I will present how classical time’s art performed live, through prose, poetry, and so on, and transitioned into what is today contemporary filmmaking genre theory. “Genre is a French word (originally Latin) word for kind or class.” Genre is a type or category that classifies a story or film. The iconography or visual imagery determines the genre. In many instances, the genres have sub-genres. For instance, in The Blair Witch Project, whose original intention was to record it as a documentary, horror is what transpired throughout the film as the students were getting deep into the woods. Then there is also has super genres that include psychological thriller, science fiction, and even paranormal activities.

Chandler, D. (n.d.) Genre is more a way of classifying a film for instance, according to how one sees the context in ‘your way of thinking,’ in other words we classify a genre according to our culture. Daniel Chandler, in “An Introduction To Genre Theory,” that genre is a societal consequence. In other words, we will classify a genre based on our societal development.

The Blair Witch Project

Heather, a prep film student, persuades two friends, Joshua and Michael, to film a documentary about The Blair Witch Project which took place in the mountains of Maryland. The Blair Witch Project is a myth about a woman who had a resident of Burketsville, assassinates eleven children (with knives,) because the Blair witch told him to.

Since Heather’s intention was to film her research of The Blair Witch Project as a documentary, as they arrived to the town of Burkestville in which they interviewed residents to get their opinions about the myth of The Blair Witch. Some people were skeptic, but most believed it to be true while each one had a different perspective, and a slightly different version.

They arrive at the mountains, and begin filming from the moment they begin their quest. Their first stop was the cemetery where the children were buried. Afterwards, they headed further into the mountains, and after losing the global positioning system they get lost, and had no idea where they were. They walk for miles only ending up where they originally were. At night, during their camping’s, the hear noises, cries, and go through intense fear, and feeling in despair. Heather goes out of the tent, and is calling out wanting to know what is it that is making the noises because she wants to film everything to give the documentary the most realistic view possible.

In the morning, when they would come out of their tents, they observed piles of rocks in different spaces, almost as if forming a circle around the tent. They also notice designs made out of wood sticks, almost resembling crosses. As they go on to continue their journey, they hear the voice of Josh from afar, begin running following what seems to be Josh cries and encounter a wooden shack. They desperately go inside running, again hearing Josh cries for help, but they do not find Josh, or see anything. At the end you hear the scream of fear from Heather, you do not see it, but assume by thumps that Heather fell down the stairs, and died or was killed?

The Blair Witch Project looks to engage the audience/viewer to identify themselves with its victims. The typical horror film consists of murders, villains, and even paranormal activity, and although as a documentary it displays the same characteristics, it is unadulterated. That is the beauty of a documentary; unadulterated. The hand-held camera used to record the events is real, there is no props, no takes, and everything is “as is.”

The prep students decided, that at the beginning of their journey, to stop in town, and interview the residents of Burkestville, and give the documentary a more personal realistic touch. Another convention in documentaries is the fact that you have real footage in real time. This is what really makes, “The Blair Witch Project,” so unique. The documenting begins with all the documentary elements, and as they delve more into the woods, they begin to be frighten, every time of every passing hour, every passing minute, and every passing second. Every single recording detail including the lighting which other than the camera pointing straight at something, like for instance, Heather’s face in the dark. The pitch black darkness of the woods is something that would not look the same as filming a movie because it would be still cameras with all the mise en scene in place.

In conclusion, The Blair Witch Project is I think, one of its kind. It transcends from facts to myth, from myth to facts, where evil, unseen monsters and heinous actions prevail. At the end, we are left to imagine, and only imagine the horror which the victims had to endure.

References:

Chandler, D. (n.d.) An Introduction To Genre Theory Retrieved from: http://faculty.washington.edu/farkas/HCDE510-Fall2012/Chandler_genre_theoryDFAnn.pdf

Genre Analysis (n.d.) Slideshare Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/seanmillington/genre-analysis-36106666?related=2

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. This text is a Constellation™ course digital materials (CDM) title.

Harris, M. (2001). The “Witchcraft” of Media Manipulation: Pamela and The Blair Witch Project. Journal Of Popular Culture, 34(4), 75. Retrieved from: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=cc99efb4-8a90-4ce6-808f-d3ec814a1c49%40sessionmgr198&hid=102

McDowell, S. (2001). METHOD FILMMAKING: AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL MYRICK, CO-DIRECTOR OF THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Journal Of Film & Video, 53(2/3), 140. Retrieved from: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=a22919fc-19d0-44e0-9cd7-bb09f2560da4%40sessionmgr4002&hid=4210

Images:

The Infamous Retrieved from: http://thisisinfamous.com/legacy-blair-witch-project/

The Blair Witch Project Wikipedia Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1449&bih=791&q=the+blair+witch+project&oq=the+blair+wit&gs_l=img.1.0.0l10.1756.5267.0.9236.13.8.0.4.4.0.188.1084.0j8.8.0….0…1ac.1.53.img..1.12.1125.NKO5zTYw5PQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=ywnhJSWYYUBv9M%253A%3BIhDGQMnoDIEgOM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fupload.wikimedia.org%252Fwikipedia%252Fen%252F2%252F26%252FBlair_Witch_Project.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fen.wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FThe_Blair_Witch_Project%3B301%3B425

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Mis en scene & Cinematography in Charlotte’s Web

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From the moment that Fern brings Wilbur to her uncle’s farm, I think this is the main mise en scene of the whole movie, the barn. The lighting seems to be the “three-point lighting.” The barn in the background and all around is very dark, where although the lighting shows all the animals in the barn, Wilbur glows in the center. This technique gives the impression of Wilbur, although humble, has the ability to lead others by highlighting the virtues of others so that they can believe in themselves. Wilbur’s character represents serenity, peace, trust, determination.

The low key lighting used at the very beginning of the movie, showing the house by itself surrounded by mountains, during a storm is the perfect setting to imply countryside. Would it have been sunny rather than raining, Fern probably would not have awakened when she did. The simultaneous shot during the storm, and the low key lighting in Fern’s bedroom and the father in the barn, with the pigs, portray melancholy.

Finally, the lighting at the end of the movie, is spectacularly bright (high-key lighting), and what a better way to show the carnival full of fun, friendship, unity amongst the people of the community, and most importantly to display Wilbur triumphant at the end, and Charlotte’s good-bye.

Charlotte’s Web

Writer: E.B. White

Director: Gary Winick

Year: 2006

Actors: Dakota Fanning, Beu Bridges, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Cedrick The Entertainer, Kathy Bates, Reba McIntyre, Robert Redford, Thoman Church, Andre Benjamin, and Dominick Scott Kay

Plot:This is a story about a pig that was born a runt. When Mr. Arable the owner, was determined to kill it, when his daughter Fern pleads not to do it. She proposes to care for it, and so she does. She names the little pig Wilbur. As Wilbur grows older, so he grows in size, and Fern is told that she cannot keep it in the house. The deal was to take Wilbur across the street from her house to her uncle’s house where he could be in the farm. At the farm Wilbur meets a lot of other animals, who end up telling him that they were going to grow him, kill him, roast him, and have him for Christmas dinner! Of course, when Wilbur learns about this he saddens. He meets Charlotte, a spider, and she promises to come up with a plan to save his life. In the end, she keeps her promise.

Chronology: The film was developed in a chronological order in how from the inception of Wilbur, we can see how Wilbur’s life ends up being a pretty miraculous one. The process keeps you on your feet, and keeps you interested to continue to watch the film.

The elements in Wilbur’s character development in a very heartwarming way shows how he goes from really sad and frightened in learning that h would make Christmas dinner. Charlotte assures him that will not happen, and although at first he doubts how a spider can save him, he ends up believing in her.  Indeed it was no surprise to how his dear friend Charlotte did save his life.