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.
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
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.1.0.0l10.1756.5267.0.9126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1084.0j8.8.0….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