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The Iconic 1990s Horror Film That Took Only 8 Days To Shoot

When a movie becomes not just a hit, but a bonafide pop culture institution that spawns infinite parodies, knock-offs, and cultural references in the process, it can be tempting to think of the actual realities of its production in similarly grandiose terms. But that isn't always the case. In fact, some movies that go on to become popular classics were made under conditions that can seem almost impossibly modest in retrospect.

One horror movie, in particular, that came out in 1999 not only became a surprise smash hit, but it also popularized (if not spawned outright) an entire genre unto itself — the "found footage" horror movie. Unless you're too young to remember, you probably already know that we're talking about "The Blair Witch Project." If you have seen the film, you might not be too shocked to hear that it took just eight days to shoot, especially considering the nature of the movie itself, and the fact that it wasn't exactly a typical studio production.

The Blair Witch Project was a '24/7 operation'

According to a short but sweet retrospective piece on "The Blair Witch Project" from The Guardian in May 2018, it did indeed take only eight days to shoot the movie. But as co-director Daniel Myrick explains, they weren't exactly eight typical days of film production.

"We set up a base at a house in Germantown, Maryland, that [co-director Ed Sánchez] shared with his girlfriend," Myrick explained. "There were 10 to 15 of us there for six weeks, sleeping on couches and on the floor. The shoot took eight days and was a 24/7 operation. It wasn't like a normal film: the actors would work the cameras, filming each other all the time. Using GPS, we directed them to locations marked with flags or milk crates, where they'd leave their footage and pick up food and our directing notes."

Myrick also revealed that "The Blair Witch Project" was a modest affair budgetarily, requiring just $35,000 to get everything shot. All in all, the entire production cost $300,000 and went on to gross almost a quarter of a billion dollars globally. Despite its quick shoot and low budget, its influence continues to be felt in every "found footage" horror film that comes out to this day and beyond.