The BlairWitch Project couldn’t happen today

October 31, 2011

I read a good piece recently about how the mobile internet would ensure three students couldn’t get lost in the woods  a la The Blair Witch Project resulting in some kind of horrific doom.

The use of GPS mapping or even basic telephony (to phone for help…) would be eliminated by your handset.

To be honest this was at least partially true at the time the movie was released back in 1999. I had a mobile at the time the film came out (and had had for over two years at that time) and while it didnt have gps or mapping (it could barely text) it could have been used to call for help.

The film was set several years before it was released (back in 99 i was certain the non contemporary element was due to spreading use of the mobile phone).

What was good about The Blair Witch Project was the low budget horror (shoestring) which managed to go global based on its online marketing strategy (the first movie web strategy I was ever aware of) and I recall the frustration of waiting for the video clips to play on the iMacs we had at the educational establishment I attended at the time – I am fairly certain this was my first interaction with online video. In those innocent days of the web some people in my class even believed the claims (hype) it was a real video found in the woods (the web was really, really, big on conspiracy theory sites back then – only just outweighed by the number of porn sites) altho it soon became clear this was part of the marketing.

While the analysis of 12 years later can say this would never happen again, I still stick with what I said the first time I saw it – after they lost the map and thought they were hopelessly lost, if the three weren’t bright enough to use the rewind button on the video camera they still used throughout despite their fear to go back to the point at which they filmed the map it its entirety, they deserved everything they got from the Blair Witch.

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