Blair Witch creators to speak on campus

Bradie Gray

Blair Witch is coming to campus – the creators of it, that is.

The director and producer of the 1999 American “found footage horror film” will be in room 1016 in the Liberal Arts Center at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, in an event open and free to all USI students.

The Haxan Films production revolves around the story of three student filmmakers who disappeared while hiking in the Black Hills in Maryland in 1994 to film a documentary about a local myth known as the Blair Witch.

The three students were never seen or heard from again, but their footage was, and the viewer experiences the Blair Witch through the recovered bits of film.

The film grossed over $248 million worldwide.

Film producer Gregg Hale and director and writer Eduardo Sanchez will discuss what it was like to create the most successful independent film to date, update the audience about their current careers and offer advice to students interested in film.

They will also introduce their newest film, which will be featured during the Alhambra Theatre Film Festival, happening here in Evansville April 9-12.

David Black, assistant professor of radio and television and a Blair Witch Project fan, is encouraging his students to take advantage of the opportunity to listen to successful filmmakers.

“It’s always good to have students make connections and meet people in the professional world, especially those who have been very successful,” Black said.

He said it’s the kind of film that attracts a young demographic.

“It demonstrated the ability to be able to produce a film of wide distribution with a relatively low budget. They did a very good job with that and became very well known for it,” he said.

Black said it is a way to bridge the gap between art and RTV majors, since their work is becoming more closely related.

The Art Department and the RTV majors are now sharing a digital video minor.

“In radio television, we teach video and lighting, and in art they teach the use of video, photography and special effects, so the two of us have more in common with each other now,” Black said. “When the art department brought this up, it was something we wanted to participate in and support.”

“I hope (the students) can just get a perspective from people who have had really good success,” he said. “I think you’re always going to be able to learn something from people who have found success, and I think that’s part of what we want to do.”