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The Blair Witch Project: A Dossier

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The Blair Witch Project: A Dossier (cover)

Heather Donahue apparently wrote this biographical sketch of herself to accompany her film class thesis project about the Blair Witch.

When a tie-in book to The Blair Witch Project to was called for by Artisan and publisher Onyx, author Dave Stern came up with a brilliant idea: rather than doing a standard novelization, they would further the deceitful marketing premise stating that the film's events actually happened by providing a collection of every last bit of information out there on the student filmmakers, on the city of Burkittsville, and, of course, on the Blair Witch herself.

The result was The Blair Witch Project: A Dossier, which takes all of the information from the website, combines it with a number of the personalities from the documentary Curse of the Blair Witch (along with a smorgasbord of new info), and cements it in print form. The comprehensiveness of this book cannot be overstated – it is more of an encyclopedia, indexing progress reports from private investigator Buck Buchanan to Angie Donahue (Heather’s mother, and his client) and collecting photographs of the various crime scenes. It’s like having a Blair Witch-specific Wikipedia (such as this one) right there on your book shelf.

The real treat here, however, is the reproduction of Heather’s journal from the website, a running commentary actually written by the actress herself during the film shoot that contains the aforementioned bombshell twist not mentioned in the film itself: Heather was sending energy out to the Blair Witch well before she and her student colleagues set foot in the woods, hoping to coax the ghost out in order to document her on film. This not only adds an extra dimension to the film, it also turns the now-iconic “I’m sorry” scene on its head.

Heather DonahueEdit

Born on August 17, 1972, Heather Donahue lived most of her live in New York City. Virtually every summer, however, she would visit with her grandparents, Randy and Sadie Donahue, who lived in Fredrick County, Maryland. Some of Heather's earliest memories are of her grandfather's tales of the ghosts and witches said to haunt the area. She made it her mission to investigate and document the origins of these stories, primarily as an act of preservation.

Once her family moved to Maryland in 1991, Heather began studying video production at Montgomery College in Rockville. She worked as a videographer for countless weddings and bar mitzvahs, simultaneously planning her first major project, a documentary on the story of her grandfather's that both fascinated and frightened her the most--the legend of the Blair Witch.

Joshua LeonardEdit

Joshua Leonard's biographical sketch from Professor Michael DeCoto's film class.

Joshua Leonard began his filmmaking career at 9 years old, documenting local sporting events and family gatherings on his father's 8mm Bell & Howell. Later in his high school years, he wrote and directed is own TV show, "MD. Skunk," which quickly became a local favorite of the Rockville youth culture as well as the highest rated midnight show on WQED cable channel 3. "MD. Skunk" was noted for its unique mixture of skateboarding tricks and punk rock footage cleverly edited with stock car chases and classic gun fights.

Joshua later attended and graduated from the television program at Montgomery Community College (MCC). At MCC he learned an array of filmmaking techniques, including on-line Beta editing, basic sound design, 3-point lighting, and 16mm film production.

Joshua is currently working as a commercial videographer for TCI productions and has recently completed directing his own 30-second spot entitled "Nuns With Guns" for The Laugh Factory comedy club and restaurant.

Joshua's latest endeavor is "The Blair Witch Project," a feature-length documentary directed by Heather Donahue. The film explores the folklore and local legends of the occult in Burkittsville and surrounding areas.

Michael WilliamsEdit

The biographical sketch of himself Michael Williams composed to accompany Heather's thesis project.

At the age of 5, Mike won first prize in kindergarten for the best drawing of a fish. Since then he has won absolutely nothing except for "Least Likely to Succeed" in his graduating year of high school.

At 19 years old, he decided to head to St. Petersburg, FL, to work on a fishing boat called "The Old Kensico." Three months later he was living back at home.

He had taken two courses in sound mixing and editing for film which is where he met Joshua Leonard. In October 1994, Josh called and asked him if he would like to join himself and Heather Donahue in shooting Heather's senior thesis project about the local legend of the Blair Witch. Mike accepted the job because he knew he could learn a lot from Josh and the experience.

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