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Exclusive: Dan Myrick Talks Skyman!

Posted by Matt Boiselle on December 22, 2016

We recently had the chance to speak with Daniel Myrick, one half of the creative team that brought us The Blair Witch Project in 1999; and now he’s back, using Indiegogo as a financial platform for his latest creation: a sci-fi docu-drama called Skyman.

He was gracious enough to give us a few moments of his time to talk about this new project as well as what he’s got up his sleeve next, so settle in, read on, and enjoy!

DC: What can you tell us about the project Skyman? Give us the lowdown on its inception, the crowdfunding, all the details.

DM: Skyman has been an idea of mine for quite some time, no doubt inspired by my experiences as a kid growing up in Florida during the 70’s when UFO phenomena, Bigfoot, and the paranormal were all the rage. I’ve always felt that the kinds of shows in those days that covered these subjects, “In Search Of,” “Ancient Astronauts,” etc., helped to influence The Blair Witch Project, and you’ll find their DNA in Skyman as well. With regard to crowdfunding, I’ve been wanting to try it for some time now but haven’t had the right project to do so. After having just finished my last film, Under the Bed, I felt that Skyman would be the perfect project for such a platform. It’s contained, smaller budget, and the kind of film that would never get funded by a studio. In addition, I love the idea of going back to my Blair roots, if you will, with early audience engagement, thus making them an integral part of the process.

DC: Eduardo Sanchez and you were responsible for bringing The Blair Witch to life; we have ask you… were you happy with the latest film? Were you contacted for some input regarding that project? Was it something you would have liked to have continued yourself?

DM: We were “consulted” but not really involved. We received an EP credit on the film, read an early draft of the script, but didn’t see the film itself until it was done. I felt both Simon and Adam did a good job and brought a lot of cool scares to the screen, and generally it was well received by the Blair fans. Ed and I have had ideas for other Blair installments, but they don’t use the found footage format. It’s more about mining stories from the Blair mythology and bringing them to life. I’d love to see an Elly Kedward origin story or a Rustin Parr horror film… in black and white!

DC: You’ve done a little bit of everything, both in front of and behind the camera (acting, writing, producing, directing) – what do you feel is your strongest passion?

DM: Definitely directing. Second to that is writing. I have plenty of head space for both and really enjoy what these disciplines allow me to do when creating stories and characters. I do plenty of editing too, which is where everything ultimately comes together.

DC: Aside from Skyman, which I’m sure will take up a great chunk of your time, any other projects to look towards down the road?

DM: There’s a some talk about a sequel to Under the Bed (which just sold to A&E/Lifetime and premieres January 7th), and I’m now developing a narrative VR project with a company in the UK that could be really cool. I love pushing boundaries, challenging myself, and exploring new platforms and ways to tell stories.

DC: Dan – thanks very much for your time – it’s greatly appreciated. Best of luck with Skyman, and we’ll keep an eye out for you!

DM: Thank you! Be sure to check us out at skymanthemovie.com.

The post Exclusive: Dan Myrick Talks Skyman! appeared first on Dread Central.

Dan Myrick’s Skyman Kicks Off Crowdfunding Campaign

Posted by Debi Moore on December 8, 2016

We’re always interested to hear what’s coming up next for the masterminds behind the original The Blair Witch Project, and today news arrived with regard to what Dan Myrick (Solstice, The Objective) is working on. Read on to learn more about his upcoming docu-drama Skyman.

From the Press Release:
Writer/director Dan Myrick (THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) has unveiled his upcoming docu-drama SKYMAN, which launched an Indiegogo campaign today to help raise funds for production. SKYMAN will feature Carl Merryweather, a man who had an alien encounter as a 10-year-old boy and now believes he has an opportunity to reconnect with this same alien at the same location on a specific day and time.

The Indiegogo campaign focuses on pre-production of the project, and the goal is $25,000. Donation perks include an invitation to the weekly cast and crew “UFO Soirees” in the desert during production, dinner with Dan Myrick, and a personalized BLAIR WITCH PROJECT screening. There will be a limited number of original Sundance 1999 BLAIR posters given as rewards as well. Aside from the different levels of donating available, there will also be online auditions for particular roles and for “recreations” of what happened to Merryweather as a child at skymanthemovie.com. Aspiring actors and actresses can submit their best performances for consideration when the audition process starts. Myrick was one of the first to do this back in 2008 on his film THE OBJECTIVE.

Back in 1987 on the eve of his tenth birthday, Carl allegedly came in to contact with an “alien lifeform” while camping with his father out in the high desert of Apple Valley, California. Although the following day local news reported that several locals had witnessed a strange object hovering in the sky, it was the unvarnished testimony of young Carl’s direct contact that had the most impact on the local community. Now, almost 30 years later, Carl is convinced that the being he calls the “Skyman” is destined to reunite with him at that very same spot in the desert. The only difference now is that he’s determined to document the entire ordeal, thus claiming that he’ll be the first person in history to record his own “alien abduction”.

“Skyman is a sci-fi docudrama that has been a labor of love for quite some time. It’s a project about UFO subculture that gets back to my ‘Blair roots’ and allows me more creative freedom while, at the same time, engages the audience from start to finish,” said Dan Myrick.

Myrick is also joined by producer Joseph Restaino from Character Brigade and Thomas B. Fore and Christiopher J. Scott of Domicile Pictures. Production is scheduled to begin in spring 2017 with the date of the upcoming alien encounter on the horizon.

The post Dan Myrick’s Skyman Kicks Off Crowdfunding Campaign appeared first on Dread Central.

Script Page Shows Unique Directorial Approach to The Blair Witch Project

Posted by John Squires on March 3, 2015

There are some truly fascinating behind-the-scenes stories about The Blair Witch Project, as directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick took a very unique approach to the film. Much of what you saw on screen was unscripted and improvised, lending a quality of believability to the proceedings.

Set to premiere at FrightFest Glasgow is the Russ Gomm-directed The Woods Movie, which will tell all those stories. In the meantime check out a never-before-seen director’s note recently shared by star Joshua Leonard, which provides some insight into the unique filmmaking process!

blair

The Woods Movie Synopsis:
In October 1997, a group of filmmakers ventured into the Maryland woods to produce a low-budget independent horror movie. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT would become a global phenomenon and began the “found footage” genre that remains a potent force today. Now, for the first time, you can see how that record-breaking groundbreaker came into being. From never-before-seen recordings of pre-production meetings, audition tapes, and test footage to the actual shooting, first preview screenings, and marketing at the Sundance Film Festival, all the key personnel guide you through the discussions and decisions that minted a shock sensation classic.

The post Script Page Shows Unique Directorial Approach to The Blair Witch Project appeared first on Dread Central.

Hannah New Heads Under the Bed with Blair Witch Project Co-Director

Posted by John Squires on August 1, 2014

Hannah New Heads Under the Bed with Blair Witch Project Co-DirectorIt was 15 years ago that Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez co-wrote and co-directed The Blair Witch Project, which needless to say changed the horror game in a big way. Myrick soon returns with Under the Bed, and today the first casting announcement was made. Read on!

THR reports that "Black Sails" and Maleficent star Hannah New (pictured) has joined the cast of the thriller, which was written and directed by Myrick.

Based on true events, Under the Bed centers on a young woman (New) trying to get over a recent romantic breakup, while unbeknownst to her, an obsessed stalker befriends her on social media while taking up residence in her home.

Principal photography is set to begin sometime early this month.

Shawn Papazian is producing along with Radar Pictures' Ted Field and Mike Weber, who developed the project, which started as a story by Myrick and producer Richard Halpern. Sobe Brook Entertainment's Justin Shaner will executive produce with Tom Van Dell, Aldo LaPietra, and Eustace Montgomery Hicks.

Schizo Pictures and Appian Way, the production banner run by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, are also coming on board to produce the film.

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Radar Finds Blair Witch Co-Director Under the Bed

Posted by Uncle Creepy on September 23, 2013

Radar Finds Blair Witch Co-Director Under the BedNot to be confused with the Steven C. Miller film of the same name, the first news of Daniel Myrick's (The Blair Witch Project) latest endeavor into evil, Under the Bed, has arrived; and we have the skinny right here.

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Doctor Gash’s Top 10 Greatest Horror Movies… EVER! #9 – The Blair Witch Project

Posted by Doctor Gash on February 19, 2013

Perhaps the most polarizing film on Doctor Gash's Top 10 Horror Movies…Ever! list is Number 9, The Blair Witch Project. I've heard many people talk about how they detested this film, that nothing happened, that it was a waste of time.

Not only is The Blair Witch Project undeserving of these criticisms, it was one of the most influential and profitable films of its time.

#9-The Blair Witch Project
"I'm afraid to close my eyes, I'm afraid to open them."

Those that criticize the movie certainly missed the point of the effort, but regardless of any negativity, the box office take was staggering. Made on a budget that would barely cover a decent bachelor party in Vegas, Blair Witch ended up bringing in nearly $250,000,000. Not a bad return on your investment. In addition to the earnings, it solidified the found footage sub-genre of horror, and, most impressive of all, The Blair Witch Project was launched with a groundbreaking viral marketing campaign that was so effective it had many people thinking the whole thing was real.

The Blair Witch Project

Much like the Number 10 film on this list, Scream, The Blair Witch Project does not earn its spot here solely on the content of the film. Scream made the top 10 for being a great film at the perfect time. The Blair Witch Project makes the list primarily for the fact that its guerilla advertising campaign turned the world of film marketing completely upside down and reshaped the entire business of selling movies.

The brilliant marketing campaign, spearheaded by Artisan studio executive Steven Rothenberg, included a Sci-Fi (not yet Syfy) Network mockumentary about the missing filmmakers entitled "The Curse of the Blair Witch". The program even included interviews with the "parents" of the missing kids, and it aired just before the release of the film. An internet buzz about the movie possibly being real police footage stoked The Blair Witch Project and had audiences completely intrigued from the start. Blair Witch used the internet as no one in Hollywood had before and by doing so left audiences ravenous to see the film. It's a marketing strategy that is envied and copied relentlessly to this day.

And the trailblazing of The Blair Witch Project did not stop with its marketing campaign; it only began there. Creators/directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez solidified an entire sub-genre of horror, the found footage style. This wasn't the first film to use the idea of found footage as Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust used the same technique in 1980, and there were a few movies scattered between then and The Blair Witch Projectthat tried it, but it never really took off. After the success of Blair Witch we’ve seen an endless parade of movies that use this technique, and some do it well. Just a brief glance of the found footage film list reveals offerings such as the Paranormal Activity series, Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism, [REC] and [REC]2 and (here's one for you) August Underground’s Mordum. An entirely new technique of filmmaking was embraced after Blair Witch which was not only fresh to audiences, but allowed films to be made much less expensively, giving more moviemakers a chance to bring their stories to life.

After the great marketing and creative presentation, what do we have? We have a film that is a study in tension. The best horror films give you a balance of tension and payoff. You have your build-up scenes and then your payoff scenes. A few minutes of walking through a strange dark house is paid off by a killer jumping from the closet and doing nasty things. Blair Witch was very adept at creating the tension, but they never gave the payoff…and it didn’t matter. The movie taught us that great horror wasn’t about seeing the gruesome monster or the knife plunging directly into the victim. It taught us that the journey was just as important as the money shot. If not more so. The Blair Witch Project was so tense with its creepy sounds and strange occurrences that you're cringing in your seat waiting for something to happen during your first viewing. Well, spoiler alert, nothing really does happen, but does that mean you were never cringing? No sir. The Blair Witch Project scared us, it scared the crap out of us, but people rail against it because it never showed the antagonist. Would it have been scarier if we eventually saw what was making all the crazy noises and toying with the filmmakers? Not at all. No filmmaker can create something scarier than we can conjure in our own minds. Only we as individuals know our own deepest, darkest fears, and this is what we use to fill in the blanks for The Blair Witch Project.

Overall, the film is amazing. As our characters are lost in the woods, it has an incredibly claustrophobic feel even though they are in the wilderness and completely unencumbered. Stephen King has proven time and again that being trapped is the most horrific scenario one can find himself in. He's used the idea repeatedly in books like Misery, Cujo and Gerald's Game. And in reality, if a character isn't trapped on some level, can you really have a horror story? Our three young filmmakers are trapped, unable to find their way back to the car. They walk south all day and end up right back where they started and hunker down for another night of strange noises and freaky happenings. Welcome to the world of the Blair Witch.

The Blair Witch Project is basically an improvised piece of work, adding to the authentic feel of it. Myrick and Sanchez really challenged the actors physically during filming (rationing food, keeping them in the elements) to enhance the tension. It worked. Their ad-libbed dialogue felt real. It all worked so perfectly.

Although it has its critics, The Blair Witch Project was groundbreaking not only for its unique filming style, but for its brilliant marketing campaign that has been, and will be, copied for years to come. The movie was masterful at building tension, so much so that it never had to give the money shot. Audiences were uncomfortable enough with the tortures of the woods that no further aggravation was required. However, when we finally get to the basement of Rustin Parr's cabin and Mike is standing in the corner of the cellar, an iconic horror image is created. For '90s horror, this final shot was your moon landing, your Zapruder film. It's the culmination of a perfectly original horror experience. An amazing ending for a groundbreaking film.

Doctor Gash's Top 10 Greatest Horror Movies... EVER! #9 - The Blair Witch Project

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