Daniel Radcliffe was a month past his 11th birthday when Harry Potter producer David Heyman called his parents to tell them he’d been cast as the boy wizard. He was in the bath. “My dad then came up and told me, and I just sat there, kind of wiped out for a while,” he related in one of his earliest interviews. “I cried. I was so happy, it was just amazing.”
Shot on a budget of just $22,000 by film school graduates Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick, The Blair Witch Project premiered at the Sundance Film Festival ten years ago this month and started a journey that dominated public consciousness for most of the year. It was an unprecedented success, holding the world record as the most profitable movie of all time after making more than $10,000 for every $1 spent, and became one of the most important horror films of all time. It spawned a wave of imitators both amateur and professional and is the cultural yardstick against which hoaxes, horrors and movies shot with a camcorder are measured.