Good Essay About Documentary Strategy In A Narrative Film

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Film, Cinema, Documentary, Witch, Project, Strategy, Students, Record

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/09/20

One of the most famous and effective use of a documentary strategies for a narrative film was the Blair Witch Project in 1999. The film was obviously low-budget, as it was taken from a single, hand-held camera by supposed students embarking on a quest to record "the truth about the blair witch." Yet it grossed hundreds of millions dollars all over the world. Without the strategy of being presented as a real documentary, the film would have never been too remarkable.
The documentary strategies the film adapted include the purpose of footage entirely for recording purposes and discovery of "truth". A group of students embark on a project (The Blair Witch Project) to trace the steps of many people before them to unknown parts of a forest and are rumored to be lost to the legendary blair witch and are never to be found. And so the "documentary” is a record of this journey; the trail, the people they met along the way, the "evidence" they found, getting lost, finding ways to survive, and ultimately meeting the blair witch - shaky camera and all. The "documentary" further goes to "record" the political dynamics and its progression within the group of students, as their discoveries increase and search "deepens". More than capturing the "evidences" of the existence of the blair witch on film, the growing internal conflict within the group as their journey progresses is perhaps the greatest success of the film as a "documentary". As a "documentary", is successful in recording the "rumors" and "evidences" of their primary target, and may have ended closely "proving" its "existence". In the end, however, it has not really solved the mystery that is the blair witch. It even barely got a glimpse of it, and could be anything. As a "documentary" it is unique as a recording the last moments of three students lost in the wood and are never to be found.
The documentary strategy was ultimately used as a gimmick for the narrative film to create the illusion of reality, and it has even been marketed as such (a documentary) to validate the illusion the film was imposing. This gimmick has made the film remarkably profitable, but without this "lie", watching it now as fiction may say very little about its artistry. And that is its downside as a narrative film in a documentary form. Without its premise as a real documentary, the artistry of the film is in poor form. The footage is random at best. Aesthetic credit is very low. Watching the film is nauseating. And it may fail on its ultimate purpose of scaring its viewers. It may score some points in plot and originality. The actors are convincing, and are therefore very good. Otherwise, as it is - without the gimmick, it is an ordinary horror film, one that is very dizzy to watch.
While in many films, the line between the narrative and the documentary components blur, The Blair Witch Project is clearly a defined narrative film. Its entire purpose is to entertain, its plot, fiction. It is clever though, that the style of the film is entirely documentary, the one instance documentary film-making is used as an art form. It opens possibilities in both their separate and combined genres.
This is the one time a film has sold out due to its documentary merits. It has set a stage wherein documentary films can outshine narrative films: when the documentary is about something fantastic, phenomenal, or even supernatural.

Work Cited

The Blair Witch Project. Dir. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez Perf. Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard. Haxan Films. 1999. Film.

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"Good Essay About Documentary Strategy In A Narrative Film," Free Essay Examples -, 20-Sep-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 13-Aug-2022].
Good Essay About Documentary Strategy In A Narrative Film. Free Essay Examples - Published Sep 20, 2020. Accessed August 13, 2022.

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