Viral Before There was Viral: 'The Blair Witch Project'

As Halloween approaches, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences takes a long look down memory lane—eh, scary forest paths—with a short documentary about “The Blair Witch Project“. Before there was Facebook and Flickr (February 2004), Reddit (June 2005), YouTube (November 2005), Twitter (July 2006), or any other countless social services spreading viral content, there was Blair Witch.

“It was basically the first viral marketing that ever happened”, actress Heather Donahue says, That’s exactly how I remember the movie, which defines the “lost footage” genre and set the blueprint for many viral campaigns that followed. Remember in 1999, viral started from a website, which in some ways makes a better campaign—or did 15 years ago.