Heather Donohue - Blair Witch Project
San Diego Comic Con - San Diego, CA - August 14, 1999
(Editor's Notice: It has come to our shock and unnerving attention that there are a few readers who still have not gotten the clue that the Blair With Project was a FAKE. Heather Donohue is NOT dead, as she would not have been able to give a public interview and speech. If you do feel the need to write a letter to our publication with your comments, please make them succinct and intelligent and do not ask us if in fact this article was real or made-up. It should speak for itself.)
By now it seems that most people have seen the Blair Witch Project, a low, low-budget film that has managed to take the nation by storm. Suddenly, it appears, with the release of George Lucas' latest Star Wars episode, filled to the brim with pricey special effects, that people want less filler and more story. Less is more is the lesson to be learned here. Aside from that ethical instruction, there is a bit more to be learned from the Blair Witch Project - learning to properly read advertising.
The Blair Witch Project had some of the most realistic and convincing advertising of any movie. Although it never states so, most people seem to relentlessly believe that the movies is "Based on a true story". As we recently found out at the San Diego Comic Con International, the cast and crew of the Blair Witch Project are NOT DEAD. Heather Donohue was spotted, in full living color, and onhand at a conference panel to discuss her part in, what was believed to be, a smalltime film project that would possibly end up on a cable channel somewhere. No one knew how big the movie would end up.
Heather came out to San Diego to assure her fans that she was indeed undead, meaning still living and to discuss some of the more mysterious aspects of the film and possible future plans. As it stands, there are talks of a possible sequel, or two. The film has made about $100 million to date and is one of the most talked about movies in the country. Fans had plenty of questions to ask as Heather, in her quirky comedic style, was more than pleased to address.
(The format for this panel was that participants got to stand at a microphone and ask Heather questions one at a time.)

HD: Hi! So, where do we start? Who's got a question?
K2K: What was in the twigs? (huge laughter response)
HD: When the twigs, Brian intentionally throws them away from the tent, I was actually done with them at that point. Mike and I had to wait at the campsite and the production designer, Ben Ross, stopped me and said, "You've got to go back and pick up the twigs, man. It's my favorite gag in the whole world." So, I went back and I opened them up and we do that whole scene and inside the twigs was hair, blood, and teeth. And it was actual teeth that they had brought from a Maryland dentist. So, it was actual human teeth to add to the cinemaverité feel.
K2K: Hi Heather. You look better with makeup. ("oohs" from the audience). I didn't mean that the way it sounded. Please tell me that, as actors, you signed a contract that allows for a share of the profits.
HD: (Sarcastically laughing) Heh, heh, heh. A small one. (audience laughter). Heh, heh. Teeny, small one. Teeny, weeny.
K2K: Hi, I haven't actually seen the film, but... (Heather interjects with, "Aw, sit down!") (audience approval). I understand that the film was making people severely nauseous with motion sickness. I was wondering if that was intentional.
HD: No. Had I known that it was ever going to be on large screens, I probably would have tried to hold the camera a little bit steadier. I thought that maybe I'd have a video copy that I could watch with my friends. That's sort of where I saw the film going. I wasn't as conscious about it as I would have been today learning the lessons I've learned about not shaking the camera. But I do recommend that, if you start to feel a little sick, that you leave for a couple of minutes, come back, get some Dramamine or something.
K2K: Is it true that most of your acting was improvisational? Were you given a very vague script? Is it also true that you were sent bottles with notes on what to argue about the next day?
HD: It wasn't bottles. It was actually... You know when you drop off 35 millimeter still film in the plastic canisters? There were three of those in milk crates. We would find this milk crate through a global positioning system, sort of like they use in the Norstar car systems, the satellite navigation systems. The Haxan guys, who made them film, would program wait points in that little GPS unit. We would find these milk crates at those wait points and in those milk crates would be these three little cans, each with our names on it. We would open them up, read our notes, and try not to show them to each other. So, as the day progressed, we would improvise about the story structure that the Haxan guys had provided for us. From there we would come up with scenes. We could go beyond what they've given us. We could create scenes and basically take these characters to places didn't even think they would go. We would just go wherever we wanted. That was part of the appeal, was to me, initially, was that I saw an improvised feature. I mean, as an actor you just never get that kind of freedom.
K2K: OK, going on with what he just said, did you guys know that he had kicked them out then?
HD: No, actually Mike came up with that himself. That wasn't even in the notes. People still slap him about that.
K2K: Opening up the thing with the teeth and blood, did Mike know about that? It was kind of unclear as to whether he knew that you had opened it and saw that.
HD: No, the thing that I thought at that time was it would be more effective for me, at that point because my life was already breaking down, I thought that my character should really keep trying to hold things together and not give up yet. Because she had hope until that professional scene that they were going to find the car and get out there. I think that's then what sort of lead into the confessional scene as well is that after trying to hold it together and not giving up hope for so many days, when you can finally just release it and let it go, you can open up those floodgates and they just won't close.
K2K: Hi. First of all, it's nice to see you alive. How did you get reeled into this in the beginning?
HD: Thank you. I read an ad in Backstage in New York, which is where I was living at the time. You know what it said? "An improvised feature film, shot in wooded location, it is going to be hell and most of you reading this probably shouldn't come." They used every possible deterrent. When we actually got to the audition, there was another sign put out that said, "We want natural people. If you've done improv before...", which I had in a lot of wacky improv stuff, and they said, "If that's the kind of improv stuff you've done in the past, we probably don't want you. We want people who can behave completely naturally and can basically act in extreme circumstances. If you don't like that, go away." And then here when we had gone into the room, Dan Myers, one of the directors, was the one who auditioned me, he said, "You've served seven years behind your sentence, why should we let you out on parole?" And that was it. No monologue, no scene, no cold reading, just go up without creating the character or creating a story, without thinking for a second.
K2K: Hi Heather. I have two questions for you. First of all, I loved the movie. It freaked me out. I didn't sleep well after that movie. First question is, when Mike was sitting in the corner, was he just hanging there?
HD: You know, I honestly don't even know. I wasn't even sure initially whether I was supposed to have gotten that on film, but I think I was supposed to have bypassed Mike altogether and he was never even supposed to be in the frame. That was added in later after people couldn't quite figure out what the hell was going on at the end. They clarified that it was the man with the backwards baseball cap. He told the story about how Rustin Parr would bring the children in two by two into the basement and would basically eviscerate one while the other watched and listened and was basically psychologically commenting on it.
K2K: The second question is, I've heard several rumors about Blair Witch 2. Any truth to that?
HD: I've actually heard rumors about Blair Witch 2, 3, 4, and 5. I, umm, recycling is, uh, good for people. (audience laughs)
K2K: Hi Heather. I have two questions for you. The first is, I saw the special on Sci-Fi [Channel] first and I found that to be a hell a lot more freaky than the actual movie. I was curious when that was produced. The second question is, going back to your improv, how much detail did they tell you about your character? Did they tell you to be annoying? (major audience laughs) You were so annoying that I wanted to strangle you after the first 20 minutes.
HD: Well, my character for Blair Witch I actually based on a (subtle pause of reflection and sarcasm), on an independent female filmmaker who shall remain nameless. (laughs) I actually did my first movie out of college and a lot of these movies are a very strange breed. I think it is, even now looking at being a woman in LA [Los Angeles], and the whole Hollywood structure, to be taken seriously and not just as a mindless little bimbo. You have to work extra hard and you have to prove yourself doubly. It's not as easy and I think that's part of what builds my character in this movie is that she has this job to do and you're either with her or against her. If you don't want to play, then you shouldn't have come to the party, you know. (pause) Dammit. So, yeah, she definitely grates on my nerves. I can't even watch it without getting sick of my own voice.
K2K: I also saw the documentary and after seeing it, I also had visions of mind boggling scary. When I went to it, it really didn't seem visually scary at all, but going through the whole process of watching the movie, I thought, "Whoa. It seems like a good fictional documentary, but it's not really that scary." I was wondering what was going through your mind when you were looking at the script going, "OK, well, what happens to me is that there are these stick figures and tress and I'm going to be scared, and there's rocks on the floor. What's going to have to go through my mind to make this scary movie a reality because it doesn't seem that scary."
HD: Exactly. I think that a lot of the horror genre stamp that's been put on the movie now sort of came with the marketing. I didn't think that I was making a horror movie at the time. Actually I thought more of a psychological thriller or something like that. It's scary, but it's not. I don't know, it was different. I don't know. None.
K2K: Hey Heather. There are always a few "nay sayers" and I'm one of them. How many batteries were you guys really carrying?
HD: Well, I have to tell you that the weighted pack was mostly batteries. There were a lot of batteries. At the wait points there would also be batteries to pick up. We just didn't have the budget to have that many fully charged batteries going around. We had to drop them off and have them recharged.
K2K: How much of the prerelease media attention accounted for the popularity of the film? Like the fliers released on campuses and all.
HD: I think it helped enormously. I think it created buzz in all the right places. I mean, because it is basically a "gen-x" movie. That was the place to find "those" people. It's so hard to go back now and think of what it would be with or without any of the elements that have made it what it is. You can't really look back in retrospect and think, "Oh, what would it be without the website." or "What would it be without Sundance." You can't take away the pieces now and expect to figure out what it could've been or would've been. Just accept what it is.
K2K: Did you write that journal or was it written for you?
HD: Yeah, I wrote that. That's me.
K2K: I'd like to know how much involvement you had with the website and the updates on that. Are you still working on that or helping out?
HD: None. None. I was hired as an actress. I spent basically eight days working on the film and that was it. Now, with all the press and that kind of stuff.
K2K: Hi, I have two questions for you. What are you currently doing and are you dating anyone? (big audience laughs)
HD: I have a boyfriend of four and a half years. (audience "awws") Currently, I'm reading stuff and going on auditions and meeting studio executives and driving around town, doing stuff. I've gone through a pretty bizarre life-altering time over the last three weeks, so I'm still adjusting. It's like really bad jet lag or something. I'm feeling bizarre. (laughs) My life is truly bizarre.
K2K: My question is regarding the wonderful confession scene. I'm wondering, was that your idea, was that the director's idea, and, as an actor/performer, how did you psyche yourself up for that?
HD: The note that I got for the confessional scene was that, basically, I was going to die and I had to make amends to all the people I had hurt, to try and die with as clear of a conscience as possible. I think the thing that that really came out of was, like I said earlier in the release, if you're trying to pull something together for so many days... I know a lot of actors draw on personal experience and things like that, but that's never really worked for me because it distracts me from the moment I'm supposed to be playing in and I probably meant being able to surrender to that, to the fictional circumstances when thinking, "OK, you, now for the last six to eight days, have been holding it in, holding it in, holding it in, and holding it in." And you just 'AH!', you know. All the words were mine.
K2K: Hi Heather, how much of the 'Sci-Fi' stuff was post-production, made after the movie?
HD: The film itself was supposed to look like the 'Sci-Fi' special actually. The footage that me, Mike, and Josh shot was only supposed to comprise about 20 minutes of the film. It was supposed to be filmed interviews that they were putting it around the framework for our footage. After they edited some of that together, they decided that it just didn't work and they left our footage as the whole.
K2K: Hi Heather, I have two questions. One, what is the pile of rocks outside of the tent? What is that supposed to mean?
HD: Hmmm... (sarcastically) "Ooh, scary." (audience laughs)
K2K: Um, OK. (more laughter) You see a haunted house and you notice that there are nooses and hand prints on the wall. Why do you stay in there?
HD: Isn't that one of the finer points of the horror genre? How else would the audience ever get to scream at the screen, "Don't go in there! What are you? Stupid?" It's a convention of the genre. I would never have gone in in the first place, so there you go. I had a job to do.
K2K: I wanted to mention two things. First of all, you have natural beauty unlike what the first gentleman had mentioned previously. (applause) Second thing, in which you had mentioned the psychological thriller, which is, I think, really the problem with people - I've encountered people who hate the movie and people who love the movie. People who love the movie have an imagination, other people were looking for something gory. Are you looking to do anything more in that genre or are you trying to break out of it and be rid of it?
HD: I think that it's a hard genre if you do more than one film. Even if you do one successful film, it is hard to continue to have variety over the course of the career. I mean, I'm a theater actress, this is a new game to me. I've always enjoyed a great deal of variety. I've done comedies and dramas and Shakespeare and Molliere and all kinds of different things and I don't want to stop that now. I'd like to keep doing a lot of different things that keep me challenged. That's the most important thing to me.
K2K: One of the most horrifying presence throughout the movie is the sound. I was just curious, was the screaming and moaning of Josh, was that done on-site off-camera or was that added in later in post-production?
HD: That was done on-site, on camera. Actually, Josh, lucky bastard, got to go back to New York when he disappeared. (audience laughter) Me and Mike, we're still sitting there scratching our dirty scalps for the next three days. So they actually had me record that on a tape and they had it in a boom-box and were playing it down the path.
K2K: Hi Heather, I loved the movie and am now just starting to get to sleep. I'm actually from (indecipherable) Virginia, about an hour and a half away from Burkitsville. I was just curious, in the beginning when you're all talking about how it's documented about that man who took the children two by two. I was just wondering if that's true, because I actually thought I heard something about that being true.
HD: I'm sure that you will hear a lot more about that being true as time progresses. I think that one of the things about this movie is that it's already started to play into urban legends and it becomes a weird pop-cultural phenomenon for some reason. I imagine that it will continue to grow. Especially if they bring out those people. I'm actually not Heather Donohue. I'm a bionic replica made to look and sound just like her, just cuter and more marketable. (major audience laughs and applause)
K2K: Hi Heather, first of all it's a pleasure to see you in person and I wanted to commend you on an Oscar-worthy performance. I really thought that you were the star of the movie. I read an article recently about how Josh, I believe, already got a deal with Robert DeNiro.
HD: With Cuba Gooding, Jr. in "Navy Divers".
K2K: Your performance carried the whole of the film, I wondered why you weren't already having loads of offers.
HD: I have. The thing is that, as a woman, there is a big difference. There really is. It depends on where you want to go with your career. Frankly, I'm not in a huge hurry. I know that I have a very small window of opportunity where you get to be the Flavor Of The Month girl. I mean, obviously I want to bank on that, but I also would like to have the career on as much on my terms as I possibly can. I want to do work that I'm proud of. If that doesn't happen today then that's it. (huge audience applause)
K2K: I wanted to ask about the success of Blair Witch. Do you think they'll allow filmmakers to be more risk-taking and creative and break out of the Hollywood mold that makes for so many drab movies?
HD: I hope to God it does. The biggest thing is, I'm not proud of my performance in this movie, but I think the thing that I'm most proud of is that Hollywood just does not know what to make of this. (audience applause) That's a good thing for underdogs everywhere. It is possible by some. I mean, I'd believe I'd get struck by lightning better than me sitting here today talking about this, but, it happens anyway. Why? Who knows? Why think about it? Get out there and make your movie, if that's what you want to do. Better than being life or death, you know.
K2K: Two more questions. One, I first heard about the Blair Witch two months before the actual movie, I think on a link to your website. Since then, any website I went to, I didn't see anything afterwards. Is there a reason there wasn't more?
HD: Um, money. Seriously, there wasn't a budget for that. That is another thing that makes it different. No movie has been marketed, using the Internet, so heavily before. You can put on a very exciting commercial but people don't spend 30 seconds on a website, they'll spend 30 minutes on a website and then they'll come back the next day and spend another 30 minutes on your website. I was a temp. I know. I spent all damn day. That's what makes it a group thing. Then you have a discussion group on there with people talking about it, this and that, what it's about.
K2K: And second, for the actors, as far as anyone knew, the movie was basically real. The way they publicized it made it look real. Why didn't they go out and say that it was a real story?
HD: That would be kind of irresponsible. And, dammit, I want to work. I'm sure that if they thought they could get away with it, they would have tried. But, I'm pretty vocal.
K2K: You talked earlier that most of the film got cut down. Do you know certain shots are your own?
HD: The only thing that we didn't shoot was the guy with the backwards baseball hat that got added later. Every other frame is ours.
K2K: I wanted to ask you, after I saw the movie, I got freaked out for days and then I got very interested in reading about it and finding out how it was made and all. When I read about how isolated you guys were, and how you spent all those days out there, just how much time did you have? Did you ever get to a point that you ever got scared during the course of making that movie? Since you spent time in the woods, what was that like?
HD: It's a day-use park. We had to kind of shoot it during the week because the first weekend day that we had out there, you would see families out there on their mountain bikes. (audience laughs) Somehow that took the edge off. (mock chasing after mountain bikers) "Wait! Wait! Help me get out of here. Can we follow you?" You cross a road periodically. That's what's important is that you think that I suffered psychological damage during the making of the film. That means that's a job well done.
K2K: Hi Heather, I heard you shot a lot of extra footage and could you tell what your favorite scene was that didn't make it in the film.
HD: You know what's weird about this movie is that it was all shot in one take. So, even though I saw what was in there for the first time last year, it was like opening your vacation pictures when you've left your film in your closet for six months. You pull it out and you get them developed and you think, "Oh, right. I remember that." I don't remember half of what we shot, so I have no idea of what those other 19 1/2 hours of footage look like. I have no recollection of it whatsoever. They cut my bitchier moments. So, there are parts that are even more annoying. I'm like, "Mike, what the hell is wrong with you, you big p****!" They cut my character down a good deal. They cut the more offensive, more endearing moments down. I guess I'd like to see some of those more obnoxious times.
K2K: I totally agree with you that it is more a psychological thriller than a horror movie. The one scene where you open up the stick man is more effective than a hundred people getting slashed. I was wondering, off-camera, what was your chemistry like between the other actors? Were you guys really kind of irritated with each other?
HD: Oh there were definitely times that were hairy. I'm not going to tell you that it was all wine and roses because it was not. Mike in that crew is definitely the great mediator. Mike is the most calming, sweetest, nicest man you could ever hope to meet. He is just a doll. He is so great. But, me and Josh have very strong personalities. Sometimes we would just be at each other's throats. A lot of that came out of the stress of the situation, but I see them now and we get along great. We really do.
K2K: All the stick figures, obviously took some time and imagination. Did you guys get to see those before you went in or did you know that was going to be stick figures or was it all "Boom, here it is" shock for you guys?
HD: You always knew something big was coming when your note would read something like, "OK, we're going to have a big log sign. When you pass the big log sign, make sure that the camera is on." You know you're about to hit something that's going to be like one of the bigger times. We all take a break and think, "OK, it's going to be a big one." Then we go and we check it out.
K2K: I have another question about the rocks. The three piles of rocks, I got was for each of the missing students. I was wondering if the seven piles of rocks were coincidence for the seven children that Rustin Parr killed.
HD: Yeah. (thoughtfully sarcastic) That would be the meaning of the rocks. Yeah.
K2K: I just wanted to praise you for being in one of the most unique movies I've ever seen. It was a pleasure. It almost reminded me of the way that Orson Welles did the "War Of The Worlds" and everyone was just buying it. I had to sit and watch "These events did not really occur."
HD: Yeah, and that's a good thing. I mean, imagination is a good thing. There should be more of it and it should be used liberally. By all people. Always.
K2K: My question is, you mentioned that there was talk of doing more Blair Witch projects. What would the story for those be?
HD: From what I understand, we're going to pull it from the back story. There is a very elaborate back story. It could go anywhere from costume drama to so many different directions. It's not like a lot of stories where we would have to be a regurgitation of the Blair Witch project again. If you're familiar with the comic book, as you should be. They have different stories. A lot of different historical tales of misery and woe.
K2K: Hi Heather, I loved the movie. As an actor, what's it like going from being a stage actor every night where regularly you see your performance to where you see yourself on the big screen and your performance is the same. What was going through your head?
HD: The very first time that I saw this movie, my life just got altered. It went right from that first screening at Sundance and then after Sundance came the onslaught where you've got to pick an agent, you've got to do this, you've got to get a manager and get a lawyer, have a family of people in nice suits around you who you never knew before. I think that looking at the image of performance on the big screen is not just about looking at the performance on the big screen. It's about everything that comes with that, which is a lot more stunning and in your face.
K2K: To go along with that question, how do you keep yourself centered because you've gone from relative anonymity to this.
HD: I've got great parents.
K2K: You've even had your panties for bid on E-Bay.
HD: Yes, they're not my actual panties. My boyfriend said, "How'd they get your panties?" I had to tell him, "Look, they're not my panties." Two years later my panties resurface in a backpack and are returned to REI. (audience laughter)
K2K: Hi Heather. First of all, the first thing that I ever read about this was from a special Sundance issue premiere and it had a huge article and it talked about the directors rationing your food and showing you as little of them as they possibly could and it actually psychologically played a toll on you guys. I was wondering if by chance any of you have had to have therapy after this?
HD: No. Sorry. OK, I have stress-induced eczema. A little personal information that I thought I should share with you all. I played a role a couple of years ago that was a very stressful situation. By the end of that run, by the middle of the run, my eczema was infuriated. No matter what the situation is around you playing a role, you're always putting yourself in that as completely as possible because that's your job. Your job is to throw yourself into these circumstances, to the obliteration of your own ego. It makes it a very screwed up job to do or to want to do. I don't think that Blair Witch was any different in that way. You're always throwing yourself into it for better or for worse. This time it just happened to be for better.
K2K: Hi. I wanted to ask if you've read the book. There was a part about the house that had burned down, it touched on that in the documentary, that Rustin had a house that burned down in the 1940s. My question is, what do you think the Blair Witch is? Not as an actor, but what do you think?
HD: I think it's probably a combination of things in the back story. It's like a force in this town. It's just a creepy life-force that decided to not move out of Burkitsville. I don't know.
K2K: I heard that when Artisan purchased the film that they added some shots that you appeared in.
HD: Yeah, (laughs) they shot some of the goofiest stuff you could possibly imagine. Mike crucified on a stick-man. They didn't use any of them. The ending you see was the absolute original ending. nothing's changed. Mike was telling me about it. They're great guys to hang out with so I'm sure they had a great time doing it.
K2K: I was just wondering, when you interviewed people and they said that the killer was a guy, isn't the witch a woman?
HD: How do you know the witch is a woman? (spookily) Woooo-ooooo. (audience laughs)
K2K: I saw you on Jay Leno and I was wondering what was running through your mind when you got a call saying that you would be on the Tonight Show.
HD: Pretty much, "Oh my God! I'm going to be on the Tonight Show!" It was no more complex than that. You're all relaxed and you go down there and you sit in the chair and everything's all right and everything's cool and then they bring up the TV. That's when the whole floor starts to shake and you think, "Oh my God! I had no idea it took this much to raise up that TV." And that was when the reality of it dawned on me when you're actually sitting right there and that TV is sort of gargling. That's the thing, as an actor, even in drama school, you're sitting there watching others thinking, "I could do so much better than her. Oh my God, she's a moron." And then you finally get your shot and then it's, "Oh my God, there's eighty-million girls in drama school getting ready to call me a moron." With that kind of pressure, you're doomed. So you have to kind of relax, have a glass of wine and go and sit and chow on the couch. It didn't hurt that Ben Stiller and Jay Leno were both some of the nicest guys that I've met. Really.
K2K: Hi Heather, there was a part where you are all running out and you turn around and say, "What the fuck was that?!" What was that that you were looking at?
HD: When we had to shoot that, we had a little trouble figuring out the order in which we ran out. First it was Mike, then me, and then Josh all shooting. That was a guy, Ricardo, one of the Haxan guys, they had him dress up in gauze and a white suit and he's going like this (arms flailing like a ghost). I tried to get it, but the story goes now that, no matter how many times we shot it, (spookily) it never came out on film.
K2K: Hi Heather, first of all, I'd like to say that Blair Witch scared the crap out of me?
HD: Really or figuratively?
K2K: Figure of speech. I have a simple question. Do you meet people who are surprised to learn that you're not dead?
HD: No. I think this whole thing is very... I'm very happy to see that people are happy to see that I'm not dead. If people were displeased to find that, those people I may have a little problem with. But most people are happy to see that I'm alive. So, it's all good.
K2K: I was wondering, everything that happened at night, did you know that that was coming?
HD: We always knew that something was coming. We just never knew what it was going to be.
K2K: I just wanted you to know that I snuck out of work to see the film and I lost my job. I actually snuck out with my boss and she lost her job too. The parts that we liked where the interviews in the street in the town, especially with the mother. Where those people actors and actresses?
HD: That was my favorite part. It was a mix.
K2K: What about the mother and child?
HD: I love her and the old man. Those two were just people that I interviewed on the street. Looking back, so many gratuitous accidents that happened during the making of this movie. That woman, how could I have gotten that kind of response from a little baby in her arms. The mother, first of all, thinks she's heard of the Blair Witch, which is phenomenal. (audience laughs) Then, this baby in her hand picks her nose and eats it. "That's nice."
K2K: One of the best elements of the film is that we never see a critter, we never see the Blair Witch. I was wondering if there was ever a time when they were going to show something or stick someone in a furry suit.
HD: They're saving that for the sequel. No. The whole concept was based on that this is about you, your imagination. What scares you? It's an imaginative horror film. You have to fill it in with your own thoughts, your own neurosis. Your own bogeyman. We didn't want to make it easy for you.
K2K: The scene with the rocks. Did you have to pile up your own rocks outside?
HD: The rocks seem to be unusually popular today.
K2K: While you were sleeping, did you hear anyone piling them up?
HD: No. I sleep like a... like a... like a rock. (audience laughs) No, we were so tired after hiking that they could have done pretty much whatever they wanted.
K2K: Did they give you notes, chase each other here, drop the camera here...?
HD: No, basically my note was to follow Mike. His note was to meet me and then I chased him downstairs. He was already down there. Then drop the camera to the ground.
K2K: I have a question about the confession scene. I know you said it was all improvised and stuff. Did you have to do that a couple of times or one take?
HD: I made it really, really long so that there's tons of confessional scene that wasn't even used. I just kept going so that they would have it. That was my money shot, let's face it. (audience laughs) So, I wanted to make plenty to work with.
K2K: Do you regret using your real names in the movie?
HD: Probably, yeah, now. It didn't even dawn on me at the time, but now it adds so much confusion on top of where there's already news about me being dead. It does get a little tired explaining myself. It's weird having a situation where your movie, your performance is too believable. That's a little bit bizarre. It's great in a way, but a little bit bizarre.
K2K: Second question, if they asked you to come back for a sequel, would you?
HD: (making the money sound) Ka-ching!
K2K: Heather, were you aware that Josh was going to be leaving and was that a surprise?
HD: We knew someone would be leaving. We knew that somebody would have to go to alter the crew dynamic.
K2K: Thank God they didn't show the guy in the gauze suit. The morning after that scene, did you guys toss your own tent and slime Josh's stuff or did someone else do that?
HD: Oh that was the Haxan guys. Yeah, K-Y Jelly. (audience "eewws") Many, many uses for it. (audience laughs)
K2K: First, what was in the sticks, because I really want to know.
HD: For the people who weren't here from the beginning, it was hair, blood and teeth.
K2K: For a last question, are there any actors or directors who you'd like to work with?
HD: So many people. Susan Sarandon, Kate Blanchet, Kate Winslett, Johnny Depp is one of my all-time favorites. There are so many people out there for whom I have so much admiration for, especially people who have been able to do it their own way. People who are able to do the best of their ability on their own terms are who I admire.
Transcribed by and Photos © 1999 Philip Anderson

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

All rights reserved © KAOS2000™. No portion contained herein, either text or graphics, may be reproduced anywhere or reposted on any other website for any purpose without the expressed permission of the publisher. All violations shall be punished as the law allows.

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