One-half of the brainpower behind "The Blair Witch Project" (1999) phenomenon, Cuban-born Eduardo Sanchez (along with co-editor-screenwriter-director Daniel Myrick) engineered one of the greatest rags-to-riches stories in cinema history, putting hope into the hearts of independent filmmakers everywhere that they too might someday make a blockbuster for peanuts. Central to their success was a potent premise that enabled them to turn all the weaknesses of low-budget filmmaking into the picture's strengths. Fed up with a genre that had come to rely on irony and special effects, they conceived the ultimate campfire ghost story, a 200-year-old legend about an outcast, a cursed town and a series of child murders and unexplained disappearances. Long before they had assembled their actors, they created an eight-minute trailer that was essentially a mock documentary of the back story of the Blair Witch. A fortuitous meeting with John Pierson led to the trailer playing on Pierson's "Split Screen" (Independent Film Channel) in 1997, and the strong reaction from many viewers buying into it as a genuine story buoyed their enthusiasm.