Posted by: Guy Edwards on August 31st, 2012
We may not know who Walter Higgins is, but we know who registered his Domain Name
Bigfoot County, a new low-budget found footage film, tried to emulate the viral campaign of the Blair Witch Project. For those unfamiliar with the Blair Witch marketing campaign, it is one of the top movie guerrilla marketing campaigns of the century–perhaps ever. We know what you are thinking, how dare you, Bigfoot Lunch Club, sully Cryptomundo which such hyperbole.
There is a real consensus out there that Blair Witch set the standard for a viral web campaigns. CNN, Forbes and even industry insider Moviefone rates it as THE BEST toping every list. Read Moviefones take:
Before YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and even Friendster, ‘The Blair Witch Project’ set the standard for guerilla marketing done virally. Shot on a shoestring budget at a time when fake documentaries weren’t commonplace, the film gave the impression this was real, actual “found footage.” The filmmakers and Artisan Entertainment supported that by building a website that backed this claim; they also circulated the rumors via online message boards.
Stephon Stewart Writer/Director for Bigfoot County had the right idea, unfortunately the execution was sloppy and, in our opinion, half-hearted. Back in May 2012 we were introduced to a character named Walter Higgins via YouTube, a retired forest ranger who had found footage of a bigfoot attack.
So far so good. The video made it rounds among the Bigfoot blogs and then Walter Higgins was silent for months. It had done its job, we subscribed to the YouTube channel and waited anxiously for the next video post. Jump forward to August and Grindstone Entertainment acquires the North American rights to a movie called, “Bigfoot County” (previously “Siskiyou County”). And “Walter Higgins” was irate! He claims Stephon Stewart stole his footage!!!
The second video is where the belief is unsuspended, and unfortunately the viral campaign falls apart. The last 10 seconds shows a website address (BelieveBigfoot.com). We discovered that the domain name was registered by Stephon Stewart. If you go to BelieveBigfoot.com it forwards you to WalterHigginsBigfoot.com which was registered by Chris Elliot an actor identical to Walter Higgins. Not to be confused with the actor/comedian from Cabin Boy. This was enough to show that Stephon and “Walter” were cooperating with each other, and further support that Walter was fictional.
Since the posts at Bigfoot Lunch Club, Stephon Stewart has privately re-registered both domain names, and Chris Elliot’s facebook page is no longer active. We did reach out to Stephon for comment and he did not reply. You can read our original post asking Who is Walter Higgins and the follow up post where we actually got an interview with “Walter Higgins” at Walter Higgins Revealed.
Finally, who knows? Maybe we shouldn’t judge the virality of the campaign yet. After all, we are still talking about Walter and the movie.