Blue Myst Road

Blue Myst Road

Blue Myst Road

Blue Myst Road

Blue Myst Road




 


Blue Myst Road
:
bringing Pittsburgh urban legends to life


Urban legends are apocryphal stories that are shared person to person via word of mouth, or through e-mail. As author, professor and folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand has noted in his books, many urban legends have their genesis in some small nugget of truth, but become embellished, and details change in various ways as the stories are spread. While some urban legends are universally known, there are also stories that are specific to different geographic regions. Also, some urban legends have the same core story, but details vary from region to region. Many have scary themes, characters and situations: ghosts, haunted houses, mysterious locals, and others.

Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania have their own homegrown urban legends. Blue Myst Road is an independent, 40-minute film that brings these stories to life.

In Blue Myst Road, a graduate student is spending long days and late nights researching urban legends for a class assignment. Through her point of view, three Pittsburgh urban legends come to life: the Green Man, who became disfigured and whose skin color turned green after a horrible accident;  the mysterious bookstore clerk who might be an apparition;  and Blue Myst Road in North Park, which some claim is haunted. But are they real?

The concept for the Blue Myst Road film emerged during conversations between screenwriter/producer/director John Fries and cinematographer/producer Mike Martin, both longtime friends and professional collaborators. Not long before planning the film, Fries wrote an article for North Hills Magazine entitled "Haunted North Hills," which detailed several ghost stories attributed to Pittsburgh's northern suburbs. Both Fries and Martin were fascinated by the idea of combining several of these tales into a single storyline.

Once Fries completed writing the screenplay and made revisions, it took almost exactly a year to create the film, from the first table read until the completion of editing and post-production. As production was getting underway, Fries and Martin enlisted a third friend, Chip Kelsch, a photographer and television cameraman with extensive credits, to round out the production team. The film was shot on location in Pittsburgh, and all actors were cast locally. Many of them are recognizable from their stage and screen work.

During production of Blue Myst Road, Fries blogged actively, often posting behind-the-scenes photos shot on set. Many of those photos can be viewed here.

Once released, the film's public screenings drew large audiences and favorable comments. Blue Myst Road also received substantial media coverage. In tribute to this cinematic adventure, Fries named his production company Blue Myst Films.

   


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