Marble Hornets Preamble

About two or three years ago, a film school friend of mine, Alex, was working on his first “feature length” movie. It was called Marble Hornets and I think it was about a twenty something returning to his childhood home and recalling events that happened there. It was pretty pretentious film student fare, but I helped out for a few days before my summer classes started, and a few rare occasions after that. Everyone on the set seemed pretty excited to be making it, especially Alex. The set itself was about half a mile away from Alex’s house, roughly a thirty minute drive away from where I lived at the time. It was a pretty heavily wooded area, I guess to give it a sparsely populated small town feel. Most of the movie took place outside.

After about two months of off and on shooting, Alex dropped his pet project completely. It was really sudden when he let me know about it. When I asked him why, he told me it was because of the “unworkable conditions” of where he had picked to shoot. Which struck me as very odd since he had been living around that area since he was eight, and never seemed to have a problem with it. What’s even stranger is that he acted incredibly distant when telling me this news. Soon after, he started avoiding me and from what I hear, everyone else. All he did was sit around his house.

Being a film student as well, I hated to see his work go to waste and decided to talk to him about it a bit more. A few weeks after he had stopped shooting, I finally convinced him to let me come over.

Something about him was worse than I’d originally thought. He had lost a good bit of weight, and looked pretty sickly. I pretended like I didn’t notice and we just hung out for awhile. Right before I left, I asked him about Marble Hornets and what he was planning on doing with all of his tapes of raw footage. With almost no hesitation, he simply said “burn them”.

This caught me off guard. When I asked why he didn’t just archive them for B-roll in future projects, he just said he never wanted to work with the footage again. He was completely serious about this. I couldn’t understand why he’d just want to get rid of it completely. Surely it wasn’t all that useless. So I asked if I could take a look at them.

He agreed, but only under the circumstance that I never bring them back to him, and never discuss what was on them with him. He also highly discouraged me from showing any of it to anyone else. I laughed at this, and said that he must have accidentally made The Ring or something with the way he was talking. He didn’t acknowledge this and brought me up to his attic, where he was storing the pile of tapes.

There were tons of them. He grabbed a couple of plastic shopping bags and piled the tapes in and gave them to me, then shooed me out of the attic. Right as I was walking out the door, he said, in the most serious tone I’ve ever heard from someone, “I’m not kidding, don’t ever bring this up around me again.”

Alex’s comment was so sudden that I didn’t have time to react before he had closed the door on me. He transferred to an out of state school soon after that and I haven’t seen him since.

I filed the tapes separately from my others, and was honestly too freaked out to look at them at the time, and eventually forgot about them. But reading about the slender man has peaked my interest again. Maybe it’s what Alex was talking about that day.

I’ve decided to begin going through the tapes later tonight. If I don’t do it now, I probably never will. I’m hoping all I find is an unfinished student film and nothing else. That would sure put me at ease now that I’m thinking about it again.

If there’s interest, I’ll post anything that I find on here.

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