In 2006, young actors Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat were among thousands who responded to an unusual casting notice: an untitled horror film with a $15,000 budget.
The Blair Witch Project may have popularized the found footage style back in the ’90s, but it was Paranormal Activity that brought it back to life and helped usher in a whole new wave of handheld horror. As important and influential as it may be, the various home video releases for the film have been surprisingly lacking in bonus content. And that makes us sad.
Which is precisely why these newly-uncovered videos make us happy.
Director Oren Peli just discovered never-seen Paranormal Activity audition footage on an old hard-drive, sharing the video on YouTube for us all to watch and enjoy. The footage documents two waves of the audition process: Katie and Micah’s very first solo auditions, as well as their first joint audition. No script was provided at any point, and the auditions were uniquely ad-libbed.
What’s most impressive about the footage is that it shows just how natural Katie and Micah are as actors, and it also highlights the incredibly real chemistry they shared from the very first moment they met. A huge reason the film works so well is because of Katie and Micah’s performances, and it’s great to see early glimpses of those natural abilities in these original audition tapes.