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Seems some folks are having trouble separating fact from fantasy concerning a couple of filmed-in-Maryland flicks.

First, there's the brouhaha over "The Blair Witch Project." The recently released movie begins with the story that three student filmmakers went into Western Maryland's woods some time ago to film a documentary about a legendary witch. The three were never seen again, the story goes, but their footage was found ... and that is what the movie audience is about to see.

The fact that both the witch legend and the film footage are fiction hasn't stopped some people from believing the tale is true.

Case in point: Maryland Film Festival founder Jed Dietz says he got a call from the Missing Persons Network about a report it received on three missing student filmmakers in Western Maryland. Dietz says he had to explain about the fictitious premise of the pic. (The "students" -- all actors -- are alive and well, and busy promoting the movie.)

Meanwhile, the Eastern Shore town of Berlin is hunkering down for a case of mistaken identity, thanks to "The Runaway Bride," which opens this Friday. Although most of the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere picture was shot around this picturesque burg, the town in the movie is called "Hale."

Berlin hopes to clear things up for the film's fans with a link on its Web site,, to Paramount's Web site, which tells all about where the movie was filmed.

Also on the movie front: Baltimorean Shelly Ziegler ran into a case of multiple personalities (or was it pig-onalities?) on the North Carolina set of the currently playing "Muppets in Space" movie. Ziegler, who served as an assistant director on the film, says her favorite part of the production was when puppeteer-cum-director Frank Oz came on set to do his bit as Miss Piggy, and "totally took on her persona." Talk about your Method acting. Move over, Marlon!

Pub Date: 07/25/99

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