just home from a pretty incredible night.

my colleague vicky just produced a charity screening of raiders of the lost ark; the adaptation

what you may ask is raiders of the lost ark; the adaptation?  i’m glad you asked (no, really).  the film is a shot-by-shot remake of the 1981 original.

here’s the kicker – it took 7 years to shoot and was made by 3 friends who happened to be 12 when they started the remake in 1982 (completed in 1989).

this isn’t just some simple fan film, it’s an amazing tribute to ingenuity, guile and down right balls. 

friends eric zala (director and ‘belloq’), chris strompolos (indy – who i don’t mind telling you i found myself thinking; darn, that boy is cute – then i slapped myself for lusting after a 16 year old) and jayson lamb (“director” of photography and special effects) as well as angela rodriquez (marion) and a cast flushed out by their neighborhood chums – produced an amazing film that was full of surprise after surprise.  of course, the surprises were more about “how the fuck are they going to do x” (fill in the blank with any of the following: rolling ball of death, submarine scene, snake pit and the mother of all sfx; the opening of the ark/melting face scene).  what fun it was to watch them attempt; and more importantly succeed in each and every shot!

of course, raiders is a beloved film and it’s copy-write is hugely important so the filmmakers are careful to only show it for charitable causes.  tonight’s viewing and q&a with the filmmakers was for a local charity that helps kids get into arts – and was a huge success; more than $4000 was raised.

the filmmakers did say that speilberg called and invited them to his office for a meeting… at the end of the meeting, steve apparently said “boys, you actually entertained and inspired me” – how flipping cool is that?

for more about the film go here

for a shot by shot comparison (very cool!) go here

all in all, it was an excellent diversion to an otherwise hard day.