Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation at 2015 SXSW Film Festival


Anybody who grew up with or ever watched the Indiana Jones films, will have undoubtably heard about the infamous shot for shot remake of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a fan made short by a group of friends in the 1980’s. Sadly a copy or even a viewing of the fan made version is hard to come by, which is why those attending the 2015 SXSW Film Festival are in for a treat. On Saturday, March 14th a special screening of the film will be shown as part of the festival.


Who where those kids, that embarked on an epic adventure that would live on for years to come? Like any child growing up watching fantasy and adventure movies, we would dress up for the day and pretend to be the characters from the films we love. Who doesn’t remember epic lightsaber battles with their friends or casting spells in the hopes of turning each other into frogs. However, this particular group of friends (Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, with Jayson Lamb) went a step futher by filming and turning their dreams into a live action adventure. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to be Indiana Jones for a day, weeks or even a few months or maybe even years?

The fan made film is a shot-for-shot remake of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), made by three teen-age boys in Mississippi over the course of seven years. Their production wrapped in 1989, and was shelved and forgotten until 2003 when a copy fell into the hands of Eli Roth, who passed on a copy to Steven Spielberg. Spielberg congratulated the boys on their hard work, and said he looks forward to seeing their names on the big screen. To have the director of the original film love their remake, is something many aspiring filmmakers dream off.


There was one scene they didn’t get to film, which was the airplane scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. In February 2014, they used the crowdsourcing campaign site Kickstarter to help them raise the funds to film this particular scene that has eluded them for years. The campaign was successfully funded in March 2014 and one of the rewards included being able to own a DVD or digital copy of the film. You can find out more information about the campaign here.

In fact the filmmaking process for this film reminds me of the film Boyhood, the time and effort over a course of several years does wonders in terms of storytelling, character development and personal growth by the actors themselves. The audience is immersed in the journey of a story or character especially when they see the actor grow up in real time. It just doesn’t have the same impact when the ageing process is done by make up effects or computer generated images. Like Boyhood this film is a personal journey of childhood and growing up, it is definitely a film to watch among all the other great films screening during the 2015 SXSW Film Festival.

SXSW Film Screening Schedule: Following the World Premiere screening of Raiders! there will be a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adapation, giving SXSW attendees the chance to get the full behind-the-scenes story as well as experience the greatest fan film ever made! Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar – Saturday, March 14 @ 9:00 PM (World Premiere) Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane – Monday, March 16 @ 12:00 PM Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar – Thursday, March 19 @ 9:00 PM Vimeo Theater – Friday, March 20 @ 9:45 PM Directors Jeremy Coon & Tim Skousen and cast members Eric Zala & Chris Strompolos will be in attendance. The 2015 SXSW Film Festival will run from March 13 to March 21 in Austin, Texas.


About the Author


Jenny Tang

Nerdgeist Editor

Contact me for any Press, Reviews, Advertising or General Enquiries.


Twitter: @NGeistofficial

I love food, films, TV, photography and technology.

You can find me next at SXSW 2015 (Austin, Texas) & Emerald City Comic Con 2015 (Seattle). You can find and contact me at SXSW on SXSW Social.

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