A Film About a Film that Recreated Shot For Shot Raiders of the Lost Ark

I remember reading about this project a while ago. A bunch of 12 year old kids started to make a movie shot for shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark beginning back in 1982. It took the kids 7 years to make, and was forgotten until 2003 when it was finally released as Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation. It became an instant cult classic both for its utter honesty — it was completely faithful to the script and the feel of the original — and its charming cheesiness.

Taking on the task of making what the American Film Institute ranked as the 66the best movie in the first 100 years of cinema was a monumental effort. This from Wikipedia:

Shooting for the film began in 1982, when Strompolos, Zala and Lamb were only 12 years old, and continued over the next seven summers It was made on a shoe-string budget of around $5000, greatly contrasting with the original’s $18 million budget. It was shot out of sequence, so due to its long filming period many actors randomly appear at different ages throughout the course of the film. As Raiders of the Lost Ark was not available on any home media format when they began filming, they were forced to collect all kinds of material about the film, including magazine articles, photographs, and even an illicit recording of the film’s audio captured during a re-release screening of the original film in 1982.

In 2014, members of the cast raised money on KickStarter so they could re-unite and film the one scene they were not able to re-create as teenagers, due to the danger of large spinning airplane propellers.

What better subject for a documentary film:

We’ve talked about the awesome shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark that was attempted by a group of 12-year old kids back in 1982 before. The film became a cult sensation when it was screened in Austin, Texas, and now the story of how the film came to be is coming to the big screen with a documentary called Raiders! premiering at SXSW next month. In addition to looking back at the making of the film with childhood friends Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos, it also chronicles their attempt to shoot the final scene they could never pull off: the infamous Flying Wing scene where the shirtless Nazi strongman is cut up by the circling plane’s propeller while fighting Indy. This looks like one hell of a cool story.

The trailer, just released in the last week, looks absolutely awesome:

This film looks so geekingly awesome I might even have to see it in a theater.

The SXSW Festival will be held March 13-22 in Austin.

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