Comicon Video: ‘Raiders!’ Where Are They Now?

by Koom Kankesan

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015) is a fascinating, riveting documentary. Directed by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, it chronicles the efforts of three boys (Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos, and Jayson Lamb) and their friends who spent their summers between the ages of eleven to eighteen trying to faithfully recreate a shot-by-shot version of Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the process, these boys grow up, wrestle with their identities and obsessions, fight, collaborate, and improvise, not unlike Indy himself.

The documentary is an incisive and electric look at geeky obsessions, friendship and its vicissitudes, and why we immerse ourselves in pop culture as a response to regular life. It examines the human condition in a unique way: the creative paths that lead us through life and the havoc and triumph they can wreak.

Eric Zala was the director amongst the three boys and played Belloq. Down to earth, unpretentious, and reflective about the process and where it had taken him (back to his hometown in Mississippi, it turns out), I got a chance to ask him how he felt about his life and choices, and how he now feels about the impact of the original Steven Spielberg film. Possessing a strange mystical quality, the first Indy film has impacted the national consciousness and the way Hollywood approaches movies. There’s a lot in the Indiana Jones character that speaks to our identity and mythos, and this bears much interesting discussion. Enjoy!

The shot-by-shot recreation, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, can be found at theraiderskids.com.

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