Posted at 3:40 PM on May 31, 2007
by Euan Kerr
Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos seem like normal guys, but hearing them tell the tale of how as pre-teens they decided to remake, shot for shot, the whole of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" borders on obsessive fandom.
They spent seven summers shooting the film in and around their home in Mississippi, overcoming problems like having no budget, lacking a deserts and a submarine for key scenes, and most challenging of all, coming up with a boulder to chase Indian Jones (played by Strompolos) through the tomb (played by a family garage.)
They finished the film in 1989, calling it "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" and basically set it aside. Then in 2003, out of the blue they got a message that, unbeknownst to Zala, a college room-mate had made a copy of the film and it had passed from hand to hand, until it reached Steven Spielberg.
That led to a screening in Austin Texas, and a series of screenings around the country, including the one tonight in Minneapolis at the Riverview.
It's a wild and woolly story and you can hear the full interview here.