About this project
We are excited to announce the next leg of our journey... Our NEW website!
We would love for you to join us as we continue our adventure as the fun is just beginning!
The website will:
- Provide updates on the cast and crew
- Allow you to keep in touch with the Raiders Guys
- Allow you to continue to support the progress of finishing our film -- along with great gifts for doing so!
- Provide a calendar of Raiders: The Adaptation screenings
As promised, all backers will have access to the private production blog that will chronicle the behind-the-scenes as Airplane Scene enters production and principal photography!
Through our "Donation" section, you can support us in making the Airplane Scene mind-blowing by helping us reach our Stretch Goal -- $125K! We have some incredible gifts for you as well such as our film (for the first time ever!), a commentary DVD, t-shirts, books, posters...
We are even offering a special Antiquities/Collectible section of Raiders Movie Memorabilia. You have a chance to own a piece of Raiders history (yes, even the Ark!).
We are also building a donation portal – for the option to contribute to the making of the Airplane Scene – by providing goods and services. We will have means set up for the donation of things like:
- Airline miles Props (will provide list needed)
- Services that we could really use
- Construction materials, like steel (will provide list needed)
Plus much more! Please click on the link above to continue the Adventure… It's just beginning and we are thrilled to have you along for the ride!
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO:Adam McDaniel
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION
A LITTLE HISTORY
"...to this day, still the greatest bit of flattery that George [Lucas] and I have ever received."
~ Steven Spielberg, EMPIRE Magazine, Oct. 2006
The VILLAGE VOICE (By Ed Halter Tuesday, Jun 26 2007) summarizes:
“…One of the strangest permutations of '80's nostalgia to hit movie screens—the now-notorious Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, a 100-minute shot-for-shot amateur-video remake of the 1981 Spielberg-Lucas adventure flick, created over a span of seven years by a group of kids in small-town Reagan-era Mississippi. More talked-about than seen,The Adaptation arrives at Anthology Film Archives this Friday for a rare two-day run. Filled with ingenious contraptions and overweening jerry-rigs,The Adaptation remakes Raiders on less than 1/2,000th of Paramount's original $20 million budget, conjuring exotic locales out of cardboard sets in parents' basements, casting tweens in Boy Scout uniforms as Nazi bad guys, and rolling a gigantic hand-crafted boulder through the family garage to create the film's signature scene. Nothing short of slapdash spectacular.”
We started in 1982. Completed in 1989. At ages 10 (Chris) and 11 (Eric), we would forge a friendship and creative partnership that would not only endure the 7 years it took to our shot-for-shot recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but one that has remained strong (not without its ups and downs of course) for over 30 years.
Read the first review ever of our fan film by Harry Knowles of AIN'T IT COOL.
From the point of our fan film's discovery by horror director / producer Eli Roth in 2002 until now, our RAIDERS ADAPTATION has been considered by some to be the greatest fan film ever made, garnering press and attention all over he world.
After a feature article in Vanity Fair and a world premiere at the famous Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, the RAIDERS ADAPTATION was officially unleashed into the world.
The low-on-budget / high-on-creativity ultimate 80's Betamax-shot love letter to the original Raiders has garnered the attention of fans around the world - even spawning a critically acclaimed book by author Alan Eisenstock, published by St. Martin's Press / Thomas Dunne Books.
The book was recently optioned by NAPOLEON DYNAMITE producer, Jeremy Coon. Coon is currently shooting the documentary and is working diligently to set the groundwork to set the narrative feature in motion. Announced on Deadline.com.
25 Years Later: A Kickstarter Campaign?
Yep. And why you ask? Because we have our hearts set on completing a childhood dream.
As children, we managed to pull off every scene, every stunt... EXCEPT for one. The Flying Wing Scene. Yep, that awesome sequence where Indy fights the bald Nazi under the moving airplane. In our ten years of screenings, people have been urging us to do it. And so, the idea of adding the ultimate mythological bookend to our childhood saga has brought us back together - the team is stronger than ever.
As a solo project, and also as a driving set piece for Jeremy Coon's documentary, the idea was born to return to the Mississippi Gulf Coast 25 years later to finally complete the Raiders Adaptation by reuniting the cast and tackling and recreating the classic action sequence.
Our Kickstarter goal is $50,000, but our full project goal that we are really pushing hard for (our "stretch goal") is $125,000, as noted in our Kickstarter video. As you pledge, you may or may not know that every single dollar is absolutely critical. And if we are even one dollar short of our goal at the end of our 30 day campaign, then no money is funded to us at all and our project is jeopardized. However, we are working hard so the opposite can become a reality. If we successfully hit our $50k funding mark and have time left in our campaign, then we will work hard and strive to hit our "stretch goal" to acquire our full projected budget of $125,000 - OR MORE!. We're doing everything we can to launch and sustain a successful campaign. We have an incredible team. Fingers crossed!
How are we gonna pull THIS one off?
We have already started working with an amazing designer / engineer named David Carambat. He is in the process of creating a fully detailed, construction ready set of AUTO CAD plans to build the Flying Wing. Here is an very early sketch:
There are many cool locations we are scouting in our home state along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We will be checking them all out during our first big production visit - January 21st through February 1st (2014) as we search to find the PERFECT spot to shoot our final scene and where we can of course - BLOW UP our airplane! For top supporters, you will be able to be there on site during the final sequence.
Kickstarter Funds will help us build the plane (labor and materials), fly our Marion Ravenwood (Angela Rodriguez) back to Mississippi, feed everyone and help perfect the look of the set and the costumes. Among many other things - our DP, the rest of the set design, the explosives and the FX.
The spirit in our home state remains very much the same as when we were kids. A can-do, high-energy, team-focused, pitch-in mentality from friends, family and the Mississippi Gulf Coast community. Completing this missing scene after 25 years will be the most beautiful bookend to our story, bringing best friends and family back together to capture a rare life opportunity to return to the place from which we came, with the people who are closest to us to do the thing we are most passionate about - shooting movies.
WHAT YOUR PLEDGE MEANS
The RAIDERS ADAPTATION reunion will be exciting, creative and the completion of something 30 years in the making.
And for an audience, completing something we started as children is something I think is universally heartfelt. It resonates with most. We feel that there are probably many people in the world that would love the opportunity to to return to a fun, childhood project to finally finish it.
We have the amazing opportunity to do this -- we just require support. To honor the generosity of everyone to which we are reaching out to make our childhood dream a reality, we have offered some very cool rewards.
- VIP Invitations to the set on the day we blow up the plane!
- VIP Invitations to the premiere of the documentary with after-party access - meeting cast / crew.
- You can play an extra in the scene while we shoot.
- SIGNED DVD copies of the Raiders Adaptation with the complete Airplane Scene.
- Signed DVD copies of the Jeremy Coon produced documentary.
In addition to our gratitude and what is listed above, here are some other very exciting and fun incentives we are offering:
NEVER-SEEN-BEFORE HISTORICAL RAIDERS ADAPTATION DIGITAL SCRAPBOOK
SIGNED RAIDERS ADAPTATION POSTER from premiere at CINE in Georgia by artist, JEFF OWENS!
Piece of Flying Wing with Signed Certificate of Authenticity
Stone Hieroglyphic Wall fragment from RAIDERS ADAPTATION Well of the Souls Set destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, complete with certificate of authenticity.
Last remaining whip used by Chris signed and shipped directly to you with certificate of authenticity.
Signed Leather Jacket from RAIDERS ADAPTATION worn by Chris for duration of shoot shipped directly with certificate of authenticity.
Original Ark of the Covenant prop used in the RAIDERS ADAPTATION, built by Eric - SIGNED BY Raiders Guys.
HEARTFELT, TRUE & PURE: COMPLETING A CHILDHOOD DREAM
If there is one thing that resonates in the heart of a child - is honesty. Our proposed project of finishing our fan film and returning to our childhood hometown to complete a childhood dream is honest, pure and heartfelt. It is a beautiful mythological bookend to a 30 year journey. Just a few days ago, Eric's 10 year old son was given a class assignment - completely unbeknownst to his father. And he brought it home and showed his mom, who quietly and thoughtfully slipped it to Eric. Eric was so touched and felt it so appropriate for this campaign, he scanned it and sent it to me. We both knew it was the perfect picture with which to close to make our case to kindly ask for your support as we continue our 30 year journey of completing our childhood dream.
CREDITS FOR KICKSTARTER VIDEO
Editor: Frank Reynolds
Music Composed by: Karl Preusser
Storyboard / Animatic artwork: Nick Adducci
Flying Wing Sketch: Jason Palmer
Flying Wing Drawing / KS Banner: Suzy Sansom
Map Animations, Edit Assist and Video Manager: Ryan Gibson
Flying Wing Design: David Carambat, Industrial Object
Risks and challenges
QUALIFICATIONS & TEAM STRENGTHS:
Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala have garnered legions of fans around the world, received worldwide press and praise from the film industry for remaking Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, a 20 million dollar Hollywood classic for a mere $5,000 when they were teenagers. Their fan film is now considered a cult classic.
As of January 2014, after ten years of touring and lecturing, the film has only screened in just over 100 locations.
Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, the driving creative team behind the Raiders Adaptation, have managed to translate their childhood epic - coined by one writer as “the ultimate love letter” - into a successful touring package of film education, inspirational lectures, and fundraising power for charities, micro-cinemas, colleges, universities and film workshops all over the world.
“The Raiders Guys” have raised thousands for various non-profits and charities – some of which include The Festival of Children Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, Canadian Cancer Society and the Austin Miller Scholarship Fund.
• Producer Chris Strompolos has broad experience and strong contacts inside the industry, the film festival markets and distributors.
• Director Eric Zala has vast knowledge of cinema; graduated top of his class from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has directed award winning projects. His directorial vision, creative prowess and tireless work ethic will make this project and all future film projects a smashing success.
• Eric and Chris have adventure in their blood: If anyone was born to make adventure films, it's Chris and Eric. Adventure and genre films are part of their cinematic DNA and have formed them as adults. By making RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION (what’s been termed by Harry Knowles from Ain’t It Cool News and others as “the greatest fan film in history,”) Chris and Eric have applied many amazing lessons from their Raiders experience and translated this into their adulthood. They know the genre and that is their brand. The classic industry truism is “do what you do best” – that is what Chris and Eric are doing with the missing Flying Wing Scene and all of their future film projects.
• Chris and Eric are a powerful team, tempered by time and experience: They have known each other since they rode the school bus together and have already tackled many of the same big challenges together. There’s a shorthand one develops when you’ve known each other as long as they have. Eric and Chris can even tell what one another are thinking about a creative decision or business decision by a mere look. As Jim Windolf wrote in the 2004 Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue: “there’s a unique alchemy that occurs when our complementary strengths are combined. A powerful yin-yang complement, greater than the sum of its parts.” That is Chris and Eric. Iron sharpening iron.
• Chris has natural inclinations to produce and heeded the call when he was only 11 years old. Chris has the ability to get people excited about a project, build long lasting relationships and recognize supreme unique talent and good stories. He has keen instincts about the motion picture business, entertainment culture and the skills of negotiating. Showing charismatic passion for projects and networking comes naturally. With a frugal sensibility and an intense focus on the bottom line, Chris typically gets what he wants and has a track record to prove it.
• Eric is an award-winning director and graduated top of his class at NYU – Awarded “Consistent Excellent in Filmmaking”, 1 of 4 –- out of over 300+ grads.
• Eric wrote and directed a short drama, AN EARLY TWILIGHT, which swept the film festival circuit, netted over 20 awards, including the 1st prize & $5,000 at the National Media Owl Awards and the Grand Prize at CINE. Everything that he’s directed has been a resounding success, which confirms Eric’s ability to direct films which connect with a wide audience.
• Even when Eric wasn’t directing, his corporate “day” job resembled directing a large scale project – as “Director of QA”, he oversaw a high profile, highly successful video game testing department of over 200 employees and was responsible for a budget in the millions. His department was ranked the #1 QA department at EA in the whole country for years running earning Eric a six-figure salary at the top video game company in the world. Nonetheless, Eric chose to leave this success behind to do what he loves the most and what he’s best at: directing movies.
• Eric is a natural-born director: When it comes to creative projects and tackling what may seem to some as insurmountable obstacles, Eric has rarely failed at anything in his life. He’s an obsessive worker, patient, tenacious, highly intelligent, and able to take the helm of a large team. He is confident and commands respect without demanding respect. He is a perfectionist, yet able to adjust approach as needed when collaborating. Consistently creative, and has strong analytical ability and an ability to see the whole picture.
People around the world and inside the film industry are waiting to see what this powerhouse team, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala (a.k.a. “The Raiders Guys”) will do next.
Common reactions given over and over from industry professionals, fans and moviegoers are:
“… if you pulled that off at that age, you can absolutely do it now and make a great film for theatrical release.”
“… I would love to see what you guys could accomplish with an actual budget!”
RISKS & PROJECT CHALLENGES
The greatest challenge is coordinating all of the great many elements which go into producing a scene like this - from a distance. We are based in Los Angeles and Las Vegas respectively, so establishing new relationships and fortifying ones that are already in our network for fundraising and production resources in Mississippi is notably challenging. We have organized, strategized and prioritized, stayed in daily communication about all of the high level and granular details - and this working "Raiders Guys algorithm" has proven successful so far. Which each new phase of preparation - it opens up new layers of multi-branching tasks - which requires us to gradually and selectively build our production team and delegate. This is challenging because every person that we bring on is a piece to the puzzle - assisting in carrying our dream over the finish line. We have been remarkably lucky so far in meeting positive, energetic, supportive and insanely talented people who are all on board to do this. The timeline works, the creative and technical elements are falling into place and we are doing the best we can and taking things as far as they will go with no financial resources.
So the biggest challenge right now is funding.
Risks? Well, there's been a huge outlay of energy, time, money and holding to the idea that it's all going to work out.
We are spending great blocks of time away from our spouses, our children and trying to navigate day jobs so as not to compromise our livelihood. An additional risk is amassing a great network of people to come on board and assist us with this project, entering into agreements, negotiating people's time and keeping our eye on the prize with the GREAT risk of the possibility of it falling through. As the team we are building are friends, close colleagues and amazing regional talent, there is a great risk in elevating people's expectations and hopes of engagement with the volatility of it not working out due to lack of funding. So, the great risk is putting yourself out there with the idea that the carpet could be pulled out from underneath your feet at any moment. But when it works out, and we cross the finish line with this project, the blissful sense of satisfaction and teamwork will be extraordinary. And that's a risk The Raiders Guys are willing to take!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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