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January 9th, 2007

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04:05 pm - SHARK
I've been trying to find the shot-by-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark that a group of three 12-year-old friends started in 1982. They storyboarded it, pressed local kids into the cast and crew (one little brother has at least 18 roles) and shot it in and around their Mississippi backyards at a total estimated cost of around $5000. The results, finished in 1989, are amazing. (Here are some great side-by-side screenshots for comparison.) The only scene they did not include in the finished product was the airplane fight, but only because the explosives rigged to blow up the miniature plane didn't work (and they were worried it'd have looked cheesy anyway.)

It impressed Steven Spielberg enough to not only send them a letter of congratulations instead of, say, a Cease & Desist, but also invite them to Amblin for an hour of chat and outtakes. He had every right to be impressed; I'm reasonably sure Mr. Spielberg never had to deal with Harrison Ford's voice breaking in between a 3-year hiatus between shots in the same scene, say, nor was he nearly arrested by a store owner who thought that, what with the wagon of hay and Arab-esque street stalls set up in a back alley, he was making a "skin flick." (Wonder what kinds of skin flicks that guy had been watching!)

The film has been screened several times, starting at the Alamo Drafthouse in 2003, but I missed it when it came 'round New England way. I've turned to YouTube several times but haven't found it yet, but BoingBoing did point me to a similar Spielberg-esque kids' project on YouTube called SHARK.

This film was made by a group of 12-year-olds in 1978. It's a Super8 film involving a shark terrorizing swimmers and oddly enough features a very familiar-sounding soundtrack. What the kids lack in technical wizardry (much like Spielberg's mechanical shark, the kids' shark sank early on in production) they more than make up for in moxie. It's a real hoot (the "TNT" made me laugh and applaud at the same time) and beats the stuff my brothers and I were making when we were in our early teens.


Still, the Raiders remake eludes me.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 9th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
The site is just a fansite of all things Raiders, and their schedule of screenings stops in late '06. Maybe there'll be some updates.
[User Picture]
Date:January 9th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
I giggle mightily. A few of us also shot Super 8 films growing up... but it was more comedy than seriousness. Still... what fun!
Date:January 9th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Next time someone brings up "but what did all those people with too much free time do before the internet?" I can point to this.
[User Picture]
Date:January 10th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
raidersadaptation@earthlink.net ?
Date:January 11th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:September 14th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC)

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