Raiders: The story behind the greatest fan film ever made
We all have that favourite film from our childhood, the one you'd act out in the basement or backyard, studying every scene and line to perfect your re-creation.
In 1982, when Chris Strompolo and Eric Zala were 11 years old, they took that passion to the next level — the two of them decided to make a shot-for-shot remake of the Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Over the years Strompolo and Zala kept working on the film, using birthdays and holidays to get money for that next scene or an Indiana Jones-worthy leather jacket. Then, over two decades later, they finally captured the final scene they needed to complete their remake. Oh, and drew the attention and blessings of Steven Spielberg along the way.
A new documentary, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, looks at the friends' monumental undertaking — from setting fire to Zala's mother's basement (which he calls "an absolute miracle" since the house didn't burn down), to convincing the owner of a dirt farm to let 20 neighbourhood kids descend on his property to shoot the Sahara Desert scenes.
"It does force you to be resourceful — high in creativity, low on budget — so there were some things we improvised," Zala tells Shad.
WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, and see just how big that basement fire was: