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Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (Video 1989) Poster

Trivia

Because Raiders was yet not available for rental or sale in video stores when the boys started in the summer of '82, they had no reference copy of the movie they were seeking to remake shot-for-shot. So, they got everything Raiders that they could get their hands on - photos from magazines, the published screenplay, storybooks, making-of publications, action figures, an illicit recording of the soundtrack from smuggling in a cassette recorder into a movie theater showing Raiders when re-released in 1982. With the amassed material, and by memory of seeing Raiders in the theater, they cobbled together a composite reconstruction of the original Raiders, shot-by-shot, laying it out in storyboard form. Before Raiders, Eric Zala wanted to be comic book artist growing up. This prepared him to hand draw over 600 individual detailed storyboards that became the blueprint they used for seven years, only rarely deviated from.
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Director Eli Roth brought the tape to the attention of both Harry Knowles and Steven Spielberg. Roth had a copy in his collection of videos for years before showing it at Harry Knowles' 'Butt-numb-a-thon' film festival in December, 2002. The response was so overwhelming that Roth took the tape to his very first meeting at Dreamworks, and gave it to an executive to give to Steven Spielberg. The executive called Roth the next week saying that Spielberg loved it and wanted to contact the filmmakers. Roth had never met the filmmakers, but google searched every name in the credits until he got a hold of Jayson Lamb, the cinematographer. The three filmmakers, Lamb, Strompolis, and Zala had not spoken in years when Roth contacted them out of the blue saying that Spielberg wanted to write them a letter. This reunited the friends, who began touring the world doing charity screenings with the film. Roth felt that the film was so powerful he had to do whatever he could to make sure fans around the world saw it.
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The Cabin Scene, in which Indy (Chris) and Marion (Angela Rodriguez) have their big kissing scene - was actually the first time that Chris (then aged 13) had ever kissed a girl. They went on to maintain an off-screen teenage romance.
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Raiders Adaptation was shot completely out of sequence over seven years, resulting in the casts' transformation in voice tone, hair style and body size from scene to scene. For example, in the college classroom scene, the cutaway of Indy (Chris) 's reaction to the female student's "I love you" message written her eyelids had to be re-shot because it was out-of-focus. The shooting schedule didn't permit returning to that location for another three years. By that time, Chris's voice had changed with puberty. In the final edited version, the re-shot cutaway sticks out noticeably by Chris's voice dropping several octaves.
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Nearly all of the interiors were shot in Eric's mom's house in Ocean Springs, Mississippi - The Cave Scene, the Well of Souls, the Map Room, the Catacombs, the Bantu Wind hold, and the Bar fight (which nearly burned the house down) were all shot in the basement. Sallah's Porch, the Cabin Scene, the Tent Scene, Indy's House, were shot inside the house proper, while Indy's flight from the Hovitos across an open field was shot in Eric's backyard. Eric's parents to this day still show the basement walls frescoed with hieroglyphics to wide-eyed youngsters around town.
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The Truck Scene was composed of 76 separate shots. Shooting was divided up according to whether or not the truck was being pushed or pulled by another vehicle. Why? This is because the truck had no engine. The truck used, a '64 Ford, was donated free of charge by a tenant in one of the cottages behind Eric's house, because it was broken. The boys removed the engine, spray painted it army-green, built a wooden frame for the back and covered it with canvas. When it came time to shoot, they either towed the truck from the front, or pushed it from behind with another vehicle, depending on the angle of the shot. A giveaway to this is a shot taken underneath the truck, when Indy (Chris) is dragging behind the truck, it can be seen that the truck has no axle connecting the front and back wheels.
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The shot of Indy (Chris) running from the boulder right behind him that tracks backwards with him was achieved by Jayson constricting himself into a shopping cart and pointing the camera at Chris - and Chris pushed the shopping cart with Jayson in it, his hands on the cart out of frame.
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The official "world premiere" screening of Raiders Adaptation was in June of 2003 at The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. The entire engagement was masterminded by Eli Roth, Harry Knowles and Tim League.
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When the boys started, they were too young to grow their own stubble, which Chris needed for his character of Indy, who is usually seen with about three-days growth of stubble. To remedy this, Chris smeared Vaseline and ash on his cheeks to simulate fake stubble. By the time they finished several years later, Chris was sporting his own naturally grown stubble.
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Originally, the boys had planned for a kitten to substitute for the traitorous spider monkey. One day, Chris suggested, what if instead, they used Chris' dog Snickers in the role? Eric thought about it, and agreed. Snickers proved to be oddly accommodating about being perched on Chris' shoulder, and it worked: what more classic image than a boy and his dog?
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According to Eric Zala, they were attempting to make a mold of his face to recreate Belloq's exploding head at the end of the film. What they didn't realize, that they used industrial plaster instead of dental plaster, and it has a heating agent. The mold got hotter, and hotter, and Eric was trying to get it off. They eventually called the police, and they ripped the mold out, resulting in him losing an eyebrow.
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The filmmakers made 5 boulders to recreate the famous scene. The first one was made inside of a bedroom, when they actually completed it, they couldn't get it out of the room. The second one is cable spool. They tried filming it from a different angle, but wasn't real enough. The third one is a weather balloon, which deflated. The fourth one is made of chicken wire. Unfortunately, it got sucked into a hurricane. The last one is made out of fiberglass, and was successful.
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The film takes place in 1936.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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