May 12, 2008

(Editor’s Note: I had the opportunity to see this at a private screening two years ago and it’s AMAZING.   If you are in the LA area make it a point to try to catch this!- DP/JM)

Teenagers’ Tribute Called the ‘Greatest Fan Film Yet’


All proceeds to benefit the FESTIVAL OF CHILDREN FOUNDATION, a non-profit organization.  

It took seven summers to make, required a cast of, well, dozens, and included the star’s first on and off-screen kiss, but “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation,” has become a favorite of film festivals around the world.  Scott Rudin bought the rights to the filmmakers’ story for a Paramount feature film, and Steven Spielberg to Eli Roth to Quentin Tarantino have declared themselves fans of the film.  Now the 100 minute feature will make its Los Angeles premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theater, at a one-night-only screening on Wednesday, May 14 at 7:30pm.  

Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos were just 12 years old when they set out to make their own shot-by-shot re-creation of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  They finished at age 19.  By saving up their allowances, hijacking younger siblings, and setting Eric’s basement on fire, they used astonishing ingenuity to make a film that is surprisingly entertaining, even stunning.  It’s been hailed as the “greatest fan film yet” by Wired.com, “the best damn fan film I have ever seen… pure magic” by Harry Knowles, and “phenomenal” by Wes Craven.   

For 15 years, “Raiders of the Lost Ark: the Adaptation” was nearly a forgotten masterpiece, until Harry Knowles obtained a copy from Eli Roth and screened it at his film festival.  It became an instant phenomenon, featured in Vanity Fair, The Today Show, and NPR, but because of rights issues, the young filmmakers have carefully controlled the film’s venues.  

 “Due to copyright issues, revenue from the screenings of our film must go to a non-profit organization” noted Strompolos, “a reason why we’re very selective about where we screen.”   

“We’ve shown this film all over the world,” says Zala,” and it’s still exciting to us to see the reaction.  It makes the near-permanent loss of my eyebrows during filming well worth it.”  

Scott Rudin purchased their story rights and the feature film about their childhood adventures, with Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) penning the script is in active development by Paramount.  

Wednesday, May 14 — 7:30 PM

Mann’s Chinese Theater

6925 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  90028  

Tickets are available to purchase in advance online at the Mann Theatre website, at the Mann Chinese Theatre Box Office or call 323.461.3331.


Admission: $12.  CHARITY FUNDRAISER.

All proceeds to benefit the FESTIVAL OF CHILDREN FOUNDATION, a non-profit organization. http://www.festivalofchildren.org  


VANITY FAIR Magazine feature:


WIRED Magazine feature:


Turner Classic Movies video segment:


The Raider.net (includes clips & more):








Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.




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