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Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation Pt. II

Author: Darryn King
Monday, 28 April 2008
As Chris Strompolos says in this interview, he was just one of many kids in 1981 who wanted to be Indiana Jones. Unlike those other kids, Chris made it happen. It was his idea, at the grand old age of 11, to re-shoot the entire Raiders Of The Lost Ark movie, starring himself as the intrepid archaeologist. As if puberty wasn't hard enough without running from giant boulders and being dragged under moving trucks-

What attracted you to Raiders Of The Lost Ark in the first place-
I was a huge Star Wars fan, a big Han Solo fan, so all the buzz about Raiders had me quite excited. When I went to see it in the theatre, it made me feel like no other movie ever had. I wanted nothing more than to be Indiana, be in that world, wear that leather jacket and the hat, learn to use a bullwhip-.

Being a fan is one thing, but doing a shot-for-shot remake of a film is a whole new level of fandom-
The hero of Indiana Jones was such a well crafted heroic figure that it felt so real. Like it really could happen and he could really happen. He was an academic, had girl troubles, was passionate about what he did and was wonderfully flawed. So, like many other little boys around the time, I gravitated toward this male role model who I wanted to emulate.

Did it occur to you that it might be impossible-
Nope. We certainly faced our challenges and hit some dark times, but that's the nice thing about being young: you don't know that you can't do something.

Did your parents know what you were really getting up to-
Urr, most of the time. We tried to keep them in the dark as much as possible.

Spielberg and Lucas had access to the best special effects technology in the world - how did you guys tackle all that stuff-
Third member of our trio, Jayson Lamb, handled all the fire and FX. For fire we used rubbing alcohol. We used everything from gun powder to firecrackers. Jay just figured stuff out.

What was the most difficult scene or aspect of the film-making process-
Keeping the interest high. Not giving up. The heat. The complaining.

There must've been a lot of memorable moments for you all, but your kissing scene with Marion must've been pretty exciting-

For sure. Kissing scenes, especially when you're a teenager, can be fun. I was scared to death though. It was not only my first on-screen kiss, but the first time I'd ever kissed a girl. Like, ever.

You are in the unique position of having a big chunk of your childhood on tape. What are your thoughts watching the film around two decades after the fact-
I'm able to experience a different kind of joy, seeing it through other people's eyes and watching how they are inspired by it.

Years after you completed the project and went your separate ways, Spielberg invited you to his office- That must've been thrilling. I hear he showed you selections from the Raiders and Temple Of Doom gag reels - can you tell us about those-
Meeting Spielberg was an amazing day. He told us, 'Well boys, I watched your movie and took it home and watched it again. I wanted to tell you it inspired even me.' When I heard that I nearly died. I was taken aback by how warm and welcoming he was. It was an honour and a pleasure to meet him.
As far as the gag reels, I could recall quite a few things. But then we'd have to kill ya-

So, Spielberg and the team have reunited for one final bash - do you guys have any will to reunite, for Temple Of Doom perhaps-

Ha - why, you wanna help-

WHAT: Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation