In 1982, Eric Zala, age 12, and childhood friends embarked on a vision: They were determined to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark—every scene, every shot, every stunt—in their backyard and basement. They had no money, no camera… no clue. What they did have was sheer will, a shared passion, limitless imagination, and each other. Incredibly, they realized their dream. It took them 7 years.
Raiders Adaptation / Original Raiders
15 years later, it was unexpectedly discovered by Eli Roth, who passed it onto Eric’s hero…
Eric received a letter of praise from his childhood hero, the director of the original RAIDERS — Steven Spielberg.
Jayson Lamb,Steven Spielberg, Chris Strompolos & Eric Zala
This low-on-budget / high-on-creativity 80's Betamax love letter to the original RAIDERS garnered the love of fans around the world. It was hailed as the greatest fan film ever made, rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, covered on The Today Show, WIRED, NPR, and even a feature article in VANITY FAIR.
The story is of childhood obsessions, and friendships that have been tested, broken and strengthened. It is about being a teenager fraught with challenges, and how to overcome them. The story is a testament to the transcendental power of youth, art and the movies.
Perhaps because it does not bear the sophisticated, self-consciousness of adulthood, their film has deeply moved just about everyone who has seen it. The magic of this film is in its purity, in its authentic belief in the medium. It is a time machine that takes one back to a moment in life when everything is still possible; when friendship is something to be shared and not feared; when there is no “audience” except the one in the heart—the one that eats up everything that is good and true and powerful.
Finally, after 25 years, they reunited the (now adult) cast -- to do the one final scene they could never pull of as kids: The Airplane Scene.
This spawned a critically acclaimed book by author Alan Eisenstock, published by St. Martin's Press.
After the book came the award-winning documentary that topped the New York Times' recommended list of non-depressing documentaries on Netflix. NAPOLEON DYNAMITE producer Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen produced and directed.
Zala Detours Site Designed & Created by Quinn Zala; RAIDERS ADAPTATION cover illustration by Adam McDaniel; Book Cover by St.Martin's Press: McDaniel; Doc Posters by Drafthouse Films,
Paul Shipper & MONDO; ZD Logo by Rosina Rothman;Photos by the Zalas, Chris Strompolos, Jayson Lamb, Shelly Stallings, Roddy Capers. Current Eric photo by Darcy Zala