Hot Docs 2015: Raiders! – Jeremy Coon & Tim Skousen


Screening today at the Hart House theatre at 9:30 is a documentary that completely encapsulated my youth and filled me with awe, and a fire to create.

Back in 1981, a film came along that changed many a young viewer, myself included, Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. It affected a number of people, young and old, everyone who saw it loved it, and some people made it part of their lives.

Three young kids, Chris, Eric and Jason wanted to find some way to express their love, and decided to make a shot for shot remake of the iconic film. Starting in 1982, at the age of 11, and for the next 7 summers of their youth, they worked to put their film together, lovingly recreating the framing and shots of each scene as best they could.

And what happened next became an internet sensation, one I remember hearing about years ago, when Aint It Cool news first mentioned it, and I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever heard – a group of kids, whose ages fluctuate from shot to shot, recreating one of the most celebrated films of all time.

But it wasn’t finished, one sequence eluded them, the famous flying wing fight sequence. Now, in their 40s, they are daring to follow their childhood dreams and finish their film. They have 9 days, 124 shots, and one 6 minute sequence before the film can be put to bed.


With Chris in the role of Indiana Jones, the crew saddle up, roping in friends, families, local businesses, film fans, and financial supporters to finish. But now, the summers of youth are past, filled as they were with excitment, energy, hormones and angst, each of them is haunted by responsibilities, jobs, money worries, and weather troubles, can they get it done in time?

These dreamers pour their creative selves into making their childhood come back to life, making the creative and filmmaking geek in all of us cheer, and wish it were us on the screen. Filled with the nostalgia and wonder of childhood, the tireless work of a group of fans, and some very understanding parents, these kids now adults, created something that is inherently awesome, not because of the acting, but in the sheer determination and creativity they had to use to make their own adaptation of the classic blockbuster.

These kids lived a dream, showing all of us with a little innovation, a lot of creativity, and a lot of determination, you can accomplish anything. This film is fun, passionate, and made with so much love, and make sure you stay for theend credits, because what these fans have shot are nothing short of amazing!

Raiders! screens twice more during Hot Docs, make sure you check it out either at the Lightbox Tuesday, April 28 at 4 or at the Revue cinema, Satuday, May 2 at 6:30.



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