Fairpark screens ultimate fan film

TUPELO – Someday, Chris Strompolos might get to meet Harrison Ford.
The two have common histories: Both portrayed Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Ford starred in the original “Raiders,” and Strompolos was in a shot-for-shot remake that he and his childhood friends made over seven years in the 1980s.
On Thursday, Strompolos’ version, “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation,” was screened at Fairpark.
The movie was shot on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as in Mobile, Ala.
Now, “The Adaptation” has pockets of fans around the world.
The movie first went viral at New York University, where Eric Zala, the director, went to school.
Actor, writer, director and NYU alumnus Eli Roth obtained a copy of the film. When his career got going with “Cabin Fever,” Roth passed along a copy of “The Adaptation” to an executive at DreamWorks.
From there, the movie found its way to Steven Spielberg.
“This movie was sitting on my shelf for 16 years,” Strompolos said, “then I get a call from Eli Roth about it. He said, ‘Hi. I’m Eli. Steven Spielberg has seen your movie and wants to write you a letter about it.’”
At the time, Strompolos thought that letter was a nice closing chapter for all the work he and his friends put in.
“But, really, it was the start of something,” he said.
Eventually, the filmmakers got to meet with Spielberg, who said he watched the film two times in a row.
Strompolos and his colloabroators have attended screenings across the U.S., as well as Canada and Australia.
Today, Strompolos will speak with Tupelo High School students. His goal is to fire them up for creative endeavors.
“I want to leave them with that feeling you need as a kid when you embark on a project – ‘Yes, I can do it!’” Strompolos said. “That DIY energy, that energy to try the impossible.”
In addition, he’ll meet with Northeast Mississippi filmmakers from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Link Centre’s Black Box Theatre.
“It’ll be an open forum for discussion, just a bunch of creative people getting together,” said Strompolos, who lives in Los Angles and works for Sony Pictures.
He and Zala have formed a production company, Rolling Boulder Films. The name came from an early scene in “Raiders.” They’re trying to line up financing for their $8.5 million “Southern gothic movie.”

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal