Thursday, January 03, 2008

If I had been a more motivated kid...

I was checking my daily Blog reads today when I happened upon this article by way of Snarkerati. Seems some 20 years ago, a group of then 12-year-olds decided to make a shot-by-shot home-movie remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was painstaking and took them a whopping 7 years to finish, but after it was finished it was on its way to being forgotten for good. Only friends and friends of friends were still watching it. But it so happened that a friend of a friend of a friend, filmmaker Eli Roth, saw it and became determined to get it out to audiences. In 2004 it had a film festival premier and as I am checking the upcoming screenings, looks like it's cult following is growing every day. Check out this YouTube video of a review, containing shots from the film and you can see why people are so impressed.

One of the film's most notable fans is Steven Spielberg himself, and he is joined in his love for the fan flick by other filmmakers who have purchased the rights to the boys' story (i.e. the making of the fan flick) which apparently will itself be made into a movie (with a presumably more Hollywood budget) sometime soon.

I thought my nephews were so cute when they made their little homemade spy movies years ago. Now I wonder if they were encouraged to keep going... could they have used it to catapult themselves (over the course of decades) into Hollywood hotshot careers? And what was I wasting my time on when I was a teen? I should have been working hard on my filmmaking career.

I'm also thinking now about the South Park guys (whose time at University of Colorado Film department just barely overlapped with mine) and how they got their start. Seems that this kind of friend-of-a-friend unintentional viral marketing has HUGE potential. Now how can I milk that potential?

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