A Life of Passion - The Raiders Kids

This is part four in a series on how to discover and live your passion and life purpose.

In 1982 , three twelve-year-old kids fell in love with the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. The boys, Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb, dreamed of becoming filmmakers, so they combined their two loves and decided they would film their own Raiders of the Lost Ark, scene for scene, shot for shot.

The kids gathered their resources and became the actors, directors, producers, editors, and scene and wardrobe creators. For eight summers, from age 12-18, these three boys focused entirely on filming Raiders.

They created detailed sets, found authentic-looking props, performed their own stunts (including the scene where people catch fire!), and spent several thousands of dollars over the course of eight years. They worked tirelessly each summer creating sets and shooting scenes. They gained access to an editing studio during the night, so from 12am – 8am, they edited film.

You’d think that after one summer of their project, they’d tire of it and give it up, but not these kids. They worked at filming Raiders of the Lost Ark until it was done. Eight years worth of work.

I’ve seen this film (called Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation), and the detail is impressive. It is obvious that it was a labor of love. And the quality is surprisingly good, especially considering it was made by twelve-year-old kids. I probably enjoyed it more than the actual Raiders of the Lost Ark.

You might be wondering what the point is. What possible value did it add to these kids’ lives to remake a movie that they could never sell commercially (without facing lawsuits)? Well, beyond the obvious benefit of allowing these kids to do something they truly loved, making the movie eventually produced some surprising results.

After their movie was finished, they shared it with a few people. It eventually ended up in the hands of Stephen Spielberg, who loved it. He invited the boys to see the original items from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. They toured Amblin Entertainment studio and met Stephen Spielberg. George Lucas also invited them to visit Skywalker ranch.

Years after that, as adults, the ‘kids’ got back together again. They had the opportunity to go around the country, screening their movie for small audiences, helping to raise money for various charities.

Their dream of becoming filmmakers is finally being realized – they now have their own film production company – Rolling Boulder Films, and are working on an original screenplay with plans to turn it into a movie. Oh, and Paramount bought the rights to their story, so eventually the story of the Raiders Kids will be made into a film.

I truly believe that if you follow your passion and do what you love, opportunities will open up to you. The Raiders Kids are just one example of that. Even if your endeavor fails, you will experience benefits from following your dream. So what are you waiting for?!

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Be sure to check out parts one, two and three in this series.


Megan said...

I love that story, and you writing about it came at the perfect time for me. Thank you! I'm getting ready to present a series of workshops this Fall/Winter with the first one coming up next week. I've been reminding myself what a joy living my passion is, regardless of the immediate outcome. Your post today gives it another dimension in that I never know what these workshops could lead to. A year from now, I could be doing this nationally... How exciting that would be, but in the meantime, how happy it makes me to be doing what I love!

cassidy said...

I have loved the series on how to find and live your life passion and purpose! It has helped me stop wasting time watching TV and brainstorming and putting into action ways that I can live my passion. Most exciting is that now I have been talking with my boss and might have an opportunity to help teach nutrition classes to women at the hospital who have eating disorders. Has that always been my dream, or what?! Thanks for blogging this topic.

Tina Su said...

Thanks for inspiring me.I really enjoy the content of your blog.

Love & Gratitude,
Think Simple. Be Decisive.
~ Productivity, Motivation & Happiness

Holli Jo said...

Megan - I'm glad you liked this story. These kids inspired me, too! And good for you to put yourself out there and do the workshops. I hope it all goes well.

Cassidy - I am so glad my life passion series has helped you focus on living your passion. I'm so excited that you may have the chance to teach classes!! Keep me updated. It sounds perfect for you.

Tina Su - Thanks for your kind words! I'm glad you're inspired.

amypalko said...

Oh wow, I just love that story! I'm going to forward it to my dad. I think he'll get a real kick out of it!

Holli Jo said...

amypalko -

I'm glad you liked it! I was really inspired by the story myself, so I'm glad it is resonating with others as well.