The labor of love lives on for the makers of a popular fan film.
"Raiders: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made," a documentary about three Coast kids who started filming a shot-by-shot remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when they were 11 years old in 1981, will be hitting the big screen and pay-per-view platforms June 17. It is being distributed by Drafthouse Films of Austin.
Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos and Jayson Lam started making their remake in 1981. They worked on the film for seven years, completing all of it except a shot where Indiana Jones fights the Nazis on an airfield. Jeremy Coon's documentary tells the tale of Strompolos and Zala, as adults a quarter-century later, assembling a crew and filming the scene in Vancleave in 2014.
To celebrate the documentary, two of the fan film's creators will be traveling across the country on the "Raiders: Follow Your Dreams" tour. The tour will feature a screening of the documentary and a question-and-answer session Zala and Strompolos. Some stops will include a showing of the "Raiders" remake.
"Audiences will hear the hair-raising stories of growing up with 'Raiders' on the Gulf Coast in the '80s, as well as revisiting such pursuits when you're an adult, as when we shot the airplane scene," Zala said. "That is chronicled in the documentary, and folks always have tons of questions for us after each film -- we were inspired long ago, and we're grateful for that and we want to pass that fire on."
He said they will also be interviewing some of the people who inspired them as filmmakers.
The tour will stop in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Boston, Kansas City, Mo., and Denver.
But what about a stop in the Magnolia State?
Zala said they are hoping to come to Mississippi in July, but they will have to use crowdfunding to make it happen.
"You can go to visit raidersguys.com where we are installing a button that will allow supporters to donate to the tour, helping us cover tour costs," he said. "Through this, we hope to make it to Ocean Springs."