While browsing the Vimeo channel on Apple TV, I came across a wonderful fan film about one of my all-time favorite movies – Raiders of the Lost Ark. Created over a period of 8 months by filmmaker Jamie Benning, Raiding the Lost Ark combines radio and TV interviews, script and storyboard excerpts, trivia and more to give Raiders fans a deep insight into the film. When I pressed play I thought I would watch for a few minutes to see if I learned anything new. A few minutes turned into 30 minutes which turned into an hour and by the time I was done I had watched the entire thing, it’s just that good.
I don’t want to spoil the incredible content that Jamie has gone to great pains to produce, but one nugget stands out that I just have to share. Amazingly enough, the entire airstrip sequence where Indy plans to steal the flying wing and escape with Marion & the Ark was entirely improvised over the course of a week. The shooting script for Raiders had no details what-so-ever about this action packed sequence and so Steven Spielberg worked closely with Harrison Ford and improvised everything. Through interviews presented by Benning, we learn how this sequence came together and how much Spielberg loved filming it. This is just one of the golden, gelaming treasures unearthed in Raiding the Lost Ark. I highly recommend it.