Thanks to YouTube, anyone with a digital camera, Internet connection and a modicum of talent can become a filmmaker.

But back in the 1980s, making your own film required perseverance, creativity and a lot of hard work.

Many of today’s aspiring filmmakers would find it hard to beat the work of Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb — three boys from Mississippi who set the precedent for the ultimate homemade movie.

Together, they created a shot by shot remake of the 1981 Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark, complete with a rolling boulder, ballsy leading lady and the infamous Nazi face-melting scene.

The trio of 12-year-olds were so inspired by Steven Spielberg’s original film that they designed storyboards, props and costumes and began production on their own adaptation in 1982.

Seven years, $5,000 and three sets of presumably frazzled parents later, their film was complete.

Their version, aptly entitled Raiders of the Lost Ark: An Adaptation, is a heartfelt tribute to Spielberg’s original, made all the more impressive by the obvious amount of effort the lads invested in the project.

Using only household objects and simulated stubble, and conning friends and family into joining the cast and crew, Eric, Chris and Jayson brought the whip-cracking adventures of Indiana Jones to life, albeit with noticeable pubescent voice-breaking.

The adaptation received its first official screening in 2003 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Texas, more than 22 years after the boys began the pre-production process.

Since then, the film has screened to sold out audiences all over the world and has even gained the approval of Spielberg and George Lucas.

Blast recently caught up with Eric and Chris (now in their 30s), who fessed up about truck stunts, deals with Paramount and meeting the master himself.

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About The Author

Liz Rennie is a Blast staff reporter in Brisbane, Australia.

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