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December 15, 2011 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Raiding the Lost Ark: a filmumentary (pt.1, vimeo)

Raiding the Lost Ark is the newest making-of documentary, or "filmumentary," from Jamie Benning (twitter). This filmumentary intercuts scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark with behind the scenes footage, cast and crew interviews, reconstructed deleted scenes, and subtitles offering factual tidbits about the production. The first three parts have been released and are available on Benning's site. Benning's previous filmumentaries focused on the original Star Wars trilogy and can be viewed through the official website or this previous FPP.
posted by mediated self (17 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.
posted by Fizz at 10:36 AM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Something I should've mentioned in the post is that Benning conducted original interviews with cast and crew members as part of the project, so the doc doesn't just reassemble previously available interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff from DVDs, but has exclusive material. Also, I didn't realize until watching the doc that the actor who played x-wing pilot Porkins in Star Wars also plays one of the two army intelligence officers who ask Indy about Ravenwood and the ark (guess which one).
posted by mediated self at 11:02 AM on December 15, 2011


Oh man, this guy's projects are amazing! I've always been partial to Indy over Luke so I'm excited about this!
posted by ReeMonster at 11:05 AM on December 15, 2011


Tim Matheson was almost Indiana Jones? Otter?! "Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few priceless artifacts, or took a few liberties with our female Nazi party guests—we did."
posted by steef at 11:19 AM on December 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage.
posted by Aznable at 11:44 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did Benning used to go by "Jambe Davdar" on Star Wars fansites? I hope so, that guy is awesome.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:54 AM on December 15, 2011


Nevermind, just saw the last link. It is!
posted by zombieflanders at 11:54 AM on December 15, 2011


(this is good)
posted by starman at 11:59 AM on December 15, 2011


I watched the 17 minute opening of Raiders, and it was awesome.

What are the copyright ramifications of this? Are these Spielberg/Lucas endorsed?
posted by I am the Walrus at 11:59 AM on December 15, 2011


making-of documentary, or "filmumentary,"

Because "making-of documentary" is really onerous to say.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:48 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few priceless artifacts, or took a few liberties with our female Nazi party guests—we did."

But you can totally see the Harrison Ford Indy counting the goons in an ambush, looking down at his bouquet, and then mumbling "Looks like we're a couple of flowers short, so some of you boys will have to share."
posted by Spatch at 4:59 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christmas came early! Not only were Jambe Davdar's Star Wars documentaries tremendously enjoyable, I find them to be a much better use of a fan/filmmaker's time than long, poorly-constructed, and largely inaccurate screeds explaining why you must hate a specific movie in a specific way. You know which one I'm talking about.
posted by mgrichmond at 5:03 PM on December 15, 2011


Some really good stuff there. My only regret is finding out about the project too soon. Now I'll have to wait for the next installment!

Kinda surprised there was no mention of Philip Kaufman's involvement. It's a pretty well-worn story by now, I guess, but I always found it kind of interesting. (Long story short: he suggested using the Ark as the subject of Indy's quest, and Lucas insisted on giving him a story credit for that sole contribution)

Also kinda surprising (in a way) to hear Harrison and Spielberg more or less totally confirm the "Shoot the Swordsman" story, as opposed to this earlier renouncement.
posted by ShutterBun at 5:58 PM on December 15, 2011


Because "making-of documentary" is really onerous to say.

The creator describes the docs as "unofficial commentaries," and it really is more like watching the movies with a commentary and the occasional deleted scene/outtake/BTS footage edited in (film+documentary+commentary = filmumentary).

From the description of the Star Wars Begins video: "What’s interesting about the format is that Benning’s documentary is feature-length, and follows the flow of the original movie itself with the deleted scenes added where they would have been, with interviews placed over the top of the action they’re describing. The overall effect is much more engrossing than a DVD commentary track and the wealth of material contained makes it well worth sitting through the entire runtime of 2hrs 18mins."

So it's not really a making-of-documentary. It's more like a filmumentary.
posted by mediated self at 8:05 PM on December 15, 2011


Also kinda surprising (in a way) to hear Harrison and Spielberg more or less totally confirm the "Shoot the Swordsman" story, as opposed to this earlier renouncement.

Yeah, and it's hard to see any way in which their account and the stunt man's can both be true. Someone's memory is off.

Another possible discrepancy is that the stunt man says the famous scene was done the day they left Tunisia, but in this piece someone else mentions that the truck tipping over and exploding was the last scene in Tunisia. Once again, they can't both be true -- you don't prepare for a 3-day fight scene and the truck stunt in the same day.

I love movie trivia and Raiders is perhaps my favorite movie of the past 30 years, so this is pretty much irresistible to me. But "filmumentary" still sounds silly.

I'm wondering if Spielberg and Paramount are looking the other way as long as the guy doesn't make money off it, like the position Lucas adopted with Star Wars.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:35 PM on December 16, 2011


I love the footage of Spielberg directing the drinking game... I could just watch a movie of him directing a movie.

Also, I really like Spielberg consoling the stuntman after the 5-ton truck didn't flip over as violently as the stuntman would have liked -- "It was realistic!" As opposed to chewing him out or having him redo it or something.
posted by starman at 7:27 PM on December 17, 2011


I could just watch a movie of him directing a movie.

SOOOOO true. In addition to his boundless creativity, hands-on approach, and "knowing exactly what he wants, and finding out how to get it," let's not forget that this is also a director who has a reputation for being "on time, and under budget." If ever there were to be a nominee for some kind of "purest, most representative example of the ideal director of all time" award, I can't think of anyone better.

Even just the way he talks to his actors & crew. It's almost indistinguishable from how you or I would go about things. "You've got a great face, let's put you up front" etc.

Granted, he draws a tremendous amount of his power via terrific instincts, and being a student of other great filmmakers, as well as surrounding himself with talent. But that's all part of the job description, I think.

I'd be curious to see where the DGA trainees on his various films have ended up, career-wise.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:54 AM on December 18, 2011


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