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Monday, September 25, 2023

Elementary school kids in Arkansas produced an AMAZING Indiana Jones fan film and you can watch it now!

This is... THE greatest thing that I have seen in a very long time.  These kids are... wow.  They are amazing!  They were able to pull off what a lot of us thirty and forty years ago were only able to dream of doing.  I know my best friend Chad and I used to plan out our own Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.  How when we grew up we would be the next Lucas and Spielberg.  I like to think a little of that carried over to when we were making our films fifteen or so years ago.  Still a bit of childhood magic left.

But these kids, the young men and women of Oliver Springs Elementary School in Van Buren, Arkansas were not content to wait that long.  No, they went all out and they did it now.  It took them two years of fundraising and planning and then filming, but they succeeded in their mission: they made a professional-grade Indiana Jones fan film that stands as mighty as any movie ever conceived.

Indiana Jones and the Treasure of the Aztecs finds the globe-trotting archaeologist in the swamps of Arkansas circa 1958.  On the trail of the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto, Indy runs afoul of rogue Russian agents who are looking for Montezuma's gold.  It seems that there is some mystical quality associated with the treasure: just the sort of thing that Dr. Jones has expertise in.

It runs half an hour but you are going to want more.  These young people have accomplished a film that is incredibly well-shot, smartly composed, exceptionally scored, and astoundingly acted.  These kids are performing their hearts out.  They get the world of Indiana Jones, maybe better than many adults.  And as if a cherry on top, they even got Karen Allen - Marion Ravenwood herself - to make a cameo appearance!

KSFM 5 News has more about the Oliver Springs Music Club and their film, and Arkansas CW Crew has posted a few interviews with some of the movie's cast and crew.

But, you are no doubt wanting to watch this for yourself.  I don't blame you!  There have been precious few Indiana Jones fan film efforts.  In fact the only one that comes readily to mind is the delightful Raiders of the Lost Ark adaptation that was made by Mississippi youngsters in the Eighties.  Well, Indiana Jones and the Treasure of the Aztecs possesses no less soul, and has all the benefits of modern technology and cinematography.

I cannot possibly rave about this enough.  So click on over and watch Indiana Jones and the Treasure of the Aztecs on YouTube.  Or, watch it embedded below.  Hint: click the link instead.  You'll better appreciate the wide aspect ratio these lads and lasses shot their film in.

Young men and women of Oliver Springs Elementary School, this blogger gladly salutes you!


Stephen said...

What these young people and their adult assistants have done here is astonishing. They have set a high mark for what school children can do when they set their minds to it. I watched this film and I was smiling with delight the entire time. It is utterly exceptional. I hope and believe that these children have a bright future in store for them. Christopher you had better be taking notes because these children have PLENTY to teach you about film making ;)


Stephen, UK

JeffY said...

Wow!!!! I want them to put out a behind the scenes video showing how they made that. The stunt work especially is shockingly good. I prepared myself for a fun time but I wasn't ready for THAT. Well done young Oliver Springs kids (and grownups)!

Chris Knight said...

Stephen in UK, I know! :-D After watching this I immediately called it to the attention of everyone who worked on Forcery. Now I'm inspired by these kids to make another film. I hope every schoolkid in America, Britain, wherever gets to see this and think about making their own movies. These kids have been blessed with an INCREDIBLE amount of talent and I look forward to seeing what they do next.

Sean B said...

I was one of the adults that helped out. The owner and driver of the Jeep. Yes the kids had a blast. They worked in the cold, the heat, and everything in between. Multiple takes, shots, and all while going to school. It was a pleasure to work with the photographer and my friend the director. It was an even bigger pleasure to work with and see these very talented young people.

Henry John said...

That was perfect! Those youngsters are going to have amazing memories to take with them from that for the rest of their lives. Something that really bonded them together. Sean B you and the other adults deserve a medal for going through all of that with and for those kids :-) Congratulations!

Arcana said...

This now ties with Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation as my favorite fan film. Don't worry Chris I think Forcery is still terrific but you got to hand it to these kids and their crew. They pulled off something truly incredible with this movie. It so happens that I've got Raiders: The Adaptation on DVD in my library. It would be great to have Treasure of the Aztecs on disc with it. By the way, Wilhelm scream was a very nice touch!

Kirk said...

This movie is seriously the best thing I've watched in awhile too. When Indy is confronted with the Russian muscle woman I just lost it ROTFL :) You can tell they're having so much fun but they are so serious too about giving their best. I pray that these young people keep their attitudes through life, it will take them very far.