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Raiders of the Lost Ark Archives - Blog

The ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ 1-Page Film School

On 28, Sep 2014 | No Comments | In 1-Page Film School, Raiders of the Lost Ark | By vashi

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a glorious obsession of mine. I have watched it close to 100 times and always glean a new detail or filmmaking tidbit on each viewing. As a child I looked up to Indy, now as a filmmaker I look up to Spielberg. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a masterpiece that fires on all cylinders with equal parts: adventure, comedy, action, thriller, love story and the supernatural. I’ve scoured the internet for rare content and also created my own video essays in order to assemble this ‘1-Page Film School’.

The included resources are: 17 embedded Videos and 9 downloadable PDFs. They are all compiled below to create a detailed and informative database showcasing Raiders of the Lost Ark’s intricate components. It covers: Directing, Film Editing, Cinematography, Screenwritiing, Sound Design and Music. It’s not something that can be consumed in one sitting…so take your time and chunk away when you can. Please enjoy my first ‘1-Page Film School’ with its amazing insights into the Craft of Filmmaking!


Original 1981 theatrical poster for Raiders of the Lost Ark

The original 1981 theatrical one-sheet for Raiders of the Lost Ark


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Raiders of the Lost Ark – Matte Painting

On 06, May 2014 | One Comment | In Production, Raiders of the Lost Ark | By vashi

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Michael Pangrazio created some of the most famous matte paintings in Cinema history. His work in Star Wars (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Temple of Doom (1984) and 65 other films is some of the most memorable ever. By the 1990’s almost all matte paintings were produced using computer software and the analog method slowly and sadly faded away. Read more…

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The Cobra Shot

On 04, May 2014 | No Comments | In Cinematography, Raiders of the Lost Ark | By vashi

DPs Caleb Deschanel and Douglas Slocombe create magical moments.

The iconic cobra shot attributed to Raiders of the Lost Ark was first seen 2 years earlier in The Black Stallion. The two shots are almost identical in both framing and context to their respective stories…The Hero in Peril. Read more…

Raiders of the Lost Ark – Fast Cutting & Center Framing

On 16, Aug 2013 | 8 Comments | In Editing, Raiders of the Lost Ark | By vashi

In a previous post, I discussed the power of the “long take” during two scenes in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. This time around, let’s focus on the opposite…fast edits and how Steven Spielberg “cuts in camera” to tell the story quickly, efficiently and visually. He basically pre-edits on the set and that requires proper planning.

This technique of shooting only pre-planned and essential shots has been around since the early days of Hollywood. Sometimes, directors didn’t have enough time or film and would just shoot the barest essentials needed to convey the story. On the flip side, Alfred Hitchcock (and others) often filmed only the shots they needed so that the Studio would have no other choices during the editing. Let’s take a look at how Spielberg “cuts in camera” to introduce Indiana Jones during the opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.


An iconic moment in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

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Raiders of the Lost Ark – Analysis Part 1
The Long Take

On 02, Jul 2013 | 10 Comments | In Editing, Raiders of the Lost Ark | By vashi

Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) is for me, the quintessential action/adventure film.
It contains 1459 individual shots and has an Average Shot Length of 4.6 seconds.
There are several iconic and unforgettable shots in this cinematic classic.
I would like to focus on one specific shot…the 2nd longest shot in the film.
My film editing tip is revealed at the end of the video.

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