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1-Page Film School

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


(Note: This posting is for educational purposes only.)




The original 1981 theatrical trailer in HD. It used strong imagery, a narrator and avoided the fast cutting style commonly used today:


1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark featurette. A 10-minute romp through the production:


How Steven Spielberg planned shots on set and in camera:


Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan interview (104 minutes)
The day he was asked to write Raiders at the 20-minute mark:


Composer John Williams 12-minute interview on writing and scoring Raiders:


Two of the longest takes in Raiders. Staging and blocking in full effect:


Steven Soderbergh’s black and white treatment of Raiders of the Lost Ark is married with The Social Newtworks’ soundtrack. The purpose of this experiment is to focus the filmmaker’s brain on the staging, editing and quality of lighting by changing the visual and auditory familiarity.  Source


Editor Michael Kahn on the hardest scene to edit in Raiders of the Lost Ark:


Animatic shows all the Camera and Dolly Movement in this long shot:


Raiders of the Lost Ark: A Filmumentary – 143 minutes of behind the scenes info:


StooTV created a side-by-side comparison of the opening sequence in Raiders with 30 old Hollywood films from 1919-1973:


Ben Burtt on the Sound Design of Raiders of the Lost Ark:


DP Douglas Slocombe never used a light meter. He judged light by the shadow of his thumb on the palm of his hand:

Douglas Slocombe – Behind the Camera from BSC on Vimeo.

(Raiders starts at 6:45)


The UPDATED Longest Single Shot in Raiders of the Lost Ark


40-minute master class with editor Michael Kahn:


John Williams Musical Motifs in Raiders of the Lost Ark:







Original transcript of Story conference for Raiders

Original transcript from January 23, 1978




DIGITAL VERSION of Raiders of the Lost Ark Story Conference

Digital Version of the Story Conference

Digital version for easier reading




FIRST DRAFT of Raiders of the Lost Ark by Lawrence Kasdan (144 pages)

First draft of Raiders of the Lost Ark

First Draft from June 15, 1978




REVISED THIRD DRAFT of Raiders of the Lost Ark (102 pages)

revised third draft

Revised Third Draft from August 1979




FINAL DRAFT of Raiders of the Lost Ark (103 pages)

final draft of Raiders

The Final Draft from April 1980





HARRISON FORD’s Raiders script with hand-written notes (9 pages)

Harrison Ford's hand-written notes

Harrison Ford’s personal script with notes




COMPLETE DIALOG BREAKDOWN – Raiders of the Lost Ark as shot (210 pages)

Dialog Breakdown for Raiders

All the dialog as transcribed on set




CONTINUITY BREAKDOWN for Raiders of the Lost Ark (77 pages)

Every prop for every scene

Every prop and item needed for each scene






SCRIPTNOTES – John August & Craig Mazin’s insightful and comprehensive breakdown of the film (transcript)
You can get access to this episode and over 163 other earlier podcasts for only $1.99 HERE. An amazing screenwriting resource.


Raiders of the Lost Ark won 4 Academy Awards. Best Film Editing / Best Art Direction / Best Sound / Best Visual Effects

It was also nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score.

It carries a wealth of knowledge inside it. If you dig deep…you will always find a new nugget of awesomeness.


This Matte Painting took Michael Pangrazio 3 months to paint



And that is the end of my first 1-Page Film School. I could not have created it without a huge community of equally obsessed film fans and historians. Here are many of the great resources that I culled some of my choices from:


Until next time…


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