It's hard to believe that I sat in a screening room at Paramount's New York headquarters 30 years ago to watch Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark
. Needless to say, it blew my head off. I made my first trip to the west coast to interview producer George Lucas at his Lucasfilm headquarters in Marin, California, for Film Comment Magazine (the archives don't go back that far, alas). The Lawrence Kasdan/George Lucas/Steven Spielberg original turned into a blockbuster and spawned a franchise. The concept of remaking a 40s adventure serial was novel; so was producing an action-packed period romantic comedy (with 6,000 live reptiles). And Harrison Ford nailed Indiana Jones, needless to say.
To celebrate its three-decade anniversary, the Motion Picture Academy is mounting a premiere Digital Cinema presentation of a new restoration of Raiders of the Lost Ark, with a pre-screening conversation focused on the film's groundbreaking use of technology with key members of the film’s crew. UPDATE: The conversation will be streamed live on Oscars.org at 7:30pm PT.
Moderated by historian Eric Lichtenfeld, the program will include VFX Oscar-winner Bruce Nicholson; sound Oscar-winners Gregg Landaker and Steve Maslow; Richard L. Anderson and Ben Burtt, recipients of a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing; and producer Frank Marshall.
More info here on how to get tickets for the event on Friday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.