“Raiders of the Lost Ark” story conference


Mystery Man on Film links to a 125 page pdf of a transcription of a 1978 story conference of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan discussing Raiders of the Lost Ark.

By the time Lucas and Spielberg setup these meetings with Kasdan, they knew for the most part what they wanted. This was just a matter of “okay, so, how do we tell this story?” Lucas did most of the talking. He seemed to be just talking through all of the ideas. He came across as, on the one hand, a strong driving force behind the film and on the other hand, a bit controlling. Spielberg occasionally threw in some exciting, funny, and even wacky ideas, which at times Lucas tried to dial down. But many, if not most, of Spielberg’s ideas would be used. Kasdan doesn’t say too much. I imagine he’s just soaking in everything he’s hearing, but he was certainly in sync with the filmmakers. He’d occasionally interject suggestions and also good questions about logic, characters, and plot.

Man-oh-man, Spielberg and Lucas were idea machines. They could’ve sat there coming up with Indiana Smith ideas forever. There were enough ideas generated in these meetings for two films, which they actually used for two films.

The author goes on to break down the story treatment and create 10 rules for screenwriting based upon the account. It’s a very interesting read, especially if you’re interested in the creative process and don’t want to spend time digesting the 125-page file.  Or stash in next to the toilet.  Either way.

Tangentially Related: MTV reports that casting is already underway on George Lucas’s Star Wars show.  Rose Byrne (FX’s Damages), who played Dorme in Attack of the Clones, let it slip at the Knowing junket that a lot of her friends have been auditioning for the series.  Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, the show has been described by Lucas as “Deadwood meets The Sopranos in space”. Way to show drop.

According to Slashfilm, the show will be “told from the perspective of minor characters from the Star Wars galaxy (rumored to be a family in the underworld)” and will also be “darker, grittier, more character-based.” Don’t be surprised to see characters you are familiar with make guest appearances and cameos but not the heavies like Darth Vader.

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