Introduction by Eric Fisk
Admittedly, I had been worn out of the conventions from the decade and a half where the focus was less on fan activities and more on being a 12-hour long commercial for television and movies. FanzillaCon felt more like a “Declaration of Independence” against the corporate entity that has taken over the convention experience. The folks at “Creation Conventions” who run the juggernaut franchise cons should have been there to see how conventions SHOULD be run. Although this was a fan-film festival, it had everything conventions used to have and nothing what makes them terrible today: conventions should be more about what the fans are DOING, and less about what fans should be watching and buying.
The folks running Fanzilia deserve a round of applause, along with special thanks for showing The Raiders Adaptation and allowing us the time to interview Chris Strompolos in between two showings.
The Mount Everest of Fandom
Over the past year he’s become the most famous Indiana Jones Fan with the amazing story about how his loving tribute to Raiders of The Lost Ark he made with his friends and caught the attention of Steven Spielberg. The trio at the center of The Adaptation (Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb) have been in newspapers, magazines and all over the Internet. A movie based on their adventure has been green-lit and with any luck will be hitting the theaters around the same time as Indiana Jones 4. It’s as if Mr. Strompolos was the first to climb to the peak of the Mount Everest of Jones-fandom and lived to tell the tale, becoming the Sir. Edmond Hillary of fedora wearing Indy fans. None of us have ever done done anything like this that as captured the positive attention from either George Lucas or Steven Spielberg the way he has. Yet with his infectious enthusiasm, he makes everyone around him believe anything’s possible and it’s easy to understand how he’s been able to accomplish as much as he has with making this unprecedented fan film.
Chris Strompolos turns out to be one of those people who, like his movie, you can’t help but like. A true gentleman, incredibly modest despite his success while maintaining the attitude of being “just another fan.” If anything, Chris Strompolos doesn’t seem to be someone who likes to have fans fawn over him. When asked for an autograph, he has a genuine “You mean me?” reaction. There’s no bit of false pretence about this man, genuinely nice to those around him, and every bit a fan as the rest of us.
The most amazing thing Chris Strompolos says in the following interview is that he’s tried not to pride himself too much while sharing as much as he can about his experience. The most important thing for Chris Strompolos was that other fans would be inspired to do their own thing while having one more chance to revisit some of the best times he had growing up.