"The Raiders Guys" Biographies

Biography of "The Raiders Guys"

Biography of The Raiders Guys

Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb met while attending Christ Episcopal Day School, an elementary school in South Mississippi, at ages 9-10. Initially, they were merely acquaintances, but when Chris saw the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark when it was released in 1981, he was completely captivated by the movie’s adventurous spirit and taken with the character of Indiana Jones. He came up with the idea to remake the film, with himself playing the part of Indiana Jones. He called up Eric, who had asked to borrow his Raiders comic book on the bus and done a film for class, besides – and asked if he wanted to help.

Eric also loved Raiders, and was excited by the idea. They met in the summer of '82, two eleven-year olds figuring out where to begin in remaking the Spielberg-Lucas blockbuster that had a $26 million production budget. Amid all of the formidable logistical challenges, how-to-do-the-special effects loomed large. And so, Jayson Lamb, who they knew had devised a "Haunted House" set-up in a classroom one Halloween at school, complete with gory effects – was recruited into the foray. The trio was complete.

Chris played the part of Indiana Jones. Eric took on the role of Director (as well as playing the part of Belloq, Indy’s arch nemesis). Jayson was the Cameraman, and in charge of Special Effects. For the next seven years, from 1982-1989, they worked together on the project. In that time, the relationship of the trio was tested, by changes that come with moving from age 12 to 19, as well as by working alongside each other through experiences that ran the gamut of human emotion. Though the trio experienced some falling outs, the friendship endured and they were able to finally complete the labor of love in the summer of '89, holding the premiere to a receptive hometown crowd in Mississippi.

It seemed the journey was at an end, and eventually the trio scattered. Fifteen years passed since the '89 premiere. Chris lived in Los Angeles, Eric in Orlando, Jayson in Berkeley when they were each contacted out-of-the-blue by film-maker Eli Roth (director of Cabin Fever) who had gotten a copy of their film through six degrees of separation, and passed it on to Steven Spielberg, director of the original Raiders. Spielberg wrote each of them a letter, expressing "how impressed I was with your very loving and detailed tribute." This event set off a chain of events which quickly led to the trio reuniting after years, their meeting Steven Spielberg in person, and ultimately, the purchase of their life rights by Hollywood mega-producer Scott Rudin. As a result, this true childhood story of these three young friends remaking Raiders is now set to be a major motion picture from Paramount Pictures, release date tentatively 2005-2006. The end... ?

Chris Strompolos Biography

Chris Strompolos Biography

Chris Strompolos was born in Arlington Heights Illinois in March of 1971. He was raised in the deep south in Biloxi, Mississippi and attended the Christ Episcopal Day School where he met Jayson Lamb and Eric Zala.

On the Mississippi Gulf Coast from 1982 - 1989 while remaking "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in the summers, Chris developed a passion for acting and producing.

During the school year however, Chris attended a boarding academy for six years on the north shore of Long Island, New York. He then went on to complete his degree in Theater and Production at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio – Class of 93.

As a classically trained singer and actor, he came to Los Angeles in 1994 to pursue the common creative dream of being an entertainer, producer and writer. To stay above water of course, Chris successfully navigated his way into and learned the ins and outs of multiple entertainment industries; the video game industry, the music industry and the film business.

After riding the wave of the DVD explosion and working in various facets of DVD - from quality assurance to production, he has now set up shop at his home office as a writer and an independent film and music producer. The discovery of a child hood project "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" has served as a momentous and fascinating stepping stone.

Recently, Eric and Chris founded an independent film company with aptly called “Rolling Boulder Films.” Both will reprise their familiar roles: Chris, as producer, will work out of Los Angeles. Eric, as director, will work out of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. They are currently writing and developing a number of projects; including a new adventure film set in the South.

Chris lives in Hollywood, California with his wife Monica. They were married in March of 2003. They have one cat.

Eric Zala Biography

Eric Zala Biography

Eric Zala was born in Panorama City, California in July, 1970. He was raised in Ocean Springs, a small town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. At age 18, he moved from Mississippi to Manhattan, attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in Film and Television production, and minoring in Religious Studies. He graduated with honors in 1992, also with being named a Founders Day Scholar and given the “Consistent Excellence in Filmmaking Award”, bestowed upon only three others in a class of hundreds.

While at NYU, for his senior thesis, Eric wrote and directed a 22 minute short entitled “An Early Twilight”. “Twilight” went on to win over 20 awards at domestic and international film festivals, including First Place (and $5,000) at the National Media Owl Awards, The IAC International Medallion, and the Grand Prize --Best of Show at the Council on International Non-Theatrical Events (CINE) in 1994.

After graduation, Eric moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film career. There, he made a shift to the video game segment of the entertainment industry. He worked in Quality Assurance management for Activision in Santa Monica for five years. He later accepted an offer to work for Electronic Arts’ Tiburon studio, moving to Orlando, Florida. After working there for four years as Director of Quality Assurance, overseeing a department of two hundred employees, he chose to leave. The reason was that the resurfacing of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation reminded Eric -- like Chris --of what is most satisfying and fulfilling to them both: making movies.

And so, after much careful planning, they have left behind safe corporate jobs and have formed an independent film production company, for the purpose of making the movies that they’d want to see themselves. Based in the same Mississippi town in which they did Raiders years earlier, their production company is called (appropriately enough) Rolling Boulder Films.

Both will reprise their familiar roles: Chris, as producer, works out of Los Angeles. Eric, as director, works out of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. They are currently writing and developing a number of projects; including a new adventure film set in the South.

Eric met former classmate Cassie Grace at their 10 year high school reunion in 1998. The two wed in 2000. The Zalas live in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where they have a little boy and girl, Quinn and Darcy.

Jayson Lamb Biography

Jayson Lamb Biography

Jayson Lamb was born in December 1969, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. His parents were Episcopalian/Buddhist and pacifists, while his father served as a Colonel and doctor in the US Air Force. What is interesting is that everyone always considered Jayson to be the strange one in his family and circle of friends.

In 4th grade, Jayson's favorite books were "The Death of Socrates" by Plato and "Movie Monsters" by Alan Ormsby (a how-to make-up book of the old silver screen monsters). Jayson soon became fascinated with the process, and would often go over to his friend, Chris Strompolos's house, where the boys would play with Jayson's gory make-up kit. Scaring their parents and Jayson's older sister with their gruesome creations became an almost past-time for the young boys. A couple of years later, Chris asked Jayson to join the Raiders team.

In 1989, for his high school graduation present, Jayson went to a Tibetan meditation retreat in Berkeley. Afterwards, Jayson went to study at California College of Arts and Crafts, where he graduated with High Distinction in 1993.

Jayson is now a multi-media artist in California. While employed as an Audio/Visual Technician for hotel conferences, he is currently working on a documentary about their remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film is tentatively titled "When We Were Kids." He is also in the process of polishing his upcoming screenplay, "Cathedral of Erotic Misery”, whose story concerns a gothic-teenage couple who both have omnipotent powers to control everyone and everything -- except for each other and their relationship.