Fan Film, Fan Films

Indiana Jones and the Treasure of the Templars Fan Film Lives!

There’s been plenty of hoopla this week as the world gears up to either be amazed or horrifically disappointed by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but to be honest, I’ve been looking forward to an entirely different Raiders spin-off. Crystal Skull was shot just last summer, but I’ve been waiting for Indiana Jones and The Treasure of the Templars for years. Come Friday, May 22, we’ll finally get to see some more of what might turn out to be the best indie Indy film ever.

There’s lots of amateur Indy productions out there (just visit the fan film section of TheRaider.Net to see what I mean), but TOTT stands out like a golden idol in a forgotten temple, waiting to be snatched off a pedestal.

Back in 2004, Kenneth Gawne threw on the classic fedora, director Jonathan Lawrence started rolling tape, and with a lot of friends, they shot an action-packed, five-minute scene in the California desert that set the stage for their movie. Even if Indy had an Irish brogue and didn’t resemble Harrison Ford, the segment felt like a Raiders flick and it looked the part, too. Stunts, gunfire, witty repartee—all the classic elements were there.

A year later, they unleashed a three-minute trailer that looked just as promising. They’d clearly upgraded to a higher-quality camera when they traveled to Scotland for more shooting (an Indy fan film where there was real globetrotting!). There, the lush settings—ancient ruins, chapels, even the cave from Monty Python and the Holy Grail—looked gorgeous. There were explosions, decent actors, gorgeous settings and a truly insane leap from the top of a waterfall—yikes! TOTT looked to be something really special.

Then there was silence. The movie’s website was rarely updated; Gawne was off and out of contact, traveling distant lands doing charity work; the website’s forums were silent for months at a time. Fleeting declarations that the film would be ready before Indy IV appeared, but as time rolled along, it became increasingly apparent from the deafening silence that there was nothing to see.

Until now. With the world’s eyes focused squarely on Indiana Jones, the TOTT website has suddenly declared that “the countdown has begun,” and to prove it, there’s news updates, chatter on its forums, new “making-of” material, and most importantly, an all-new, 10-minute trailer that will debut on May 22. If we can’t get to see the whole fan film, well, at least the new material is proof the project is still alive and kicking.

And heck, if the new trailer is as good as the previous teasers, it’ll be worth downloading to your iPod, just so you can show off to your fellow geeks while you wait online for that other Indiana Jones movie.

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