Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
Jane Hampton (Custom)
Sao Feng (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Tau Huang (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Elizabeth Swan (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Cairo Henchman
Cairo Swordsman
Henchman (Custom)
Chap Mei Wild Cat
King Kong
Akil Khalfani (Custom)
German Soldiers (Elite Forces)
German Soldier 2 pack (Indiana Jones)
Giant Insect (King Kong)
Deadites (Army of Darkness)
Indiana Jones (with Ark)
Indiana Jones (Temple of Doom)
While I love Short Round as a character and really wanted to use him as the sidekick, the story really called for a new character so I came up with British adventuress and general pain-in-Indy's-ass, Jane Hampton. The head, legs and body are a Miss Coulson figure from The Golden Compass. The jacket is the body warmer from a Hoth Princes Leia. The arms are from a Raiders Marion Ravenwood figure. She's also sporting a Han Solo gun belt. I wanted a female opposite to Indiana Jones, a kind of River Song character if you like.
During the original filming sessions her arms kept falling out of their sockets. This became a real obstacle to filming so I eventually fixed them in with green stuff so they wouldn't come out but would still be fully articulated.
In the original finished script, the villain's name was Khai Bomani (meaning "crowned" and "warrior") and I used a Count Dooku figure, with the skirt section removed and a shirt, tie and jacket created using green stuff. I was never happy with this figure. It looked awful and really stood out amongst the new Indiana Jones figures as a very sub par custom with it's crudely sculpted details and poor paint job. Every time I tried to improve it, it just got worse. As with Jane's wayward arms, this figure became a real stumbling block to getting the story in the can and had to be replaced.
The solution came in form of a James Bond custom a friend gave me (an A Team Face figure with the head of Lord Azrael from The Golden Compass.) I didn't want to use the Daniel Craig likeness so scoured my toy collection for a suitable replacement and after trying several Star Wars figures settled upon Gary Oldman's Sirius Black from Harry Potter. In view of this 'recasting' I changed the villains name to Akil Khalfani (meaning "intelligent" and "shall rule" )
For the henchman I wanted a man in a mask and bought a Wolverine Origins Deadpool and GI Joe Destro in order to do a headswap. However the heads proved incompatible so I simply painted Deadpool's head silver.
It became apparent quite quickly that I was using the same two German soldiers for everything so for one scene (in the airship hold) one of their heads is swapped for the head of Star Wars' Kir Kanos.
For the car chase where Indy is jacketless but not yet dishevelled, I used the 'staff of Raa' figure with his hooded head swapped out for the Temple of Doom hatted one.

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Though not as much of a fan as I am of say Doctor Who or Star Trek, I have always loved the Indiana Jones movies, their great spirit of adventure, humour and the mix of mystical and down to Earth. And as with most things I'm into, I'd always wanted the figures.
So when Hasbro brought out their fantastic line of figures, I snapped up plenty of them knowing that it would only be a matter of time before they appeared on the AFT. I didn't realise just how long it would take though.
First of all, it took me ages to find the right mystery to base the story on. After looking at loads of ideas and researching which of them had already been done in the comics, TV episodes and movies I settled on the legend of the bones of Elisha but with the script written I soon discovered that this very legend was the subject of an upcoming book, so I had to find a new McGuffin and turned my attention to an image that had caught my eye in a Jones comic- Nazi zombies.
This gave me the idea of a stone that could resurrect a dead army. I just needed to find a long dead army and then it occurred to me- the army of the Pharaoh sent to pursue Moses and the Israelites through the Red Sea.

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The original script came quite quickly and I started filming back to back with a Star Wars story that used similar settings where possible, including a forest and the dusty city of Cairo.
But I couldn't help thinking that something was lacking from the script. Sure, I had my McGuffin, I had an ancient legend, I had some traps and obstacles to over come, even had a villain. But it just didn't feel Indiana Jones-y enough.
With some footage already in the can, it was back to the drawing board to pull out the best bits of the script and bulk them out with more danger, more jeopardy and far less standing around talking.
At this point I added the train chase, the airship fight, the fight and fire in the Cave of Moses the henchman and tightened up the other areas. The only thing that really remained the same from draft to draft was the desert car chase.

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Shooting began on the previous draft of the script in June 2009 starting with the desert car chase and the film's final scene.
Filming then moved to the amazon forest where Jane discovers the Egyptian's pact with Hitler and a later scene where Indy is taken into the forest to be shot by the germans.
After that came shots inside the corridors of a tomb.
The next scenes to be shot were set in Cairo where Indy and Jane are chased round the streets by Bomani's men before being captured and a later scene where Indy meets with Sallah to work out their enemy's next move.
The final scenes in this block were where Indy and Jane share a bottle of champagne. But the bottle is drugged and Indy wakes to find Jane has scarpered with his artefact.
None of the above scenes apart from the desert chase and ending made it into the final draft of the script so were all abandoned.
It was a holiday to Italy in 2012 that prompted me to return to the project. Visiting the sites of Pompeii and Herculanium renewed my interest in ancient civilisations and long forgotten buried artefacts. I came up with some ideas for new Indiana Jones stories but remembering how long it took me to write the last one, decided to stick with the script already written and with  Doctor Who about to take a back seat on the AFT for a while, a new project had to come to the fore.
With its script already prepared and the sets already designed I created a shooting schedule and set about remounting the whole thing.
To ensure that the story did get filmed, I worked out which sets were the most complicated to build and which required the most images taken and started with those so (in theory) the shoot would get quicker as easier as it went along.
To that end, shooting began in May 2012 with the Cave of Moses, followed by pick ups for the desert car chase scenes, including images of the 'Gary Oldman' villain that could be inserted over the images already taken using 'Christopher Lee'.
Next was the airship cargo hold/ cockpit, the Chinese train station and train, the Toltatec Upper Temple (done on 25th May), the temple and jungle exteriors, the Cave of Moses exterior/ beach, Khalfani's office, green/ orange screen elements, the Toltatec maze and spike chamber and finally the shots of Indy being buried alive.
On the night of the last shoot day I posted a spoof picture of the 'cast' enjoying their wrap party.

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Editing began on 23rd April. It was originally intended that every page would be A4 size so if necessary it could be collected and printed in a book. It quickly became apparent that this size would not do the images justice, so I doubled the page lengths meaning that it could still conceivably be printed.
The entire story was roughly storyboarded enabling me to slot in the scenes as and when they were filmed.
Some place-marker names in the script weren't replaced until the lettering was.  These include the Toltatec civilisation, which was dubbed Aurabesh (the name of the Star Wars language font) and the Toltatec Temple of the Everlasting which in the script was just the 'upper temple' or the utterly misnamed 'temple of Raa'.
Editing was finally completed on the web version on 8 August 2012.
A printed version was created (a very kind favour from a printer friend) and five copies were given away in a competition in September.

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The first time this venture was publicly hinted at was when I posted on the AFT's Facebook page an image of the upper Temple in bits and then constructed.
Then on 5th May 2012, I posted a teaser poster for the story, with a transmission date of August. At this time it was intended that chapter one would be uploaded on 23 July but the August date gave me a bit of leeway.
A number of further teaser images and information was leaked out week by week leading up to the premier of chapter one on 23rd August.
The pages were originally twice as long but I cut them in half making each chapter 8 pages long rather than the standard AFT 4 pages to give the story a bigger and more epic/ filmic feel.

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The year is 1939 which places it just after the first trilogy by a year.
Aside from that, it doesn't take in (or contradict, I hope) any continuity from the movies. Comics and video games might be another matter.
Jane mentions the previous time that she and Indy have crossed paths but I have no firm idea of when that was or what happened.

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I've absolutely loved playing in the Indy-verse and would love to do another one.
I even treated myself to a proper Indy leather jacket. I now match the figure that a mate of mine kindly made for me.
What did you think? Like it? Hate it? Want more?
Got comments? Got questions? Join the discussion at the AFT's facebook page. www.facebook.com/actionfiguretheatre
 

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