Talking with Marc Linn – “Indiana Jed”

Indiana Jed Based on the Indiana Jones movies, Indiana Jed stars Jed Weyland as the main hero, Marc Linn as his commando side-kick, Evans, Heith Henrickson as the evil villain, Beloch, and Matt Richards as the vicious Kronin. Indiana Jed is a critically acclaimed action-adventure filled with wild stunts and numerous special effects. Judges at the 1992 New York Trinity Film Festival called Indiana Jed the most exciting home movie ever made.

Marc Linn from Linn Productions was kind enough to field questions on his 15 year old -Indiana Jed-.

FAN FILM FOLLIES (through Christopher Moshier): I thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your High School Production of Indiana Jed and the Search for the Infinite Power. It brings back a lot of memories when my friends and I would go into the woods of our local park after school and shoot our silly little action films. But, Indiana Jed is no silly little action film. It is a fantastic Fan Film that encompasses the feel and tone of the classic Indiana Jones Trilogy.

MARC LINN: Well, really all we were doing was taking our junky sears camcorder out and shooting a silly little movie with our friends that ended up being bigger and better than we had ever imagined. We had been shooting little movies since we were 11 years old, but something clicked when we finally made “Indiana Jed”. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – it looks like anyone could have done it. It was made for no money by a bunch of kids. Plus it’s an hour long and yet somehow it’s watchable. Even now, ten years later, it still makes me happy to hear all the comments from people who enjoy it.


FFF: Can you start with your thoughts on the Indiana Jones franchise Was your desire to make the fan film out of love for the Indian Jones “Universe” or a great vehicle concept for action?

ML: My twin brother, Michael and I grew up on Star Wars and Indiana Jones. We loved those movies! So it’s no surprise that those types of stories and ideas were in our blood and encompassed the kinds of movies we were interested in making. When you don’t know anything about making a movie and you’re just starting out, you tend to copy what you love, and do what you know. You see a lot of amateur horror fan films, but we never really cared for that genre. We craved action and adventure, and an Indiana Jones fan film was the perfect vehicle for that!

FFF: How was Indiana Jed conceived?

ML: Not much thought went into it, actually. Everybody thinks doing a spoof of some sort. Our best friend was named Jed, so we called it Indiana Jed. It was supposed to be a short spoof. If we had known it was going to expand and become our labor of love over the next three years in high school, I think we might have given it some more thought.

FFF: Is he a direct descendant of Dr. Jones?

ML: In our minds, it’s a parallel universe. Jed is Jones, and an archeologist.

FFF:: How about Beloch? Any relation to the villain in Raiders of the Lost Ark?

ML: His rival is Beloch. Except our Beloch is spelled differently and doesn’t speak with a German accent. He does, however, have that craze evil “laugh” that the real Belloq has. So we just sort of “used” pieces from that universe and made them our own. The beginning of our movie is very similar to Raiders of the Lost Ark. After the first 10 minutes it goes down its own path.

fffinterviewmarclinn_003FFF: Could you explain the relationship between Indiana Jed and George Lucas? While researching your fan movie I found that George Lucas/John William’s names were attached to your movie (I mean besides the obvious reasons)…is there more to this or do you have no clue what I am talking about?

ML: It’s funny how that happened. Years ago someone listed Indiana Jed on the Internet Movie Data Base and put Lucas along with the writing credits (since we credit him in our movie). People must have used that as a source for their webpages, because now almost every website that I go to that has a profile on Lucas lists Indiana Jed in his writing credits. It’s probably made a lot of people wonder what this Indiana Jed Movie is!

FFF: Lots of extras. How did you get so many people to agree to appear in the fan film?

ML: Well at first we could only round up about 4 or 5 people. They were our close friends and our little brother. Then as we continued to shoot and edit, we would show people in our high school clips of what we were doing. Pretty soon everyone wanted to be a part of it. In fact, 80 kids ended up being in the movie.

FFF: Tell me more about the fire effect in the cave during the beginning when you were trying to obtain the idol?

ML: Can I put a disclaimer here and say don’t try this at home? We did some pretty unsafe stunts when we did this movie, and I guess we could blame it on being young and stupid, or whatever. We now are very cautious in our movie making, but hey, we did it and it’s over and nobody died or even got hurt. We never did anything we thought was truly dangerous. That being said, for the flames, we used WD-40 in a spray can with a long straw on the end. We’d spray the fluid, then light it with a lighter. It looks kind of like a flame-thrower. For the ground effects, we just poured gasoline and lit a match…and ran.

FFF: What hotel was used when Indiana Jed meets his contact, Bill Thomas from the Secret Service? How were you able to film inside? Did you just go and do it or did you seek permission from management?

ML: We just asked and they said yes! We learned that the worst they can say is no, and most of the time (at least for us) people were willing to help us out. Unfortunately, later that same night somebody in the parking lot called the cops because they saw our guns. We were filming the car chase and were suddenly surrounded by a squad of police cars. We had to apologize for scaring the patrons. The hotel wasn’t too happy with us, but fortunately all of our inside shots were done.

FFF: What other locations did you film at?

fffinterviewmarclinn_005ML: In order that the movie goes, we shot in the Badlands, and abandoned mine in Keystone, SDSM&T Museum, The Rapid City Regional Airport, Spearfish Canyon, Roughlock Falls, a bunch of land near where we lived just off Nemo Road, a sewage drain, and Ellsworth Air Force Base.

FFF: Being a High School Student at the time where did the props come from? Namely guns, blanks (Bullets), car you drove over a cliff, helicopters (I am guessing stock footage)…AHHH! YES! and the Infinite Power!

ML: The guns were all bought at Kay-Bee Toys, and then spray painted black. (Now you can’t buy realistic fake guns anymore) For the muzzle flashes, we drew them in using an Amiga Computer and a Gen Lock, which allowed us to draw over the video. It wasn’t like today’s technology where you can grab images and draw over top of them. Basically, we just timed the shots and tried to make them flash on when someone fired. For the bullets hitting, we used firecrackers and burned them in the dirt. The car was donated to us by our pastor. It’s transmission was basically shot and it had to be started in third gear. We filmed a fast paced, hard driving, crazy car chase and ended up completely burning out the tranny. Then we towed it to a cliff we found (which we thought was private property and we had permission) and pushed it off! Unfortunately it was national forest property and we were fined for littering. A minor charge for what they could have done to us! Our dad is in the Air Force so we were able to use the helicopters as props. Someone else shot the interior footage when they were actually in flight. The Infinite Power…Yes…we searched long and hard for something that could be the Infinite Power. We found it in an antique shop, in the form of an old glass lamp.

FFF: How many trees did you hit during the car chase?

ML: Don’t tell any environmentalists, but I think we hit a dozen trees. Some were cut so they would break when hit.

FFF: How many limbs (Human Limbs) were broken?

ML: No broken bones but some close calls. One of Beloch’s bad guys slipped and almost fell off a cliff. Jed tripped when the tree exploded at the end and missed being hit by only a few feet. At the premier of the movie we heard a lot of gasps from parents as they watched their kids doing death-defying stunts.

FFF: Could you comment of the Sound Track and where it originated from?

ML: Originally we just used music off of other soundtracks, but in order to legally show the movie it, we needed an original score. So we used a buy-out music source known as “Super Themes“. The composer is named David Wurst, and I’ve seen his music used by a number of low-budget/independant films. So basically, we just used whatever fit! Michael and I also like to compose a little, so about 10 minutes of our own original music is in there, including a great ending action piece composed by Michael. But we did have two original composers for our next movie, with whom we did work very close with.

FFF: What is your favorite experience…either through pre, production, post, or final movie dealing with Indiana Jed?

ML: The social time we had together with friends was invaluable. It’s an experience I’ll never forget!

fffinterviewmarclinn_006FFF: What can you tell us about your Production Company, Linn Productions?

ML: We keep very busy now doing everything from local commercials and corporate video to national documentaries and feature length movies. We live in a great area, rich with cultural history, so we’ve gotten a chance to shoot for almost every major network or show. The History Channel, CNN, Hard Copy, Travel Channel, ESPN, Oprah, Regis and Kathy Lee, to name a few. We have Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Custer State Park, The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Devil’s Tower, Badlands, 1880’s Train, The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and much more all within an hour or two of us. South Dakota has a wealth of ideal movie locations.

FFF: What can you tell us about the future of Linn Productions? Any other plans you are excited about that you would like to share with us?

ML: OK, SHHH. No one really knows about this yet, but here’s a picture of a giant we just made for our next film. Can’t say much more yet, but we’re working hard at it. There’s a lot of pre-production to be done. As you can see, it’s a fantasy.

FFF: Are your Fan Film days over? Does your professional life fill your creative void or is their still a High School Student inside who wants to go back to the woods and film another scene of Indiana Jed with his friends?

ML: Call me crazy, and I know my twin brother does, but I want to do a Star Wars fan film. Just because I know we could do a great one, and it’s a good way to get some exposure. How else can you get an audience of thousands? Plus I love Star Wars, and I have a great idea for a fan film. I’ve already bought 5 Stormtrooper suits off Ebay and numerous other props and costumes. The kid in me has always wanted to make this film. I just watched Star Wars again tonight, and I’ve watched all the fan films. For the most part, I cringe watching the fan made stuff. But I love the fact that people are out there doing them, and I always find something enjoyable about them. Whether we do one or not…who knows. I may just end up with an awesome Star Wars prop collection. As far as Indiana Jed goes, I wrote a part two, but it will just have to remain a story. We decided to shoot “Escape Through Time” instead, just before we went to college.

FFF: Tell me about your other films “Into His Arms” and “Escape Through Time”. Are these presently available on the Internet for review? I would love to see them.

ML: I think they show our level of progression in movie making. We’re always striving to push the amateur envelope. “Escape Through Time” was a good excuse to shoot every genre we ever wanted to do. Medieval, Western, and the Future. “Into His Arms” is a much more serious film, and deals with spiritual issues.

FFF: Tell me your feelings on the future of Internet Entertainment and then sites such as Atom Films or iFilms.

ML: A few years ago most of us couldn’t watch a feature length movie on-line. The Internet is expanding so rapidly I think that it’s only a matter of time before it replaces TV. Television is so limited. With the Internet, you can find whatever you want. Watching fan films is only one example. I find myself watching less TV all the time, and spending more time online. I can only imagine what it will be like 5 years from now. I think sites like Atom Films are great! It gives an audience to those who might not get one, and provides an opportunity for talent to be showcase and recognized.

FFF: As far as a marketing perspective could you give us an inside insight into what is happening in the world of online entertainment?

fffinterviewmarclinn_001ML: It’s a battle zone out there! The Dot Com fall-out was good for the industry, because now we have the cream of the crop as survivors. We’re still flooded with choices, but at least they are better choices. The Internet is poised to boom, it will only become a bigger part of our lives…the way we play and do business.

FFF: Please share with us any other relevant information you believe would be important on your company’s future entertainment endeavors or your personal ones.

ML: I think HD is going to open the door of possibilities for many poor, independent film companies, and make distribution a more viable option. We’re looking into buying a high-def camera. I think Lucas has shown us the possibilities. Another goal…this is way out there, but Michael and I want to open an indoor waterslide park and amusement center, complete with the world’s first live Quest Game, and Q-Zar Interactive Battle Arenas. (I said it was way out there!)

FFF: Give us a book we need to read before our eyes go bad.

ML: If you like Lord of the Rings, read the ‘Sword of Shanarra’ by Terry Brooks, my favorite author. The Shanarra books only get better. Also, ‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card is fantastic! Why that hasn’t been made into a movie yet is beyond me!

FFF: If I could do anything I wanted today I would…

ML: (Realistic) Take my family to Disneyland. (In my Dreams) Create a new fuel to replace gasoline, end terrorism.

FFF: The person/role model(s) that had the most influence over me to make me the success that I am is/are?

ML: My parents have been amazing. They are why I am who I am.

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