2. THE BEGINNING
After the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark George Lucas
decided to continue his vision for the recreation of the adventure
serials of the past. Following the course of The Empire Strikes
Back, the second installment in his Star Wars saga, this would
be a journey to the dark side.
STEVEN SPIELBERG Director: "I loved the experience of filming
Raiders. I don't know if it was the good fortune I enjoyed
on this particular adventure, but I'm anxious to work again
overseas. I'm definitely going to direct the sequel to Raiders.
I had such a good time making the first one that I would hate
to let the second one slip through my fingers into somebody
else's hands. I'll certainly not be involved in the third
or fourth one, but I really want to do the follow up, because
the new story is even more spectacular than Raiders of the
With Lawrence Kasdan unavailable, since he had begun a career
as director, making his first feature film Body Heat, Lucas
approached his American Graffiti co-writers, Gloria Katz and
Willard Huyck in February 1982. He invited the couple and
Spielberg at his ranch for their first meeting that lasted
four days. In the first hour Lucas described what he had in
mind. The title was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Death
and the story would start in Shanghai, a year before Raiders
and their lost Ark quest.
Spielberg thought the title was too gloomy and proposed the
word doom instead of death, which Lucas accepted. For this
second film they decided to go to the opposite direction Raiders
took, so appearances from Sallah and Marcus Brody were dismissed.
STEVE SPIELBERG Director: "The danger in making a sequel
is that you can never satisfy everyone. If you give people
the same movie with different scenes, they say 'Why weren't
you more original?' But if you give them the same character
in another fantastic adventure, but with a different tone,
you risk disappointing the other half of the audience who
just wanted a carbon copy of the first film with a different
girl and a different bad guy. So you win and you lose both
HARRISON FORD Actor: "Of course I'm doing the second Raiders
film. With great pleasure. Steven Spielberg is going to direct
it. So this is very exciting for me. It was one of the best
working relationship experiences of my life working with Steven."
Since Lucas wanted this film to be really scary, the villains
had to be nothing like the Nazis or the suave Belloq of Raiders,
so the writers adopted the villains of George Steven's 1939
version of the Rudyard Kipling poem Gunga Din, the Thugs.
They were a sub-group among devotees of Kali, the goddess
of Death, and they practiced ritual strangling - Thuggee -
as a form of worship. Silent and anonymous traveling the roads
of India, murdering travelers and burring them with their
ritual pickaxes; the Thugs kept their sect and practices secret
for centuries. Renaming them "Thuggees" or, in some versions,
"Thuggies", and marring them with other cultural customs like
Aztec cardiectomy, Hawaiian volcano sacrifice and European
devil worship, Huyck and Katz came up with what they thought
would be the ultimate villains.
While the villains of the film got more and more dark Indy's
character was coming more and more light. This time around
Indy's motivation would not be for the sake of archaeology
nor for the artifacts themselves but for the freedom of enslaved
children. This time Indy would show that he's not just a fortune
hunter going after lost artifacts but a more kind person who
cares for others.
3. RAIDERS OF THE LOST SCENES
Many of the sequences that were dropped during the making
of Raiders proved to be valuable for the development of the
new script. Originally Lawrence Kasdan had the headpiece of
the staff of Ra broken up in two pieces the one obtained by
Marion and the other by General Hok, an evil Chinese warlord
settled in Shanghai. Leaving the United States Indy would
travel to Shanghai and break into Hok's fortress. There he
would face two imposing Samurais. By shooting one of them
and strangling the other Indy would manage to remain undetected.
With one of the fallen Samurai's sword he would break the
glass cabinet containing the artifact and set off an alarm
system part of which is a ten-diameter gong. General Hok would
enter the place wielding a machine gun and begin firing indiscriminately.
Indy would manage to unhook the gong and roll it across the
hall using it as a shield. The sheer weight of the gong would
crack the marble flooring offering Indy an escape. This scene,
showing a more dark character of Indiana Jones, was cut from
script due to cost saving. The new film begins with Indiana
Jones meeting singer Willie Scott during his negotiations
with the Chinese mafia in a pre-war Chinese nightclub called
The Dragon. Continuing the in-jokes tradition that Raiders
found, the nightclub's name was soon changed into Obi Wan.
Alec Guinness' character from Star Wars. This scene was also
the fulfillment of George Lucas' past wish to present a tuxedo
wearing Indiana Jones.
3.2 THE FLIGHT
Another scene that didn't make it from the Raiders script
was Indy's flight to Nepal. On leaving Shanghai Indy would
take a DC-3 to Nepal to find Marion. On board there would
be the usual complement of passengers: a few tourists, a little
old lady, and some Asians en route home. But it would be all
an elaborate trap and while Indy sleeps everyone onboard would
grab every available parachute and jump out of the airplane.
Indy would wake and discover the cockpit locked and the plane
on a collision course with a mountain. Pulling out a rubber
life raft, he would wrap it around his body, leap from the
plane, pull the inflate cord in midair and land safely on
the snowy Himalayan peaks. Using the raft as a sled Indy would
ride down the slopes all the way to Marion's bar. The scene
was incorporated in Indy II following Indiana's escape from
Shanghai and was modified in mid-production at Spielberg's
request, transforming the script's passenger plane into a
cargo craft and adding a clutch of chickens to the payload.
3.3 THE MINE CAR
A third scene cut from Raiders was in the film's climax.
After Belloq's death Indy and Marion load the Ark on a mine
car and try to find a way out, as the whole place is set ablaze.
What follows is a wild chase in the dark mine tunnels as they
are pursued by a group of Nazis. The race between the cars
seems unfair since our heroes' car does not work properly.
In the nick of time the car's throttle works and it accelerates
its speed rapidly, leaving the Nazis engulfed by flames. Reaching
the rail's end the couple finds a small Nazi transport launch
carefully disguised as a Greek fishing boat. In the next shot
the boat is chugging out to sea as the island rumbles and
shakes. For this new film the concept of the mine car was
considered first as a small scene only to become one of the
film's greatest set pieces.
4.1 WLLIE SCOTT
More than 1000 actresses, including East Coast soap opera
stars and one Noxzema girl auditioned for the role of Willie
Scott. Among the totally unknown actresses auditioning for
the role was one named Sharon Stone. Although she was among
the top three choices she didn't take the part; instead, she
went on to co-star in the remake of King Solomon's Mines,
opposite Richard Chamberlain, in a role similar to the one
she lost. Finally, Spielberg chose a green-eyed Texan girl
called Kate Capshaw after viewing her videotaped test.
4.2 SHORT ROUND
Finding a child actor to play Indy's 10-year-old sidekick
proved much harder than finding the female partner for the
daring archaeologist. Spielberg asked casting director Mike
Fenton to arrange open calls in several major cities, New
York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Toronto, Chicago,
Montreal, Hong Kong and London. Open call means that anybody,
professional or complete amateur, can walk in off the street
and be interviewed on videotape. In total they held something
like eight open calls and looked at almost six thousand young
boys. On a Saturday morning of February 1983 while Spielberg
was visiting LA's Chinatown schools he discovered a little
Vietnamese boy called Ke Huy Quan. Quan was born in Saigon
and his father ran a plastics business. In 1976 Quan, with
his parents, six sisters and two brothers fled Vietnam as
one of the "boat people", as the press called them. The Quan
family seeked refuge in Hong Kong and stayed there until they
were accepted by the U.S. Government for resettlement, in
1980. Due to his lack of film background Quan treated the
whole process of auditioning like a game. Even when he was
asked to screen test opposite Harrison Ford. "He wasn't intimidated
by the fact that Lucas, Spielberg and Ford were in the same
room with him", relates Watts. And that was true, since he
had never seen Raiders he was unfamiliar with the character
of Indiana Jones and the men who created him. "I had heard
of Han Solo before but I didn't know his real name was Harrison
Ford," replied innocently the young actor.
4.3 MOLA RAM
For the role of Mola Ram, the arch-villain, they searched
through England and the United States to find someone to play
the part-both Lucas and Spielberg were most anxious that they
did not cast the principal Indian roles with Western actors
darkened down. They wanted real Indians. They couldn't find
anybody amongst the resident Indian actors in the United States,
and so they got a permit for Amrish Puri, one of India's top
actors, to go and do the film. Puri was working on 18 films
in India simultaneously at the time of his casting. "This
was something I had never before come up against," commented
Watts. "The Indian film industry operates in a manner that
would drive me stark raving mad. The actors work sometimes
two or even three shifts a day, four-hour shift. And they
may work on two or three different films; they'll be in one
in the morning and another in the afternoon. In the end, we
had four different visits from Amrish (one in Sri Lanka, three
in London). He had to juggle around all his Indian commitments
to do this movie. It wasn't easy."
Veteran Indian actor Rosan Seth was given the role of oily
prime minister of the Pankot Palace, while David Yip, known
in Britain by the TV series The Chinese Detective, would play
Wu Han, an ill-fated ally of Indy in the opening night club
5. SCOUTING FOR LOCATIONS
ROBERT WATTS Producer: We had our first draft screenplay
in September of 1982. The story, of course, is by George Lucas
and the screenplay by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz. I brought
in Elliot Scott as Production Designer from England and after
Steven Spielberg had approved that choice we began to turn
our thoughts to locations. I still remember when we looked
at the script in the early days and we all said: "How the
hell are we going to do all this?" We always feel that way
about each new movie. But somehow or other we do it. It gets
done. Don't ask me how!"
ELLIOT SCOTT Production Designer: "Robert (Watts) and I set
off, first for Hong Kong and Macau. We were looking for a
location to resemble China in the Thirties. That's a very
difficult thing to find. Hong Kong is just covered in skyscrapers
and concrete, so we ended up in Macau. We examined it very
carefully and worked out how we could adapt this street or
build around that, or blind off obstructions to shoot various
scenes later. I have the easier job, taking photographs, slides
and notes for reference later. Robert's task is obtaining
all the permissions and permits while I'm just keeping my
eyes and ears open searching for the right spot . . . "
ROBERT WATTS Producer: "After Macau, I went with Scotty to
India where we travelled very extensively looking for possible
locations. We covered a lot of ground - India is a big country
- and we found most everything we wanted except a gorge to
string the rope bridge across. But the locations were widely
spread apart and I was concerned about the rivers which had
to be clean enough to allow the actors to swim in them for
some scenes. I collected water samples out of each area and
sent them back to England for analysis.
"It was always in the back of my mind to shoot part of the
movie in Sri Lanka. Other movies, including Bo Derek in Tarzan,
had been shot there and I knew that the rivers were probably
cleaner. We travelled from India to Sri Lanka and were pleasantly
surprised. I had been concerned that as a location it might
prove to be too lush, but virtually every kind of location
we needed was there with the single exception of a suitable
maharajah's palace. So our original assessment from this trip
was that we would spend three days shooting at the palace
in Jaipoor, India and then proceed from there to Sri Lanka
to shoot everything else. But it didn't work out that way
in the end. . . "
FRANK MARSHALL Executive Producer: "There were problems with
the Indian Government. They began putting restrictions on
what we could do and these eventually became creative restrictions.
They wanted to change the script and wanted approval of the
movie once it was finished. So we ended up abandoning the
idea of shooting in India and opted to create the exterior
of the palace at ILM (the Lucasfilm special effects "factory")
with Mike Pangrazio and Chris Evans, ILM's special effects
matte artists, painting those scenes."
6. PRE-PLANNING WITH STORYBOARDS
DOUGLAS SLOCOMBE Director of Photography: "The wonderful
thing about working with Steven (Spielberg) is that he plans
everything very, very carefully in advance. He starts off
by doing rough sketches, little drawings of the visuals which
are eventually finalized by professional artists. These give
one an initial plan of the picture and six or seven times
out of ten what ends up on the screen came from those sketches.
"Of course, he adapts certain shots on the day, but the important
thing is that everyone has had a pretty good idea weeks and
months in advance of what he intends to portray. This helps
one enormously in planning what equipment will be needed and
what conditions one is likely to encounter."
ELLIOT SCOTT Production Designer: "I've never worked with
a Director like Steven Spielberg before. He plans and plans
and plans. He's not a hard man at all, in fact he's rather
pleasant, but his sheer enthusiasm just carries you forward.
He uses sketches to map out virtually the entire film, forcing
himself to consider all the options at the drawing board stage.
These are very rough sketches visually, but there's a lot
of depth in them, a lot of information.
"He would have sketch artists adapt his roughs and send them
over to me saying: "This is the way I want the action to go.
" Then I would try to adapt the sequence to fit the set. Prior
to that I would have shown him a model of the set so he knows
in general where things are, but using these action sketches
he would find that he needed, say, another camera or another
doorway or another this or that. He would ask us to adapt
the plans of the set, make something longer, shorter. . .
all at the drawing board stage, which saves considerable amounts
of money in the long run and allows everyone involved to know
where they are going."
ANTHONY POWELL Costume Designer: "Take Harrison Ford's costume
for Indiana Jones. We couldn't use the original costumes (from
Raiders of the Lost Ark) because they had been virtually destroyed.
To the public, Indy wears an old shirt and an old pair of
pants - but they don't realize how much is involved and how
expensive it all is. For a start, you need six of everything
because what clothes have to go through on an action picture
is phenomenal. Every time Harrison falls down a ravine or
jumps in a river, he will need a change of costume. There
are also stunt men and doubles who have the same requirements.
On this movie alone, we needed about thirty shirts for Harrison,
and it doesn't show on the screen at all.
"Continuity is another problem. Films aren't shot from
the beginning to the end. Quite often, shooting starts at
the end of the script and works backwards. This poses special
problems on clothing. By the end of the movie, Harrison's
costume has to look like he's crawled through jungles, fallen
down mines and fought his way to hell and back. Now to make
clothes look as if they're in that condition and as if someone
has been wearing them for ten years involves much more than
just designing, say, a grand ballgown. The cost of aging clothes
artificially can be much more than the cost of making them
in the first place. There are a million tricks of the trade
involved: staining, bleaching, washing, dyeing, sandpapering.
It's very hard work!
"There is a great deal of research involved in costume design.
I visit museums and have spent 25 years building my own research
library. Even for a movie which isn't strictly based on reality,
like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, it's always worthwhile
doing careful research beforehand. Truth really can be stranger
than fiction. For example, while researching pre-war China
for the scenes shot in Macau, Elliot Scott, the Production
Designer, showed me a Cartier Bresson book of photographs
from 1937. I spotted a photograph of a little Chinese boy
wearing baseball shoes and immediately thought of Short Round.
Steven (Spielberg) loved it and said: 'Let's give him an American
baseball cap which he's gotten from one of the tourists. '
And that's exactly what we did.
"In the Bresson book I also found photographs of Chinese
and European refugees at an airport. Now there's an airport
scene at the beginning of the movie. The real life refugees
were dressed in ways one could never invent. Priests wearing
pith helmets and carrying tennis rackets. Chinese people wearing
absolutely conventional European suits but with the most bizarre
Chinese hats on their heads. Again, I showed them to Steven
and we ended up putting a huge crowd of missionaries into
the airport scene. If you look carefully at those missionaries,
you'll see they are played by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas,
Sid Ganis (our publicity man for Lucasfilm) and myself and
others working on the movie.
"I like to make my original costume drawings not too specific.
As long as the drawing gives the director and actor an idea
of what they're going to get, that's sufficient. The real
work comes in the fitting room. It seems to me that unlike
theater, where an actor can transform himself and be totally
convincing, cinema is a different medium. The camera sees
through artifice. The most interesting and successful screen
actors have been those who have traded on their own personalities,
presenting different aspects of themselves in various movies.
What I feel I have to do is take what is actually there in
an actor, not just physically but in the quality of personality,
and take the character in the script as it's written and bring
these two together halfway. One may have worked something
out very carefully on paper, but the important moment is in
the fitting room. Clothes have to look absolutely right for
that person. You have to strive for something that looks inevitable,
that looks as if it has been airbrushed on the person. All
of that happens in the fitting room, not in preliminary drawings."
7. TRANSPORT LOGISTICS
PATRICIA CARR Production Manager: "We had to ship a complete
shooting units with all its equipment, to Sri Lanka. There's
nothing available on the island itself, of course, in the
way of technical equipment. In addition to Sri Lanka we had
a second unit in Hong Kong and Macau, so there were certain
items that went from London to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Macau,
Macau back to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka
back to London or over to California. I have a shipping file
about the size of three London telephone directories!
"It's an exercise in logistics moving so much equipment,
from props to construction materials, costumes, cameras, sound
equipment, walkie-talkies, food, catering trucks, mobile generators,
arc and "brute" lamps. the list is endless. Steven Spielberg
once said to me when he saw one of my movement orders, 'It's
like moving an army!' I told him, 'That's exactly the way
you have to look at it.' "