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ERIC’S LIFE BEYOND RAIDERS

Eric Zala has led ambitious, collaborative, successful projects since age 12.

Beyond directing RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION first in childhood -- and later in adulthood…

Eric wrote and directed an original film, AN EARLY TWILIGHT. This short drama won over 20 awards in international film festivals and was picked up for distribution.

Eric worked his way up in the video game industry, from temp tester to Director of Quality Assurance, building from scratch a top-performing department of hundreds.

Eric moved to Mississippi to co-write an original screenplay, WHAT THE RIVER TAKES, a southern gothic action-adventure. 

Eric was the executive director of his hometown’s non-profit arts and cultural center, the results of his work there resulting in the mayor awarding Eric the Key to the City and declaring Sept 3rd, 2011 as “Eric Zala Day”.

After leading QA on 2K Games’ most successful video game everBORDERLANDS 2, Eric left behind his 15 year career in the video game industry.  The experience of reuniting 25 years later, to do the final missing Airplane Scene, made Eric and family realize they needed to pursue what is meaningful to them.

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The Zalas sold their house to buy an RV -- to complete a 4-month, 18,000 mile+ road tour across America, with son, daughter & family dog – to support the documentary’s theatrical release, performing onstage Q&As. 

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There, they experienced an overwhelming response from those who’ve seen the film, heard the stories.  

 

Resourcefulness, perseverance, collaboration, solution seeking, creative thinking, goal setting, team-building, and the ability to prototype and iterate. Your story has all of these and yet, what kids notice is that none of this happened at school or under the direction of a teacher.

The challenge for today's educators is "How might we make school more like the Raiders Guys multi-year long project?"

                                                                               -- Chip Houston, Head of Upper School

                                                                               Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Atlanta, Georgia

Excited that this story can help people in such ways, they began a family business — ZALA DETOURS — to share stories, to educate and to inspire, as they were inspired long ago.  

 

Today, Eric lives in his hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, spending time with son and daughter before they leave for their own adventures.  He continues to travel and do ZOOM talks, to share what he’s learned from the 35+ year journey of RAIDERS, in following dreams and finishing.