I have not read this yet, but in tracking several other website owners through my Twitter account the 126-page transcript from the original story conference for the first Indiana Jones adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan in January 1978 is apparently quite interesting.
Peter at SlashFilm was the first with the story as they posted a link to a blog known as Mystery Man On Film which then directs users to SendSpace where you can download the complete transcript. As Slash says, Mystery Man on Film has a long recap of the background behind the transcript which you can read here before downloading, but I will give you Slash’s shortened version:
One of my favorite parts of [“The Complete Making of Indiana Jones”] is a page which contains excerpts from the original story conference between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan in January 1978. It’s like being in the delivery room while Indiana Jones is born. For example, there is a conversation about if Indiana Jones should be afraid of anything, and if so what he should be afraid of. Spielberg suggests that the character should be afraid of snakes but it should be a surprise later on in the film, and Lucas suggests that you reveal that he’s afraid of snakes in the beginning of the movie and later play it for comedy when he opens the tomb “I can’t go down there. Why did it have to be snakes? Anything but snakes.” And later Lucas suggests the character’s name should be Indiana Smith, but thankfully later changes his mind to Indiana Jones because he likes that people can call him “Indy” or “Jones”. I’m not sure if it’s just the screenwriter hidden inside of me, but I find it extremely cool to read these conversations.
Whereas the book Peter mentions only carries excerpts this the complete version and I recommend you click here and download it now as these kinds of links tend to have expiration dates on them and who knows where you will find it once this link disappears.