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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

7 fan questions surrounding Jurassic World - plot holes, continuity, story in the Jurassic Park Universe

1. What happened to the escaped Pteranodons from Jurassic Park 3?
2. What is the deal now with Site B?
3. Why was the original island chosen for Jurassic World?
4. How did the original T-Rex survive on Isla Nublar?
5. Are there other wild Dinosaurs alive on Nublar?
6. Why rebuild Jurassic Park in this way? (Following John Hammond's 'step aside' broadcast in The Lost World)
7. Why has Henry Wu suddenly become a crazed hybrid-making geneticist?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Spielberg's advice through a long necked Dinosaur in 1988

Watch carefully these two clips.  One is the 1988 Don Bluth film 'The Land Before Time' (produced by Spielberg), the other is advice Spielberg gave during a speech.

Although the first pre-dates the latter by over 2 decades, the advice is the same 'listen to the whisper'.  What a wonderful connection between these two.  I wonder if Spielberg himself insisted on this particular line being in the movie.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Kauai - Jurassic Park Filming Locations, Directions

Now on Google Maps!
Check out the video demonstration at foot of this article.

Some of these are on private land so always check before you go there!

Locations covered - all in one map!:-
Kauai Airport
Where you will arrive if flying in to Kauai
Grand Hyatt Resort & Hotel
Where Spielberg and the crew stayed during the shoot
Jurassic Trees
Where Dr Grant discovers the hatched eggs
Jurassic Storm Jetty
Filmed during the storm arrival
Hoopii Falls
Where laywer Genarro slips at the amber mine
Al Pastor Tacos
Where Dennis Nedry meets Dodgson
Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Raptor pen shooting location
Puu Ka Ele Reservoir
Brachiosaurus sighting
Jurassic Falls
Where the InGen helicopter lands
Jurassic gates
Those famous gates are now two concrete poles (private land)
Blue Hole
T-Rex paddock shooting location (private land)
Na Pali Coast
Used as both Isla Nublar in Jurassic Park and Isla Sorna in The Lost World

Friday, 14 February 2014

Jurassic Park - the Torch lights have fascinating meaning

Enjoying Jurassic Park in its latest Blu Ray 3D format, I noticed something interesting in the scene where Ellie and Muldoon go looking for survivors.  The torches they use to survey the T Rex road create extra bright beams.  On closer inspection I noticed the beams were actually augmented to look more atmospheric.  You can see this quite clearly if you look at the shot where Ellie leaps out of the Jeep with Muldoon and finds Genarro in the foreground.

Look carefully and you will see a traditional 2D rotoscope effect has been applied to the torch beams to make it more bright and volumetric.  The silhouettes of the beams wobble and falter slightly due to them being animated by hand in post production.  This is confirmed by a shot later where Ellie and Muldoon return to Malcolm, and their torch beams are almost non existent.  This is how the torches would appear without the 2D effect applied.  This was not fixed probably due to the shorter length of the shot.

So why would Spielberg spend money on augmenting these shots to make the torch beams more obvious?  It could be to add atmosphere and bring more contrast into the shot?  After doing some reading up on insects I believe Spielberg gave meaning to these shots that is pretty staggering.

Let's look at Ellie and Muldoon, an Alpha Male and Female, both with strong torch lights.  They could represent any light emitting metaphor.  But upon reading about insects, in particular Fireflies, the metaphor becomes clear.

"The well-known femme fatales in the genus Photuris use a trick called aggressive mimicry to make meals of other fireflies. When a male firefly of another genus flashes its light signal, the female Photuris firefly replies with the male's flash pattern, suggesting she is a receptive mate of his own species. She continues luring him in, closer and closer, until he's within her reach. Then she eats him!"

This is a clear females masquerading as males (or same species as males) visual metaphor, which sums up the story of Jurassic Park succinctly.  The female dinosaurs switch sex to male allowing them to mate.  The fact the firefly devours the male is also representative of the Dinosaurs' predatory nature.

This torch metaphor also gives weight to Lex Murphy attracting the T Rex with the beam, in the same exact manner as the Photuris Firefly.  Pretty cool!

I've yet to look at the original DVDs to see if the torches were augmented in the first release, but this is obviously something Spielberg wanted to highlight visually.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Jurassic Park Dinosaur Models! From hatchlings to full size!

It's a rare treat to find model dinosaurs that look exactly like the ones seen in Jurassic Park.  I have always longed for some sideshow quality busts of the Raptors and T Rex.  Which is why when I saw the work of Roostercat online I instantly contacted him for a commission.

Galileo of was more than helpful.  He had built an astonishing five foot long T-Rex model, and offered this to me, but I had neither the room nor the funds for the piece.  So I compromised and asked if I could commission a bust at the same scale.  This would be the first of many commissions from this talented artist.

A couple of months passed, and a parcel arrived at my office.  I opened it at my desk, and my colleagues crowded round.  It was truly a remarkable model.


Next up - I had always wanted a replica puppet of the Velociraptor hatchling in Jurassic Park.  I had a lucky encounter with Gavin of, where he had obtained a casting of the original hatchling sculpt, and suddenly it struck me that a replica may be feasible.  I contacted Galileo to ask him if he'd be interested.  The response was affirmative, so I sent the casting over to him for construction and paint.  When this piece arrived there was a repair job to be done, but soon enough I had the beautiful hatchling in a grassy nest and on display.  Another wonderful addition to the collection.

With two great pieces assembled and on display, I got thinking about a new commission, a full size Raptor bust.  At the time I had insufficient funds so I left this idea alone for a bit.  It would require Galileo constructing the entire piece from scratch.  Little did I know this was already something he had planned for the future!

So the next commission was a Compsognathus 1:1 replica, matching the one we see in Jurassic Park : The Lost World.  Galileo had already constucted a Compy of his own, and it impressed me so much when I saw it, that I had to commision him to paint one up for me.  A large box arrived at my family home, and my father helped me lift the piece out of it's packaging.  We were both staggered by the detail and artistry of this piece, and it is still on display at my family home as a result.

After a long break of no commissions, I returned to the idea of the Raptor bust.  I always wanted a replica of the Raptor from Jurassic Park, with the distinctive flat block head.  Galileo had in the meantime constructed a model of the Raptor we see in Jurassic Park 3, which was stunning.  He explained that he could easily modify that base sculpt to create a replica closer to what I imagined.  We went ahead with the commission and lo and behold, the giant parcel landed three months later.  There are some minor repairs to be made due to the poor handling en route from Mexico, but this is not a big issue.  I look forward to completing these repairs soon.

Monday, 16 September 2013

'Jurassic World' - What does Jurassic Park 4's new title reveal?

Last week it was confirmed by Universal that the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise will be called 'Jurassic World', to be released June 12, 2015.  Whilst the title may confuse many, and may sound unoriginal and bizarre as far as titles go, let's not forget the name of a popular space adventure penned by the now retired George Lucas some years ago.  'Star Wars' doesn't sound so odd following it's resounding success.

So looking at the title - what can we deduce about the story?  We take a look at some potential clues.

Gone Global

Jurassic Park was always described in the novel and in the film as an ambitious theme park.  The nearest modern day point of reference would be Disneyland, or the larger Disneyworld.  So in a similar upgrade, maybe we have gone from a theme park, to a worldwide attraction?

The author of Jurassic Park, the late Michael Crichton, even described John Hammond, the owner of the park in novel, as the dark side of Walt Disney.  So we're building up connections to a corporate franchise that has possibly gone global since the last film.

Corporate Greed

Could it be that rich investors ignored the warnings of the incidents of Jurassic Park, and rebranded the franchise 'Jurassic World' to get away from any bad associations with the incidents on Isla Nublar?  Carefully these greedy men prevailed over bad press, and a theme park was created regardless of the threat to human life.  We see these kinds of decisions being made everyday in the real world.

Greedy men were a prevalent theme in Jurassic Park, from John Hammond discussing a 'Coupon Day' with his snide Lawyer to the villain Dennis Nedry (an anagram of 'Nerdy Sinned') taking a bag chock full of dollar bills to steal the park's precious research.

Literal World

The word 'park' refers to a land-based resort.  Could it be that Jurassic World encompasses all types of prehistoric Fauna and Flora, including the rumored sea life that appeared in an early treatment of the film?  The new logo embraces a cool blue backdrop, maybe this suggests the new boss in town is a sea creature?

We're really looking forward to the fourth film here at Jurassic Collectables, so leave your thoughts and comments about the new title below, aswell as any speculations you may have about the plot.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Natural History Museum Dinosaur Collection by Invicta Plastics London

This is something of a nostalgic piece for me personally.  Growing up pre-Jurassic Park in the UK for a child-dinosaur-nerd was like hunting for oil.  No electronic toys, no realistic rubber skin, not even painted colour schemes.

So apart from making your own dinosaur out of wire and paper mache (I did this a lot, but the necks of the Brachiosaurus were always uniform thickness due to utilizing a loo roll tube), there were only a handful of toys available to a child of the 1990s living in the UK.

Dino-Riders had it's hiatus in the 1980s, but the toys were quite scarce in the UK, they would turn up in charity shops sans armour with beady glass eyes.  These were a rare and treasured find.  The nearest thing to a Dinosaur toy were the museum-sold figurines.  This made trips to the Museum even more exciting.

So, on the rare occasion we visited London (twice in my childhood) I would acquire more Dinosaur figurines.  And these Invicta Plastic Dinosaurs were the only ones to be found.

Usually they were compartmentalized into wooden tabletop boxes, with each Dinosaur species clearly labelled.  They were quite expensive too - four or five pounds on average (which was equivalent to a Kenner action figure back then).

So I was delighted as a child to find a special offer at the Natural History Museum in London.  Ten pounds for a plethora of Dinosaur figurines!!!  I nearly exploded.

My parents - being the kind and generous and thoughtful people they are, obliged and lent me a little extra money to pay for the set.

So there I was, sat on the train home, opening up a fresh plastic odoured box, and going through each species individually, palming their scales and claws!  It was a fantastic journey home and I will never forget it.

This is the exact set I purchased as a child - each species comes in bold retro block colours, no paintjob, but their sculpt is still incredible.  I still associate the maroon colour with Tyrannosaurus as a result.  They are quite scarce now too - I think their price has soared to ten times what I paid back in the 1990s.