ABOUT THE PROJECT

We're Tony and James Pinto, a father and son collaborating on our first feature-length documentary.

James is a recent high school graduate who is passionate about all things dinosaurs, fossils, and paleontology. He won First Place in the 2016 California State Science Fair, and was a semi-finalist in the National Science Fair, for a geological experiment on Spinosaurus teeth using a mass spectrometer at UC Santa Cruz. (Yeah, he's kind of a nerd.)

 

Tony (James' father) owns and operates a video production company, has made over 2,500 corporate videos, and loves watching documentaries.

In 2020, we plan to finish creating our dinosaur documentary and get it into some film festivals.

James & Tony Pinto at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED

"WHY DINOSAURS?" started out as a short film. It was meant to be a simple, father/son passion project. But over the past two years, we've interviewed over 30 seasoned paleontologists, fossil hunters and dealers, and even a State Senator. It's quickly turning into a "Who's Who" of dinosaur enthusiasts!

James with legendary paleontologist, Dr. Phil Currie at University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

We also raised over $21,000 from friends, family, and dinosaur enthusiasts via Indiegogo. The campaign is still active for anyone who would like to contribute.

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THE IMPACT

We hope to inspire girls and boys of all ages to get more involved in Science, starting with paleontology. We also hope to inspire other families to embark on a passion project like this. We'd like Science teachers around the world to share it in their classrooms. We'd love to see it shown publicly, in film festivals or an online streaming service.

James teaching dinosaurs to a preschool class in Chatsworth, California.

WHO WE'VE INTERVIEWED

We've been fortunate to interview a wide variety of seasoned paleontologists, fossil hunters and dealers, and dinosaur enthusiasts. We don't want to prematurely announce our remaining interviews, but here are some of the people we've met with so far:

  • Dr. Jack Horner - Paleontologist and Jurassic Park dinosaur advisor
     

  • Dr. Scott Sampson - Paleontologist & “Dr. Scott” of Dinosaur Train and Dinosaur Planet
     

  • Dr. Phil Currie - Paleontologist & Professor, University of Alberta, Canada
     

  • Dean Cundey, A.S.C. - Cinematographer, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Apollo 13
     

  • Dr. Nizar Ibrahim - Paleontologist, National Geographic Explorer and TED Fellow
     

  • Dr. Charles Marshall - Director, University of California Museum of Paleontology
     

  • Dr. Nizar Ibrahim - Paleontologist, National Geographic Explorer and TED Fellow
     

  • Phil Tippett - Legendary stop-motion animator and Dinosaur Supervisor on Jurassic Park
     

  • Dr. Don Henderson - Curator of Dinosaurs at Royal Tyrrell Museum, Canada
     

  • Senator Kate Brophy McGee - Arizona State Legislative District 28; wrote Arizona State Dinosaur Bill (Sonorasaurus Thompsoni)

WHAT'S NEXT?

More interviews! Why? We'd like to hear from as diverse a group of people as possible, including female scientists, tattoo artists, kids, and more! We are currently in post-production and are aiming to finish the film by December 2020.

James and Tony interviewing Dr. Lorna O'Brien, Preparation Lab Supervisor at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Canada.

For more information, please check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

For media inquiries, feel free to contact us.

You can also follow us on one of many social networks:

Our first time being interviewed!

This is a young James doing his best Sir David Attenborough impersonation at the Natural History Museum of LA with his Nonni. 

James' first visit to Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal, Utah.

California State Science Fair judge commenting on James' First Place Spinosaurus experiment.

James receiving a Certificate of Commendation from Simi Valley Mayor Bob Huber for his First Place award in the California State Science Fair, as well as other County-level Science awards and recognition by the Coast Geological Society.

Interviewing Paleoartist and Paleo Prospectors Lead Guide, Rob Sula.

James volunteering in the Fossil Prep Lab at La Brea Tar Pits.

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