Whatever happened to WHY DINOSAURS?!?
Hello friends, family, and fans of the project!
It’s time we broke our social media hiatus and provided a long overdue update on the project.
Many of you have been asking:
“What’s the latest on the film?”
“Where can we see it?”
“WHEN can we see it?”
First off, THANK YOU!
Thank you for your enthusiasm, thank you for your continued support and, most of all, thank you for your patience.
We feel like a broken record saying, “We had no idea how hard it would be to actually make a feature-length film.” But the reality is… that IS the reality.
As first-time filmmakers, we encountered many speed bumps, land mines, and “lessons learned” along the way, including music licensing, legal requirements, as well as the arduous task of distilling down almost 70 interviews into a cohesive 90-minute film. There were so many things that our naive little production team had to learn about.
And then there’s distribution… (AKA, getting the film out there for people to see it.) They say that making a film is the easy part. Getting it distributed is a whole different story!
We’ve already had a few very positive meetings with top distributors, some you’ve probably heard of. Unfortunately, none of those conversations have turned into commitments… YET. But that doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen in the future.
In the meantime, we will continue turning over every stone, including possible museum screenings, film festivals, DVD, and/or self-publishing to YouTube and other streaming platforms. We’ll do whatever it takes! One of our Executive Producers, Keegan Kuhn, has been quite helpful during this phase of the project, and for that we are extremely grateful.
As we approach the 5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the very first interview in our home town of Simi Valley, California--and reflect on our progress--we are humbled by how far we’ve come. For something that started out as a 20-minute YouTube video interviewing a few paleontologists, we’re genuinely excited that has evolved into a 92-minute feature length film that may inspire future paleontologists--and future scientists of all kinds--around the world!
So rest assured… WHY DINOSAURS? is alive and well and, dare we say, “Coming Soon.” We’ll be inviting some of you to watch a full cut by the end of September, so we can get some additional feedback and work out the last bit of editing. We’re also starting to approach some experienced paleoartists for help fleshing out some of the scenes. Feel free to share your recommendations.
Stay tuned because the best is yet to come!
James & Tony Pinto
P. S. Sorry we’ve been a little quiet on social media lately, but we had a pretty busy summer. Here are a few highlights:
James completed a Summer internship at Waco Mammoth National Monument in Texas.
While on a UK business trip, Tony got to bear witness to (and film for a future project) the unveiling of a long-overdue statue of Mary Anning, an important paleontologist from the 1800’s.
While in Lyme Regis, England, Tony met up with esteemed Paleontologist Dr. Dean Lomax (also a WHY DINOSAURS? Executive Producer) at the Mary Anning Museum, where he was a featured guest speaker. Here’s a photo of them in front of the original Mary Anning portrait, some impressive Ichthyosaur fossil skulls (one of Dean’s areas of expertise), and a giant LEGO sculpture.
The next day, Dean led a fossil hunt on the beach at Lyme Regis, walking in the footsteps of Mary Anning. This group of fellow dino nerds and fans of the film included Keaton Burghardt; Dawn & Matthew Butler; Lorraine, Russ & Natalie; Emily Swaby & Jacob Drury, as well as Jurassic Jude and her lovely parents. (That’s a very large ammonite that everyone is pointing at, by the way.)
James and Tony spent a couple weeks in Morocco, Africa, with renowned paleontologist Dr. Nizar Ibrahim, some of his esteemed colleagues, and a Canadian film crew working on their own paleo-themed documentary. Below is Nizar unveiling portions of the dinosaur Spinosaurus at the University of Casablanca, where many scientifically important specimens end up.
James and Nizar climbed into a fossil hunter’s tunnel that went deep underground, while Tony happily (and safely) took photos from outside.
However, Tony did make a brief appearance with Nizar on the Moroccan evening news.
Needless to say, fossil hunting in Morocco is extremely difficult work. This is a local fossil hunter entering a cave that he had been digging by hand over the course of many months or even years.
On our way home from Morocco, we made a brief visit to the Natural History Museum as well as Crystal Palace Park in London, England, where we were treated to a wonderful private tour by “Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs” historians Sarah Slaughter, Dr. Ellinor Michel, and their partners Jon and Chris (not pictured). The CP Dinosaurs are widely known as the world’s first dinosaur statues, created in the mid-1800’s, and they are looked after by a small but dedicated group of volunteers.
Like we said, it was a busy Summer!
James has recently started his Junior (third) year at UC Berkeley. Here he is working on a giant crocodile-like phytosaur skull in the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP).
Stay tuned for more updates, and thanks again for your support. We promise it will be worth the wait!
Tony & James Pinto