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A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT DINOSAURS AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM

SYNOPSIS

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From prestigious museums and universities, to blockbuster films, amusement park rides, video games, and toys--dinosaurs have always fascinated us. But, why?

WHY DINOSAURS? follows dino-obsessed youth James Pinto and his filmmaker father (Tony Pinto) on a journey around the world, interviewing world renowned 

paleontologists about the latest dinosaur research, and encountering dinosaur fanatics of all walks of life.

Together they track down the filmmakers behind Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, see the world’s largest dinosaur toy collection, dig up some real dinosaur bones, and attempt to discover why everybody loves dinosaurs!

THE PROTAGONIST

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Like most kids, James Pinto was obsessed with dinosaurs from an early age. He spent countless hours playing with dinosaur toys, watching movies and documentaries, and collecting fossils. But his passion for paleontology never stopped.


By the time he was 15, he had found fossils in Wyoming, North and South Dakota, and California, won first place in the California Science Fair, and started volunteering as one of the youngest docents and fossils preparators at the La Brea Tar Pits.


The film spans three and a half years of
his teenage life in a coming-of-age story that concludes with James heading off to the prestigious UC Berkeley to become a paleontologist. He is currently a Sophomore and interning at the UC Museum of Paleontology.

THE FILMMAKER

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Tony Pinto (James’ father) has produced over 3,400 professional videos, and was uniquely qualified to produce, direct, film, and edit a documentary about his son’s fascination with dinosaurs, fossils, and paleontology.

 

Tony graduated with High Honors from UC Santa Barbara (Film Studies) before starting a career in Internet Marketing. He has leveraged his knowledge of social media to help shape the film’s visuals, raise money, and generate buzz.

THE DINO FANATICS

We've interviewed a wide array of dinosaur enthusiasts, from seasoned paleontologists and amateur fossil hunters to paleo artists and dinosaur fanatics from all walks of life. Here's a partial list of the almost 70 people featured in the film, including 18 PhD's. (See the full list.)

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TARGET AUDIENCE

WHY DINOSAURS? has a combined social media reach of over 10 million people, including 100,000 followers of the film’s social media accounts. The project has attracted a worldwide fanbase of highly engaged dino-fanatics of all ages and walks of life. The father / son dynamic appeals to parents; the paleontological research and climate change discussion appeals to science-minded viewers; and the “hero’s journey” format caters to biography enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.

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Market Potential

Movies featuring dinosaurs are some of the highest grossing films of all time:

 

  • The Jurassic World franchise has generated $6+ BILLION.
     

  • With the sixth film in the series, Jurassic World: Dominion just released, and a new animated series Jurassic World: Chaos Theory just announced, dinosaurs are more popular than ever!
     

  • Documentaries and TV series about dinosaurs have also been top performers, including Apple's Prehistoric Planet (Seasons 1 & 2), and Netflix's Life on Our Planet.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

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DR. DEAN LOMAX is an internationally recognized, award-winning paleontologist, author and science communicator. He regularly appears on TV as an expert and presenter, notably co-hosting the primetime TV series Dinosaur Britain.

 

Dean also led the excavation of the Rutland Sea Dragon, one of Britain’s most important paleontological discoveries, which recently made headlines worldwide.

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KALLIE MOORE  is an enthusiastic paleontologist and science communicator.  She is the Collections Manager, or ‘Fossil Librarian’, of the paleontology collection at the University of Montana, as well as a co-host and content consultant on the YouTube channel PBS Eons.

 

During her career, Kallie also consulted for Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park on renovations to the DINOSAUR ride, as well as hosted a livestream for the newly opened Deep Time Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Her debut children's book, Tales of the Prehistoric World, was released in the fall of 2022.

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DR. NIZAR IBRAHIM is a vertebrate paleontologist and National Geographic Explorer. His current research focuses on the anatomy, ecology, and evolutionary history of vertebrates from Late Mesozoic times. His biggest discoveries include new dinosaur remains of the semiaquatic predator Spinosaurus, fossil footprints, and remains of a new giant pterosaur, Alanqa saharica. His research has been featured in the BBC, National Geographic, and The New York Times.

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KEEGAN KUHN is the award-winning co-director of the acclaimed documentary films Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, executive produced for Netflix by Leonardo DiCaprio, What The Health, executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix, Running For Good, executive produced by James Cromwell, They’re Trying To Kill Us, executive produced by Chris Paul and Billie Eilish and The End Of Medicine, executive produced by Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix.


Keegan is a lifelong fan of dinosaurs, science, and science communication. Seeing dinosaurs as the gateway for many into science, Keegan was excited to be involved in WHY DINOSAURS? to help inspire a new generation into scientific fields.

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ADDITIONAL SCENES

ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE

Composer Raphael Dargent

Composed and conducted by French composer Raphaël Dargent, orchestrated by Federico Torri, and performed by East Connection Music Recording, a 75-piece orchestra in Budapest, Hungary.

MEDIA

James and Tony have been featured together in a variety of magazine and news articles, TV spots, podcasts, documentaries, Live Zoom calls, and in-person appearances. 

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FEEDBACK FROM SOME OF THE WORLD'S TOP PALEONTOLOGISTS

"Even for people like me, there was so much I learned from the film!"

Dr. Philip Currie

Paleontologist, Curator &

University of Alberta Professor

"The film has a lot of warmth and emotion, and the time & effort you two put into it really shows."

Dr. Nizar Ibrahim

National Geographic Explorer,

Nat Geo Live Speaker & TED Fellow

"I think it works really well and I like how it draws attention to the popular culture that exists outside of the scientific/museum world."

Dr. Donald Henderson

Dinosaur Curator, Royal Tyrrell

Museum of Palaeontology

"Brilliant stuff, truly! Really enjoyed the segment on the Chinese material & feathers."

Dr. Dean Lomax

Paleontologist, Author &

Science Communicator

"It looks terrific! Once it's officially released, let me know and I'll be happy to promote through my social media channels."

Dr. Scott Sampson

Paleontologist & Executive Director,

California Academy of Sciences

"Looks great!"

Jack Horner

Paleontology Consultant,

Jurassic Park & Jurassic World

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