Remind me to thank John for a lovely weekend. Wow! Last weekend at Universal Studios Hollywood, thousands of fans from around the world attended an official gathering for Jurassic Park which celebrates it’s 25th birthday this year.
Universal Pictures, the theme park team, and all of the partners and collaborators involved staged a fantastic and exciting event which span across the entire weekend. We were treated to a theatrical screening of the new 4K release of Jurassic Park, panels with the filmmakers and talent, trivia and costume contests, themed food, all within the lowerlot at the park.
Not only were multiple partners there showcasing their video games, merchandise and experiences, but Colin Trevorrow himself introduced the IMAX screening of Jurassic Park by showing the opening scene of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom which received fantastic reviews!
Can confirm the first 10 minutes of #JurassicWorldFallenKingdom is incredible. Visuals are fantastic. A level of suspense and thrill I haven’t seen since the first Jurassic Park. Genuinely blown away. #JurassicPark25 pic.twitter.com/TaZsMDg1D8
— YOUNG ARAGORN. (@Tolkiened) May 12, 2018
If you got to your screen early enough you would also catch the remastered original teaser trailer and theatrical trailer for Jurassic Park, which are pretty amazing to see at such high quality. Hopefully these will be made available soon! We couldn’t resist our own ‘reaction’ video for the opening scene of Fallen Kingdom, considering just how excited it made us:
From Friday night to Sunday night fans of all ages celebrated their love for the movie and the franchise itself, and were able to experience everything Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer.
Jurassic Park: The Ride remained open the entire time and some of us experienced it for the first time! Ryan also lost his hat.
The highlight of the event for all of the three nights were the live panels, hosted by Colin Trevorrow and featuring both cast and crew from the franchise. Panels are a fan celebration standard often associated with Comic Con that Jurassic has been devoid of until now.
It’s not often that fans can listen to the talent that brought the movies together sit and discuss the inner details of what it takes to make these movies, and these panels fulfilled that craving. Hopefully these panels are the start of a more in depth and fan community centered focus for the Jurassic franchise moving forward.
When we first arrived into the lower lot our attention was caught by Dennis Muren, who was standing below the gates in anticipation for the panel. Growing up with Jurassic Park and watching the behind the scenes documentaries meant fans like us admired the technical and creative talent behind the movie, so we introduced ourselves to visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren and expressed our love for his work!
Celebration events like this are very new to the Jurassic Park fandom but provide the ability for fans to meet their heroes; the people that inspired them. We captured the panels via a live stream for any fans that couldn’t make it out to the event, and we have embedded those below!
Friday 11 May
Colin Trevorrow w/ Dean Cundey, John T. Kretchmer, Dennis Muren
Saturday 12 May
Colin Trevorrow w/ Laura Dern, Frank Marshall, Phil Tippett and Jack Horner
Sunday 13 May
Colin Trevorrow w/ Jeff Goldblum, John Rosengrant, John T. Kretchmer, joined by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Gareth Edwards
With numerous stories from the making of Jurassic Park being shared on stage, the panels were a huge hit with the many fans that attended and hopefully we will see more in the future. It’s a fascinating way for the filmmakers and cast members to share their memories from the movies, especially now that the franchise has become so prominent in pop culture.
Throughout the three events those attending could make their way to the Activity Center, which hosted a wealth of original props and costumes from the movies on display, and featured booths from the various Universal Pictures partners, showcasing their products which included video games, collectables, VR experiences and more!
Jurassic Park: Danger! Board Game
The Ravensburger and Forrest-Pruzan Creative team were there hosting gameplays of their new Jurassic Park board game which we filmed below! We partnered with Ravensburger to giveaway two copies of the game during our live stream, with the winners being announced in the video on the right below. Huge thanks to Florian, Lindsay and Michele!
You can read more about the Jurassic Park: Danger! board game here.
Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene
While very little is known about this upcoming board game, the team from Mondo Games were showing off their concept and allowing fans to signup for future updates on the game.
We’re expecting more information on the game this year to coincide with a release – be sure to read everything we know about the game here!
Jurassic World: Evolution
This one was definitely a surprise for fans – Frontier Developments setup gaming stations at their booth allowing fans to play the upcoming park building simulator game!
The demo they had allowed roughly ten minutes of gameplay, including sending your ACU team to tranquillise a dinosaur and then move it to another area in the park. It gave a good opportunity to learn about how the game functions and how beautiful it looks!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Toyline
While Mattel weren’t on-hand at their booth, the display they had created perfectly showcased their upcoming toyline for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and they even had a number of the Legacy Collection toys on display too!
We love the toy line and have more reviews coming soon, so stay tuned!
Jurassic World: Blue VR Experience
Felix & Paul Studios
This one was not one to miss! Announced a little while back, this VR experience for Oculus features Blue on Isla Nublar after the events of Jurassic World, and shows her reaction to the impending danger that features in Fallen Kingdom. The whole experience is beautifully directed and animated, and may be one of the most magical looks at dinosaurs since the very first film in 1993.
We had the unique chance to go hands on with BOTH episodes while we were in Los Angeles, and cannot stress enough how incredible of an experience it was. Don’t sleep on these VR episodes – they’re a new form of Jurassic storytelling that invoke all the staples you love from the films, and could very much be the future way to tell side stories in the universe (or explore the park itself!).
Jurassic World: Alive
For fans of Pokemon Go, the team at Ludia Games (who were behind Jurassic Park: Builder and Jurassic World: Builder for iOS and Android) revealed their new game to fans which allows you to go out and capture dinosaurs!
The game ties in with the upcoming movie’s viral marketing, the Dinosaur Protection Group, and is available on both iOS and Android devices now!
Jurassic World: Pinball
The team at Zen Pinball had a couple if iPads setup allowing you to play their Jurassic Park themed pinball game! This one was a lot of fun and will be an easy winner for the game of choice when you’re waiting for your flight…
The entire partner booth area was setup with love for Jurassic in mind – with a jungle surrounding and the theme music playing, fans were in their element! The partner booths led to the main display which featured the Jurassic Park 29 Jeep which was seen in Jurassic World, the Gyrosphere and a couple of dinosaurs.
The Theme Park
A number of times at the event, people would ask us why the event was being held in Universal’s Hollywood Park as opposed to the much larger Orlando Park. And to every person we gave the same response: Orlando is a theme park that doubles as a Film Studio. Hollywood is a Film Studio that doubles as a Theme Park. And it was at this very Studio that Jurassic Park was filmed, edited and evolved.
The event was all about being able to reach out and touch the things that we had only been available for us to view on the screen until now, and that’s what made Hollywood the perfect venue.
When boarding the tram to the theater at end of the first night, the attendant pointed out that if we were stood exactly where we were right at that moment, 22 years ago, we would be seeing the RV trailers from The Lost World dangling off of the adjacent car park.
Working with the Jurassic Park Motor Pool we were able to organize a number of the member’s vehicles present at the event for photo opportunities, and some fans went even further! A few years ago Franck Galiègue purchased a screen-used vehicle from The Lost World: Jurassic Park… none other than the RV trailers that are pushed over the cliff by the two Rex’s!
Don’t worry – Alex is fine, he was just excited.
This was an incredible vehicle to see in person not only due to its sheer size, but because this vehicle featured in one of the greatest sequences constructed in this franchise, and is often a fan favourite. Thanks Franck for making this happen! Be sure to follow the team’s progress.
Trivia and Costume Contest
Activities happened all night in the park and shortly following the panels was the Live Trivia contest, in which fans could compete against each other over knowledge of the franchise!
Many fans also dressed up as their favourite characters from the movies – with Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler making regular appearances. People put so much effort into their various costumes and outfits, it was amazing to see!
The event was a blast and was an incredible way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park! Universal Studios Hollywood spared no expense with this weekend long event, and our team loved meeting so many Jurassic fans from across the world!
A few fans were lucky enough to meet and greet Colin Trevorrow at the event, and the members of our team that attended got a photo!
Check out the galleries below!
Our video coverage will be available soon!
Stay tuned for more and if you were one of the unlucky fans who wasn’t able to make it out to Hollywood for the event, we hope you enjoyed our coverage! A big thanks to Universal Pictures and the various teams involved in bringing this event together – it was a blast!
What would you like to see at future Jurassic Park events? If you attended the JP25 celebration, what did you enjoy and what worked for you, and what could potentially benefit from improvements? Let us know in the comments section below as your comments may influence future events.