Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yet More Morsels of Dinosaur Revolution

One of the promo posters for Dinosaur Revolution.

It's just about a month until the premiere of Dinosaur Revolution, the doc formerly known as Reign of the Dinosaurs, and the buzz is building. A new press release has been put up at the Discovery Channel's website. From that release:
DINOSAUR REVOLUTION combines the talent of the world's best dinosaur illustrators and animators with the latest paleontological research and the best of Hollywood storytelling. Presented with sparse narration and the latest cutting-edge animation and computer generated storytelling techniques, the series will feature never-before-seen intimate behaviors to illustrate the extraordinary life of dinosaurs, dropping viewers directly into the Prehistoric era.

I love the idea of sparse narration, though what that means is up in the air. This aspect has intrigued me since it was first publicized, as I'd like to see how it works (I've wanted to see a dialogue-free animated Raptor Red since I read it as a ruddy-cheeked adolescent*). According to a certain insider whose word I have little reason to doubt, this aspect is being pulled back a lot due to network jitters, but I'm pretty keen to find out how little narration is used.
A host of new behaviors will be featured throughout the series, including exotic mating dances (Gigantoraptor), the inner workings of T-Rex's nuclear family (Tyrannosaurus Rex) and the underwater birthing of Mosasaurs. The series will also introduce new creatures like a Jurassic flying squirrel (Volaticotherium) and frogs so big they could eat dinosaurs (Beelzebufo).
All of this sounds nice, especially the exotic mating dances - and really, could that of Gigantoraptor be anything else? Can't wait to see how the feathers are done. This is one area where our CGI friends are ready to make a huge leap. Still a bit queasy over the mugging allosaur we saw a few months ago, but that seems to be par for the course in these docs and I can't wait to see in what ways the creators actually advance this form.

This year, Dinosaur Revolution was again part of Discovery's presentations at San Diego Comic-Con. Remarkably little has leaked out from that presentation, but we do know that Werner Herzog was there.

Surprise appearance by Werner Herzog at Reign of the Dinosaurs panel
Photo shared by longklaw, via Flickr.

I asked about this appearance on the Dinosaur Mailing List this morning, and the same super-secret insider source cited above has said that that Herzog and DR's producer, Erik Nelson of Creative Differences, are friends and collaborators. In addition to the insane amount of paleoart talent involved with the project, this is another reason for optimism, as the work they've done together has been solid. Herzog is apparently interested in doing an edited version for theatrical release. It's probably a long shot, but it would be incredible. Just imagine that voice... "The Gigantoraptor, this gangly monstrosity, performs its mating dance, a display that lays bare the absurdity and horror of the act of procreation..."

* My cheeks weren't really that ruddy, then or now.

7 comments:

  1. So that's what David Krentz looks like...

    That poster - what is it with people giving T. rex really long arms? It's not like it's famous for having short arms or anything.

    Also, "T-Rex" should be banned immediately.

    Still, it looks hopeful, it looks hopeful!

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  2. Long with broken wrists, yes. I think PR people around the world would revolt if your second suggestion came to pass...

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  3. Just want to point out: the T. rex models used in the series itself does not look like the one on that poster. (The other poster--the "Power to the Primal" one) uses the actual Tyrannosaurus from the show.)

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  4. Good point Dr. Holtz - easy to mistake marketing graphics for final work. I dig the one in the show. Nasty-looking.

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  5. That poster is very misleading. So don't worry!

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  6. This sounds so exciting! I thought all Discovery channel had nowadays were motorcycle shows and the ray of hope known as Shark Week. Wish I still had cable...
    I'm watching TerraNova on Fox in the fall-- I only want to see the dinosaurs. :)

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