Posts Tagged ‘Masrani Global’

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Jurassic World: One Year Later

By Michael Winston

 

 

A year ago Jurassic World, a five star tourist destination that saw nearly 8 million people annually, fell in to chaos. Survivor Sally Benton remembers the event clearly, as if watching a movie.

“They just came down on us. A huge… flock of them, straight at us.”

It’s been a year since the devastating events that took place on Isla Nublar, and thousands of families are still feeling the effects.

“Every day,” says Sally, tears in her eyes. “We’re reminded every day, because he’s no longer with us.” As she referred to her husband and father of two Robert Benton, whose life ended protecting his young daughter from one of Jurassic World’s escaped animals.

Specific details are still sparse, but from press releases and insider information from various individuals a picture has begun to emerge.  At some point in the late morning of the day of the incident a large carnivorous dinosaur of some kind had escaped its paddock, causing the death of several Jurassic World employees. Many have speculated that this animal was the previously announced Indominus rex, a new attraction that was set to open in June of 2015, although no official confirmation has been made by Masrani Global or International Genetic Technologies (InGen) representatives.  The animal then proceeded to cross the island, unbeknown to many of the park guests. At some point in the afternoon the creature broke in to the park aviary where subsequently hundreds of animals known as pterosaurs escaped and owner of Jurassic World Simon Masrani died. The pterosaurs then flew towards the main resort area causing havoc, injuring and killing hundreds of visitors. All the while the unknown carnivore continued its rampage across the island breaking through several enclosures allowing for other types of dinosaurs to be released.  Park visitors sought refuge as the Animal Control Unit and InGen Security Division attempted to subdue the escaped animals and get a handle on the situation. It wouldn’t be until late that night before the ships would come to take the gathered survivors back to the mainland.

There were approximately 22,216 visitors on the island of Isla Nublar that day, as well as the parks several thousand regular staff members.  Hours after the primary evacuation a secondary rescue team was sent to Isla Nublar to retrieve any remaining survivors they could find. About a hundred people are, to this day, still unaccounted for and presumed dead.

“It’s not giving up hope, it’s just being realistic,” Michelle Cruz said whose father, Danilo Cruz, was an employee of Jurassic World. Danilo has been missing since the evacuation. “If they haven’t found him by now it’s unlikely that they ever will.”

Since the incident InGen and military taskforces have been present on the island. The UN held an emergency meeting shortly after the event last year, deciding the immediate control of the island. Newly appointed CEO of Masrani Global Edward Regis pleaded to let the InGen Security Division help with the recapture of escaped animals and search for missing people on Isla Nublar.

“We have an obligation to make sure that this incident remained contained to that island,” Mr. Regis said when asked for a comment after the UN meeting. “It is our responsibility, and we must do our share.  Our first priority obviously is to continue searching for remaining survivors. But we also need to makes sure that we do not have a repeat of what happened in 1997 or 2001.” Mr. Regis obviously is referring to the ’97 incident in which InGen, at the time with now late Peter Ludlow as CEO, brought a Tyrannosaurus rex to the mainland in hopes of opening a Jurassic Park destination in San Diego, as well as the 2001 incident following the rescue of Dr. Allan Grant, his assistant William Brennan, and the Kirby family when a trio of Pteranodons escaped the island of Isla Sorna.

On top of the extra security around Isla Nublar, security has increased around the island chain known as Las Cinco Muertes (“The Five Deaths”,) most notably around Isla Sorna which was the main manufacturing center for the original Jurassic Park as well as Jurassic World.

Outside of the rescue and maintenance teams though the UN has ordered to cease all other activity on the islands. The future of InGen and Masrani Global has also been called in to question. Masrani Global, while continuing their other operations in telecom and oil is no doubt feeling the heat, as stocks have drastically dropped. InGen’s security division has been the target some major scrutiny because of their poor management of the incident on Isla Nublar. Certain individuals, as well, are being closely investigated. Among those are Jurassic World’s Senior Assets Manager and Park Operations Director Claire Dearing.

“Why wasn’t the park shut down, and an evacuation ordered sooner?” asks a Jurassic World survivor who wished to remain anonymous. “If there was a breakout the evacuation should have happened immediately.”

“I’m sure Ms. Dearing did everything she could.” Mr. Edward Regis says in defense of the Operation Director’s actions. “In the coming months I’m sure the evidence will state as much. This was very unfortunate accident and our prayers and thoughts are still with the victims and their families.”

Claire Dearing was unavailable for comment.

The future of the “assets” themselves raises some questions as well. Today we find ourselves, essentially, in the same place we were before Simon Masrani obtained InGen and the islands from the late John P. Hammond. We have two islands with genetically recreated prehistoric animals, amongst other things. A trusted source from inside InGen gave details that Dr. Henry Wu, the lead geneticist of InGen (who too has been missing since the incident last year, and is presumed dead) was having his teams work on many more side projects other than just assets, and InGen is also known for creating new technology. All of these projects and undocumented/unreleased technology are sitting in a proverbial limbo at the moment, and what happens to them is unknown.

“And let’s not forget,” says University of California, Berkley professor Dr. Richard Levine, “the hundreds of fossil specimens they’ve collected. InGen had their own private paleontology teams and house the specimens they find somewhere. How many rare specimens do they have or even holotypes? Species and specimens that they have simply not published on. They also had twenty different living prehistoric species on Nublar alone, and we know from past instances that they have many others. What’s going to happen to them, and these fossils?”

Dr. Levine has been one of a few scientists who are petitioning to have the fossils as well as all data on the recreated animals to be made public, something that Dr. Wu and InGen never allowed.

More details about what specifically happened on Isla Nublar are bound to come into the light during the coming months, as official trials are set to begin in October. These trials will help determine the future of Masrani Global, InGen, and the individuals involved, as well as how the assets and islands are dealt with, along with the lawsuits from thousands of victims.

Regardless of the outcome of the trials it is unlikely that the gates of Jurassic World will ever be open to the public again. An incident that eerily echoed events that took place on the same island twenty two years before hand may finally be the end of a once great empire.

 

 

 

“Jurassic Park”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, “Jurassic Park ///”, “Jurassic World” are Trademarks of Universal Studios, Legendary Pictures, and Amblin Entertainment.

Based off Characters Created by Michael Crichton and Scott Ciencin.

GrantTIME copy

A Dying Breed: The Modern World of Paleontology

Michael Bowman

Issue published June 10th, 2010

Dr. Alan Grant is no stranger to dire circumstances, yet the ones he faces now are unlike anything he’s ever encountered.  This week TIME catches up with the world renowned paleontologist who has been recently been forced to adapt his studies and research of prehistoric life in response to a present day issue: Jurassic World.  “Funding, and public interest has always been an issue. But with the resurrection of prehistoric life, the science of paleontology is fading in the public interest,” he told us, when we sat down with him at his Montana State University office.

While Jurassic World itself, located on the island of Isla Nublar, is thriving (receiving nearly twenty thousand guests a day) it has proved problematic for many scientists in Grant’s field- something that he himself knew was coming when he first stepped foot on the island in 1993.

“Even if the animals on the islands aren’t real dinosaurs,” Grant continued, “the public doesn’t care. It’s the closest thing they’ll ever get and that’s good enough for them. I’m not trying to be cynical, really. I’m trying to be honest. And the truth is, people don’t care if they are seeing the real thing, otherwise they would be flooding our museums.  You can go over to ours right now and see that is simply not the case.”
Statistics reflect this. The Museum of the Rockies (MOR,) along with many others worldwide that showcase Mesozoic life, have been hurting since the opening of Jurassic World. From 2005 to 2007 museum attendance at MOR has declined nearly 20%.  In 2009, this attendance decreased to 44%, and is still steadily declining. Nearly twenty museums in the United States alone have closed their doors since 2005, with their collections being donated, sold, or split up. However, even with this severe decline, several museums are actually gaining support by the Masrani Corporation and have chosen to implement interactive learning exhibits.

“Some museums, now,” Grant stated, “are starting to team up with Masrani Global, and InGen.  They’ve created these interactive exhibits and displays that let guests compare what they see in the museums to the animals on the islands. They are… technologically pretty advanced, I guess, but not something I want coming here personally. Even though the final choice is more so up to the board I have my qualms with it. See, it’s the same problem we keep coming back to; the creatures InGen made aren’t real dinosaurs. I want people to be able to see the real discoveries, and not the genetically modified creatures that only somewhat mirror reality.”

Dr. Grant ventured to John Hammond’s original Jurassic Park on Nublar in 1993 as a paleontology consultant, and was present during the now infamous incident that happened there. Years later, in 2001, he was kidnapped and taken to Isla Sorna- another InGen island inhabited by the genetically engineered dinosaurs.  Details concerning the incident were kept out of the public eye by the Masrani Corporation and U.N., with the subsequent hearings also being held behind closed doors.

In late 1997, the Masrani Corporation bought out International Genetic Technologies (InGen) shortly after the death of John Hammond, founder and CEO of InGen. Construction began on Isla Nublar for Jurassic World in 2002, which was later opened to the public in 2005.

“If that’s what people want to see, so be it. It’s profitable, no doubt about it. But that’s not what I want to see. It’s not what many others in this profession want to see either. There are many of us still fighting to get funding and attention for the real research of prehistoric life. You can “bring” back these creatures, and try and recreate the past but it will never be the past. It’s the present. There are still so many unanswered questions about Earth’s history that we can try to answer through paleontology. But to do so you need funding, and right now that’s becoming very hard to come by. It was difficult before Jurassic World, and it’s even more so now. Especially for us ‘purists.’”
Grant is referring here to the fact that paleontology is split into two main fractions. Purists being those paleontologists, like Grant, who are driven by a scientific search for knowledge. They look for and study clues from the past to answer questions about our future and the evolution of life on Earth. In contrast, there are also paleontologists who are solely in the field for the business aspect. For as many purists, there are now nearly triple the amount of “business paleontologists,” individuals, or groups who excavate mainly for the purpose to resell, to profit. While the Bureau of Land Management controls state land, these wealth-driven paleontologists buy up private land or strike deals with landowners for permission to excavate. The fossils collected are rarely published on before being sold off.
“It’s sad. There are incredible specimens being excavated on private land, then resold to collectors or even to Masrani Corp. Selling of fossils has always been an issue in the field, but now it’s a booming business. I’ve heard word that Masrani and other companies may start financing their own teams soon, instead of just piggybacking and funding others. If that happens we’ll have them on top of those already out there who hope to sell to them or competing companies.  It’s sad and getting to the point where it’s scary. Poaching is at an all-time high, and god forbid these groups ever find a new species. Some are already making off with rare specimens as it is. If they found a new species, it’d be given to the highest bidder, and lost to the science”

Grant goes on to say that some digs are now having to amp up security at their sites. This is in retaliation to the poaching that has been skyrocketing in recent years. “But you have to have money,” Grant states, “in order to afford them. It all comes back to the almighty dollar. Security is nice, but it’s expensive.”

For those digs currently funded by Masrani, InGen’s security division automatically sends out guards for the sites. Another nice perk for those well off groups. But for the institutions that rely solely on private funding and government grants, money for security can be hard,  if not impossible, to find.

“Since the opening of the park, there have been many ups and downs in the field of paleontology. Funding for proper research may be harder to find now, but my classes are full,” Grant joked. “I guess that has to account for something. I’ve been a part of it for so long that I guess I’ve grown accustomed to the ebb and flow of it all. That’s what life’s all about anyway, right? Evolving. Adapt or perish. The question is will the science of true paleontology ever bounce back from this, or will it all go by the wayside? If that happens I guess it’ll be ‘my time’ as they say. My breed of paleontologists will be extinct.”

Dr. Grant had few other words to offer on the subject of Jurassic Park, a topic he has tended to shy away from. He mentioned that he had received a private invite to the new parks fifth year anniversary celebration this upcoming weekend, but declined the offer.

“One visit to that island was enough. Besides, we just started our dig season and we think we have some pretty exciting specimens to excavate.”

“Jurassic Park”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, “Jurassic Park ///”, “Jurassic World” are Trademarks of Universal Studios, Legendary Pictures, and Amblin Entertainment.

Based off Characters Created by Michael Crichton

Many people know of my love for this series. Some day I’ll write some long, epic post about my detailed history with Jurassic Park. Someday we’ll tread down my “petticoat lane.” But not today. Today, right now, I’m going to focus on the above trailer; the future of the series.

Boy does it look bright.

I’ve probably watched the trailer, no joke, around twenty times so far. I’ve had many friends ask me about my thoughs, which is my main reason for writing this post.

I literally cannot tell you how excited I am. First, last week, the Masrani Global site launched along with the official Jurassic World site. Masarani Global is one of the best viral marketing sites I have ever seen- tightly answering several questions fans have had while also connecting it all back to the previous films while also throwing some nods to the original novels and even TellTale’s JP game as well. It’s an amazing site, and if you haven’t checked it out you must do so right away. And this past Sunday an actual “teaser” for the trailer came out that really got my heart racing. For the first time we were seeing official JW footage. It was finally feeling real to me- this film was going to be a thing. I knew it was for a year now. But I was actually seeing it. And I was excited.

And while the promised date for the trailer release wasn’t supposed to be until Thursday night (what I dubbed as #Jurassicgiving, it dropped today in the afternoon for reasons that director Colin Trevorrow tweeted saying were “out of his control.” I don’t know what those reasons were, and I don’t care. I’m glad it’s here. Words can’t express how happy I am, or how excited I am. It calls back many classic Jurassic moment from the series while also adding something new.

Now there are a few things that I have to get out of the way. I have some small comments that I feel I have to say to clarify some doubts others have.

One of the biggest complaints is the raptors at the end.  There are some people flipping their lids over the fact that the trailer seems to show “tamed raptors” at the end, running alongside Chris Pratt’s character, Owen. First off, several people working on the film, have said that they are not “tame.” I personally think people need to calm down about it because not only do we not now what the context is in the film- it isn’t that outlandish of an idea I think.First off, earlier in the trailer we see a giant freaking mosasaur eating a shark ala SeaWorld/zoo style.

Universal Pictures

 That may not be “tamed” but that is a learned show trick for that animal. It learned to do that to get its food. Raptors are supposed to be the smartest dinosaurs made by InGen. It’s not outlandish that they could be trained, even remotely, to be used for tracking or something. In fact, to me, that makes them more like actual animals and less like the monsters the first three films have made them out to be. But in the end, once again, that may not even be what they are used for in the film. They may not be trained in any way, or could turn on Owen/humans, or something else! We have no clue, which is one of the coolest things about this trailer (which I will talk more about later.)

Secondly is the CGI. First, several scenes (or so I have heard/read) were only made for the trailer and will not be in the final film. So it doesn’t surprise me that maybe, on a few effects, they weren’t 100%. Secondly, post production and finally touches goes on until almost a few weeks before the film is shipped out for theatres. The films doesn’t come out until June 12th of next year everyone- there is still a LOT more rendering, and CG work that has yet to be done.

There are some people criticizing the science of the film, but I think only half of them are serious and the other half realize that JP is a creation of Hollywood and just roll with it and make a joke, like Thomas Holtz and Brian Switek. But others have really been outraged at how little “accuracy” there is to a lot of the dinosaurs. While science has been littered in and out of the series (there is def more in the novels) nobody should expect true science to come from JP film. They are fun science fiction film. Besides, with a lot of the inaccuracies many fans (including myself) have actually found explanations for them by analyzing the films/novels/games/etc. much like Trekkies do for Star Trek. But when all else fails, you can simply blame it on the frogs. I want a perfect, scientifically accurate dinosaur film too. I just will never expect that from a JP film.

So onwards and upwards.

 

The trailer not only brings a lot of new to the mix, but also recalls a lot of classic scenes and bits from the first three films as well as surprisingly throwing in a scene or two from the novels- which I’m not many people realize. While I love the whole nostalgic feeling of some of the call back moments in the trailer it’s the novel scenes that have amped the most because I personally think there are moments/plots in the novels that haven’t been used yet in the movies that would be awesome to finally see on film.

Universal Pictures

First off Chris Pratt’s scene where he is riding alongside a pack of raptors is NOT ONLY ONE OF THE COOLEST PART OF THE TRAILER, but an obvious refrence to a very identical scene in Chrichton’s The Lost World where Sarah Harding is riding a motorcycle trying to catch up to a pack of raptors.

Universal Pictures

Next is the jungle river scene. I really hope this leads to some great moments. The river section of the first novel near the end had some of the best moments in the whole book including a swimming tyrannosaur, a pair of dilophosaurs, pterosaurs attacking, and finally a waterfall where the rex was waiting for them at the bottom. Even if we don’t get ALL of that (hopefully we get some…) it’s nice to see this little nod to that portion of the novel. Plus… STEGOSAURS. OH MY GOD, STEGOSAURS. DO YOU SEE THOSE STEGOSAURS!?

….

Stegosaurs.

Also a few other moments that remind me of scenes in the novel:

-When the man is being dragged along in the jungle reminds me of the moment when Levine lands on Sorna with his guide in The Lost World and the guide is dragged off into the jungle by something unseen.

-The idea of “tamed dinosaurs” was actually in the first novel. Wu talks to Hammond about being able to alter the DNA of the dinosaurs to make them more “domesticated” or controlled. There is also the idea of making “dinosaur pets,” and altering different versions of dinosaurs to get the perfect animal.

Universal Pictures

The trailer, while showing you some of the species, does a real good job at hiding others. It keeps a real mystery about what the new hybrid dinosaur looks like exactly, but also about other events that happen in the film. It’s very reminiscent of how the first film’s trailer was done. You see glimpses of the dinosaurs here and there and a few full shots of dinosaurs but not much. The rest is only parts or cutaways which keeps the intrigue up. It’s a great trick, and I’m glad that they brought it back for this trailer instead of just showing us everything outright.

Another thing that isn’t shown is exactly what the large group of people are running from. From the way that shot is set up (this large, aerial view) makes me inclined to believe that they are running from a pterosaur of some kind instead of a dinosaur.

And speaking of non-dinosaurs, the other MASSIVE inclusion to the trailer (as well as the series) is that of prehistoric aquatic reptiles- specifically the mosasaur. Now in TellTale Game’s video game (which ties into the original film) there is a mosasaur, but we have never seen on in the actual films yet. So this is a big deal, and I’m super excited to finally see it. I expect there to be a few really good moment with this creature.

I could sit here and point out every single moment that seemed to wink/nod to the other films but a.)you have probably caught most of them, b.)it’d make this post much longer than it already is. I’ll point out a few, but what I will say in a broad sense is that while I’m glad Trevorrow picked up on a lot of these “little” moments and I think it’ll be nice to see them in the film I hope it isn’t done too often in the final product. I’m sure it won’t and that a majority of them were used for the trailer to get that nostalgia factor in there, but it’s just a faint worry I have. I don’t want to send the whole movie playing a matching game in my head with scenes/moment in JW matching up with scenes in the other three films.

Here are a few I want to point out:

-Bryce Dallas Howard’s “run” yell reminds me of Ellie Sattler’s call to Dr. Grant to run after her encounter with the raptor in the shed. In fact, her scream resembles Dern’s scream A LOT in this vintage JP marketing video (skip to 2:24, and it basically shows an alternate take.)

Howard’s character’s tank is even, essentially, the same color.

-The shot with the Gallimimus’ and the main gate, I feel, is almost the exact angle used in the first film.

-“You really think she climbed out?”

Like I said, there are many many more and if you want I can always point more out if you want (via comments, messages, etc.)

I am beyond excited, as I’ve stated before. Those last few moments of the trailer, with that haunting theme ending on that fogged logo… just sent chills up my spine.

I’ve been waiting thirteen years for this trailer, and it will end up being fourteen years since the last JP film once JW is released. I’m ready. What gets me even more excited is how well the trailer has been received, in general. It was all over the news feeds on major media outlets today, and everyone is talking about it. Soon the merch will be out, and the ball will really be at full speed towards June. This gets me excited for two reasons. 1.) I hope Universal really takes note of all of this, because I know for several years now it’s been rumored that a revamp of the JP area of IOA in Orlando could be planned. All this positive feedback from the trailer shows me that the public is still in love with Jurassic Park (as if the OVER two billion that the previous three films have collected wasn’t enough proof.) And 2.) the public still, and always will love dinosaurs. I hope that this film inspires a whole new generation of dinosaur lovers and future scientists, and the first one did me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the first JP.


The trailer is beautiful, nostalgic, and haunting. It does its job by satisfying with some awesome and exciting moments, as well as reeling you in by keeping you guessing at the new twists and turns director Colin Trevorrow and company will throw our way. I had an inkling, based on the teaser released Sunday, I was going to like this trailer. I just didn’t know exactly how much I’d like it. That’s chaos theory.

The park opens, June 12, 2014.

Universal Pictures