Having a large Jurassic Park site you see a lot of ambitious projects that come and go throughout your tenure of running it and in fact of spending the better part of a decade being involved in the Jurassic Park community. Prime Survival, a film by Jack De La Mare, is probably one of the most ambitious projects that was undertaken by an international team of fans spanning from the United States and United Kingdom to make a “new JP film” to satisfy that long urge for another go at the franchise. Prime Survival is that attempt and it does not disappoint in terms of a new dino-romp. For a Fan film, it’s quite well down, how it compares against the actual films released by Universal? Well you just can’t compare as it isn’t a valid comparison. Fan films are usually done by hard working folks with a shoe-string budget to add supplementation to their favorite film/tv franchise. What makes Prime Survival special is the fact it is possibly one of the FIRST released Fan Films to take itself seriously. Why is this a good thing? Because frankly you need to realize that almost ever JP fan film out there has been a spoof or a gag reel of old and tired humor of spoofing the Same. Exact. Scene. Over. And. Over. Again. Thankfully Prime Survival isn’t that. It has adventure in a rather basic storyline involving three boys journeying to Isla Muerta.
Isla Muerta is part of the Las Cinco Muertes island chain in the Jurassic Park franchise. The only island we’ve seen out of this chain is Isla Sorna, InGen’s Site B. As for what happens when they reach the island, you can imagine. They’re stuck and they need to find a way off of the island.
So what’s the good word?
Story: While the storyline appears basic you can tell there’s more to it when you watch the film. The story is believable and it doesn’t have any of these kids living on a dinosaur island for eight weeks, they’re there and they get out within a span of two-three days like a majority of JP films. The story itself flows quickly and gets to the point fast. The film run time is about an hour, but it does a fairly decent job of introducing us to our characters, what they want, why they go to the island, and does some interesting continuity work for it. There was a lot of honest care and effort placed into explaining things in the story and taking the time to show us things like, “Well this is why Dinosaurs are on this other island.” and keeping it straight and to the point at the same time. I would admit the ending did seem a bit rocky and there were moments where the film itself seemed to drag on and stumble a bit, but it did well to recover from these moments and keep telling the story and telling it good. Being a Fan Film it did what it could and it did great even with showcasing as many dinosaurs and action sequences as it did in one hour. I give the story telling ability an A.
Acting: “Remember we were young” was held as sort of a reminder for me while I reviewed this so I didn’t judge too harshly on them. For the actors being the age range they were they did remarkably well. Could it have used work? In truth, yes, some extra ADR work here and there, but other than that they did remarkably well! I give this portion a B.
Special Effects: For a Fan Film the special effects are basement quality, but done really well and look actually really nice for an amateur film-making. You can tell a lot of care and such was taken into account here. You can’t get much better than this with a Fan Film in my opinion. The animal movement though some of the animals look like they wouldn’t “move that fast” or “that slow”. The effort is there to make it good, but some of these sequences still seemed jerky. I give this section an A.
Music: Done by former staff member BrachioInGen (we wish him luck in his endeavors with musical composition!) the score is distinctly Jurassic Park mixed with The Lost World: Jurassic Park flare. Generally a nice score with a few recognizable injections of the Jurassic Park theme and a recognizable action motif it does its job of fitting with the film and does it well. This gets an A.
Action Sequences/Ambience/Setting: The setting chosen was distinctly “Jurassic Park” in some ways. I do admit a lot of the “buildings” did not seem as run-down as they do in the films, when you side-step this and just go “Yeah they probably couldn’t get away with trashing that to make this.” it’s actually feasible and works well. I did like the nod on there to a Jurassic Park website, JPToys.Com, and to JPLegacy in the end credits.
As to the dinosaurs used, herbivores can be dangerous too it was shown and I applaud this usage! The thing is sometimes throwing herbivores into an action sequence can be tricky as you don’t want them to see “out of character”. Some of the sequencing during the action sequences appeared to be cut here and there, but it was still generally done well. One sequence with the Stegosaurus I felt was misplaced was during the films climax for the last action sequence to escape we didn’t see why it was running, but it seemed to be spooked by someone or something. The film though deserves credit for being a good dinosaur romp! I give this portion a B.
So how would I rate this? I give this Three out of Three T.rex Heads: