This previous June something like a dozen very crazy people set off on a very crazy journey to do a very crazy thing: perform Jurassic Park as a full-length theatrical stage show for audiences in 10 different cities.
Along with Director Sam Eidson, I spent many months helping to put this tour together, as we tried to create from a scratch an ambitious trip, the likes of which none of us had ever been involved in before. A dozen people then brought their talents, their resources, their efforts, their sweat and blood and patience to construct and rehearse a truly amazing show. Involved though I may have been in tour logistics, ultimately I was a spectator for every performance, and I never stopped laughing. To get the tour going though, there was a Kickstarter, name changes, thousands of phone calls and emails, more fuck ups than I could ever begin to count, and then there was a tour that sent 13 people over 8,000 miles across this great nation, entertaining many hundreds of people.
We never knew what to expect whenever we reached a given city (I wasn’t even present for several of the craziest nights) but no matter how cramped the venue or shitty the sound system, the performers always managed to put on a show that had the audience rolling on the floor as they experienced a show unlike anything they’d ever seen before. Except for that movie Jurassic Park. It was kind of like that.
The reason so many people skipped so many showers, slept on so many floors, and endured so many shitty meals (and hours of the 50 Shades of Gray audiobook) is so we could bring something to people in places that might not otherwise see such a thing. Obviously our targets were still big cities, but it can often feel like unless you live in Austin or Los Angeles, all the truly cool film stuff is unavailable to you. That’s something we wanted to change.
More amazing stuff is being generated amidst film culture than ever before, but when you can’t hop on a plane to catch the cool screening or get your credit card info into the checkout screen fast enough to snag the amazing poster, sometimes it can feel a little exclusive to be a fan of the newly “accessible” film culture. Every film blog covers all the amazing shit going on, but so much of it is an after-the-fact, “Man, don’t you wish you had been there?” kind of thing. The idea here was to push the hell out of this tour, and get out there across the country and make it possible for people to see something, rather than just hear about it afterwards. We bit off more than we should have chewed doing so, but we wanted to get one of those things out there.
How much buzz we created is up for debate, as I’m afraid to say we never broke into the online film news cycle as much as, say, a Lego-recreation of a Dark Knight trailer. That said, the point was to entertain the living hell out of as many people as possible, and that we did. I’m proud to have been a very small part of Jurassic Live! and I hope one day Old Murder House fashions together another tour of some kind. It will never be like this summer ever again — we quite thoroughly discovered why shows of this kind and scale don’t tour this way — but there are still more people to entertain, and more movies to convert to cardboard.
Watch for us.
Photos By Nathan Jones. See other clips of the show shot by Nathan below…