- The “Jurassic World” Live Tour will feature lifelike dinosaur puppets, as well as a full-size, animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- The show is produced by Feld Entertainment, the company behind touring productions like “Disney On Ice” and “Marvel Universe Live.”
- At a press event in New York, we got an up-close look at two of the featured dinosaurs, which are controlled by “dinoteers,” who must perform while wearing suits that weigh over 100 pounds.
- The “Jurassic World” Live Tour is scheduled to debut on September 26 in Columbus, Ohio.
Following is a transcript of the video.Madison Embrey: On your left, on your left.Narrator: These lifelike dinosaur puppets will star in the new “Jurassic World Live Tour,” which debuts in arenas around the US this fall. The show is produced by Feld Entertainment, the same company behind “Disney on Ice” and “Marvel Universe Live.”Embrey: I would like to officially introduce all of you to Jeanie.Ross Nicholson: You’re gonna be face-to-face with actual dinosaurs. We’ve done a lot of development, a lot of research to making these dinosaurs really lifelike. The texture of their skin, their eyes, the way they move, the speed at which they move, everything is super realistic.Narrator: The show’s scenic team designed the dinosaur puppets using the CGI models of the creatures seen in the “Jurassic” film franchise.Corey McCourt: There’s a foam under-layer that houses all the electronics and gives it the shape that’s needed, and then we cover the entirety of it in its scaling pattern, its skin. It’s really impressive to see even the little nuances, the eye blinks, the little cock to the head to the side. The idea is that you can see what the dinosaur is feeling by what that “dinoteer” is doing internally.Narrator: The puppets are controlled by dinoteers who not only have to act like dinosaurs, they also have to be in incredible physical condition because the costumes weigh over 100 pounds.Jay Christensen: Make no mistake, these are absolutely athletes, and they are elite athletes at that. They have diverse backgrounds, whether that be from exceptional training in martial arts, dance, gymnastics.James Shea: They need to be super fit to wear that weight and to really move and feel it very light on their feet, even though they have 120 additional pounds on their body.Narrator: The team gave our producer a 60-pound weighted vest to get a sense of what the costume feels like for the dinoteers.Graham Flanagan: Careful with those threads, that’s J. Crew Factory.Christensen: We’re gonna ask you to be in a very unnatural position. This is not a normal position for a human being to be in if they’re manipulating and being a dinoteer.David Doersch: So now you’re gonna step forward.Christensen: A lot of it’s in sort of a semi-squat position, and their gait is much larger, much wider. So these cause excessive stress on joints and backs and things of that nature as well.Flanagan: OK. I should have… should have done some lunges.Narrator: Along with familiar faces like Blue the Velociraptor, the show will introduce a new character to the “Jurassic” universe: a Troodon named Jeanie.Dan Shipton: So we’ve got a Troodon. Troodons were believed to be the most intelligent dinosaur that lived. So our lead character is a dinosaur called Jeanie, short for genius, and she really forms the backbone of our story, and it’s her intelligence which really inspired us in what to explore with our new story.Shea: This is truly a marriage of the fundamentals of hand puppetry with the fundamentals of full-body character work. So these bike brakes here are responsible for the head looking side-to-side. It is a multistep process to train a human to walk like a dinosaur. That is for sure. A lot of it starts with out-of-costume work first.Narrator: Before the dinoteers suit up, they practice fundamental movements with hand puppets.Jessica Ferris: There you go! We’re looking for people not only with those strengths and stamina but also people who can really manage sensory overload, working inside confined costumes in the dark with limited hearing, limited vision, while being taxed physically.Narrator: So, these dinosaurs look amazing close-up. But how will they look for people sitting in the cheap seats?Juliette Feld Grossman: It’s so important that everyone who comes to the “Jurassic World Live Tour,” no matter where they’re sitting, that they have a great experience. We make sure that all the dinosaurs, all the show elements have a really high level of detail that actually makes it read from far away no matter where they are positioned in the arena.
Narrator: The show promises one element that people watching from the rafters will definitely be able to see. A full-size animatronic T-rex, which, at the time of this report, was still being built and tested.
Flanagan: Can you give me an idea of what it costs to create a lifelike animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex?Feld Grossman: No.Flanagan: North of a million?Feld Grossman: Yes.Flanagan: North of 10 million?Feld Grossman: Not gonna answer anymore.Flanagan: Got it, OK.Narrator: The producer wouldn’t give specifics about the budget, but she did say it’s one of the most expensive shows the company has ever produced and even referenced a famous quote from “Jurassic Park.”Feld Grossman: We have spared no expense on this production. Dinosaurs are pretty expensive.
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