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Back before I desired to produce feature length film, I wanted to be a paleontologist.  I was young and impressionable (still am in a lot of regards) and had just finished watching the original Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg.  I doubt I ever made the differentiation between what Dr. Grant does in the first few minutes of that film (dusts off dead dinosaur bones) and what he does throughout the rest of the movie (survives on an island filled with real dinosaurs).  That's not really important.  What's important is a film actually inspired a kid to do something with his life.

Many years later, Jurassic Park is still my favorite film.  Not because it was one of the first to include CGI, or because it depicts a wonderful world filled with intriguing elements, but because it impacted me to buy a pick and go digging for treasures in my back yard (funded by my parents of course).  Film shapes our culture and inspires people to do great things.  Can anyone walk away from the movie Pay It Forward and not have some sort of desire to make the world a better place?  I don't believe so.

So why create a Dinosaur/Alien genre?  It's an inside joke between my family and me, but I'm willing to let it out.  Spielberg is known for many great movies. Both him and his protege, JJ Abrams, tend to create films about aliens - whether as a plot device or the main premise altogether.  One of Spielberg's more recent works is a television show called Terra Nova.  It's about mankind traveling 85 billion years in the past in order to escape their failing environment due to pollution.  As soon as I heard Spielberg was producing it, and it contained dinosaurs, I had to watch it.  So, I enjoyed the entire series while under bed rest from a surgery.

Within the first few episodes, the protagonists find rocks with scientific carvings in them.  It reminded me of similar diagrams found in such films as K-Pax (great movie with Kevin Spacey) and Signs (the corn fields).  Immediately I blurted out, "Yes! Those had to have been made by aliens.  Dinosaurs and aliens in a Spielberg show? Awesome!"  So now you know what gets me excited, and now you know why there is a genre for the 54 Film Fest called Dinosaur/Alien.  Keep in mind the "/" represents an "and/or."  Likewise, think outside the box with this genre.  Just because you don't have the CGI capabilities of DreamWorks doesn't mean you can't put a dinosaur in your film.  The best "monsters" are the ones we never see.

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