• Bernard A. Kyer

Prime Survival Pt I - Where it all began...

Updated: May 21, 2020

With the recent release of 'Prime Survival' on DVD, I'm reminded again of the journey it has been with my first project! Here is a little bit of the story of that journey... Probably sometime around 2008 I was scrolling through the JPToys forums and came across a post. It was for a small fan film project that needed someone to do the sound and I offered to do both the sound and music. The project was still in its infancy so some time passed and I told Jack just to keep in touch and let me know how things progressed. The script went through some revisions. I'd even tried my hand at crafting a little bit of the script! It had been known then as "Jurassic Park: Kids" but eventually became known simply as "Prime Survival." During this time, Jack had been filming some scenes, developing it, having already been working on it for a few years. I remember the first scene I was shown: 'Scene 16.' It happens about 3/4ths of the way into the film and has the kids hiding from raptors. Jack had originally sent me a version with his temp score but I asked for a version without. I wanted to experience it raw. And I'm glad I did! The scene had such a kinetic energy to it that I immediately had an idea of exactly how it should sound. That became, to my recollection, the first piece I scored in the film:

Eventually I got a copy of the final script which I printed out and began to work on identifying where the music belonged. Although the filming would take some time, it felt like the post-production would need to happen quickly so the more prepared I was, the better.

The first thing I did was get a feel for the story and its arc. I tried to identify what the major themes of the film were and where they played out.

On a second reading, I started to identify where i expected music to have to play and put temporary slates at those moments.

You can see my original script with my notes. The first scene had not been filmed and there was some discussion about if it would ever be. I had slated it as 1m1, but highlighted it out and put a "?" due to the uncertainty.

Above, you can see that 'Scene 16' is slated as "4m3" with the note "(rescore?)" next to it. Although I'd had such a strong feeling for how the music should sound, since I only had bits of the film, I was unsure how they would all fit together and was accepting that maybe I would have to rescore that scene to ensure the film flowed properly. From here, the next scenes I scored were where the boys had a campfire on the beach and a scene near the end where they threw gas grenades at the CG raptors (not yet added to the scene). Both scenes proved crucial in providing the next two necessities to the film: the themes. continued on Pt II...

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