• Bernard A. Kyer

Prime Survival Pt VII - The Finished Score (cont)...

Updated: May 23, 2020

The Night Beach

As discussed, "If He Can" plays the 'Loneliness' theme in a much more prominent way than any other cue. It plays on the gamelan as the boys discuss surviving the island and perhaps even a new mission to document as much as possible. A solo horn plays the 'Prime Survival' melody calmly and self assured as we transition into morning.

"Pterror" introduces the next animal we had yet to meet on the island: the pterosaur. Introduced ominously through distant raspy cries, we eventually transition to see the animal simply like a large sea bird, searching for food in the now abandoned boat. The Shakuhachi takes point on this, floating above the low choir and harp. This creature plays a more serene role after an initial dive bomb and the boys depart the beach for good.

Spoke too Soon - Narrow Escape (Scene 16)

As the boys decide on their plan, their conversation is interrupted by our friend the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The boys run but find themselves around more animals and barely escape from each. Taiko drums and drumsticks (Bachi) are used as the group runs from the Stegosaurus with a final horn blast as one barely misses hitting Elliot with its Thagomizer! (yes that's the actual term)

Once on their feet, the boys begin to run and are pursued by the Raptors. We are now to "Scene 16" or "Narrow Escape." During pre-production, I had earmarked this piece as possibly needing to be re-scored depending on the flow of the film. Interestingly enough, after the break on the beach and the small moment after the pterosaurs, we find ourselves right back into the action with "Spoke Too Soon" which allowed for a natural musical arc / transition into "Scene 16." This allowed for some shape to the overall narrative and kept it from being overly repetitive or too active which would have forced a rescore of "Scene 16." With "Spoke too Soon," I specifically wrote the ostinato from "Scene 16" into the end to connect these two pieces more naturally and excepting for Timpani hits, wood blocks, and a little bit of Horn to assist with the overlap / transition, "Scene 16" is otherwise exactly as I wrote it originally!

The Plans & The References

The boys return to one of the structures on the island and find all the answers they've been searching for. We learn about where the animals came from, we see a map of the island, and the boys find a phone to call for help! In this scene are a few of the intentional planned nods in the film. Firstly, as seen above, the computer is showing the site where it all began: JPToys. This was the hub where many of us met and spoke about the project (then known simply as Jurassic Park Kids) nearly three years earlier! Musically I allowed the scene to be mysterious and serene. The Gamelan and the piano play off each other melodically with the Gamelan intoning the 'Prime Survival Theme' while the piano echoes a familiar three note turn (I'm sure you heard it...)

The boys search the facility but while they search, something finds them: a raptor.

Dire and ominous male choir and punctuating timpani build the anticipation of what is to come...

NOTE: This is where the unused Camo Carnotaurus sequence would have originally gone. There are obviously some pacing issues with placing it here and the problem of day time vs night time with the placement which I think eventually lended to it being cut. It's important to remember that scenes were being filmed as they could be (out of order) and the script was in flux so preserving consistency and continuity was sometimes difficult and in this case, forced the removal of the scene.

The Correcting of a Wrong

By this point we've reached one of the more important moments in the film. Having been written in the years after Jurassic Park III, one of the intentions of 'Prime Survival' was to correct something that many felt they'd been wronged with: the supplanting of the T-Rex as king of Isla Sorna with the newcomer, Spinosaurus. In our final battle, the Rex and the Spinosaurus (what we imagined it looked like only 10 years ago) have their battle of the champions and ultimately the Tyrannosaurus Rex reigns supreme. From the moment the boys run from the structure we are musically pure action and chaos. Listening carefully as the champions arrive, you can hear hints of Spinosaurus motif and the Carnivore motifs announcing their arrivals. The boy's figure this is it, and settle in to try and stay out of the way of the fight. As discussed earlier, the music for the actual battle was written for a later scene in the film, but due to the power behind it and the theme now being the main one for the film, I shifted it forward. This meant crafting connections to the end of the track before and the beginning of the next track to assist with the integration. I wrote an overlay for the end of "Out of the Building Into the Fire" to assist with the opening transition and a little bit over the cue itself, mainly doubling the winds and horns on the melody. I also extended the end of the track with a new intro for the track after it. It now comes in as the Rex breaks the Spinosaurus' neck, creating a final moment of pure adrenaline, allowing for a moment of rest as its body hits the ground, and a final Triumphant fanfare as the Rex reclaims its throne!

The boys make their run from the scene after this and find themselves cornered again by Velociraptors. "Accepting Defeat" underlies the fatalistic feel as they drive on towards what seems like a hopeless attempt. The gamelan plays the 'Prime Survival' theme as the timpani keeps dire time. In their last ditch effort, they toss the final smoke grenades at the raptors.

Like in the original cue, a solo instrument (now a horn) calls attention to the thumping helicopter sound in the air. The excitement begins to build as the boys make their run but horns blare as Elliot is taken down. Percussion builds until he frees himself using the stick nearby to jab the raptor in the eye in a "Parting Gesture." This cue is where the fight music between the Rex and Spino originally was belonged. Upon seeing the full cut of the film, it became apparent that this was not the climax of the action so it no longer felt right to have such a large and climactic piece there and thus was moved to where the TRUE climax of the film was.


As the boys help each other hobble towards the helicopter we hear one of the few other original tracks I wrote with my first program, "Escape to Freedom." The winds continue to twirl and climb as the the bass moves, attempting to resolve. The horn, our main sense of hope works until finally a resolution is found. The "Island Motif" plays and the horn descends as the final "Island Motif" is echoed in an eerie whistle. As the final monologue continues, the piano returns with forgiving winds. Strings move in waves as we calm until a final dissonance for the final, fatalistic remarks are made: "until we truly leave this earth."

The credits being with a slight overlay and then "Theme from Prime Survival" plays, ending the film.

continued on Pt VIII...

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