Sunday, July 31, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gary, Eric, Lisa, those Two Girls, the Smartest Kid in the World, and Lee van Cleef

Here is some more footage from Knotts Berry farm, showing Gary interviewing an interpreter named Lisa at the end of the ride, then Eric romping around the park interviewing the locals. That kid really is amazing. I bet he saw some of the earlier Gary and Eric shows.

But do you see that train scene near the end there? In Son of Dinosaurs this is where Gary and Eric first bump into their soviet spy. But did you know the train scene was originally written for a spaghetti western star? Producer Richard Jones explains...

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes trivia now that Dinosaur Theatre has posted the clip of the “A Spy Tails Gary and Eric”:

When “Son of Dinosaurs” began production it was planned that the total running time was going to be about 88 minutes so that it could air in syndication as two, 1- hour specials. The clip posted was going to be the reintroduction to the plot at the beginning of part 2. Anyway, for a variety of reasons, and the fact that the Disney Channel licensed the programs, the plan changed to make just a one part hour show. Some of the material that later showed up in “Return of Dinosaurs” was actually stuff that was shot to be in “Son of Dinosaurs”, including the rest of Eric’s trip to Canada and the Albertosaurus unveiling in New Mexico.

Probably the most interesting thing that almost happened, was that “the man who will stop at nothing to get the egg” was not going to be a Russian spy, but rather “Spaghetti Western” icon Lee Van Cleef. I had worked with Lee on a Civil War documentary (see photo) a few months before starting plans for “Son of Dinosaurs”.

We began talking about doing a cameo in a kid’s-show, and he seemed to like the idea. The script was written with him in mind. If you look at the train scene at Knott’s Berry Farm, it is clearly referencing Lee’s first scene in “For A Few Dollars More”. Lee and I even got to the point of discussing wardrobe to replicate that look. When I told Knott’s that Lee may be coming to do the scene, the cowboy performers there were thrilled with the idea of having the bad guy from classic Westerns from “High Noon” to “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” spending some time at Knott’s.

Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, the stumbling block was money. These were low-budget children’s documentary productions and Lee (or maybe his agent) couldn't rationalize working for so little. In fairness to the other performers, I couldn't offer more. I hired Alex Rodine, and he did a great job. He had played many enemy agents over a long movie and television career, and liked the idea of doing something for his grandson.

At the time, I was of course disappointed, but it probably didn't make much difference in the kid’s-show universe. It would have been interesting to get Lee and Jimmy Stewart in the same room again – they had worked together in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “How The West Was Won”…but it wouldn't have meant much to dinosaur-loving kids. Over the long haul, it may have given some cult status to “Son of Dinosaurs”.

Richard Jones- Producer

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Spy Tails Gary and Eric

An unused transition between the two halves of Son of Dinosaurs. Here the Russian spy overviews his plans for the duo with headquarters.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eric Boardman and Some "Real Life" Dino's

Here Eric continues his search for a real live dinosaur in the dinosaur capital of the world; Vernal, Utah.

He also runs into a couple of branches and smacks himself in the face but no one said his journey wouldn't be without peril!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dan Chure and Eric Boardman Chit Chat About Dino's

Eric and Dan take a seat on the fossilized remains of creatures past in this interview shot for "More Dinosaurs."