Sunday, April 7, 2013

So happy I could cry

In case you hadn't heard, Jurassic Park was released this last Friday in 3D. I went to see it by myself tonight (Saturday April 6th). By the time the credits had finished rolling, tears were streaming down my face. It is hard to express, even to myself, how profound of impact that movie had on my youth.

There were collectable trading cards for the movie and I remember buying pack after pack of them (my sisters did as well to a lesser extent) at the dime store my grandmother worked at in Kiel, Wisconsin. I remember picking out all the cards with the concept art and sketching from it. This photo in particular really had a huge impact on how I drew. I watched and read all that I could about the special effects of that film and then later the field in general- almost the only non-fiction subject I've ever read recreationally.

So rarely does my past and present self so strongly agree on something, but the feeling of "This is awesome" was overwhelming in the theater and exactly as I remembered it from all those years ago. Sure, there were a number of goofs that were shockingly obvious now but they didn't detract from anything. What I never appreciated in my youth but I strongly saw this time was what a fabulous job the movie does at providing positive female role models. And not just female ones- normally I hate on main characters but Dr. Grant is a pretty great dude. And I vividly recalled (and still sympathise with) the sadness of wanting to find Muldoon attractive but being oh so repelled by his shorts and socks.

I came close to crying during the movie several times (that first scene with the brontosaurus!) and I'm not exactly sure what caused the tears during the credits but... there's a good number of happy things in my youth that I can connect to this film.

My beloved aunties, who took my sister Kelly and I to see it. (Lindsey was too little to see it. Ha!)

The fact that it is tied to a great book and reading was one of my few joys in life back then.

New reference material and fresh ideas on how to draw dragons! (another one of my joys in life back then)

This... hope. This idea that when I grew up... there was this job out there that I could see myself doing and being so happy about doing. Happy and proud. Something that could take the mess that was my imagination and maybe find use in it and maybe share it with the world. Maybe if I tried real hard, I could be a special effects artist.

Sadly, I did not go on to become a special effects artist. But I am a computer engineer and it is clear to me how I got here, starting there.
Thanks, Jurassic Park.

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