WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO

The Herald Magazine - - CONTENTS - C H L O E MA I N A P I E R , P R O D U C T I O N MA N A G E R , J U R A S S I C K I N G D O M SU­SAN SWARBRICK

IDIDN’T know much about di­nosaurs be­fore. I worked on the Mag­i­cal Lan­tern Fes­ti­val in Lon­don last year and it is the same com­pany be­hind Juras­sic King­dom. They asked me to go to China and learn how the animatronic mod­els work. Now I live and breathe di­nosaurs.

I’m in charge of un­load­ing the di­nosaurs, assem­bling and set­ting them up. They are made in China and when I was out there I was taught the nec­es­sary me­chan­ics and how to do re­pairs.

My favourite is the Pachy­cephalosaurus. I like that it has slightly more move­ment than some of the rest and is quite cute. Most of the di­nosaurs have move­ment in their arms and legs. They blink and breathe. With the Pachy­cephalosaurus the whole up­per body stands up and moves.

Chil­dren steal­ing the teeth, eyes and tongues is one of big­gest chal­lenges. We have lost quite a few and need to get the spares sent from China. We had to make 20 new T-rex teeth be­cause the re­place­ments didn’t ar­rive in time for one show. We used one of the old teeth to make a mould for a new set.

The di­nosaurs are animatronic so bits do break when you are mov­ing them around or get dam­aged from chil­dren swing­ing off them. We have to fix the com­puter parts and change the fuses quite reg­u­larly. Some of the di­nosaurs are very large and have sep­a­rate heads, tails and legs. Then there are smaller ones which come in one piece so those are quite easy to pick up and move around the site.

The T-rex is prob­a­bly the big­gest bat­tle be­cause it is so large. It is 18m (59ft) long and 10m (33ft) high. Any­thing that size is go­ing to be a chal­lenge when­ever you are build­ing or mov­ing it.

We trans­port the T-rex head and body on a low loader and you do get some dou­ble takes on the mo­tor­way. Peo­ple are al­ways fas­ci­nated about what is go­ing on and why we are trans­port­ing large di­nosaur parts around the coun­try.

I was born and bred in south Lon­don but my dad is Scot­tish and my mum is Ir­ish. I spend a lot of time in Glas­gow vis­it­ing my grand­par­ents. I’ll be stay­ing with them while I’m work­ing on Juras­sic King­dom. I’m look­ing for­ward to home-cooked meals and giv­ing them a VIP tour.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill job. I started off work­ing in rock ’n’

roll where I did sound en­gi­neer­ing and stage man­age­ment be­fore mov­ing into cor­po­rate pro­duc­tion man­age­ment.

There aren’t any un­pop­u­lar di­nosaurs. I’ve found ev­ery­one likes all of them. Peo­ple love the small ones be­cause they are cute and are amazed by the big ones be­cause the scale is im­pres­sive. Juras­sic King­dom is at Glas­gow Botanic Gar­dens from to­day un­til Septem­ber 10, open daily, from 10am to 6pm. Tick­ets start from £11.50 (adults), £9.50 (chil­dren) and £38 (fam­ily). Visit juras­sick­ing­dom.uk

PHO­TO­GRAPH: MARK GIB­SON

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.