JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
About The Production (Cont'd)
Every Trick in the Book:
Creating Practical Dinos
Renowned Oscar-winning creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan was brought
aboard with the unenviable task of ensuring that practical effects dovetailed
seamlessly into the film. He discusses the curious balance between physical and
computer effects on a juggernaut project involving dinosaurs: "I'm going to
surprise you and say that animatronics is not always the best way forward for
every scene. You have to weigh up the pros and cons of approaching it
practically. If there is a dinosaur on set, you can light it for real and the
actors can interact...but you have to support that performance with the people
behind the creature.
"In some ways it will have an impact on your shooting schedule; you have to take
time to film with an animatronic," he continues. "In the balance, we ask
ourselves if it is economically and artistically more valuable to do it that
way, or as a post-production effect. Once we have looked at each particular
case, with the director and the VFX supervisor we decide whether-because of the
environment or the circumstances-it is the right way to go practically. It is
interesting dicing up the different techniques."
Logistics be damned, Scanlan enjoyed the experience of seeing Bayona's reaction
to the creation of the first Fallen Kingdom dinosaurs. "What I found with J.A.
is that he is very trusting, which is always a great help when you first become
involved with a filmmaker. When he saw the Tyrannosaurus at its true size, it
was incredibly exciting. Although, of course, we'll never see a dinosaur for
real, you have an immediate reaction to seeing this very real-looking creature
in front of you."
The creature effects team had a number of animatronic dinosaurs to bring to
life, but none was more of a delicate dance than Blue. "We made a lying-down
Blue, which is amazing to walk around. To see the size of the claws and know
that once this creature walked this Earth is amazing," Scanlan proclaims. "As
Blue is injured early on in the movie and is operated on by Zia, we had a vet
come in to talk through the whole process of operating on a sedated animal. How
one would approach that, not only from a procedural point of view, but also the
types of tools that would be used, how the animal reacts to anaesthesia-and how
there is still an awful lot of reflex action. This presented us with some
dramatic moments to play with as well."
What would a Jurassic film be without our infamous T. rex? "That is a lifetime
ambition realized!" Scanlan cheers. "This is an amazing sequence, it's very dark
and tense because the T. rex is sedated, and we have learned that sedated
animals often have their eyes open. It is really eerie because, from the
audience's perspective, they'll never quite be sure whether the T. rex is fully
sedated or not..."
On creating the Indoraptor, he comments: "This is essentially a genetic
experiment, and the idea is that it is not necessarily 100-percent successful.
Our role with the Indo was to take the initial CG design and develop it further,
with the scars and texture of the scales. Because this is a creature whose genes
are drawn from many species, it does offer opportunities to explore and research
these details. It is fascinating: the difference between something looking
dragon-like, or crocodile-like or reptilian.
For Scanlan's team, the mandate is the real language that exists in the natural
world-something to which they had to be faithful. "At the same time, we have to
be imaginative enough to allow the Indoraptor to be something different,
believable yet grounded. This is not only in the form but the textures and how
they might appear. Also, the genetic consequences of man intervening with
nature, maybe this isn't as perfect a genetic blend as one had hoped, so it
perhaps it has some degrading of skin, flaking of scales or some form of illness
beginning to take place and be evident. All this gives the dinosaur his back
In addition to crafting these amazing creatures, Scanlan's team is responsible
for the performance of the animals. His team of talented puppeteers would bring
the dinosaurs to life using a mixture of techniques. "Having a coordinated group
of people who work together as a team to bring something to life through
performance is the way forward for animatronics. Our approach with the dinosaurs
was to try and operate them wherever we could through what we call 'raw
performance' or 'direct connection.' Whenever we can get a performer to have
their hands directly connected to the dinosaur, we will. If we can physically
get our hands to touch and move something, then it is a direct connection
between your heart and your imagination.
For Blue, they had up to 12 puppeteers or performers who were only slightly off
camera, almost inside the dinosaur. Bayona's team only used technology for the
areas they cannot perfect with puppetry, for instance, blinking of eyes or the
snarl. Like a magician, it's sleight of hand. They use every trick in the book
to bring the human into the creature, or dinosaur in this case.
Nevertheless, the advancements in technology have greatly benefited this
hands-on approach, Scanlan explains. "In many ways, VFX has revolutionized
practical effects. If you go back 15 years ago, and I wanted to put a rod onto a
puppet to bring that to life, there was no way of removing that rod, it would
have been in shot or we would have had to work out how to hide it from the
camera. Nowadays, you can not only have a rod, you can have a whole person in
shot and they can be removed digitally afterwards if the scene really demanded
it. This does spoil us terribly, and CG has opened up this opportunity."
Collaborating with the visual effects department to fill our screens with
awe-inspiring dinosaurs is nothing new to the franchise. Scanlan explains: "They
got very clever at mixing practical with digital. A sequence where you see four
Velociraptors together, two are practical and two are digital and it is very
difficult to tell which one's which because they swap them around. It was
brilliantly done...the ability to mix two techniques and be clever about where and
when to keep the audience guessing."
This time, Claire and Owen get closer to the dinosaurs than ever before. Howard
discusses working with the lifelike animatronic creatures, particularly the
Indoraptor: "There are five animatronic dinosaurs, as there are quite a few
scenes where we're interacting closely with the dinosaurs, especially with Blue.
To have the opportunity to have scenes in which you are responding to the
performance of a dinosaur is incredible."
"Jurassic World had one animatronic creature, the Apatosaurus, all the other
dinosaurs were CG," explains Pratt. "On this movie, we have some real hands on
interaction with the T. rex and Blue. To be acting, physically feeling, seeing,
responding to these giant beautiful dinosaurs was amazing. The CFX team did such
a great job, the animatronics are awesome. Claire rides on this drugged up,
sleepy T. rex, and I narrowly escape its snapping jaws."
Interacting with the animatronics was also a new experience for Smith. "It's
been a blast; I have never seen anything like the raptor and T. rex before. The
raptor had sweat: It drooled, blinked, and even had eye fluid. It was the
coolest thing I've ever seen. It took 11 guys to operate it, and they were all
huddled under the table making this creation move like a real animal. There are
so many technical aspects to it that I've not dealt with before. Countless
elements that I would never have imagined myself doing."
Likewise, Jones talks about how the animatronics and reference dinosaurs helped
to inform his performance. "It is interesting how useful it is when they bring
in theatrical rather than cinematic toys to play with. When the puppeteers were
on set with scale dinosaur tails or heads, you could understand what the final
dinosaur would look like. It is a kind of irony that we are performing in a
state of the art semi-computerized drama, but the thing that really helps you is
a piece of ancient theater-like a puppet operated with full dedication by these
ILM Weaves Magic:
For 25 years, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) has been astounding Jurassic fans
with its computer-generated dinosaurs. Visual effects supervisor DAVID VICKERY,
discusses his team's ambitions: "While paying respect to the films that have
come before, what we are trying to do is to create new cinematic moments that
people remember; we want them to come away feeling like they've had a great time
at the cinema."
The challenges of blending realistic dinosaurs alongside their SFX counterparts
might see superhuman, and they are. Vickery reflects that he takes his duties
deadly seriously: "The moment people don't believe these dinosaurs are there,
they get taken out of the film very quickly, and the experience is destroyed. We
go into as much depth as we possibly can...to understand not only their
appearance, size and movements but also the personalities of these animals and
"We consult with palaeontologists and re-create anatomically correct models of
the dinosaurs, from the skeleton up," he continues. "We need to see how the
muscles connect at different points along the skeleton, and the way the
ligaments and tendons are actually then fixed. We then add skin to the dinosaurs
with a living flesh and a layer of subcutaneous fat beneath...then run very
complex effects simulations to figure out movement. We've looked at elephants
and rhinoceros to understand how animals with certain features move and behave.
As a good deal of the film's action takes place far away from the jungles of
Isla Nublar, Vickery's team was tasked with ensuring that one could believe an
Indoraptor was crawling into a child's bedroom. If Bayona does his job right,
you'll be lulled into the nightmare. "These films pay homage to one another,"
the VFX supervisor sums. "At the start of Fallen Kingdom, you will feel very
comfortable; you are in known territory, and it's like a warm cosy Jurassic
blanket. But it quickly changes. We take the dinosaurs into new environments and
spaces they've never been and explore how they would react to their unfamiliar
"The Indoraptor is a real character." Vickery says about our new "hero"
dinosaur. "He is around 10-feet-tall to the top of his head, twice the size of
the Velociraptor. He is slightly mentally unhinged, genetically imperfect, and a
work in progress. There's things wrong with his brain; he's got ticks and
twitches and is completely unpredictable. You'll see a dinosaur that looks like
the Indominus rex or Velociraptor, but he can get down on all fours and walk
like a quadruped, which is something we haven't seen in these types of dinosaurs
It is a matter of some pride that the production team has ensured that there are
more dinosaurs in this film than all the other Jurassic movies put together.
Naturally, Bayona's team is showcasing all species of dinosaurs from Jurassic
World, including T. rex and Blue. While the artists have designed a whole new
batch for this film, they're also bringing back some dinosaurs that appeared in
The Lost World, and some that were only featured in Jurassic Park. For Vickery,
the kid in him was thrilled. "It is exciting to bring all that together and
update all the older dinosaurs with the new methods and technologies available
to us on this one."
As water is the bane of SFX, one of the most challenging dinosaurs for the VFX
team was the Mosasaurs. "It's always easier if you shoot above or underneath the
surface of water," sighs Vickery. "The Mosasaurs has a habit going up and below
so we ended up shooting lots of large-scale practical elements. It seems odd to
say, but our first port of call would always be to try and shoot something
practically, get a real reference and then integrate them into the film with
Bayona has been keen to push Vickery's box of toys to the limit. "He is like a
kid in the sweet shop," laughs the VFX supervisor. "He collaborates with all the
people around him and leans on me to come up with intriguing visual ideas,
creative ways to get interesting shots. It might simply be down to the way the
dinosaur moves, and we start designing shots and they become pieces of action
and beats within the film.
Vickery and his team also worked closely with creature effects supervisor
Scanlan. "There are quite a number of animatronic dinosaurs in this film, and
there has been a direct and strong collaboration between VFX and CFX. One of the
first animatronics they needed to build was a full-scale T. rex head and
shoulders. ILM took the high-resolution models of the T. rex from Jurassic World
and transferred the detailed texture maps to make them back into the three
dimensional model. We sent that to Neal who then did a full-scale 3D print of
the T. rex in sections, so he had an incredibly detailed, faithful version of
the T. rex from Jurassic World. The results were fantastic, you can see every
scale on her skin."
For the new dinosaurs, the VFX team liked to have a lighting reference to
understand what the magnificent creatures would look like in the environment.
They did 3D sculpts of the creature in Maya and 3D studio and sent them to
Scanlan, who was again able to 3D print them out into single pieces. His team of
CFX artists would then add additional detail on top, and paint it up so that the
team could have a photo realistic reference to work with on set.
Not only did the VFX crew have the seemingly impossible job of creating
realistic dinosaurs. There was a little thing called a volcano erupting on Isla
Nublar-one that explodes while Claire and Owen are on the island. An enormous
amount of research went into creating emotive visuals for these scenes. "We have
all grown up seeing pictures of the extinction of the dinosaurs in books, but I
don't believe anyone has realized that on film-to this scale," notes Vickery.
"It is an incredibly exciting opportunity to see these cataclysmic events happen
on screen. We have consulted volcanologists to understand how a volcano of this
type might erupt and the various stages of lava and pyroclastic flow. We are
speeding it up a bit for the sake of our film, but it is definitely all based on
In Hawaii, Main Street of Jurassic World was re-built for the scene when Claire
and Owen arrive back on the island and begin their search for Blue. The park has
been deserted by humans, so is overgrown and destroyed by the events that took
place three years before. Nicholson built part of the street but couldn't
practically build the Visitor's Center in its entirety, due to its size. "This
is where ILM steps in and creates digital set extensions to complete Jurassic
World," the production designer says. "This time it is overgrown and run down.
We are looking at the end of the park and it is quite a sad image to see it in
disrepair; the dinosaurs have taken it back."
There was also the small matter of a ship that had to be large enough to
transport a number of fully grown dinosaurs. "The Arcadia is a fantastic example
of where visual effects can help because it's a ship that doesn't exist. It's a
boat on a scale that you'd never be able to dock on any coast of Hawaii, so the
exterior of the ship needed to be completely generated in visual effects,"
offers Vickery. "Back in the U.K., Andy and his team built the interior of the
ship's hold. This collaboration among the art department, prop makers, set
builders, lighting and visual effects' teams ensured a seamlessness between the
different departments' work. Audiences can just watch the spectacle and enjoy."
Lava Flows and Auction Attacks:
For Crowley, one of the exciting things about making Jurassic movies is that the
dinosaurs themselves get more interesting. "They're more beautifully realized,"
he shares. "There has been a lot of research and new evidence suggests that
dinosaurs had brighter colors and beautiful bone structures. We all grew up with
dinosaur toys that were grey, but now speculation is that they were far more
colorful; so we've created amazing dinosaurs working with some of the best
It was a source of the pride for the team to add a number of new dinosaurs to
this chapter. "People love to see dinosaurs that they didn't even know existed,"
the producer continues. "To make them credible we've gone to ILM who has been
the partner on all of the movies. They are the best visual-effects house in the
world. When you're watching the movie, you will feel that those animals are as
real as any animal that you've ever seen."
Enhancing the appearance of the dinosaurs in every way possible is high on the
agenda, Crowley says. "We have Skywalker Sound, who has worked on these movies
in the past. The sounds you will experience with our dinosaurs will make you
feel as if you've gone back 65 million years and are listening to what's going
on in the world that they lived in. We are getting the best anybody possibly can
in terms of dinosaurs."
When you're producing a movie on the scale of Jurassic World, you need to give
the director a support network of right-hand collaborators to match the
extraordinary tasks at hand. Crowley explains the process: "For J.A., all of his
movies have been shot by DP Oscar Faura. J.A.'s relationship with Oscar is
probably the most important on set because they have to think alike-to live
inside each other's heads. We agreed to bring Oscar on to the show, and asked
J.A. to look at a production designer we'd worked with in England named Andy
Nicholson and costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ."
The Oscar-nominated production designer, lauded for his work on Gravity, proved
a flexible designer who was able to pull Bayona forward into a movie of this
scale. "J.A. was able to get what he wants in a way that he never could have
imagined before," Crowley states. "Equally, you want to give him someone in
costumes who you feel will bring something special to this kind of a movie. J.A.
and Sammy put their heads together and came up with the wardrobe for Bryce and
Chris, which gives a look to the whole movie that's very special."
Nicholson was faced with the challenge of creating a new world within the
confines of an established franchise. Still, he appreciated the radical
departure that the filmmakers were brave enough to take. "There is a very
established look to Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, and this film is set in a
very different context," Nicholson notes. "When we leave the island, it is a
complete departure from what you have seen before. It's very refreshing. It was
interesting exploring what that could mean, not just how the dinosaurs were
leaving the island...but the place they were going."
Much of the impressive scope of Fallen Kingdom is due to Nicholson's expansive
set design and builds at Pinewood Studios in England, as well as his on-location
work in Hawaii. "The scale is a by-product of the characters that our dinosaurs
are playing, as well as the vast sets that the storyline requires," he reflects.
Nicholson enjoyed collaborating with the creative mind of Bayona. "J.A.'s vision
is unique and focused," the designer offers. "He spends a great deal of time
thinking about what he shows his audience: the set design and framing of every
shot. When I came on board, I spent four weeks in Barcelona with him going
through reference pictures and ideas, as well as background detail and textures.
We established a language and his ideas for the Lockwood house in particular;
those were a lot of fun because of J.A.'s thoughts about color and texture."
The Lockwood Estate-built in entirety on sound stages at Pinewood Studios
England-reveals a history to the franchise that will be a surprise. The action
is set over a number of the floors, with rooms including the vast library,
state-of-the-art subterranean laboratory, the colossal containment facility, the
smart office of Mills, and the bedrooms of Lockwood and Maisie. Nicolson
discusses the evolution of the estate, and the flexibility of his producers and
director: "The Library is a combination of what was originally two separate sets
in the script. I liked the idea of having dioramas with dinosaurs, like natural
history museums. I appreciated the passive control of nature and the color you
get from that kind of display. It informs the room and says a lot about
Lockwood. The addition later on of the dinosaur skeletons brought the room into
becoming his private museum and collection, one based on his obsession with the
creatures and his considerable wealth."
Pratt admits that this set was one of his favorite layouts of the production:
"Lockwood, in his passion and love for dinosaurs, has created a home that
resembles the Natural History Museum," the actor notes. "This has been Maisie's
entire life and it's a really cool, dangerous backdrop. There was actually a
spookiness to it when we were filing the scenes in which the Indoraptor is
chasing us through this place with its secret passages, cobwebs and creakiness.
We've got really amazing practical sets on this movie, and I'm excited for
people to see these awesome backdrops that juxtapose the dinosaurs."
Another enormous set build at Pinewood was the interior of the Arcadia ship,
used to transport the dinosaurs from Isla Nublar to their new home. "We had to
come up with a type of ship that had a believable way of loading the dinosaurs
quickly," the designer explains. "I looked at a couple of military options, and
we settled on a specific type of dock-landing craft. The great thing about these
boats is you can back them up to within 100 yards of the beach and drive them
with pontoons. It's like a car ferry, but with a nicer feel because there is a
big empty dock in the back. It had to be fast, so we added the slightly
futuristic design of the fast attack vessels, as well as oil-rig servicing
vessels and this large military ship. We used the ceiling of the stage as the
ceiling of the boat, which gave us even more space inside the dock."
In order to ensure these sets would be large enough for the scripted action,
Nicholson pre-visualised all his sets. "The great thing about modelling sets in
a computer is being able to play around with how the action will work. It is
very important for projects like this because you have a way of addressing your
questions in a relatively low-cost scenario. Someone can tell you a Velociraptor
is X-feet long, but until you see it in the space, you can't appreciate what
that means in terms of your set and the action that needs to take place within
Three months into production, the cast and crew relocated to Hawaii to film the
scenes set on Isla Nublar. While many practical locations were utilized, a
number of sets on the islands were also required. Jurassic World is overgrown
and abandoned, and the team was able to rebuild a portion of the main street...but
as destroyed as it was at the end of the last film. Plus, they assumed that
because the volcano is erupting, there would be a certain amount of seismic
activity...allowing them to break the buildings down even more.
An unexpected consequence of returning to Jurassic World was that the filmmakers
were able to explore other areas of the island that haven't seen in the films
before. It was crucial, however, that they fit within the architectural style of
the theme park. Moviegoers will see evidence of rides as we progress through
Claire and Owen's journey to the bunker in order to activate the beacons.
Fan-favorite the gyrosphere is back...and it might just save the day.
U.K. to Hawaii:
Locations of the Adventure
While in the U.K., production was based at world renowned Pinewood Studios in
Buckinghamshire. This is where the art department, costume, creature effects,
special effects, visual effects workshops and editing were situated. Many of the
sound stages at Pinewood were utilized for the huge set builds needed for the
Lockwood's library was built on S Stage. Resembling a natural history museum,
the vast set was filled with archaeological artefacts, dinosaur skeletons and
lined with intricate dioramas, which serve as Maisie's playground and hiding
place. When filming in the library was complete, the set was re-dressed and
transformed into Lockwood's underground garage, which is used by the more
duplicitous characters to house a sinister auction room.
The eerie dinosaur containment facility, in the basement of the Lockwood
mansion, was built on R Stage. This was designed as the holding area for the
dinosaurs arriving from Isla Nublar and also housed Dr. Wu's state-of-the-art
laboratory and the control room. Stages M and F were utilized to build Maisie's
quirky and luxurious bedroom and Lockwood's bedroom.
The vast interior of the Arcadia, the cargo ship that transports the dinosaurs
from Isla Nublar to their new destination, was built on RA Stage. This set was
filled with huge trucks for the scenes in which Claire, Owen and Franklin dive
on board the vessel and find Zia working to save Blue's life. When filming on
the Arcadia was complete, the set was rebuilt to become the gigantic rooftop of
the Lockwood Estate where Claire, Owen and Maisie come face to face with the
The production also took extra space at Langley Business Centre, a short
distance from Pinewood Studios. In order to film scenes at the beginning of the
movie-introducing Franklin and Zia to the story-Claire's Dinosaur Protection
Group office was built here. Other scenes filmed at Langley included the video
of Owen training baby raptors, and the scene in which Claire and Owen must take
blood from a heavily (?) sedated T. rex.
The cast and crew ventured out on location to MOD Hartland and Minley in Surrey.
Working through the night with helicopters, rain machines and lightening
simulators, this location was used for the scenes in which the station guard
ominously opens the gates to the Jurassic World Lagoon in the opening sequences
of the film.
Other sets built at this location were the exterior of the Lockwood House, where
wealthy customers are welcomed to the auction of a lifetime, and the Loading
Dock, where sedated dinosaurs are delivered to the estate after their voyage
from Isla Nublar.
Every Jurassic movie to date has filmed in Hawaii and Fallen Kingdom was no
exception. In mid-June 2017, 50 core members of the U.K. film unit travelled
across the Atlantic to join the American team in Hawaii, USA.
Filming took place on Oahu to capture all the exterior action that takes place
on Isla Nublar. Production kicked off with Claire, Owen, Franklin and Zia
arriving at the Radio Tower Bunker. This exterior was built at Kualoa Ranch,
also home to the Gyrosphere Valley, where Claire, Owen and Franklin become
trapped in a terrifying dinosaur stampede...and take cover in the disused theme
Established in 1850, Kualoa is a 4,000-acre Private Nature Reserve, as well as a
working cattle ranch stretching from the steep mountain cliffs to the sparkling
sea. Located on the north-eastern side of Oahu in the Hawaiian countryside and
along the white sandy shores of Kaneohe Bay, it is just 24 miles from Honolulu.
Other productions that have filmed at this stunning location are Windtalkers,
Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and 50 First Dates. Notable TV shows
include the old and new Hawaii Five-O, Magnum P.I. and Lost.
Claire, Owen, Zia and Franklin arrive on Isla Nublar via prop plane. They are
greeted by gruff expedition leader, Wheatley, who shows them around the
high-tech base camp. This set was constructed on land owned by and neighbouring
Dillingham Ranch on the Northshore. Fortunately for all, the art department
cleared the site of hornets and wasps and built a small runway where they could
land the plane.
The largest set build in Hawaii took place at Police Beach (near Papa'iloa
Beach). This is where the art department recreated Main Street, complete with
destroyed Nobu and Margaritaville. The set took more than three months to build
and was meticulously dressed with the aftermath of chaos that took place on the
island in the last film. When Claire and Owen first arrive on the island, they
drive through this set as they venture back into Jurassic World.
The Halona Blowhole was the site chosen for the scene in which Claire, Franklin
and Owen wash up on the beach after escaping a stamped of dinosaurs in a
gyrosphere. This picturesque cove was made famous by Burt Lancaster and Deborah
Kerr in the 1953 classic From Here to Eternity.
Situated on Oahu's windward side, He'eia Kea Pier served as the location of the
shipping dock, where dinosaurs are loaded onto the Arcadia as lava spews down
the mountainside...and Claire, Owen and Franklin must jump in a truck-joining the
cargo to its unknown destination.
Picturesque He'eia Kea Harbour is located in Kaneohe Bay, the largest sheltered
body of water in the Hawaiian Islands. On a usual business day, the He'eia Kea
Harbour offers fishing charters and scenic cruises, boat, water toy and jet-ski
rentals, parasailing, snorkel and scuba diving cruises. Just a few moments away
from the Pier, is He'eia Jungle, where Owen's trek to find Blue was lensed.
During the expedition to locate the beloved Velociraptor, Owen is
double-crossed, and left behind to be devoured by dinosaurs or lava...whichever
gets to him first.
Home | Theaters | Video | TV
Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
© 2018 8®, All Rights Reserved.