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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 story."

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 model makers."

ILM Weaves Magic: Visual Effects

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 their characteristics.

"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 surroundings."

"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 do before."

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 digital effects."

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 real science."

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: Designing Destruction

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 designers."

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 it."

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

United Kingdom
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 film.

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 stealthy Indoraptor.

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.

Oahu, Hawaii
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 park ride.

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.

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