Jurassic Park gate

Throughout the process of making this movie, the fan reaction has been very cynical, which is weird. And you guys have been very good at responding to them. Why do you think fans were so cynical about another Jurassic Park movie?

I think that it’s about trying to manage the expectations. I think they assumed that we were going to move on from number three and where do you go from there? So, you know, when you really look at what the movie is to me it’s more of a sequel to Jurassic Park.

It definitely feels like more a sequel to that first film.

Yeah, so I think that what we wanted to do is not make a cynical movie. To make a movie that hearkens back to everything that everybody loved about the first movie. And I think because we had Colin who so appreciated and was so immersed in that first movie, that gave me obviously the confidence that he would deliver something that everybody would respond to and not look at cynically.

Ty Simpkins Jurassic World

The movie feels like an Amblin movie, with the kids and the divorce; it feels like a Spielberg movie. Was he ever considering directing this?

No, I think Steven’s always wanted to be the producer of this movie. I don’t think he considered directing it. You know, and I have to say that the original script that I came on the movie with was certainly was different, a different approach to the story. And what Colin and Derek did was they brought basic Steven ideas and then turned them into the story they wanted to tell which was much more an Amblin kind of story.

What was different about the original draft that you read?

Well, the original started in China. It was much more about the dinosaurs that were found in China and then developed and passed around the globe into something that became the Indominous Rex. We didn’t enter Jurassic World through the eyes of a child like Colin wanted to do.

That’s definitely a great “in,” I think, to the final film.

I feel like that’s what everybody wanted to do is to have that moment like we all had back when we first saw Jurassic Park and the wonderment of the park. And that’s kind of a wish fulfillment of all the fans and certainly Colin and Derek, they come from that fan base.

Jurassic World concept art

I talked to you on set, but we didn’t get to see any practical dinosaurs. Can you talk a little bit about the performance capture process and how that went?

Sure. I mean, you know, one of the great things I think that Colin was able to do was he designed the movie in a way that the dinosaurs feel like they’re organic to each scene and to the shots. Like when we shot them, they were there. And certainly that’s all part of the technology and Colin’s filmmaking abilities. In that he made it feel very real. And the technology is so advanced from the first three movies that it’s all part of the process. It’s one of the tools in the toolbox now.

Jurassic World performance capture

Some fans cling to practical FX and puppets, but much of this movie feels as real via CG as the parts of this movie that feature puppets. What is the struggle creatively as a producer with deciding to go with computer animation over puppets or practical dinosaurs?

Well, I think that the bit of irony here is that the reasons that it flip-flopped is that C.G. is now so real that the practical animatronics… you have to be very careful where and when you shoot them because a lot of times they don’t measure up to what we can do in C.G. Does that make sense? It is very fortunate in some of these scenes for the actors to be able to have something real to act with. It’s very difficult when there’s nothing there obviously. So you have to sort of pick and choose your scenes. We did have raptors in the cages as well that they were touching, so there were things for the actors to actually interact with. And that of course it’s just understanding from a directing point of view what’s going to be best for the scene.

Obviously the main concern is worrying about the story and getting this movie right. But it seems like you are trying to re-launch a franchise. This film does do a bit to set up future films. What kind of instruction did you and Steven have for Derek and Colin in terms of planting seeds for the future?

Well, they were pretty general in that we leave the door open to have further chapters in the story. What’s funny is I’m on my way to have lunch with the studio and Colin to talk about this right now.

A lot of these new films end with those big cliffhangers, but Colin plants it two-thirds of the way through the movie. So by the end of the movie, you forget that those seeds were even planted. I think it was very cleverly orchestrated.

Right.

TyandColin-Hawaii

I also wanted to ask you about the original script. I was kind of surprised to see Jaffa and Silver listed in the  end credits as I heard Colin and Derek had completely rewritten the script.

Well that’s a Writer’s Guild decision. As you know, it’s up to the WGA to determine credit, and I have no idea how that arbitration works.  Through the years that Steven and Kathy were developing the story, there were several scripts written before Jaffa/Silver came onto the scene.  Here are the ideas that the different writers, including Colin and Derek, were given and then wrote their drafts.  Obviously, there was a lot of crossover, but I wanted you to see the basic ideas that came from the producers (Steven, Kathy and Frank) that formed the story. The five principal ideas we producers gave to each writer or writing team that joined us in developing Jurassic World were the following:

  • There is a fully functional Jurassic Park, operational for years, serving many thousands of people every day.
  • A new ferocious dinosaur breaks loose, threatening those in the park.
  • A male lead with a military background is responsible for training Raptors. These animals will be used to hunt and kill the escaped dinosaur.
  • There are children as major characters.
  • The children take a trip on a new kind of theme park ride and find themselves in the path of the escaped dinosaur.

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