In June 2017, I traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to visit the set of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. This week, we will be running a ton of coverage from this visit, beginning with our interview with producers Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley.

The interview is packed with information on the making of the film, but as always, they were being very guarded about spoilers, so don’t worry – reading this will not spoil anything that hasn’t already been glimpsed in the trailers. This roundtable interview was conducted alongside Eric Vespe from Rooster Teeth.

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Frank Marshall: Where’s Pat?  My partner in crime.

I don’t know.  I think he ditched you.

Marshall: That’s usual.

Yeah, so those animatronics were unbelievable.

Marshall: They’re pretty cool.

Seeing that Raptor, Blue, I mean, I almost cried.  He looks incredible, like a real live tranked dinosaur in front of me.

Marshall: Yeah, it’s, I mean, the obvious thing is it’s so much better for the actors when they have something to act with.  Yeah.  And it’s that delicate balance.  Sometimes the CG is better.  It flip-flopped.  It used to be animatronics was always better.  And now it’s like this, but you like to have something you can touch.

I think it’s a thing that like… at least from what I’ve seen on set visits and the final product, is when there’s something practically here and even if they do set extension, the something there helps the set extension.

Marshall: Yeah, absolutely.

You’re a magician, you know, but it hides the trick.

Marshall: Absolutely.  That’s why you want as many solid pieces that take your eye, that take your eye away from what’s not real and not solid.  So you’re right.  Misdirection.

Misdirection.  Yeah, absolutely.  It’s “you don’t know where the seam is.”  You might know that there’s an illusion and you can’t believe that something so crazy like a dinosaurs can’t be real. Growing up, that’s what I loved.  I loved not knowing the trick and then finding out about it.  You know, and still, even with the old animatronics stuff or finding out about the bladders in American Werewolf and how that’s what made the skin pop and stuff like that.

Marshall: Yeah.  Well, Gremlins, I mean, we had all kinds of that was really fun.

Well Poltergeist is another great example where there’s just every kind of practical effect in the world.

Marshall: Yeah.  On that movie, yeah.  And we built that backyard with the mud and all that.

[Patrick Crowley enters the tent]

And they turned into real skeletons. Here he is.  Hi, how’s it going.

Pat Crowley: I’m Pat. How you doing?

Marshall: Notice he’s much more stylish than me.  He’s got the beard, he’s got the pants, the hat.

Crowley I’ve been sitting out here all day.

So when you were developing this and Colin came in, what was the pitch for Jurassic World 2?

Marshall: Well, I mean, we knew we had to get off the island.  And he came in, I think he’s been thinking about this since Jurassic World where we’re gonna go in 2 and 3.  So it was just a question of how far we were gonna go in 2.  So he kind of had it all sketched out.  And basically from what I remember, he brought a treatment in.  I mean, I don’t think we sat down and talked to him about it.  He was…

Crowley: Boy, it was interesting ’cause without revealing too much of it, he wanted to go much further in the second one.  And we all sort of looked at it and said, I don’t think everybody’s ready for that.  Pull it back a little.  It was just in terms of the length of the time of the storytelling.  He had started here and went all the way to there.  It was–

Marshall: Well, we really felt we needed to spend time to get to know Chris and Bryce again.  Where they’d been in three years.  Because as you’ll see, there’s a big change in her.  She’s realized that she made a mistake and that it was [her] responsibility, not her fault, but she was part of what happened.  So she’s now trying to make up for it.  Trying to do better and Chris is pretty much still a loner on his own.  Not wanting to deal with anything.  So we had to set that up.

It must be interesting from your perspective since you not only have to find the director’s vision, but then also kind of think about it not only in the wider terms of the franchise, but also how to actually execute it in real life.  So was there a particular element that you can talk about that got you really excited about his thing? I mean, I know that there’s a lot of mystery in the second half.

Marshall: But that challenge is, at least for me, what I get all excited about is how we’re gonna do this.  Where are we gonna do it?  How are we gonna do it?  And how we’re gonna pull it off.  And there’s some locations in this one that are, we’re not just…although on the last one we were just here, but we went to New Orleans, so how do we do it and do the magic trick of having people believe we’re where we are, but do it for the best price?  And so it’s always exciting to sit down and say, well, should we go here, should we go to Atlanta, and [it] just so happened that I knew how to get some stages at Pinewood Studios.

Yeah.  You might have been able to negotiate that.

Crowley: Or not.

Yeah, that might have backfired on you too.

Marshall: Yeah, it could have, yeah.  So it all worked out very well.

Crowley: It was very, it was interesting ’cause then Steven got into the mix.  And with Steven would sort of go, ’cause we’re on Isla Nublar, which is off the coast of Costa Rica.  And it was like okay, well you need to get from there to somewhere in a relatively short period of time.  So we had kind of a conceit about the location where we were gonna end up.  And Steven goes no, it’s not possible.  You can’t do that.  So we were looking in, we were sending scouts out to–

Marshall: It’s not possible to do it in the time.

Crowley: In the timeframe. In the amount of story time that we needed. We couldn’t spend too [much], they get on a boat in order to get off and that’s what we’re doing here.  And so they need to get on a boat and then they gotta get somewhere.  Rather than making it a movie about traveling on a boat, which is not very exciting, you needed to get to the place.

And it couldn’t have been like two months later.

Crowley: Yeah.  And Steven was going, well… I think if you wanna get to England, that’s gonna take too long.  So then we were, scouts into Peru and Ecuador and just all kinds of places that we thought–

Marshall: I wanted to go to Cabo San Lucas.

Crowley: It just didn’t work for the story.  So it’s that you find out and you go okay, how can we make those stages at Pinewood work?  And we essentially came up with a really good idea.

Marshall: Yeah.  And I think that on this one we do have a lot more interior scenes than we’ve had on any of the other movies.  So it made sense to be on a soundstage.  A big soundstage.  Which Pinewood was perfect for.

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