In July 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting the set of Jurassic World. After the jump you will find a roundup of over 50 things I learned on the Jurassic World set visit, ranging from cool bits of trivia (for instance: a neat suggestion Steven Spielberg made to vastly improve an idea Colin Trevorrow pitched) to interesting information about the theme park world of the film. This is probably one of the coolest sets I’ve ever visited. We will be featuring interviews from the set elsewhere on the site, so look out for those as well.
Jurassic World Set Visit
The Theme Park
Jurassic World takes place on Isla Nublar, the island from the original Jurassic Park.
The movie is set 22 years after the first Steven Spielberg film.
In the film, the park Jurassic World has been in operation for 8 years, and sees more than 20,000 visitors every day. Visitors arrive by ferry from Costa Rica. The location has elements of a biological preserve, a safari, a zoo, and a theme park. There is a luxury resort with hotels, restaurants, nightlife and a golf course. But the main attraction is, of course, the dinosaurs. Jurassic World has a spotless safety track record so far, too.
The theme park has been up and running for almost a decade, but declining attendance has resulted in a corporate mandate for something bigger, louder and with more teeth. One new dinosaur was created by the park’s geneticists. The gaps in her DNA sequence were filled with DNA from other species, much like the genome in the first film was completed with frog DNA.
All the fences in the park are electrified, so if the dinosaurs get too close they will get shocked.
Everything on the island is branded by some corporation. The Visitor’s Center is presented by Samsung, and Claire has just closed a sponsorship deal for “Verizon Wireless Presents the Indominus Rex”.
Unlike the real Sea World, there are no protesters decrying the park’s administration, as it is believed they are not mistreating the animals.
Producer Frank Marshall told us that Universal Studios theme park is developing stuff that should be current with the movie when it’s finally released. The theme park was really curious about what they were doing; Marshall thinks they might be making a ride version of the gyrosphere for one of the theme parks as the theme park guys were very excited when they saw them on set.
We saw one of the gyrospheres, which is basically two seats in a circular glass bubble that rolls on its own and is controlled by a joystick in the center console. There is a screen in the front of the sphere displaying information about the Dinos riders encounter. The practically-built version we saw was attached to a gimbals from behind and were used for green screen filming. Some of the gyrosphere scenes were filmed in Hawaii, with the vehicles rigged on a track system.
Storywise, the dinosaurs have microchips and the gyrospheres are programmed to avoid them. The gyrospheres can roam a huge multi-acre area called Gyrosphere Valley, which features (of course) only non-dangerous animals. The gyrospheres are also remotely monitored and can be controlled and called back to base. The Gyrosphere ride closes down at sundown.