'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Built A Roller Coaster To Pull Off One Of Its Stunts

Rather than just let CGI and acting do all the heavy-lifting, the production team behind Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom went ahead and built a functioning roller coaster to create one of the film's major action set pieces. The Fallen Kingdom behind-the-scenes video below highlights how the roller coaster was used to create some movie magic.

Fallen Kingdom Behind the Scenes Video 

Early in Jurassic World: Fallen KingdomBryce Dallas Howard, playing Claire, and Justice Smith, playing new character Franklin, end up falling off a cliff while strapped into one of the gyrospheres that were so prominent in the first Jurassic World. When I saw this scene, I assumed it was 100% CGI. That is, I figured Howard and Smith were simply sitting still on a green screen set somewhere, and everything else was added later in post.

That's only partially true. While the background of the scene was indeed added later with VFX, the drop Howard and Smith took was very real. As the above video shows, the Fallen Kingdom production crew built a functional roller coaster and attached the gyrosphere to it. Howard and Smith then sat in the gyrosphere, with a greenscreen mounted behind them. After that, the gyrosphere containing the actors was pushed down a roller coaster track while a camera mounted in front filmed their faces.

From this, director J.A. Bayona was able to capture a genuine reaction from the actors as they experienced the sensation of falling. I have many issues with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (you can read about them here!), but I have to admit, this is pretty neat. While I suppose it would've been simpler to just set Howard and Smith up in front of a stationary green screen and instruct them to act like they're falling through space, this more complicated method allows for a more natural reaction.

/Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta interviewed director J.A. Bayona, and talked a little about this specific sequence:

I was gonna say it seems like you're worked very closely with Colin.  I'm wondering Spielberg, when we were on the set of first Jurassic World movie, Colin told us about the story of how Spielberg had this whole suggestion with the water scene of the seats going down below the water. I love hearing these stories how Spielberg will plus something.  Do you have any stories of like where he threw out a suggestion that like changed the movie?

Bayona: I mean, not...we don't have any scene, a specific scene, but it's true that Steven has been always very encouraging.  And the sort of person that empowers a director.  He makes him feel good and he makes him feel prepared.  I wanted to meet him as much as possible.  I tried to watch all the pre-vis that we did together.  And it was fascinating to show him the stuff and hearing his ideas.  Hearing back his ideas.  And so there was lots of details here and there.

The above video is a good indication of how much practical work went into the film. While many modern blockbusters seem to be 100% CGI at times, Fallen Kingdom has a nice blend of practical effects and digital.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is now playing everywhere.