50 Things I Learned on the Set of Jurassic World

Gyrosphere Jurassic World Chris PRatt

Film Production

I visited the set of Jurassic World on July 21st 2014. It was day 67 of 78 days of principal photography. To give you some perspective, I visited the set two days before Comic Con 2014 and a week after the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

The film shot under the secret working production title Ebb Tide. That working title was chosen by Steven Spielberg way before Trevorrow was involved. No one on set seemed to know a reason for the working title.

Jurassic World is the first Jurassic Park movie not to shoot in Los Angeles. They shot at Universal studios for the previous three films, but the tax breaks in Louisiana were too attractive.

NASA Michoud assembly facility

The set we visited was at the NASA Michoud assembly facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jurassic World was the latest in a bunch of Hollywood productions shooting in New Orleans due to tax incentives. The production rented out the huge buildings at the NASA facility which use to be used to construct space shuttles. I first visited the facility a week earlier when visiting the set of Terminator Genisys.

We were on set at NASA exactly 45 years from when they were first walking on the moon. The NASA engineers who are building the rocket to Mars visited the set and they were said to have left amazed.

Jurassic World Trailer Still 68

New Orleans has an abandoned Six Flags theme park which has been used for other film productions in the past. Jurassic World created a 300-foot by 200-foot Main Street and Boardwalk in the amusement park’s abandoned parking lot. They shot on the set for two and a half weeks.

Fuel boosters from a space shuttle sit abandoned in the grass next to the stages. While I was on set, NASA was currently in the process of building a rocket to go to Mars at this facility.

Jurassic World shot mostly on 35mm film. They filmed a lot of the big exteriors on 65mm in Hawaii. They used one of the 65mm cameras used for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Jurassic World will be post-converted to 3D by the same company that did the wonderful 3D conversion of the original Jurassic Park.

Steven Spielberg Directing on the set of Jurassic Park

The original script was written in three weeks and the studio was pushing for a quick June start. Steven Spielberg decided that they needed some more time to make the movie good, and he had the pull to shut the production down before it started prematurely. Spielberg approved the screenplay in September 2013, and filming finally began in April 2014.

Steven Spielberg was very hands-on in the development of the project, but now that production is in full gear, he is fairly hands-off. Spielberg watches the dailies every day but has said he wants Trevorrow to make his own movie. Spielberg hasn’t even had time to visit the set as he’s been very busy working on two other films.

They’ve been editing while they are shooting so they can turn over shots to ILM, especially for the finished shots for the teaser trailer and trailer.

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