Jurassic World Dominion director, Colin Trevorrow, shared some insight on how it all went down behind the scenes of his film during the creation of some exclusive dinosaurs.
While reviews for the latest, and most likely last, Jurassic outing weren’t entirely kind, one aspect that generally seemed to survive criticism was the special effects. On a podcast for The Hollywood Reporter, Trevorrow explained how he and his team worked to bring the Dominion dinos to life.
Among the 27 different types of dinosaurs featured throughout Jurassic World Dominion, ten had never appeared in the franchise before. One of those species, the pyroraptors, were the biggest of the challenges, according to Trevorrow.
“The Pyroraptors were really hard and were the ones that took the longest to develop, because we didn’t really have any baseline for it.”
As a bird-like predator, the pyroraptor is covered in feathers. Developing the special effects realistically was especially tricky, Trevorrow noted. “We had to understand how feathers reacted to wind, ice water and all of these other elements,” he shared.
The Dominion team built an animatronic of the pyroraptor with different feathers from around the world in order to test how light would reflect from each of them.
One infamous predator, who fans of the saga will know as the dinosaur that killed Wayne Knight’s Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park, also made its return in Dominion. Trevorrow was “very reserved” with this particular species, called the dilophosaurus, which had never been digitally animated before, as the original Steven Spielberg-helmed movie relied heavily on animatronics for its effects.
“We didn’t have a digital model. We used only the animatronic,” Trevorrow revealed. For the director, who was also responsible for 2015’s Jurassic World and an executive producer on 2018’s Fallen Kingdom there’s a certain magic about using animatronics.
“We were limited to what it could do, but I think the limitations of what animatronics can do are part of what makes that character scary. It just kind of stares at you from a stationary spot. And then suddenly it’s right in front of you. When it’s there, it’s horribly nasty.”
Jurassic World Dominion is in theaters now.