‘Jurassic World’ Director Reveals his Journey from Indie Features to Blockbuster Franchises

NFTS News

‘Jurassic World’ Director Reveals his Journey from Indie Features to Blockbuster Franchises

“I would encourage all of you to make one movie with a bunch of your mates at least once.”

Director and Co-Writer of Guinness World Record breaking film, Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow delighted NFTS students with an insightful masterclass on what it takes to work on blockbuster franchises like Jurassic World and Star Wars.

(Trailer - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)

Jurassic World set a box office record during its opening weekend, becoming the first film in cinematic history to generate over $500 million in a single weekend, and was the third-highest-grossing film of all time in the world during its theatrical run. It’s sequel, the much anticipated Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the fifth instalment of the Jurassic Park franchise and is released on June 11th 2018.

(Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Release June 2018)

In a session hosted by NFTS director, Jon Wardle, Colin revealed that he too had been a film school student: “I met a lot of the people I work together with now at film school; it’s great that you focus on collaborating with other disciplines at NFTS as realising that filmmaking is a collaborative medium is one of the most important lessons I learned.”

(Colin Trevorrow and NFTS Director, Jon Wardle)

Colin experienced his first success with low budget, indie feature, Safety Not Guaranteed which he directed and produced with long-standing collaborator, Derek Connolly after Derek saw a classified ad asking for a time-travelling excursion partner. Colin explained: The film was a joy from start to finish. The spirit of it is real, true and honest; I cherish that I knew how special it was at the time. I would encourage all of you to make one movie with a bunch of your mates at least once.”

The film won the ‘Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award’ at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. Colin described how he felt when the film sold as a result: “I was shocked they were going to put it in the movies! It was a special moment.”

(Safety Not Guaranteed)

Due to his Sundance success, Colin was hired by Steven Spielberg to direct Jurassic World. Colin admitted that he did have some reservations about moving straight to a blockbuster franchise and asked himself: “Are we sure we want to rob ourselves of movies we would’ve made along the way?” But he understood how big an opportunity that Jurassic World presented and recognized that Safety Not Guaranteed showed a “desire to make a mainstream movie.” Colin continued: “Safety Not Guaranteed contained comedy, thrills, action and magic. Injecting a sense of interest in a particular genre is a signal.”

On the challenges of working on a blockbuster for the first time with a long shoot time of four months, Colin explained: “I understood the visual effects workflow from my experience on Safety Not Guaranteed but every VFX sequence for Jurassic World had to be designed very carefully. I had to listen and learn in real time and give clear directives. You have to find a way to trust your instincts but also have the humility to second guess yourself as you can’t always be right.”

(Colin Trevorrow meeting NFTS students after the masterclass)

After Jurassic World, Colin directed Book of Henry as he always wanted to direct a ‘noble ghost story’: “I love the idea of someone being able to influence events from beyond the grave. I needed to do that movie for a number of reasons. It was challenging tonally and emotionally.”

(Book of Henry)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom comes out for UK cinema release on 6th June 2018.