Concept, Creative Direction, Storyboards, Animatics, Editor, Sound Design, BTS Photography
With the 30th anniversary of the release of Jurassic Park in theaters and the 5 year anniversary of Jurassic World Alive's launch, the teams at Jam City, Ludia and Universal Studios wanted to celebrate in style by creating a trailer that not only paid homage to Jurassic Park and the franchise, but showed love to the fans of the game.
I assembled my creative team to come up with a variety of concepts that could work for the trailer. The objective was to create something that gave nods to Jurassic Park, but still lived within the Jurassic World Alive universe and highlighted the core pillars of the game. We were also asked, due to budgetary constraints, to come up with a big budget idea, a mid budget idea and a lower budget idea.
Below showcases one of my big budget concepts that I storyboarded.
It was felt a lot of our concepts were a bit too pie in the sky, however, I did have one alternative idea that was in the lower budget bucket, that hit the marks the teams were looking for.
Taking inspiration from sequences in films like The Matrix, The Other Guys, and some commercials I had researched, I had the idea of telling a story through a frozen scene that paid homage to the franchise. As we discussed and collaborated, it was thought that the scene, as a wink to the anniversary, could be set at a birthday party and that the camera would fly around the scene showing iconic dinos causing havoc, whilst also giving nods to the original film. The scene would end on a group of Jurassic World Alive players with their phones out, enjoying the chaos.
With this initial idea in place, I quickly whipped up some rough storyboards and an animatic, as seen below.
In addition to this, and wanting to be as clear as I could, I also pieced together a very rough 3D rendering, to give more of a sense of the idea of a frozen scene and the camera movement.
The concept was approved and we were off to the races. The story needed some tweaking however and instead of a group of Jurassic World Alive players, we shaved it down to just one. It was felt that some context needed to be provided before going into the frozen scene, so after some discussions, I pitched the idea of a solitary guy at the party who feels bored and out of place, but once he starts playing Jurassic World Alive, he's finally at a party he feels welcome to.
The boards were updated to reflect this change in direction.
The story changes were satisfactory to all parties and we started prep on the shoot. With his background as a story artist, the director of the spot, William Groebe, took my storyboards and refined them, to which I then pieced together another animatic, this time with music and SFX to help align everyone on the direction and vision.
With everything set and actors cast, we shot on location in LA. I was lucky enough to attend and provide real time feedback and support as they filmed. It was important to the studios how the actors reacted to the dinosaurs and how each shot was paced for editing purposes. The team assembled from Tippett Studio & Midnight Lantern Productions, along with everyone at Jam City, Ludia and Universal was incredible and we were able to get everything in the can and completed on schedule.
As with any big projects, there was a lot of back and forth and exploration to find the sweet spot for the ad. As the main editor, I assembled all the footage, worked on the music, sound design and worked closely with Tippett on the final execution of the VFX shots and created various versions of the edit to meet Universal's standards.
It was personally a dream come true for me to work with Tippett Studios, the VFX house behind the trailer and producers on the project, as I've been a fan of their work since I was a kid. Seeing my initial concepts come to life through their hard work and dedication was a dream come true and each animation pass got better and better as we moved along through the process.
It was a long journey, but as Ian Malcom notes, "life finds a way" and we did. I'm incredibly proud of the work we achieved as it was a different direction than the game has taken before in its marketing, but I think the end results came out great and the fans have certainly shown love for it.