Jurassic World: Dominion director Colin Trevorrow talked Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous and a host of dino-related topics recently.
During a digital roundtable with Collider, he spoke about the series, its timeline, working with Steven Spielberg, and fan reaction.
Trevorrow mentioned the inspiration for Camp Cretaceous was seeing the adventure and terror of walking with dinosaurs from a childlike perspective.
“It felt very clear, the minute the idea came to the table, that seeing all of this through the eyes of a child and the fears and the anxieties, and all of those things that we connect with childhood, and to be able to take that route into the experience just felt like the right thing,” he said.
He’d add the idea was meant to “honor the legacy of Steven [Spielberg] and Michael Crichton and what Jurassic Park means to so many millions of people.”
Of setting it in the same timeline as Jurassic World and the challenges that presented, Trevorrow shared “We could focus on the characters and we could just delve deeper into their experience because of that shared knowledge” without worrying about world-building or laying out the rules.
“It took a lot of the burden off of a show like this so that we could really get to know these kids,” he continued.
And he wanted the story of the kids to be its own thing, not handcuffed to the movie, in his words. “I didn’t wanna handcuff these guys to the movie,” Trevorrow said.
“In general, the first thing that I said when I came in was, ‘This is your show. You’re not just making some kind of addendum to a movie. You’re telling an original story in the context of this movie,'” Trevorrow stated. “They really ran with it.”
To make the show more accessible to a wider audience of adults who grew up on Jurassic Park, a conscious effort was made by Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg to not shy away from danger or death.
“We really recognize that these were real creatures that were horribly dangerous and they were animals but they were also alive and they’re deserving of respect,” Trevorrow said.
“We try to weave all of those ideas into one narrative but there really wasn’t ever a question, for either of us or for the rest of the writers, that we wanted to continue on with the tone of the films,” he added. “It really needed to feel like it exists in that same world.”
Trevorrow went on to say animation doesn’t change the context of the story. And he credits Spielberg for being “on board from day one. I don’t know if we would do it without his approval because then what are we doing?”
He let slip that, to be part of Camp Cretaceous, you have to be a dinosaur nerd, like himself. “A lot of everyone’s enthusiasm bled into” the character of Darius, “a kid from Oakland who loves dinosaurs.”
“I don’t think we have anyone on the writing staff who isn’t a dinosaur nerd, on some level, and I include myself,” said Trevorrow who feels he’s a lot like Darius.
He continued there is an awe and wonder to be upheld when a character sees a dinosaur, no matter how used to them being alive again they are. “No matter what, when you see a dinosaur, your heart stops,” Trevorrow mused.
“It’s become almost a metaphor for my own relationship with it,” he continued. “I see dinosaurs every day now. This is my life, and yet, I can never allow myself to not feel that sense of awe or wonder.”
As for if there will be any influence on Jurassic World: Dominion resulting from the series, Trevorrow admitted he “didn’t keep any secrets, at all,” from writers or actors.
He stated further there is no vacuum and a real foundation they’ll build on, and threads they’ll sew together, if the audience lets them.
Trevorrow concluded he is pleased with the reception Camp Cretaceous is getting thus far. “To say something positive about the internet, they’re all able to go see all of those reactions too and they can feel a sense of shared ownership for it,” he said.
Lastly, he glowed, “That’s one of the best things about being able to create stuff like this.”
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous tells the story of six teenagers touring Isla Nublar during the events of Jurassic World. It stars the voice talents of Paul-Mikél Williams, Jenna Ortega, Ryan Potter, Kausar Mohammad, Raini Rodriguez, and Sean Giambrone.
Currently streaming on Netflix, it’s produced by Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Colin Trevorrow.