Battle at Big Rock
Battle at Big Rock is a 2019 short film directed by Colin Trevorrow. It is part of the Jurassic Park franchise, and follows the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). It stars André Holland, Natalie Martinez, Melody Hurd, and Pierson Salvador. On September 15, 2019, it premiered on FX and was subsequently released online.
|Battle at Big Rock|
|Directed by||Colin Trevorrow|
|Based on||Jurassic Park|
by Michael Crichton
|Music by||Amie Doherty|
|Edited by||Stephen M. Rickert, Jr.|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Set one year after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a blended family from Oakland, California goes on a camping trip at the fictional Big Rock National Park in northern California, approximately 20 miles from where dinosaurs from Fallen Kingdom were let loose. The film chronicles the first major confrontation between humans and the dinosaurs.
The family is enjoying its camping when they are suddenly greeted by a Nasutoceratops and her baby. To their terror, an adult Allosaurus attacks the Nasutoceratops baby and the mother tries to protect her baby. A battle ensues between the two dinosaurs and the family decide to hide inside their RV. The Nasutoceratops escape and the baby of the family starts crying. Hearing the cry, the Allosaurus starts wrecking the RV apart in order to feed on the family hiding inside. To their relief, the daughter shoots the Allosaurus in its head by a crossbow which causes the dinosaur to flee.
During the credits, found footage clips of dinosaurs and other creatures are shown; a pack of Compsognathus harmlessly chase after a scared little girl, a Stegosaurus causes a car to swerve and drive off a cliff, fishermen in a boat peacefully pass by a Parasaurolophus on the banks of a river, a Mosasaurus eats a Great White Shark after the shark eats a seal, and a Pteranodon swoops at a dove that had just been released at a wedding.
- André Holland as Dennis, the father of the family
- Natalie Martinez as Mariana, the mother of the family
- Melody Hurd as Kadasha, Dennis's daughter and Mariana's stepdaughter
- Pierson Salvador as Mateo, Mariana's son and Dennis's stepson
- Chris Finlayson as Greg, a friend of the family
- Noah and Ethan Cole as the baby son of Dennis and Mariana
The idea for the film originated when Universal Studios asked Trevorrow if he would be interested in making a potential Jurassic World short film, and he accepted. Trevorrow wrote the short film with Emily Carmichael, who was already working with him to write Jurassic World 3 (2021). The short film's story remained the same throughout the project's history, as Trevorrow believed the next logical step for the franchise would be for campers to encounter dinosaurs following the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
To maintain secrecy on the project, no auditions or casting calls were held. A casting director who knew Trevorrow helped lead a secretive search for the child actors. The film marked Melody Hurd's acting debut. Trevorrow chose André Holland and Natalie Martinez as he admired their acting in other films.
Filming took place in Ireland in January 2019. Filming locations included Powerscourt Estate. Ireland was chosen as redwood trees outside Dublin resembled national parks in northern California. Filming took place with a small crew over the course of five days. Larry Fong was the film's cinematographer. Much of the film was shot using a hand-held camera, as Trevorrow wanted to see if audiences would accept such a filmmaking style in a Jurassic Park film, which he later felt they did.
Industrial Light & Magic created CGI dinosaurs for the film, as well as reference maquettes, while John Rosengrant of Legacy Effects created an animatronic Allosaurus. The film had a much smaller budget than the full films in the Jurassic Park franchise. Originally, the film was going to be shorter than eight minutes. After filming concluded, Trevorrow decided to add end-credit scenes depicting dinosaurs. Because he could not film any new scenes, he instead searched through YouTube videos that could be integrated into the film. The rights to each of the online videos were purchased for use in the short film, and dinosaurs were then added into the videos.
Amie Doherty composed the film's score. Doherty was contacted in October 2018 about composing Battle at Big Rock. She met with Trevorrow in December 2018, and was chosen to compose the film. After filming concluded, Doherty's score changed slightly over the next four months as the film underwent editing. Doherty said the score was mainly tightened to fit in with the events depicted in the film. The musical recording process took place at Abbey Road Studios, where an 80-piece orchestra recorded the score in May 2019.
The short film was initially scheduled to accompany the theatrical release of Universal's Hobbs & Shaw in August 2019. On September 10, 2019, it was announced that the film would instead premiere on FX on September 15. Trevorrow was surprised at the amount of secrecy maintained on the project up until the announcement. Mattel had released toys for the film prior to its release, and a fan site had also learned of the film, but its existence otherwise remained largely unknown. After its television premiere, the short film was released online through YouTube, as well as JurassicWorld.com and the website for NBC.
Battle at Big Rock received acclaim from critics and fans alike.
Stuart Heritage of The Guardian called it, "...by far the best in the [Jurassic World] series..." Julia Alexander of The Verge claimed, "[The film] has everything a Jurassic Park fan would want..." Charles Pulliam-Moore of io9 described it as, "solid." Josh Millican of Dread Central described it as, "...a tasty little treat..."  Mike Reyes of CinemaBlend described it as, "...a sight to see..."
- Weintraub, Steve (September 11, 2019). "Exclusive: Colin Trevorrow on How He Secretly Made the 'Jurassic World' Short Film 'Battle at Big Rock'". Collider. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
- Trevorrow, Colin [@colintrevorrow] (September 16, 2019). "DENNIS André Holland MARIANA Natalie Martinez KADASHA Melody Hurd MATEO Pierson Salvador" (Tweet). Retrieved November 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Weintraub, Steve 'Frosty' (October 2, 2019). "Watch: 'Battle at Big Rock' Filmmakers Discuss Their 'Jurassic World' Short in 30-Minute Q&A". Collider. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
- Evans, Alex (May 22, 2019). "Reports Suggest Jurassic World 3 Filmed in Ireland This January and Bryce Dallas Howard Just Added Fuel to That Fire". Jurassic Outpost. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
- Whitbrook, James (September 10, 2019). "Out of Nowhere, a New Jurassic World Short Film Is Hitting FX This Weekend". io9. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
- "Behind the Magic: Battle at Big Rock". Industrial Light & Magic. October 28, 2019. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
- Trevorrow, Colin [@colintrevorrow] (September 17, 2019). "Reference Maquettes by ILM" (Tweet). Retrieved October 30, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Trevorrow, Colin [@colintrevorrow] (September 17, 2019). "Animatronic by John Rosengrant @LegacyEffects" (Tweet). Retrieved October 30, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Scott, Ryan (February 20, 2019). "Jurassic World Short Is Coming to Theaters with Hobbs & Shaw". MovieWeb. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
- White, James (September 10, 2019). "Colin Trevorrow Reveals Jurassic World Short Film Battle At Big Rock". Empire. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
- Bullard, Benjamin (September 10, 2019). "Jurassic World short from Colin Trevorrow runs wild on FX this weekend". Syfy. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
- Alexander, Julia (September 16, 2019). "Colin Trevorrow returns to Jurassic World with new short, Battle at Big Rock". The Verge. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Schmidt, JK (September 15, 2019). "Jurassic World: Battle at Big Rock Changes the Franchise Forever and Fans Are Impressed". ComicBook.com. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Heritage, Stuart (September 17, 2019). "How a thrilling eight-minute short might save the Jurassic franchise". The Guardian. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Pulliam-Moore, Charles (September 16, 2019). "New Jurassic World Short Shows Just How Screwed the Humans Are Now". io9. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Millican, Josh (September 16, 2019). "If You Missed It on FX Last Night, Check Out BATTLE AT BIG ROCK Now!". Dread Central. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Reyes, Mike (September 16, 2019). "Why Battle At Big Rock Has Me Excited For Jurassic World 3". CinemaBlend. Retrieved September 17, 2019.