It seems Walking With Dinosaurs 3D is ahead of the curve on the coming wave of dinosaur films coming out of hollywood. At the very least we’ll have a dinosaur-centric Pixar film with The Good Dinosaur and a new sequel to Jurassic Park in the coming years, with Barry Sonnenfeld’s dino’s vs. aliens picture also a possibility. And while Smaug and Gojira don’t really count, one can at least say that oversized reptiles already have a strong big screen presence and will continue so for a while.
None of those projects are quite like Walking With Dinosaurs 3D however, which is a family-aimed animated film with a strong scientific pedigree, having developing out of the BBC series of the same name. While it is a story of talking dinosaurs on an adventure, it hews closer to the real science of these magnificent creatures than perhaps any big-budget dinosaur film before it. Featuring a cast of recognizable voices (John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar and Skyler Stone), it’s also a uniquely designed movie, with the CGI creatures composited into live-action footage of environments shot in native 3D.
I had the great opportunity to speak with co-director Barry Cook, who brought his storytelling chops –cultivated over a long stretch at Disney– to this science-rooted, highly technical project. We spoke about how his interest in dinosaurs grew during the production, what kind of emotional hook he found for the story, and the challenges of directing in such a unique 3D/live-action/animation workflow…
The movie hits theaters todays all over the country- check the website for ticket information. See the film this weekend and then check back with CHUD monday, when we’ll have an exclusive interview with one of the film’s paleontologist advisors discussing the cutting-edge science that went into the film!
Did you bring a particular interest in dinosaurs with you to the project, or was it something you had to dive into?
Now that you’re well steeped in dinosaurs and dino-storytelling, what would be your guess on why these creatures are so compelling to us?
Tell me about making the decision to shoot live-action, 3D backgrounds rather than wholly animating the film from top-to-bottom?
What was your emotional and storytelling hook into this world?
Did there ever come a point were fidelity to science and storytelling concerns clashed and created a tension you had to navigate?