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A family of campers seeing a dinosaur in Battle at Big Rock

We have a long way to go until Jurassic World 3 hits theaters, but those looking for some dinosaur action got their fix today with the surprising release of the Battle at Big Rock short film from Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow. The short, which takes place after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, premiered on television last night before dropping online, all with little advance warning that it was coming. Colin Trevorrow didn’t think the short would actually be kept secret, as he explained:

We shot it in Ireland last winter. They have a grove of redwood trees outside Dublin that look exactly like the national parks in Northern California. I honestly never thought we’d make it this far without getting found out. The Irish can keep a secret.

In this day and age, we are used to hearing about productions through unofficial channels well before we lay eyes on them. It’s practically expected that something will leak, which is why you see many of the biggest productions take such extreme measures to preserve secrecy. But news of Battle at Big Rock only broke within the last week or so and now it is online for everyone to see.

That had to be a pleasant surprise because as Colin Trevorrow told Collider, he never thought Battle at Big Rock would get as far as it did without someone catching wind of it or word getting out about its existence. But things worked out and the secrecy for the short film held. The director attributes this at least in part, to the Irish.

They shot Battle at Big Rock in Ireland last winter and used a grove of Redwoods to stand in for Big Rock National Park, which is supposed to be about 20 miles from the Lockwood Estate in Northern California, where Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ended.

If it was shot in LA things might not have been so clandestine, but apparently the people involved in the production kept tight-lipped about the whole thing. Parts of Game of Thrones were shot in Northern Ireland, so the Irish must have gotten pretty good at keeping production secrets.

Obviously a big part of what may have helped Battle at Big Rock remain a secret is that nobody knew it was coming, so people weren’t out there looking for news about it. The whole thing was a surprise. Talking about where the idea for the short came from and how it came about, Colin Trevorrow said:

Universal asked if I’d be interested in making a short film and I didn’t give them any time to reconsider. I wrote it with Emily Carmichael, who is co-writing Jurassic World 3. It felt like a first step into a larger world after the last film. You have these animals loose in an unfamiliar environment, they’re disoriented, struggling to adapt. The first people they run into are bound to be camping. I wanted to see that.

Universal gave Colin Trevorrow an opportunity and he jumped on it, diving headfirst into the idea. He teamed with writer Emily Carmichael, who has plenty of experience writing shorts. She also wrote Pacific Rim Uprising and as Colin Trevorrow said, is co-writing Jurassic World 3 with him.

The idea was to give us a taste of what the new ‘Jurassic World’ was like after Fallen Kingdom. When the dinosaurs were set free at the end of that film, there was no going back from it. That created a whole new dynamic that is still evolving and for the dinosaurs, they are in an unfamiliar environment and an unfamiliar time and have to learn to adapt. Because they are no longer confined to a theme park and are out in the wild like any other animal, they are naturally going to eventually run into humans.

Having these dinosaurs run into people that are camping makes perfect sense. The dinosaurs would probably avoid areas like the city and stick to natural environments. For the people, they went camping to get away from the hustle and bustle and get in touch with nature. They just never expected to be up close and personal with nature of the Jurassic variety.

Battle at Big Rock presumably gives us a taste of what we can expect with dinosaurs run amok in Jurassic World 3. That trilogy-capper hits theaters on June 11, 2021. For movies to tide you over until then, check out our 2019 Release Schedule.

SPOILERS - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Ending Explained

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