Jurassic World: Exodus

A Fan Film

It all started when…

Producer Gregory Wong got the idea to combine his interest in Jurassic Park with his military background. Fast-forward a few months and not only did he have a script, but a cast and crew filled with military veterans, YouTube personalities, and members of the Jurassic Park Motorpool (JPMP). On top of it all, Greg had an ambitious plan to spend an entire week shooting on location in Hawaii.

The JPMP is a small group of Jurassic Park fanatics who have built (or are in the process of building) replica vehicles from the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films. As a member of the JPMP, Greg knew there were members with Jeeps in Hawaii and that having one in his film would add a layer of authenticity to the final result. He reached out to the group to begin advertising, and having seen some of the photos I had posted to the group in the past, asked if I was interested in shooting some promotional shots and behind the scenes footage. I said yes.     

On the first day of on-island shooting, I rolled up on my motorcycle to the hangar at Barber's Point. I didn't know Greg, or anyone else on the crew, having only spoken with them through Facebook Messenger. Throughout the day, I did my best to stay in the background and document the events of the day. Of course that's easier said than done, and there was a time or two where I misjudged the frame of the main camera and found myself in the shot, forcing another take.

Regardless, having seen the quality of my work, and the gear I had available to me, over the remaining days, I began to get pulled away from BTS footage for use shooting the main film.

"You've got a good eye and take direction well. And that autofocus on your camera's incredible," said Nero Manalo, director of photography. 

That trust in both me and my gear enabled me to be the sole camera operator on the fishing vessel used during the infiltration. That was a challenging shot, where the principle actors are at varying distances, all relatively close. The ability to quickly focus without hunting makes the Sony RX100V such an asset. This is doubly true when paired with a gimbal like the Ronin-M, where manual focus is a challenge.

For no other reason than because the Mavic Air is small enough to take everywhere, I had my drone with me, and when I realized that Mike Sharkley, assistant producer and regular jack-of-all-trades, was having technical difficulties with his DJI Phantom, I jumped in to replace him. It should also be mentioned that I had only purchased the Air a few days prior and was still unfamiliar with it's flight characteristics, which isn't a good scenario when trying to fly inside the thick Hawaiian rainforests. Several times, members of the crew had to find and retreive the contraption.

Jurassic Park had always been my favorite movie growing up, feeding my desire to get into film and photography. It's fitting then, that my first steps in transitioning from photography to cinematography is because I had chosen to have a little fun with my Jeep, painting in honor of the movie I had enjoyed so many years ago. Jurassic Park, it seemed was still pushing me forwards.