A picture of "Jurassic Games" director Ryan Bellgardt. Ryan Bellgardt

“Jurassic Games” is an ambitious project that is a blend of different genres. The plot brings together convicts and dinosaurs in a virtual reality simulation, for the world’s biggest reality show. In an interview with International Business Times Australia, Director Ryan Bellgardt shared his insights about making the film, and the challenges he faced.

International Business Times: Pitting death row inmates against dinosaurs in a virtual world with real life consequences is an interesting blend of different genres. How did this idea come about?

Ryan Bellgardt: After surveying buyers, we knew that dinosaurs were going to be in demand. Galen Christy, the head of High Octane Pictures, wanted to do a concept with Dinosaurs versus convicts. We tossed around a few ideas until I eventually thought of adding the aspect of having this happen on a futuristic TV show. I felt like it was the best way to explain the set up in a realistic and interesting way.

IB Times: How where the dinosaurs created for the film? Any challenges you faced while creating all the beasts?

Bellgardt: The featured creatures were modelled and rigged in Russia and then sent to us for animating and rendering. We've developed a pretty good workflow and were able to produce a lot of shots with a limited budget and small team. I'm very proud of the work they did. We faced many challenges and unfortunately, there's not a lot of information online when it comes to fixing very specific issues with CG dinosaurs. We had to sometimes force our way through it and try to come up with alternative ways to make shots work on our own. In the end, we're all better CG artists for it.

IB Times: The action is not restricted to people vs. beasts. The death row inmates fight each other, and the dinosaurs fight each other too. Can you please talk about the action sequences in the film?

Bellgardt: I wanted to create a world where there was danger everywhere and literally anything could happen. That was really a fun idea to play with as we were writing the story. I loved working on the human versus human fights because the actors where really very dedicated. We didn't use stunt doubles, and these guys were laying it all out there. Some of the punches and kicks really landed and they just kept going. It's a little different when it's human versus dinosaur because the fight is obviously very one sided in the camera. It becomes more of a dance between the camera and the actor, making sure to leave room for the dinosaur to be put in later. Then, when we're talking about creatures versus creatures, it's all done in the computer. We storyboard and pre visualize the sequences and then our team of animators works their magic to bring it to life.

IB Times: What is your favourite dinosaur fight scene? Why?

Bellgardt: It's got to be the fight between the three T-Rexes at the end of the movie. That scene took us months to animate and render but I think it turned out to be pretty epic, especially with the great sound effects and score.

IB Times: What are the filming locations of "Jurassic Games"?

Bellgardt: We filmed the entire movie in the state of Oklahoma. There's some really amazing and diverse locations. Robber's Cave has beautiful forests and fallen rocks. The Gloss Mountains look like a Wild West or Martian landscape, and Little Sahara could easily double as Tatooine. We also built a futuristic TV studio set on our sound stage and added in CG screens and holograms later.