'My Pet Dinosaur'
A poster of Australian film "My Pet Dinosaur" directed by Matt Drummond. My Pet Dinosaur

“My Pet Dinosaur” tells the story of a boy and his rather interesting new friend. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, Australia, Director Matt Drummond spoke about making the film and how he plans to disrupt the film industry.

Drummond took several approaches to make the film, which include “innovation, commercialism and disruption.” “We use innovative practices by leveraging technologies that keep the production light, flexible and on budget. Post production technologies such as rigging and animation tools are developed in house to aid in the rapid creation of creature assets and post production workflows,” the director said.

However, leveraging technology is only part of the game. Drummond takes decisions after doing thorough research, with the numbers to back the project.

“The commercial viability of any project is considered deeply from the outset. We need to know it’s a commercially viable idea, so we research the marketplace thoroughly throughout the project phases and ensure we have a direct pipeline to market before we shoot a single frame,” Drummond said.

This does not mean “My Pet Dinosaur” is devoid of passion, which generally drives a director to make a film. In fact the passion Drummond feels for his movie may be one of the factors that makes the film such a visual treat.

“The disruption comes from a direct connection to our audience and by challenging conventional independent film models,” Drummond said.

“My Pet Dinosaur” is set in a superficially bleak suburban location seen from the child’s point of view, Drummond explained. It was filmed in regional Australia, mostly in the town of Lithgow. “Its likeness to a mid western American town was striking. We also filmed at the local Small Arms Factory, Mt Wilson Cathedral of Ferns, Katoomba, Wentworth Falls Lake and other areas around the Blue Mountains. This region is great for filming, with councils and groups such as the MTNS MADE collective really supporting all aspects of the production,” the director said.

Talking about the dinosaur in the film, Drummond pointed out that it changes over time as part of the story. “I looked at Magnus (the dinosaur) from an evolutionary point of view. He doesn't look like anything we've seen before. I studied taxonomic classification and evolutionary processes, hence Magnus beginning as an almost amphibious form. He then evolves into a Styrachasoaur and beyond. He goes from being a tetrapod like creature to a dinosaur in a matter of days.”

This is not the first film with Drummond at the helm. He previously directed “Dinosaur Island,” and even there he experimented with new ideas and challenged the perception of viewers. “The T-Rex in ‘Dinosaur Island’ was the first feathered T-Rex to be shown in a feature film and whether people love or hate the depiction, you are challenging their understanding of what these creatures could have been. This generally creates quite a stir in the paleontological community and a cause for great debate amongst the purists.”

Making “My Pet Dinosaur” also came with its challenges. From working with children, which meant shorter working hours in a day, and having a small crew performing multiple tasks, Drummond had his hands full. What is more interesting was the time when cops came to the set after getting reports. They ended up assisting the production with real police lighting, and the director said that they were “great.” The film is set to be released in Australia in April.