Why make this film now?
There have been many discoveries about T. rex in recent years, and there will undoubtedly be many more. There just comes a point when a story is worth telling.
You’re ‘taking on Hollywood’ with your own T. rex model. Just how ambitious is this?
Extraordinarily! Our aim is to create a fully animated 3D creature. It will be the culmination of all the discoveries investigated in the film, and needs to look and move like a real animal. CGI is very punishing when it comes to budgets, but as we are concentrating on just one species, we have been able to throw all our resources into getting the detail as accurate as possible, down to the texture of its feathers and how the muscles vibrate when it puts its foot down.
What is the most interesting piece of science in the film?
For me, it’s when we attempt to recreate the call of a T. rex. We use sound equipment to lower the pitch of a Chinese alligator call, and it's the most exciting moment in the film. Fossils offer nothing physical as to how an animal might have sounded, but CT scans of a T. rex’s inner ear reveal that it likely communicated using subsonic calls rather than roaring like a lion.
What is the biggest preconception about T. rex that is turned on its head?
That it was a stupid animal with a peabrain. Science is telling us that it was actually a very intelligent predator.