Matt Drummond brings dinosaurs to the big screen

Leura's Matt Drummond with a T Rex character he created for his debut feature film Dinosaur Island, which opens in Australia on February 14. Photo: Shane Desiatnik. Visual effects work: Matt Drummond.
Leura's Matt Drummond with a T Rex character he created for his debut feature film Dinosaur Island, which opens in Australia on February 14. Photo: Shane Desiatnik. Visual effects work: Matt Drummond.
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Leura-based Emmy Award-winning animator Matt Drummond's debut feature film, Dinosaur Island, will roar into life at Hoyts Cinemas across Australia next month.

And planning is under way to host the premiere celebrity event of the family adventure film where it all started - in the Blue Mountains.

Mr Drummond revealed this development while overseeing the shooting of a music video at Pow Wow Studios in North Sydney on Friday for Kate DeAraugo, the singer of the film's theme song It's True that Mr Drummond co-wrote with Dave Wilkins.

"It is still to be confirmed, but it looks like there will be a one-off opening screening of Dinosaur Island at The Edge Cinema in Katoomba on February 14," he told the Gazette.

Dinosaur Island saw the 'creature creator' turn his talents to directing and script writing for the first time - "a huge learning curve" - while continuing to perfect the art of bringing dinosaurs, plus a whole lot of other amazing things from ghost ships to UFOs, to life on screen.

It tells the tale of a boy (played by Blue Mountains Grammar School student Darius Williams) who finds himself stranded on a mysterious island lost in time and full of prehistoric creatures, including feathered tyrannosaurs.

On target for release in more than 60 countries this year through Arclight Films, including in America via distributor Millennium, Dinosaur Island will be released on DVD in Australia on April 1 and has already been released on DVD in the UK.

"In the UK we found our target audience to be in the age range of six to 12-year-olds who have given us some great reviews, which is what you want," Mr Drummond said.

"In the UK we beat the movie Frozen for one day, ending up number three on the charts - that was a nice surprise to find out and a big thrill."

Mr Drummond said the film's production process was gruelling but rewarding.

"It was two-and-a-half years of just me, myself and I building creatures in my home studio . . . more than 800 shots of visual effects in total, so towards the end I brought in a couple of guys to help out with additional post-production work.

"We filmed the kids either on location - including in my old science classroom at Blue Mountains Grammar School - or with a green screen in the background, so that we could then put in background scenery shot in Australia [including Blue Mountains national park] and Vanuatu.

Mr Drummond, 41, said his 2014 Emmy win for outstanding achievement in graphic design and art direction for the History Channel production Big History came as a welcome surprise.

"I hadn't even realised we had been entered for nomination - it's really nice to be recognised by your peers, having done visual effects for 20 years now," he said.

"The lesson in all of this is to never save anything for the swim back and to always stay the course."

Dinosaur Island opens nationally in Hoyts Cinemas and locally at The Edge Cinema in Katoomba from February 14.

For more information about the film and updates about its Australian release, visit its Facebook site: www.facebook.com/dinosaurislandthemovie.

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