JURASSIC WORLD CAMP CRETACEOUS Showrunner Explains Netflix's New Interactive Special, HIDDEN ADVENTURE

To mark the release of Camp Cretaceous: Hidden Adventure on Netflix, showrunner Scott Kreamer discusses the Jurassic World interactive special.

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The Jurassic World universe made its way to television in 2020 with Netflix's Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous. The animated series centered on a group of six teenagers—Brooklynn, Ben, Kenji, Sammy, Yasmina and Darius—who find themselves trapped on Isla Nublar during the events of 2015's Jurassic World. The series’ third season also tied into 2018's Fallen Kingdom.

Camp Cretaceous released its fifth and final season on Netflix earlier in 2022, but its world is continuing through Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Hidden Adventure. The interactive story takes place between seasons 2 and 3, and sees the Nublar Six looking for shelter and food as they face the many dangers of Isla Nublar. 

To mark Hidden Adventure's release on Netflix, we spoke with Camp Cretaceous showrunner Scott Kreamer about developing the special.

Creating A Satisfying Interactive Experience

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Unlike a regular film or series, an interactive narrative has to put power in viewers' hands. Though there is technically a specific story being told, people need to feel some control over the way the plot unfolds. That requires a relatively different creative process than the average television narrative. With that in mind, Kreamer provided insight into what it meant to make an interactive experience in the Jurassic World universe a reality:

"[It's about] giving the viewer agency in making [story] decisions. On a very high level, it's a chance to give a kid this immersive feeling. We try to do that with our show, anyway; to let kids feel like, 'Let's be transportive. What would it be like to be on an island with your friends and working together?' So, this is just taking that to the next level. But it is different, because as a writer, as a creator, you're giving up your control over, 'Okay, this is the story I'm telling.' So, what we wanted to do was just tell as sprawling an adventure story of what it might be like to be Darius, to be the members of our camp family, and to have to go on this adventure and work together and survive on this island filled with dinosaurs. So, it took our entire writing staff and all of our directors and all of our artists—it basically took our entire crew—to bring this thing to life."

Though Hidden Adventure required a specific creative approach, Kreamer revealed the initial process of breaking down the story was still quite similar to Camp Cretaceous': 

"It's like any story or beginning of a season. It's our writers in a room [...] talking and kicking the tires and ideas, and, 'Okay, well, it doesn't make sense to set it after the series is over, so, hey, wouldn't it be fun to go back to Isla Nublar?' You want to do a story that could plausibly be canon, but you don't want it to necessarily be tied [into the show's narrative]. There's a lot that goes into it, but at the end of the day, we wanted something that would be fun and cool and exciting. And to put our players in the shoes of one of our camp fam, and just go and be a bigger part of the adventure than just watching."

Crafting Different Storytelling Avenues

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Camp Cretaceous: Hidden Adventure features a number of different story options. As Scott Kreamer explained, there isn't just one right choice in how to approach the special. This was done deliberately so as to allow viewers' choices to influence the story in different ways, thus making the plot as immersive as possible: 

"It's not like [if] you make the wrong choice, then you get chomped. There are plenty of choices that either lead you to a different part of the park, or maybe lead to something else. Some things that you do, you may not even find out that that had any kind of effect until the very end. So, we did what we could. We have about three episodes' worth of content here, so we definitely took pains wherever possible to make sure that people's choices affected the story. There are a number of different endings, and we definitely wanted to make people live up to that promise where the choices you make matter."

Tying Into The Jurassic World Franchise

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Camp Cretaceous is firmly connected to the larger Jurassic World universe, and, much like the series, Netflix's Hidden Adventure features several ties to the franchise. Kreamer offered an insight into the reasoning behind those ties, explaining that connecting the show to the big-screen side of the property came down to finding the right opportunities to do so: 

"[Being connected to the movies has] been part of it since we started the first episode of Camp Cretaceous. This is our corner of the franchise, but we are connected to the franchise. [Our] first season of Camp Cretaceous [interweaved] with the events of Jurassic World, and later in the series, with events from Fallen Kingdom. It's just [part of] this story. We don't want to be gratuitous with it, and we don't want to force anything in just for the sake of fan service, but any time we do have something that feels organic and does tie into the larger franchise enriches our story and the whole Jurassic universe."

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous: Hidden Adventure is now available on Netflix.

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