Big John


Big John is in pieces. It has to be rebuilt quickly, because it is worth millions of dollars. Big John is the largest triceratops ever discovered. A small family business in Trieste, Northern Italy, has very little time to prepare the immense skeleton destined for an international auction in Paris. For Flavio, the partner Iacopo and the whole team is the challenge of a lifetime.

Author’s notes

I have been dealing with scientific dissemination in various forms since 2001 and as a journalist I am used to telling things in an understandable, correct and analytical way.

When I discovered the story of Big John, I was amazed: it is basically the perfect story. There is a challenge and a struggle against time, the academic world versus the financial world, the challenge of a lifetime and the sense of redemption that this project implies for Flavio Bacchia, who recognises himself in the prehistoric giant to be put back together. Then there are the dinosaurs, or rather, THE dinosaur: perhaps the largest triceratops in the world, the horned and vegetarian beast that we all have in mind to fight against the terrible and carnivorous T-Rex.

I was born and raised in Trieste, the city where I currently live. With Flavio, Iacopo, Tullio, Giorgia and their team I developed a relationship of esteem and trust, thanks also to my skills in the field of scientific dissemination. This allows me to have that degree of confidence both with people and with environments that greatly helps the overall work.

There are many metaphors to describe this story: the sense of redemption represented by David against Goliath, the small company against time and adversity, or the wise adventurer Ahab-Flavio obsessed with Moby Dick-Big John, just to name a few.

In this story the human nature of people and the exciting path they face emerge, in a context that is halfway between business and science. Definitely an engaging way to describe much broader topics in a nontrivial way.

Davide Ludovisi


Year: 2023
Production: Agherose
Directors: Dorino Minigutti and Davide Ludovisi
Story: Davide Ludovisi
Screenplay: Dorino Minigutti and Davide Ludovisi
Director of Photography: Debora Vrizzi

In co-production with Agent Double (Belgium) and created with the contribution of Audiovisual Fund of Friuli Venezia Giulia, FVG Film Commission, MiC Ministry of Culture andThe Art of Documentary Development Fund.


  • Firenze Archeofilm 2024;
  • Honorable mention at Premio Internazionale di Archeologia Amedeo Maiuri 2023;
  • Monadnock International Film Festival 2023.