June 11th 1993
On this day 24 years ago my favorite movie was released in theaters. It was groundbreaking, innovative, stunning and original! Jurassic Park to this day is a great piece of art. From the original book written by Michael Crichton to the directing of Steven Spielberg. Even better than the fact that there were realistic dinosaurs on screen for the first time using computer graphics (Minus the feathers) was the acting. It is still so believable. I am watching it right now as I type this haha. the musical score by John Williams is other piece of art. I mean this is the guy who also wrote the sores for movies like, E.T., Jaws, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Superman, Saving Private Ryan, Harry Potter, Schindler's List and Close Encounters of the Third Kind....So a musical genius to say the least.
Jurassic Park cemented my love for dinosaurs and prehistoric life. It's fascinating to me. How a species can change over millions of years, adapting with its environment. But back to what I was saying before...The acting.
Sam Neill - Dr. Grant
Laura Dern - Dr. Sattler
Jeff Goldbloom - Dr. Malcolm
Richard Attenborough - John Hammond
Sam Jackson - Ray Arnold
Wayne Knight - Dennis Nedry
Bob Peck - Robert Muldoon
Martin Ferrero - Donald Gennaro
B.D. Wong - Henry Wu
Ariana Richards - Lex Murphy
Joseph Mazzello - Tim Murphy
I could not have asked for a better cast after seeing their performances. Every actor nailed their roles.
The movie brought a whole new generation of dinosaur lovers into this world and into the sciences, the same way that I hope the new Jurassic World series will do for future generations.
Despite some of the movies inaccuracies, like altering the Dilophosaurus to have a wavy hood around its head and spitting poisonous venom into its victims eyes, the movie will continue to be relevant wow kids and adults for years to come. Paleontologists like Jack Horner, who Michael Crichton modeled Dr. Grant after, was on the set and helping with the accuracy of the information given in the film and the animals themselves. Obviously some of the facts were twisted with a little movie magic but thats ok.
The movie was the first of its kind and it's hard to believe there will ever be another one as good.
Happy 24th Anniversary the movie and 25th to the book!
Some things you may not know about the movie.
Jim Carry tried out for the role of Dr. Allen Grant.
1. Spielberg found out about Jurassic Park while working on ER.
When director Steven Spielberg and author Michael Crichton were working on a screenplay that would eventually become the television series ER, Spielberg asked the writer about the plans for his next book. Crichton told him about Jurassic Park, and Spielberg immediately tapped Universal to buy the film rights in May 1990—before the book was even published. He was so excited that he began storyboarding scenes from the book, even though there was no screenplay written yet.
2. Jurassic Park almost took a backseat to Schindler's List.
Though excited about Jurassic Park, Spielberg wanted to direct his dream project—Schindler’s List—first. But MCA/Universal President Sid Scheinberg would only greenlight Spielberg’s Holocaust film if the director agreed to make his dinosaur picture first. Both films were released in 1993; Jurassic Park in June, and Schindler's List at the end of the year.
4. A King Kong Ride inspired Spielberg's original plan for building the dinosaurs.
The logistics of Spielberg’s original plans to bring the dinosaurs to life were inspired by the Universal Studios “King Kong Encounter” ride. Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr designed Kong as a full-size animatronic with an inflatable balloon-like skin surrounding a wire frame. Unfortunately, the plans to build all of Jurassic Park's dinosaurs as similarly full-size animatronics proved too costly.
5. In order to pull off the dinosaurs, Spielberg had to get creative.
Because the dinosaurs couldn’t be life-size animatronic recreations, Spielberg had to think a little differently—so he assembled a group of special effects legends to create his vision for Jurassic Park:
Stan Winston and his team, which created the exoskeleton from The Terminator, would build and operate the live-action dinosaur robots. Some creations, including the T. Rex, were full dinosaurs, but most were just the upper half—including the head and torso of certain dinosaurs—while others were the just bottom half, including the legs and claws. Here's footage of the 7.5-foot-tall Brachiosaurus puppet, which included just the head and neck. Michael Lantieri, special effects supervisor on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the two Back to the Future sequels, would supervise the interactive elements on-set. For instance, in the final scene when the CGI T. rex throws a CGI raptor into a practical T. rex skeleton, Lantieri was responsible for making sure the skeleton reacted, in a realistic manner, to the yet-to-be-included CGI elements.Phil Tippett, who received an Oscar for his special effects work on Return of the Jedi, would use his “Go-Motion” technique—an updated method of using miniatures and stop-motion animation to add motion blur to each frame for smoother and more lifelike movement—for dinosaurs in wide shots.Finally, Dennis Muren, who had previously supervised special effects on the Star Wars films and Spielberg classics like E.T. and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, would lead the effects team at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) in seamlessly combining all of the effects elements in post-production.
6. Jurassic Park broke new CG ground.
Spielberg wasn’t 100 percent happy with the wide test shots of the dinosaurs—they just weren't photorealistic enough. So Muren and his ILM team, spurred by their revolutionary experience in designing and incorporating fully computer-generated characters into films like The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, showed Spielberg an early CGI dino test of a group of Gallimimus skeletons running through a field. Spielberg was in awe of the ease of movement and realism of the effects, but he was still wary that they wouldn’t hold up under intense scrutiny—and he didn’t want to scrap Tippett’s practical animation talents altogether. So the director urged Muren and ILM to go further. When they came back with a CG test of a fully rendered T. rex walking across a field in broad daylight, the director decided to go full CGI for some shots.
7. One Ian Malcolm line was inspired by a member of the effects team.
While viewing Muren’s complete CGI test with Spielberg and the other members of the effects team, Tippett said, “I think I’m extinct.” Spielberg incorporated Tippet's comment into the film in an exchange between Sam Neill's Alan Grant and Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm:
Dr. Grant: "I think we're out of a job." Malcolm: "Don't you mean extinct?"
But instead of leaving the production and wasting the animal motion research he had done, Tippett served as a consultant, helping the CG animators create realistic movements in their digital creations.
8. To create realistic dinosaurs, effects artists had to get into character.
The digital artists took video of themselves acting like the Gallimimus herd for reference before they animated the stampede scene; it helped them create more realistic instinctive behavior. Meanwhile, Stan Winston's crew built raptor suits ... and got into them. Combined, all of Jurassic Park's CG dinos have just 6 minutes of screen time, while total dinosaur effects shots make up only 14 minutes of the 127 minute film.
9. Only one robotic dinosaur actually made it to the Hawaii set.
Winston’s team worked from highly detailed drawings to create their robots—first making small-scale and full-scale clay models based on the drawings and then constructing the remote-controlled skeletons that would move underneath the robo-dino’s latex skin. Here's a mini-documentary from the Stan Winston School on the construction of the T. Rex, which, according to the crew, was as dangerous as a real dinosaur.
10. It took many different animals to create the T. Rex's roar.
The sound design of the T. rex's roar was reportedly a composite of tiger, alligator, and baby elephant sounds. The deadly Dilophosaurus roar was created by combining howler monkeys, hawk screeches, rattlesnake hisses, and swan calls.