The T-rex occasionally malfunctioned, due to the rain. Producer Kathleen Kennedy recalls, "The T. rex went into the heebie-jeebies sometimes. Scared the crap out of us. We'd be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden a T-rex would come alive. At first we didn't know what was happening, and then we realized it was the rain. You'd hear people start screaming."
The guest's encounter with the sick Triceratops ends without any clear explanation as to why the animal is sick. Michael Crichton's original novel and the screenplay, however, includes an explanation: the Stegosaur/Triceratops lacked suitable teeth for grinding food and so, like birds, would swallow rocks and use them as gizzard stones. In the digestive tract, these rocks would grind the food to aid in digestion. After six weeks, the rocks would become too smooth to be useful, and the animal would regurgitate them. When finding and eating new rocks to use, the animal would also swallow West Indian Lilac berries. The fact that the berries and stones are regurgitated explains why Ellie never finds traces of them in the animal's excrement.
Michael Crichton has said that his views on science and genetic engineering are largely expressed by Ian Malcolm. Steven Spielberg saw many parallels to himself in the character of John Hammond. Fittingly, he cast a fellow filmmaker in the role, who begins his tour of the park by showing a film, in which he also acts. While Malcolm is dressed entirely in black, Hammond wears all white.
The Dilophosaurus's venom-spitting and neck-frill became so iconic that almost every other appearance of the animal in popular media, as well as most of the Dilophosaurus children's toys advertise at least one or both of these aspects. Some even leave out the dinosaur's striking double-crests. In reality, however, the spitting ability was only made up by Michael Crichton', while adding the frill was Steven Spielberg's idea. Real Dilophosaurus possessed neither of these traits, with the twin crests and its thin jaws (the latter of which isn't very evident in the movie's design) being its real discerning features.
A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. Special effects technicians worked on this effect for a year but the scene was cut at the last minute as Steven Spielberg thought it would ruin the pacing of the film.
When Hurricane Iniki hit, the cast and crew were all required to move into the ballroom of the hotel they were staying in. Richard Attenborough, however, stayed in his hotel room, and slept through the entire event. When asked how he could possibly have done this, Attenborough replied, "My dear boy, I survived the blitz!"
Both the film and the book generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of paleontology has had a record increase in students, and interest in general has skyrocketed, and has been at an all-time high ever since.
Director Steven Spielberg was worried that computer graphics meant Nintendo type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but upon seeing ILM's demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of galamides across his ranch, he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method. The animation was first plotted on an Amiga Toaster, and rendered for the film by Silicon Graphics' Indigo workstations.
Dr. Malcolm's quip that Sattler's and Grant's jobs are extinct is quoted from what puppeteer Phil Tippett said to Steven Spielberg when he decided to use CGI and not Go-Motion. Spielberg stuck it into the film.
The film opened on Friday, June 11, 1993, and broke box office records its first weekend, with $47 million. It eventually went on to make more than $900 million worldwide. David Koepp remembers the day it opened: "I was in New York and I walked to the Ziegfeld [Theatre] to see how it was doing. The guy comes out and announces to the big line, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the 7 o'clock show of Jurassic Park is sold out.' And people go, 'Oooh.' And he goes, 'Also the 10 o'clock show is sold out.' And they went, 'Ooooooh.' 'And also Saturday night's 7 and 10 o'clock shows are also sold out.' And I was like, 'I'm not an expert, but I think this is very good.'"
Michael Crichton's agents circulated the book to six studios and directors. Warner Brothers wanted it for Tim Burton to direct while Columbia was planning it for Richard Donner. Fox was also interested and was intending the project for Joe Dante, while Universal wanted 'Steven Spielberg' to direct. Crichton was reluctant to submit to a bidding war, He instructed his agents to put a set price on the film rights and he could decide who was more likely to actually get the film made. After interviewing all the prospective directors, he agreed to sell the rights to Universal and Steven Spielberg, who was already his first choice.
Shortly after Nedry makes his first appearance in the control room, during his argument with Hammond, you can clearly see the movie Jaws (1975) playing in a small video window on one of Nedry's computer screens. That movie was, of course, directed by Steven Speilberg.
When getting an update on a storm, Hammond says "Why didn't I build in Orlando?" The distributor, Universal Studios, has two theme parks there. One of them, Islands of Adventure has a Jurassic Park ride.
After Joseph Mazzello was turned down for the role of Jack Banning in Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991) for being too young, Spielberg told Mazzello that he was still impressed with his audition and would try to cast him in a future project. Mazzello was then cast as Tim in this movie. As Mazzello recalls, "Steven had me screen-test with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman for Hook. I was just too young for the role. And because of that, Steven came up to me and said, 'Don't worry about it, Joey. I'm going to get you in a movie this summer.' Not only a nice promise to get, but to have it be one of the biggest box-office smashes of all time? That's a pretty good trade." Mazzello's casting led Spielberg to reverse the ages of the children, as he decided that casting a girl younger than Mazzello would be too young to be placed in danger. Lex was therefore made the older child, and the computer expert as well. In Crichton's original novel, Tim is older, and is both the dinosaur and computer enthusiast.
While discussing chaos theory, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) shamelessly flirts with Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). After meeting on this film, the two actors began a romantic relationship, and were engaged for two years before breaking up.
Perhaps to increase the general sense of anxiety (if only subconsciously), the Triceratops mural behind Hammond as he eats ice cream in the visitors center also incorporates elements from "Guernica," Pablo Picasso's famous painting of the horrors of war.
Sam Neill injured his hand lighting the flare he uses to distract the Tyrannosaur. According to Neill, "It dropped some burning phosphorous on me and got under my watch and took a chunk of my arm out."
The movie marked the climax of the "Dinosaur Renaissance", a groundbreaking scientific revolution that lasted from the '60s 'till the early '90s, during which dinosaurs went from being seen as sluggish, dimwitted and cold-blooded reptiles to the agile, intelligent and warm-blooded animals depicted in the film. It also presented a new kind of visual "design" of the dinosaurs to the public. Much of this can be traced back to the works of paleontologists John Ostrom (who first realized the uniqueness of "raptor" dinosaurs), Bob Bakker, Jack Horner (on whom the character of Dr. Alan Grant was based) and Gregory Paul. In fact, modern day paleontologists often jokingly call the '90s and early 2000s the "Paulian Era", because the appearances of the dinosaurs in the movie and in virtually every other piece of work created at this time were based on reconstructions originally made by Greg Paul. Newer scientific findings have, however, proven much of these to be incorrect, which has lead to the coining of the term "shrink-wrapped dinosaurs", as many of Paul's reconstructions (and by extension, the JP dinosaurs) look like dinosaur skeletons coated in muscle and skin, but virtually no other soft tissue.
Steven Spielberg was in the very early stages of pre-production for the film "ER" (based on a Michael Crichton novel), when he heard about the "Jurassic Park" book. He subsequently dumped what he was doing to make the film. Afterwards, he returned to "ER" and helped develop it into a hit TV series (ER (1994)).
When Nedry is stealing the dinosaur embryos there is one labeled a Brontosaurus. Brontosaurus was not a real dinosaur but one named by a paleontologist that had the wrong skull on his specimen. The correct skull for the animal was found by a different scientist and it was then called the Apotasaurus.
After making this movie, Ariana Richards developed a great interest in dinosaurs, and assisted Jack Horner (paleontologist advisor for the film and the inspiration for the Dr. Grant character) on an actual dinosaur dig in Montana the following summer.
In the scene where the survivors are crawling through vent spaces, the computer monitors are shining on the raptor after them. This is usually mistaken as being the shadows from the air vents. It's the letters GATC, the four letters used to denote the components of DNA.
Steven Spielberg delayed the beginning of filming by several weeks to get the cast he wanted. First he allowed Richard Attenborough to finish post-production on his own film Chaplin (1992) before committing to the film. He also waited until Sam Neill could finish filming Family Pictures (1993). Neill ended up only having a weekend off between finishing that film and starting this one.
Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) dresses entirely in black in both this film and its sequel. In the book, he tells Ellie Sattler that he only ever dresses in black and gray, so that he never has to waste time thinking about what to wear. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gives the same reason for his monotonous fashion sense in The Fly (1986).
Phil Tippett became quite depressed when he learned that none of the stop-motion creatures he had been developing would be used in the film. However, shortly after that decision had been made, ILM animators discovered they did actually have a use for him. While none of his stop-motion models would be seen in the film, his techniques were determined to be quite useful in animating the computer-generated dinosaurs, especially given how much research he had put into animal movement. Rather than creating the dinosaur motion using key-frame animation, it was decided to build a stop-motion armature for each computer generated dinosaur and manipulate it as they would for a stop-motion film. These armatures were specially built with motion-sensors, and linked up to the animated dinosaurs being created on the computer. Thus, the motion of the stop-motion armature was directly translated into the computer-generated version that appears in the final film.
In the shooting script, it was written that, during the Tyrannosaur's escape, Malcolm would simply get out of the car and run away, much as Genarro had done moments before. In fact, this is how Malcolm behaves in the scene as written in the book. When the time came to film the scene, it was Jeff Goldblum's idea to make his flight more heroic, by having him distract the Tyrannosaur so Grant could save the children.
This is the movie that inspired BBC's Tim Haines to produce the groundbreaking dinosaur documentary series Walking with Dinosaurs (1999) and its various follow-ups. But it also made his and the animators' job at Framestore harder, as people have already had an idea of what dinosaurs "should" look and move like.
The computer in the back of the computer room with the many (65536) red LEDs is actually a real computer: The Connection Machine CM-5 made by Thinking Machines. It contained many SPARC 2 RISC processors and the LEDs were added to make the machine more aesthetically pleasing than their previous models. Unfortunately, it was not actually a very good supercomputer and the company failed not long afterward. The comment about networking eight connection machines is pretty superfluous as they were meant to be used like this. The bigger problem was writing programs that efficiently mapped onto the data parallel architecture.
The gun that game warden Muldoon uses is an Italian Franchi SPAS 12, a commonly used gun in films due to its aesthetic modern appearance. Steven Spielberg kept the gun after the production ended. It is part of his very large, private gun collection, and he had many of the stars sign it. When he invites guests to his home in Beverly Hills, he lets them shoot it.
To give the 1993 Ford Explorer XLTs the appearance that they were driverless and were running on an electric track, the SUVs were driven by remote from the rear cargo area of the vehicle. The driver was hidden under the Ford Explorer's cargo canvas, which was always pulled closed during filming. To see where to steer the SUV, the driver watched a small TV that was fed outside images via two cameras. One camera was mounted on the dash in front of the steering wheel, and the other was mounted on the lower center portion of the front bumper, above a black box. Both cameras can be clearly seen in the movie several times.
The crew were caught in a very dangerous Hurricane, Hurricane Iniki which hit the island of Kauai. The film-makers managed to capture shots from the Hurricane and use it in the movie. This incident was told in a recent episode of Storm Stories.
The sounds made by the Dilophosaurus were a combination of the sounds of howler monkeys, hawks, rattlesnakes, and swans. The main cry of the Velicoraptors was a combination of the sounds of elephant seal pups, dolphins and walruses. The elephant seal sounds were recorded at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, a marine mammal hospital that rehabilitates and releases sick and injured seals and sea lions.
Ariana Richards' audition consisted of standing in front of a camera and screaming wildly. Director Steven Spielberg "wanted to see how she could show fear." Richards remembers, "I heard later on that Steven had watched a few girls on tape that day, and I was the only one who ended up waking his sleeping wife off the couch, and she came running through the hallway to see if the kids were all right."
Later in the movie, as one of the jeeps pulls up, right before they get out, the camera zooms in on the jeep door. The Jurassic Park (1993) logo is on the door, but it is covered in mud so that the only words that can be read is "ur ass Park", perhaps a subtle joke about many of the characters getting hurt or killed in the movie.
The park software is written in Pascal; a program is clearly visible in one of the monitor close-ups on the UNIX system. The graphical interface recognized as a UNIX system was the experimental Silicon Graphics 3D File System Navigator. The version number of the Silicon Graphics UNIX Operating System is 4.0.5 and is visible in one of the close-ups in the operating system's shell window (command program).
The novel was published in 1990. However, pre-production of the film began in 1989, using only Michael Crichton's manuscript. It was widely believed that the book would be such a hit that it would make an outstanding movie. It turns out that assumption was correct.
In the shots of the gift shop, clearly visible is a book entitled "The Making of Jurassic Park" by Don Shay and Jody Duncan. This title was published but tells the behind the scenes story of how the film was made. Jody Duncan also wrote the "Making Of" book for The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
Except for some very brief glimpses in the opening scene, the adult velociraptors - often cited as the most memorable dinosaurs in this film - don't make an on-screen appearance until over 103 minutes into the movie.
On the walls inside Grant and Settler's trailer are a couple of scientific skeletal reconstructions of raptors, according to how they had really been imagined in the beginning of the '90s. Interestingly, these are actually the most accurate dinosaur reconstructions on the film, having been made by paleontologist and paleo-artist Gregory Paul, whose book (Predatory Dinosaurs of the World) Michael Crichton studied when writing the original Jurassic Park novel. One of the papers on the wall is in fact a page from Paul's book.
The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.
Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.
Before Steven Spielberg decided to use animatronic dinosaurs and computer-generated effects, he wanted to use stop motion animation for the dinosaur effects and had Phil Tippett put together a short demo of the kitchen scene using claymation dinosaurs (Barbie dolls were substituted for the actual actors).
In the original script, the T-Rex skeleton in the lobby was hooked up to pulleys like a giant marionette. In the ending, Grant was going to man the controls and act as puppeteer, using the skeleton's head and feet to crush the raptors.
As the movie was released in Costa Rica, local theater owners scratched/blurred the San Jose tag during the scene when Nedry waits for his contact in what supposedly was the country's capital, because the local audiences reacted negatively to inaccuracies in the scene's geography.
The real species called Velociraptor was much smaller (about turkey-sized) than the animals in the film and were believed to have been feathered. They were part of bipedal, bird-like predators of the family Dromaeosauridae, some of which were even larger than the "velociraptors" in the film.
The picture that can be seen taped to programmer Dennis Nedry's computer monitor is of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The picture is partly obscured by a post-it with an atomic bomb mushroom cloud drawn on it.
Grant and Sattler unearth a Velociraptor skeleton in Montana early in the film, and later encounter live Velociraptors that are about the size of a full grown human. In reality, Velociraptors were not even half the size of the animals seen in the film, and their remains have mainly been found in Asia, never in Montana. The species identified as Velociraptor in the film is actually more consistent with Deinonychus. When Michael Crichton was doing his research, he used the book Predatory Dinosaurs of the World by renowned paleontologist Gregory Paul, in which he had proposed that Velociraptor and Deinonychus were species within the same genus. This theory was abandoned by the time the movie was made, but the names for the film weren't corrected.
The scene where Grant, Tim and Lex meet the heard of Gallimimuses was scheduled to be the last scene shot on location in Kauai. When Hurricane Iniki hit, filming for this scene had to be postponed. Production returned to California and then, a few weeks later, Sam Neill, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards had to travel back to Hawaii, but this time to the island of Oahu, to shoot the scene.
The character played by Cameron Thor is named Lewis Dodgson. Author of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," Lewis Carroll was born with the name Charles Dodgson. Since both the first and last names of the character are written with the less common spellings which Carroll used, this is a fairly obvious nod to him, although the reason for the joke is unclear. Lewis Carroll's novel is referenced again when Nedry names his program to sabotage the park security systems "White Rabbit."
The film cut out many species of dinosaur that were featured in the novel for budgetary and technological reasons. One of these was a small, chicken-sized dinosaur called Procompsognathids, which later made an appearance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). Dr. Wu explains their reason for having this creature: Dinosaur excrement, he presumes, would have been bio-degradable during the Cenozoic era. However, in the modern day, bacteria have evolved to the point that it is no longer able to break down dinosaur waste, and the larger dinosaurs produce quite a lot of it. "Compys," as they are called, eat the other dinosaurs' waste and then excrete it themselves in smaller piles which are more easily broken down by present-day bacteria. The lack of compys in the film may explain the mountain of excrement that Ellie finds.
The scene where the T-Rex comes out of the bushes and eats the gallimimus was actually shot on the island of Oahu at Kualoa Ranch. This was the only outdoor scene not filmed on Kauai, due to Hurricane Iniki.
There were so many wires and rigging to control the velociraptor animatrons in the kitchen stalking scene that the child actors had to literally step over and around them while the scene was being filmed. The kitchen set was greatly expanded from the original design to accommodate the velociraptors. Some reports say that all of the dinosaurs in the kitchen scene were computer-generated.
According to Daan Sandee (Thinking Machines Corp), the CM-5 super computer used in the control room was one of only two ever built to that size (1024 nodes). The other machine was at Los Alamos. The machine used in the movie was sold as smaller segments after the scenes were complete. Mirrors were used to make it seem like more CM-5's were present.
The original idea for Jurassic Park (1993), came from Michael Crichton's attempt in 1983 to write a screenplay about a Pterodactyl being cloned from an egg. The screenplay and movie never came to fruition. Originally, Crichton's novel was rejected by his "people", a group of about 5 or 6 personal acquaintances who always read his drafts before he sends them off. After several rejections, Crichton finally figured out what was wrong: he had originally intended for the story to be through the eyes of a child who was at the park when the dinosaurs escaped, which his peers felt was too ridiculous, and could not identify with the character. Michael Crichton re-wrote the story as it is today, and it became a huge hit. (The story also incorporates the "amusement park run amok" element of Michael Crichton's Westworld (1973).)
It was while supervising post-production on this film that George Lucas decided that technology was good enough to begin work on the Star Wars prequels. Appropriately, Samuel L. Jackson was able to appear in those films as well.
The tyrannosaur paddock set was constructed both on location and as a studio set. The former was for the daytime scene in which the creature fails to appear, and the latter for its nighttime escape, in order to accommodate Stan Winston's robotic t-rex. This set required a soundstage much bigger than Universal had to offer, so it was filmed at Warner Bros.
According to Foley Artist Dennie Thorpe, the sounds of the hatching baby dinosaurs were created by a combination of crushing ice cream cones (egg shell breaking), squishing cantaloupe melon halves (embryonic emergence), goo-smeared pineapple skin (baby dinosaur flesh cleansing).
In a moment of the movie, one Velociraptor appears in head shot illuminated with a computer screen full of four letters repeated time and time again: "ACGT". These letters are the acronym for Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thymine, the DNA's base pair.
In Michael Crichton's novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the first instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version. This feat was not repeated until 2009, when boxer Paolo Roberto played himself in the film version of The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009). He too was already previously featured as a character in the book.
At one point Lex is hanging from a floorboard between stories. She looks up for a moment. The stunt double looked up accidentally while filming and Ariana Richards' face had to be superimposed in post production.
As the story takes place on an island near Costa Rica, the filmmakers originally considered filming in Costa Rica. This idea was quickly abandoned when they realized that the Costa Rican government would not allow them to build roads to get to their filming locations.
Was followed by two sequels. There were plans for a fourth film, but they were immediately scrapped in late 2008, after the death of Michael Crichton. However in 2012, they eventually did decide to set things into motion, and have announced a planned release date for 2014.
The helicopter used in the movie was later involved in an accident in Hawaii in March 2001. In the accident, the chopper dropped ten feet to the ground, bounced back up and then tipped on its right side.
The Franchi SPAS-12 shotguns used by Robert Muldoon and Alan Grant in the film have the first generation stock option. The first generation shotgun stock was designed so that a spring loaded stud mounted on the interior of the stock locked into the rear sight. By pulling this stud rearward it clears the sight and the stock can be unfolded. Muldoon can clearly be seen depressing this stud when he is hunting the Velociraptors moments before his famous "clever girl" last words.
Using a sign with directions or instructions as a joke. In this case, the T-Rex's jaws filling the side-view mirror of the car, with the mirror reading, "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear."
In the original novel, John Hammond is killed by a small dinosaur called a Procompsognathid, a species which does not appear in this film. However, this death scene was resurrected and reworked for the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
In one of the first drafts of the script, the character of Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) was not included. Instead, the character of Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) is injured in the scene where the T-Rex attacks the cars.
In the original script, Gennaro and Malcolm were combined into one character, and Muldoon survived in the end. In the original book, Gennaro and Muldoon both survived, and Hammond and Malcolm died (though Malcolm returned in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), explaining that "doctors did excellent work").
With every new draft of the script, there was a different set of survivors and a different set of characters dying. At various points during pre-production, Hammond, Malcolm, and Dr. Wu were going to die and Gennaro and Muldoon were going to live.