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 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.'"
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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)).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Grant fashioning a functioning seat-belt with only two latches (female ends) and no latch plate (male end) foreshadows a later scene where the dinosaurs are suddenly able to breed, despite that they were all originally female.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).)
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.
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.
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.
All of the cast were given a Raptor model, signed by Steven Spielberg as a gift. It looked very frightening, and Ariana Richards has it in her house to shock anyone coming in, like a guard at the gate. Jeff Goldblum's model has a prime spot in his house and is a cherished object. Laura Dern put her Raptor model in her son's room near his crib. When he was older and saw it he screamed like never before. She had to put it in storage but hopes one day the two will be friends.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 last element to make the dinosaurs real was sound. They had to guess what they sounded like because vocal cords wouldn't survive to the present, so Steven Spielberg instructed Gary Rydstrom to make them sound like animals; real, but big and deep. Rydstrom recorded different animals and then pieced them together. The Dilophosaurus was a swan call with a hawk, a rattlesnake and a howler monkey. Raptors were dolphins, a walrus and geese that when blended, sounded horrific. These sounds were put onto a computer and then played through a keyboard. Rydstrom's favorite scene was when the T-Rex ate a Gallimimus, and it looks up one last time, either to beg for mercy or just to see what's got him; Rydstrom likened it to a dog playing with a chew-toy. Ironically, the T-Rex and the Gallimimus vocals were performed by Rydstrom's Jack Russell terrier, Buster.
John Williams scored the film at the end of February, 1993 and recorded it a month later. He felt he needed to write "pieces that would convey a sense of awe and fascination, given it dealt with the overwhelming happiness and excitement that would emerge from seeing live dinosaurs."
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.
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).
When shooting Gennaro's death, Phil Tippett wanted the camera tilted to see him get ripped to shreds. Although the budget couldn't cover it, Steven Spielberg liked the idea so much he said they'd find the money.
The best dinosaur movies in the past were done with stop-motion photography, but Steven Spielberg wanted to push the effects envelope. After interviewing every effects shop in town, a cadre of effects people were assembled. Stan Winston created the live action dinosaurs, which were to be quick, mobile, full-size animals. Winston broke Jurassic Park (1993) into three phases; research, design and construction. Winston's team spent a year on research, consulting with paleontologists, museums and hundreds of texts. His artists prepared detailed sketches and renderings that later led to 5th scale sculptures and the 20ft T-Rex.
Michael Crichton wrote the novel in 1990, but he first got the idea in 1981. Crichton wasn't sure how to plausibly bring dinosaurs back to life until he learned about insects in amber preserving their DNA, which was the breakthrough he had been looking for. He later learned the idea is hypothetically possible. A Weevil, containing dinosaur blood from more than 65 million years (125-135) ago was discovered in amber. But DNA quickly breaks down in an insect, which is why Jurassic Park's dinosaurs are more fictional.
Two scenes from the book were removed from the film: an opening sequence with Procompsognathus attacking children because Steven Spielberg deemed it too horrific, and for budget reasons, a sequence with the T-Rex chasing Grant and the children downriver, before being tranquilized by Muldoon. Both sequences were reworked for the sequels.
King Kong (1933) was Steven Spielberg's biggest influence on Jurassic Park (1993), and the main reason why he wanted to direct it, hence Ian Malcolm's line "What have they got in there? King Kong?" After seeing the King Kong puppet on the Universal Studios tour, Spielberg asked the designer to apply the same principles to Jurassic Park's dinosaurs, e.g. smoothness, muscle tone, etc.
Dennis Muren suggested most of the full size dinosaurs could be done on computer from head to toe, but he had to prove it first to Steven Spielberg, which he did with a skeletal Gallimimus herd running through a field. Spielberg was so blown away by the scene, especially when a fleshy T-Rex arrived on the scene; he and Tippett looked at each other and Tippett said, "I think we're extinct". Spielberg liked the line and gave it to Jeff Goldblum to say to Sam Neill in the Visitor's Centre.
When Michael Crichton was asked why the novel with Jurassic in the title had a dinosaur from the Cretaceous period on the cover, he replied that had never occurred to him, and admitted "that was just the best looking design".
The electric cars in the film are Ford Explorers, but in the novel, they were Toyotas; Steven Spielberg managed to get seven for the film. The Explorers were modified to create the illusion of automation by hiding the driver in the trunk. The jeeps were also customized for the shoot. Universal Studios, Japan has a replica of one of the Ford Explorers from the movie.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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."
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.
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.
The crew had to have safety meetings about the T-Rex; it weighed 12,000 pounds and was extremely powerful. They used flashing lights to announce when it was about to come on to alert the crew, because if you stood next to it and the head went by at speed, it felt like a bus going by.
The sound of the T-Rex killing Gennaro and a Gallimimus was Gary Rydstrom's Jack Russell terrier Buster, shaking a rope toy in his mouth recorded and slowed down because he thought a T-Rex would sound just like that. Buster also provided the sound for the T-1000 eye-spiking a prison guard in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).
The T-Rex chasing the Jeep took some engineering. Paleontologists alleged a T-Rex could run up to 50mph. But the model was too big to run that fast, and its bones couldn't support its weight. So they dialed it down to a more acceptable 25mph. Hammond says it can go 32mph.
Steven Spielberg didn't want people to be constantly reminded that what they're seeing is CGI, but real, full-blooded dinosaurs, starting with the Brachiosaur scene, where Spielberg was keen on the dinosaur interacting with the background, and would offer suggestions to the animators on how to make it better. The second scene done in that same vein was the Gallimimus scene, which made use of 25 animated individual Gallimimuses. Geometric shapes represented them initially and were choreographed onto the scene. Spielberg needed complete freedom to convey the energy of the scene, so worked with Dennis Muren to shoot it, because he wanted to move the camera and not lock it down everytime a Gallimimus came into frame. The scene was shot gradually with Sam Neill, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards running through a field by themselves. A grid was placed over the ground as a frame to chart the movement of the camera by computer, using what looked like golf balls whenever an actor looked somewhere. The dinosaurs were than added later.
Steven Spielberg wanted the dinosaurs to be birdlike, e.g. snapping to attention like a chicken. He wanted the Raptors to turn their heads so they could look behind them to make them have a scarier appearance. Spielberg likened the Raptor tapping its claw to Morse code to any Raptor listening, and it was such a scary sound.
On the last night of filming, cast and crew lifted their glasses in a champagne toast and the weary but enthusiastic Steven Spielberg announced that Jurassic Park (1993), after two years in planning and four months before the cameras finished on budget and twelve days ahead of schedule.
The film revolutionized dinosaur behavior; whereas in previous films they were slow moving, they were now fast and athletic; this derived from paleontologist Robert Bakker. Another aspect included was dinosaurs are not cold-blooded but rely on the Sun to be active. Steven Spielberg wanted his dinosaurs to be fast-moving, hot blooded predators, e.g. if a T-Rex in the rain were cold-blooded, it couldn't do anything, hence the scene in the film.
The T-Rex's visual acuity based on movement (which is true of most animals) was not entirely right in the movie; it still had an incredible sense of smell and would have sniffed out its prey if not for a sinus infection, in the film allegedly.
The kitchen scene was Ariana Richards' favorite scene; it was filmed in two weeks with Raptors there most of the time, and a man in a suit some of the time. Anyone in a Raptor suit could only do it for up to 15 minutes, because they were bent over in a downhill skiing position which is very physical. The Raptor clicking its toenails was done with a puppeteer walking on Raptor legs.
Joseph Mazzello did the freezer scene on his birthday. The Raptor was on wheels and had to be pushed, and the claws hit Mazzello on the forehead. He fell to the floor dizzy but was OK. Steven Spielberg had the whole crew sing "Happy Birthday" so Mazzello considered it his birthday present.
'Samuel L Jackson' was supposed to fly to Hawaii to film Arnold's death scene but a hurricane destroyed the set and the scene had to be scrapped; he regrets this because he was physically chased by them and killed and he really wanted to do it.
No-one knew what the Raptors sounded like so to get an interesting sound, they recorded a young dolphin on heat recorded underwater; it put him in a certain mood and made a wonderful scream, not at all like a dolphin. When Muldoon was hissed at, that was an agitated goose.
The original ending had a rib from the T-Rex skeleton skewer one of the Raptors and the jaw drops and kills the other. But it seemed too phony and the crew approached Steven Spielberg to come up with a better ending. They all pitched ideas but Spielberg came up with the finale himself. He needed the T-Rex to be the star at the end.
Released into 3D on April 5th, 2013 for the film's 20th anniversary. Other countries saw the re-release over the following six months. This release also had a Burger King promotional tie-in. Many people felt the 3D conversion didn't enhance the effects in any way, mainly because most of the dinosaur scenes are set at night, and shadows don't come out the screen very well the way the day scenes do. This re-release pushed the film's total gross to a billion dollars, the 17th film to do so. It now ranks as the 14th highest grossing film worldwide, the 16th highest grossing film in North America (unadjusted for inflation) and the highest grossing film released by Universal and directed by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg claimed he had produced the film with a "subconscious 3D" since the film has animals walking toward the cameras and some effects of foreground and background overlay. In 2011, he stated that Jurassic Park was the only film he had made he had considered for a conversion, and once he saw the 3D version of Titanic (1997), he really liked the new look of the film that he hired the same retrofitting company. Spielberg and Janusz Kaminski supervised the nine month process during the production of Lincoln (2012). ILM contributed some elements and updated effects shots for a better visual enhancement.
The Mr DNA film was created by Bob Kurtz. Steven Spielberg wanted one of those creaky instructional animations from school to deliver the exposition about dinosaurs being created to the audience. Kurtz feared Mr DNA was too corny and the audience wouldn't buy the dinosaurs but Spielberg thought it should be a little corny. The Brontosaurus at the end of it is a tribute to Winsor McCay's Gertie the Dinosaur but most of it wound up on the cutting room floor. Kurtz created similar sequences in City Slickers (1991) and Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), as well as a singing cereal packet for Minority Report (2002) and a trailer for Casper (1995).
Jurassic Park's first television broadcast was on 7th May, 1995 following the April 26th airing of The Making of Jurassic Park. 68.12 million people tuned in to watch, garnering NBC a 36% share of all available viewers that night. Jurassic Park was the highest-rated theatrical film broadcast by any network since the April, 1987 airing of Trading Places (1983).
The film is quite faithful to the novel, no doubt because of Michael Crichton's involvement with the screenplay. In fact, both are said to be thin on plot and characterization, but there are some differences. Alan and Ellie were never a couple in the book, and indeed, by the time of Jurassic Park III (2001), have gone their separate ways; Hammond has gone from a misguided fanatic to a kindly, but eccentric billionaire; Lex and Tim have swapped ages, are closer, and Tim is the computer hacker in the novel while Lex is a petulant, useless character but more capable in the film; Grant becomes an uncomfortable surrogate father figure to Lex and Tim who softens his attitude over the film, no doubt Steven Spielberg's influence; Arnold, Muldoon, Gennaro and Dr Wu all have bigger roles in the book; the night vision goggles are put to more use in the novel; aerial dinosaurs are not seen until the sequels, etc.
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 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.
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.
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.
Malcolm is interested in a relationship with Ellie; in real life, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern did get involved and were engaged for a few years before breaking it off. Goldblum is famous for striking up relationships with co-stars.
Malcolm's speech to Hammond about the dangers of Jurassic Park are condensed from the novel: "Scientific power is like inherited wealth: attained without discipline. You read what others have done, and you take the next step. You can do it very young. You can make progress very fast. There is no discipline lasting many decades. There is no mastery: old scientists are ignored. There is no humility before nature. There is only a get-rich-quick, make-a-name-for-yourself-fast philosophy. Cheat, lie, falsify - it doesn't matter. Not to you, or to your colleagues. No one will criticize you. No one has any standards." This may have been edited by the film to make Malcolm seem less arrogant.
The sound of the Raptor egg cracking was really a cracking ice cream cone; the sound of the goo on the Raptor was a cantaloupe; the sound of the Raptor skin was a wet pineapple. These were all mixed together.
Brachiosaurus means "arm lizard" and was one of the largest animals ever. They were called sauropods. The Brachiosaur was one of the few dinosaurs in the film that lived in the Jurassic period, 200 million years ago, but it was the Triassic that launched the age of dinosaurs. Tim also calls them Brontosauruses, which means "thunder lizard".
According to storyboards, the kitchen scene plays out with an angle from above when Lex and Tim first enter the kitchen; Tim turns the lights off, not Lex; Lex and Tim both look at the door; another shot with Lex and Tim watching; Lex holds onto the ladle after tapping it; Lex looking at the Raptors' reflections; an image of Lex hiding and the Raptor hitting the cabinet; the other Raptor seeing Tim run; Tim's feet slipping; Tim by the door as the Raptor slips; Tim crawls out the door, etc.
The casting process was fairly easy; Richard Attenborough was the last to be cast. Directing meant Attenborough hadn't acted since 1979. Attenborough knew Steven Spielberg was the perfect director for the material after reading the novel.
Began principal photography on the island of Kauai in August 1992, two years and one month after pre-production. The lush resort made it an ideal setting but after three weeks filming, Hurricane Iniki came to Kauai, and the crew were asked by the hotel to pack their suitcases, fill their bathtubs in case of a power or water shortage, and to pack a day bag and meet in the hotel ballroom, on the basement level. By 9:00am, the storm hit. Kennedy ensured the movie crew had generators for lights and plenty of food and water. They had to be self-sustaining because they moved around on location all the time. They had to camp out in rows of chaise lounges on the ballroom floor, while the cast and crew heard winds pick up at 4:00pm and rumble by the hotel at nearly 120mph. Kennedy likened it to a freight train roaring past. Iniki struck all the sets leaving no working phones or power on Kauai, so at dawn, Kennedy jogged to the airport to explore their options, where all the windows were blown out in the terminals, and it was full of palms, trees, sand and water. Kennedy hitched a lift to Honolulu on a Salvation Army plane and began organizing from a pay phone. Over 24 hours, she coordinated the safe return of the company and arranged for more than 20,000 pounds of relief supplies transported from Honolulu and Los Angeles into Kauai. After returning to LA, Jurassic Park (1993) resumed production at Universal.
To showcase the film's sound design, Steven Spielberg invested in the creation of DTS, a company specializing in digital surround sound formats, so it would allow audiences to "really hear the movie the way it was intended to be heard". George Lucas supervised the sound crew while Spielberg was in Poland working on Schindler's List (1993). The work was finished by the end of April. Sound designer Gary Rydstrom considered it a fun process, given the film had all kinds of noises: animal sounds; rain; gunshots; car crashes; scenes without music, etc. Spielberg took the weekends to fly from Poland to Paris, where he would meet Rydstrom to see the sound progress.
In anticipation of its Blu-Ray release, Jurassic Park had a digital print released into UK cinemas on September 23rd, 2011. It wound up grossing £245,422 from 276 theaters finishing at 11th on the weekend box-office.
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.
Birds are a Velociraptor's closest living relative. The knowledge that dinosaurs are related to birds dates back to 1868 with similar ankles and tails, wrists and claws. Birds are the real way to bring a dinosaur back to life, with emus being the nearest thing there is to a dinosaur today with the way they walk. Birds are a descendant of dinosaurs and chickens may lead to the creation of a dinosaur someday, but not a full blooded one. It could also extend to other extinct animals and new fuels.
Some have criticized the characters as being caricatures, e.g. a cowardly lawyer; a flaky mathematician; an eccentric billionaire; an obese computer programmer; a reluctant father figure, etc. Steven Spielberg has been accused before of resorting to stereotypical behavior over characterization.
Steven Spielberg changed the climax weeks before the end of the shoot. He felt the audience would hate him if the T-Rex doesn't make one final heroic appearance, since he considered the T-Rex the star of the movie, hence the Raptor/T-Rex fight. The original climax involved the Raptors being killed by the T-Rex skeleton in the Visitors Centre. The new climax was completely computer animated unlike the first T-Rex attack. First, they enacted it, and then added in the effects. It was the last scene to be filmed.
Gennaro's Hail Mary before being killed was an idea Martin Ferrero stole from The Godfather: Part II (1974). Another idea he had that didn't make it in was he wanted Gennaro to spray the T-Rex's face with pepper spray; you can see it hooked to his belt. Steven Spielberg thought it an interesting idea but said no to it.
Dennis Muren doubted a real T-Rex would look like the one in the film. It wouldn't be as aggressive, because when bears fight on their hind legs, they can only do it for 6-7 seconds before collapsing. Dinosaurs that did the same would wear them out.
The Dilophosaurus was made smaller than an actual one to differentiate it from the Raptors and to not have it compete with the T-Rex. But by making it smaller it fit the story, because at first you don't take it seriously but then you see how dangerous it is.
The T-Rex chasing the Jeep was the most difficult scene to animate. Steve 'Spaz' Williams had to do research because there's no frame of reference for a running animal of that size; it took two months to figure out how to get it to run, for instance. He would run the sequence backwards to see all the mistakes. They were also able to use the computer to add little details to authenticate the scene, e.g. the T-Rex running through puddles of water and leaving splashes, etc. The splashing was filmed individually and then the computer added it to the T-Rex's footsteps.
The T-Rex and the car it knocked over were both animated. The scene is shot bare and than the T-Rex and the car were composited in later. It was the same for Gennaro's death. From the rear, its a stand-in, but after the attack its all CGI.
When Lex nearly fell through the ceiling, the stunt girl looked up at the camera and Ariana Richards' face had to be superimposed, something not possible before the advent of CGI; its considered one of the film's most thrilling visuals.
For the original ending, Stan Winston wanted three-creature shots per day. As it was storyboarded, Grant starts working the controls of the condor and it starts moving; a Raptor emerges from the ducts; Grant moves the condor away but the Raptor leaps towards it and lands on it dangling from it with the crane moving forward towards the dinosaur skeleton's tail breaking it off and a Rex leg; one of the Raptors tries to get into the lift cage so Grant works the controls back and forth, smashing the Raptor into the Rex jaws; some of the buckles come loose; the Raptor smashes into the other skeleton, a Brachiosaur; the Raptor thrashes and Grant tells everyone to hold on; the lift crashes down on the Raptor and it screams; blood runs beneath the condor; Alan, Ellie, (a younger) Lex and Tim watch all this as the Raptor dies; they see the other Raptor attack but (a younger) Hammond shoots it and waves them to the exit, etc.
When scouting in Kauai, Steven Spielberg thought the jungle looked like broccoli. He wanted a division between the clearing and the tops of the trees for the first scene with the Brachiosaur. Initially, it was to appear behind some trees but they obstructed it.
In May, 1990 Universal obtained galleys of Jurassic Park and wanted to purchase it on Steven Spielberg's behalf. Michael Crichton had written the book in two years; of the four major studios bidding on it, Crichton was happiest with Spielberg's involvement, and less than a week later, Spielberg got the job of directing it.
Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy began recruiting the design team in the Summer of 1990. They wanted the freedom to create a reality where their imaginations were unrestricted in Hawaii, on soundstages or through CGI.
Attributed with changing the way films were made in the future, after utilizing the best technology ILM had available. ILM wanted the dinosaurs to move naturally, so they studied animal behavior, movements and body language of elephants, alligators, ostriches and lions. The graphic designers received special training, including movement lessons, to capture dinosaur behavioral nuances.
Production moved to Red Rock Canyon State Park, chosen for its similarities to a Montana dinosaur dig where Sam Neill and Laura Dern filmed they're first scene; they were coached by Jack Horner, the premier paleontologist and curator of paleontology at Bozeman, Montana's museum of the Rockies.
Jack Horner's research is controversial, which is exactly why he found Jurassic Park (1993), and its idea of reviving dinosaurs, especially a T-Rex, fascinating. But he is against the idea of scientists reviving them.
Steven Spielberg wanted a predator as dangerous as the T-Rex so he included the Raptors but combined them with another species, Deinonychus. Spielberg liked the name Velociraptor, but is not very tall, whereas Deinonychus is the size of a human being so Spielberg combined them because they came from the same branch of the dinosaur tree. The Deinonychus has the retractable claw that's as sharp as a box cutter but has smaller teeth than a Raptor. Also, the Deinonychus eats you before it kills you rather than a Raptor, and they hunt in packs and ambush they're victims instead of a Raptor.
When the Raptor snapped at Lex, it was really a stuntwoman; she looked into the camera at one point and Ariana Richards' face had to be digitally inserted, something never done before. Richards thinks the scene has more punch in 3D. The stuntwoman was from Cirque du Soleil, but Richards liked to take the credit for the scene.
When Steven Spielberg first started working for Universal, he was asked to give a tour to a special guest who had just sold the rights to one of his books to the studio. The guest turned out to be Michael Crichton, who later sold the film rights for another novel to Universal that Spielberg wound up directing, Jurassic Park (1993). The two later became friends, because he claimed Crichton knew how to blend science with big theatrical concepts.
David Koepp trimmed much of the character's excessive details, because he felt that whenever they started talking about their personal lives, he couldn't care less, and neither would the audience. He instead substituted individual moments like Malcolm flirting with Ellie, making Grant jealous, or Lex's adolescent crush on Grant, who fails to notice.
Michael Crichton's original idea for the screenplay was about a graduate student who recreates a dinosaur; he continued to wrestle with his fascination with dinosaurs and cloning until he turned it into a novel. Steven Spielberg first learned of it in October, 1989.
Jurassic Park was completed on May 28th, 1993 and released into cinemas on June 11th, 1993, but it premiered two days earlier at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC in support of two children's charities. Its nationwide release was in 2404 locations on an estimated 3400 screens, with an international 3400 prints. Following release, a traveling exhibition called "The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park" began, showcasing dinosaur skeletons and props from the film.
The Brachiosaurs chewing food (something they never did really) was added to make them seem more docile, like a cow chewing its cud. Also, they had limited vocal capabilities but were given whale song, donkey calls and penguin noise to make them sound melodic.
A Jurassic Park tourist attraction was unveiled at Dorset's Dinosaur Museum. Also, there's a Jurassic Park log flume ride at Universal Studios in LA; indeed, all of the Universal Parks and Resorts include a theme ride associated with the film. The first was Jurassic Park: The Ride on June 15th, 1996, built after six years of development for $110 million. It was replicated for Universal Studios, Japan in 2001. Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida (a place Hammond wished he had built the real park), has an entire section dedicated to the film that includes the main ride, christened "Jurassic Park River Adventure" and many smaller rides and attractions based on the series. In Universal Studios, Singapore, opened in 2010, the Themed Zone named The Lost World consists mostly of Jurassic Park rides, such as the roller coaster Canopy Flyer and the river rapids Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure.
Phil Tippett, the dinosaur supervisor on the film did the Brachiosaur scenes first. They were difficult because of the new technology. He wanted flesh moving, so when the feet went down you saw tremors through the muscles. Dean Cundey made it appear like it was nibbling by attaching a cable to the top of the tree and pulled on it to get the branch to react and snap; the animators carefully coordinated the animation with that.
Laura Dern thought the first scene with the Brachiosaur was very tender. She recalled shooting the scene, where the actors were looking at an X on a piece of paper. Grant loses the power in his legs because Sam Neill thought seeing something so mind boggling would make you faint. When Steven Spielberg first edited the scene, the temp music was the St Crispin's Day speech from Kenneth Branagh's Henry V (1989). Phil Tippett thought it perfect and said "you did it, you crazy son of a bitch", not knowing that was a line from the movie.
When Grant feeds the Brachiosaur, the head was 12ft high, on a dolly so it could move in on wheels and the actors would have something to react to. The Brachiosaur snot was methacryl; Steven Spielberg insisted it be green if it has a cold. Ariana Richards gets asked about that scene in every Jurassic Park interview; she refuses to talk about it anymore. To create the sound of the sneeze, sound designer Gary Rydstrom used the combination of a whale's blowhole and a fire hose turning on from the Skywalker Ranch Fire Department. For the singing, he slowed down a donkey yodel, and stretched it out into a song.
The Triceratops scene was a logistical nightmare for Stan Winston when Steven Spielberg moved up the shoot of the animatronics. It took eight puppeteers to operate it in Kauai. Gary Rydstrom combined the sound of him breathing into a cardboard tube with the cows near his workplace at Skywalker ranch to create the vocals.
To emphasize the birdlike qualities of the Gallimimus, the animation focused on the herd of them, instead of individually. To prepare for the scene, the animators ran through an ILM parking lot, with plastic pipes standing in for the tree they vaulted over in the film. One of the animators missed the jump and fell over, something that was incorporated into the scene. The sounds of the Gallimimuses were horse squeals.
Made its VHS and LaserDisc debut on October 4th, 1994. With 17 million units sold in both formats, its the 5th best-selling VHS tape ever. It was first released on DVD on October 10th, 2000. It was the 13th best-selling DVD of the year, with 910,000 units sold. In 2012, Jurassic Park (1993) was among 25 films Universal picked for a box-set that celebrated the studio's 100th anniversary, as well as in Blu-Ray with an augmented reality cover. The following year, the 20th anniversary 3D conversion was issued on Blu-Ray 3D.
The Dilophosaurus never walks because it was difficult to get the weight shifting and the movement right. A trench was cut into the floor of the set for the puppeteers but Steven Spielberg elected to have it just appear instead to make the scene more ominous and surprising. He also wanted more water for the scene coming down the hillside with every fire hydrant going in the studio until they ran out. Michael Lantieri joked every now and then "just splash him with something so he feels there's more water". To this day, Spielberg still feels that scene needed more water. Wayne Knight thought it a miserable scene to shoot, sliding down things, covered in mud, soaking wet, he was 327lbs and he could barely walk, but he loved watching it.
Ariana Richards regretted never getting to work with the Dilophosaurus or even see it during the shoot because it was a real surprise when watching the film. She was glad she didn't get spat at though.
During the Gallimimus scene, Sam Neill, Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello were shown pictures of them first, then went out to the hills of Oahu in Hawaii and told to run and run and run. Neill couldn't visualize the finished scene, but Steven Spielberg had a megaphone strapped to his head and made his feelings known. He worked with all three actors, trying to find more in the scene than on the page. When the herd turned right, Phil Tippett thought Mazzello should say "I think we're going to get flocked!" Spielberg said no and changed it to "They're uh...they're flocking this way." The log the Gallimimuses touched were painstakingly rigged by wires and miniature explosives so when Alan, Lex and Tim hid behind it, crew members shook it to make it vibrate.
To film the scene when the T-Rex ate a Gallimimus, a man waved a long stick with a drawing of a T-Rex head at the end of it. Joseph Mazzello thought it looked amateurish, more like a child's drawing. It made him think of Jeff Golblum's line "Uh, now eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur tour right?"
The Gallimimus vocals were done with with horses, male and female, because the females make interesting sounds when a male horse shows up like high pitched squealing. The stampede sound was running horses or cattle getting herded.
Michael Crichton was encouraged to write the novel after he took the idea about dinosaur cloning to some scientists who saw the plausibility in it. Crichton told Steven Spielberg the idea and he loved it, so Spielberg coaxed the rest of the story out of him. Spielberg then storyboarded the book (something he had never done before), with scenes he wanted to carry over to the film.
Work began at Stan Winston's studio in 1991 with the look of each character; Winston felt it was important in convincing the audience otherwise the film would fail, no matter how good the performances were.
During the kitchen scene, the Raptors are outmaneuvered more than once, perhaps because they're outside they're element, and are unfamiliar with a man-made environment, e.g. the reflective surfaces they mistake for Lex. Its often the film's most celebrated scene, at least whenever the T-Rex is not around.
Michael Crichton was hired to adapt his novel for the big screen for $500,000, but David Koepp wrote the final draft, leaving out much of the novel's exposition and violence, as well as making a few character changes.
Jurassic Park had perhaps the most rigorous marketing campaign ever conducted for a film up to that point, costing up to $65 million dollars, including licensing deals with 100 companies to market 1000 products. Merchandise with the Jurassic Park (1993) name on it included toy dinosaurs, calendars, Making of books, action figures, bread, yogurt, fast food, video games, a deal with McDonalds for "Dino-sized meals", a junior novelization, comic books, a Jurassic Park Discovery Centre at Islands of Adventure, shirts, etc. Although this led to a somewhat blasé reaction when the film premiered, the marketing turned Jurassic Park (1993) into a box-office phenomenon, and toppled ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)_ previously Steven Spielberg's most commercially successful film. Its said the marketing cost more and made more than the film did, setting a new record for tie-ins, over one thousand individual deals that generated over a billion dollars in revenue.
The film used CGI to bring dinosaurs to life. When Michael Crichton directed Looker (1981), he predicted such a technology, but put to far more sinister purposes. Crichton was always a skeptic about new technologies.
Jurassic Park gave a much needed boost to Michael Crichton's flagging career. After the global success of the film, Crichton became a hot commodity in Hollywood, with many of his novels adapted into films.
After the dinosaur molds were done, they were put over robotic skeletal structures. The next stage was movement. Phil Tippett wanted Steven Spielberg's storyboards done three-dimensionally with clay to flesh out the scenes and give them dimension, called Animatics, to act as a template.
Steven Spielberg wanted the dinosaurs portrayed as animals and not monsters, hence Grant's line to Lex. Paleontologists were brought in to do that, like Jack Horner and Robert Bakker, two of the world's foremost dinosaur experts. Horner vetoed an idea that Raptors had snake tongues because that would sabotage his theory that they're related to birds.
Location shooting began on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in August, 1992 for three weeks. Kauai was chosen because it was the perfect environment if you wanted to see a dinosaur and it was strong visually. Steven Spielberg wanted the park itself to look as real as possible.
The cast first interacted with Stan Winston's Triceratops and it was important to Steven Spielberg that the film succeeded from the first day of shooting and after that scene, he knew they had. Winston felt that was a good scene to ease the crew into before they moved onto tougher stuff.
The Triceratops scene was a major operation. Most of the dinosaur scenes were shot on sound-stages, but Steven Spielberg wanted this scene shot on location in Hawaii. The puppeteers loved this decision because the dust and the dirt tied it into the environment. It was also the first dinosaur the actors saw; they were blown away by its realism. Stan Winston's team dug a hole beneath the puppet and eight puppeteers below operated cables and push-rods. The backside of the Triceratops had a door with three or four men inside. The only one of the actors not impressed was Joseph Mazzello because the first dinosaur he got to see up close didn't do anything. To get the Triceratops to breathe, Gary Rydstrom blew into a toy called a "zube tube" to add the harmonics.
The scene between Nedry and Dodgson has spawned a cult following; there are fan recreations on Youtube and Electro Tunes sampling the line "We've got Dodgson here!" There are even T-shirts with Dodgson's face on it. Cameron Thor auditioned for the part of Ian Malcolm but got the much smaller part of Lewis Dodgson. Thor was the one who tracked down the shaving can for use in the movie; he had to spend endless time in a drug store to find the most photogenic can. He even used it after the audition because he was so broke. Thor has said he would happily reprise the role at any time because its the character he's most recognized for.
The T-Rex model was controlled with a waldo, a very small replica to manipulate it to get it to respond exactly. They weren't supposed to get it wet, because it was fine-tuned into how much it weighed, but once they shot the rain scene, it stopped responding. Between takes they had to towel it down to dry it out at night. When it attacked Lex and Tim, it lost some of its teeth on top of the car. They tried gluing them back in but one refused to after 20 minutes; indeed, there's a shot where if you pause it in the right place you can see its missing a tooth.
The Brachiosaur scene was the second dinosaur scene with the actors and took a long time to film because Sam Neill and Laura Dern had to react to nothing most of the time, and Steven Spielberg was coming up with new shots on the spot.
Shooting on Kauai was completed by mid September, 1992 and then the crew shot the first scene with Grant and Ellie in the Mojave desert in two days. The rest of the movie was shot on soundstages, like the Genetics lab, the Visitors Centre and the T-Rex paddock. The first T-Rex attack gave the crew more control being shot on a soundstage what with CGI and animatronics interacting with the cast and the set and real life while being controlled off-screen.
The most difficult effect to pull off was the vibrating rings of water. Steven Spielberg wanted the T-Rex to announce its presence somehow before the audience saw it, and got the idea from watching the mirror in his car vibrate because of the sound effects. When Michael Lantieri tried to replicate that with water, it was harder than any of the dinosaur effects; nobody knew how to do it but told Spielberg they could. The night before the shoot, Lantieri put a glass of water on a guitar and when he plucked the strings, that did it. So for the scene, they fed guitar strings under the dashboard to get the effect.
Stan Winston claimed the first T-Rex attack was the most amazing scene he had ever worked on at that point in his career. It was difficult because it was raining and that had to be kept off the T-Rex otherwise it would soak it up, start shaking and change weight and have to be dried down.
Wrapped 12 days ahead of schedule, but there was still a lot of work to be done. Steven Spielberg then worked with Michael Kahn to edit the film before any dinosaurs were added. They trimmed the film for weeks, wanting Jurassic Park (1993) to look great without the dinosaurs before they were added, which would make the film even greater.
In 1993, over 50 CGI dinosaur effects had to be added, an unprecedented number at that time, calling upon the most powerful computers at ILM (they took up three rooms). They go through millions of cycles, and the animators had to deliver dinosaur performances. Phil Tippett had the animators mime like dinosaurs to convey them better on screen. Tippett also had the animators design a dinosaur input device to translate movements to the dinosaurs on screen. Real animal movements were studied too like iguanas, giraffes, rhinos, crocodiles, elephants and ostriches and incorporated.
Michael Crichton was delighted to be writing the screenplay, as was his custom, but it was one of Steven Spielberg's customs to bring in other writers, which he did when he hired David Koepp to write the final draft.
Several of the storm scenes in the film were actual footage of Hurricane Iniki, which struck production during location shoots in Kauai, but because they managed to fit in with the plot, it was decided to use them.
Steven Spielberg remained in contact with ILM while he was in Poland filming Schindler's List (1993) through teleconferences four times a week. He described the extra workload as "a bipolar experience, with every ounce of intuition on Schindler's List, and every ounce of craft on Jurassic Park". He rented two satellite channels through a Polish television station (for $1.5 million a week) and kept them open at all times, and downloaded from Hollywood each day the visuals on one and the sound through the other. He then spent evenings and weekends working on them with video equipment.
The ripples in the glass of water caused by the T. Rex's footsteps was inspired by Steven Spielberg listening to Earth, Wind and Fire in his car, and the vibrations the bass rhythm caused. Michael Lantieri was unsure of how to create the shot until the night before filming, when he put a glass of water on a guitar he was playing, which achieved the concentric circles in the water Spielberg wanted. The next morning, guitar strings were put inside the car and a man on the floor plucked the strings to achieve the effect.
Malcolm distracting the dinosaur with a flare was included at Jeff Goldblum's suggestion, as he felt a heroic action was better than going by the script, where like Gennaro, Malcolm would get scared and run away.
Although composed by John Williams, his score for Jurassic Park is not often counted among Williams' more famous film scores. In 2013, for the 20th anniversary of the film, Williams released an album that restored 14 minutes of music cut from the original film.
According to storyboards, the first scene with the T-Rex played out like this: the kids were in the car with a character called Regis who showed Tim the goggles; Grant had glasses and a beard (like in the novel) and had Gennaro as a passenger; Lex was kicking her legs over the front seat and Tim stopped her when he heard the T-Rex and he still had the goggles on; Gennaro had more hair; Lex looks at the roof before the leg lands on it, with the chain still attached; a shot of the car from the T-Rex's side of the fence; Tim sees the T-Rex touching the fence through the goggles; the danger sign also lands on the roof; when the T-Rex first steps out onto the road, its foot hits the ground; a POV shot of Tim watching the T-Rex circle the other car; the T-Rex eying Grant and Gennaro through the car and Grant using a radio to warn the kids not to move; Tim and Lex looking up at the T-Rex through the roof as it looks in at them; a wider shot of the T-Rex attacking the roof; Tim and Lex both crawling through the mud; the T-Rex watching Grant wave the flare from her POV; Gennaro runs from the car but doesn't wave a flare like Malcolm; the T-Rex gives chase knocking Grant out of the way; Tim is unconscious in the car and than tries to get free; the T-Rex looks in at Tim with a mouth full of mud, etc.
In storyboards, the second scene with the T-Rex plays out with Muldoon who has a mustache; Muldoon and Ellie are back in the car already with Malcolm when the T-Rex attacks; more dialogue with Muldoon saying they'll find Grant, Lex and Tim when the motion sensors are working again just as Malcolm hears the T-Rex, etc.
Phil Tippett's Animatic version of the kitchen scene was essentially the same except the Raptors had snake tongues, the freezer door was shut, Tim fell by the door and there were two exits; Lex and Tim went through the second one, etc.
Early designs for the park had a bridge over water between the Visitors Centre and the big doors; Lex outside the car when the T-Rex attacked it; a scene with Grant, Lex and Tim in a raft being attacked by a dinosaur; the T-Rex chasing Grant, Lex and Tim through the jungle with the kids' ages swapped; three Raptors attacking at the Visitors Centre, etc.
Raptors are close knit, smart, fast and maneuverable in their choreography more than any dinosaur. They could manipulate things with their fingers, as shown in the film where they learn to manipulate a door handle.
Since the Gallimimuses were precursors to birds, they had sophisticated flocking mechanisms; the parents keep the smaller ones in the middle of the group for protection. Details like that enhanced the scene subliminally.
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 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.
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.