Making Jurassic Park

Making JP

The idea of Jurassic Park began with author Michael Crichton. While talking with Steven Spielberg about his latest writings, Crichton mentioned his newest book, which was a story about recreating dinosaurs from DNA remains. Spielberg was immediately excited and was interested in bringing Crichton's novel to the big screen. With the growing technology of the early 1990s, the movie required a whole new level of special effects. Spielberg enlisted the help of Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, Dennis Muren, and Michael Lantieri for special effects and the music score from John Williams. Together they would change the technology of movie making and usher in the 21'st century. From the start, Spielberg insisted on making the dinosaurs look real. He took scenes from the book that he liked and gave the story boards to Phil Tippett's team of animators to bring them to life. The stop-motion technology provided was some of the best of its time, but Spielberg still expected more. He was interested in looking at the new technology of computer generated images (CGI) as an alternative. When ILM showed him their first test, Spielberg was blown away. The final decision to go with CGI over stop-motion came after ILM demonstrated the advantages CGI could provide. Phil Tippet's animators joined with ILM and Stan Winston studios to create the dinosaurs featured in the films.

Location shooting, combined with indoor stages at Universal Studios, provided the locales for the films. Casting for Jurassic Park sought to bring together a crew of good actors, rather than just assembling Hollywood stars. The combination of phenomenal actors, groundbreaking special effects, a compelling story, and the masterpiece musical score combined to make Jurassic Park the film that it became, solidifying a legacy as an instant classic. After two years of production, Jurassic Park was released in theaters on June 11, 1993 and became an instant box office hit that would continue with three sequels: The Lost World Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 3, and Jurassic World. The franchise has certainly driven an increase in dinosaur popularity and cultural familiarity with various extinct creatures. Although not always the most accurate of dinosaur portrayals, the films still provide the spark of intrigue and passion for paleontology and science unlike any other film. The dinosaurs were designed to awe and inspire and serve a role as animals as well as the feature attraction of nightmares. Jurassic Park is an iconic film worldwide and even two decades after its release the film still holds up well by modern film standards.