Since its monumental release in 1993, Jurassic Park has captivated audiences with its groundbreaking special effects, compelling storytelling, and iconic dinosaurs. But did you know that there’s more to the magic than meets the eye? It’s true! So, join us as today we explore the hidden secrets of Isla Nublar and uncover the top 10 things you didn’t know about Jurassic Park.
The film rights for Jurassic Park were a hot commodity and sparked a fierce bidding war among studios. In the high-stakes battle, Universal Studios and Steven Spielberg were the winners. Yet, it’s fascinating to imagine how the film might have turned out under directors like Joe Dante, Richard Donner, or Tim Burton, who were also contenders.
The unforgettable brachiosaurus scene was no easy task to film. It began with actors having to pretend they were with the dinosaur, as it wasn’t actually there, so they had nothing physical to react to. Moreover, Spielberg’s impromptu direction kept the crew on their toes, which led to issues. But most interestingly, an off-hand remark from a crew member, “You did it, you crazy son of a bitch,” was turned into a memorable line for Jeff Goldblum’s character.
Spielberg faced an immense challenge in 1993, as he was filming Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List simultaneously. By day, he directed the emotionally heavy scenes of Schindler’s List. But by night, he edited the thrilling sequences of Jurassic Park.
As Spielberg found himself juggling the two projects, he decided to enlist George Lucas for Jurassic Park’s post-production. Lucas and his team worked their magic on the sound and visual effects, refining the movie. In fact, this experience later influenced the remastered Star Wars: Special Edition.
Gary Rydstrom, the sound designer, faced a unique challenge – how do extinct creatures sound? In a quest to figure it out, he spent months recording a variety of animal sounds and mixing them creatively. His ingenious work was rewarded with two Academy Awards, and what most people don’t know is that many dinosaur sounds were inspired by the mating calls of modern animals.
While the team was filming in Hawaii, they were unexpectedly hit by Hurricane Iniki, which turned out to be the most powerful storm in the state’s history. The devastating hurricane not only demolished the film sets but also required significant changes to the planned scenes. It’s been said many times that some crew members braved the storm for footage, but Richard Attenborough slept through it and later humorously compared it to the blitz.
The movie represented a significant shift in the application of computer-generated effects. With this, Spielberg urged Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) to push the boundaries of dinosaur realism. And the pivotal moment came when ILM unveiled a CGI T. rex freely roaming in a field, convincing Spielberg that full CGI was the optimal approach for certain scenes.
At some point, Spielberg decided to tweak the ending to highlight T. Rex’s formidable presence. The initial plan was for Dr. Grant to outsmart the raptors with a machine. However, in the final cut, the T. Rex makes a dramatic return, triumphing over the raptors.
Despite being the main attraction, dinosaurs don’t occupy much of Jurassic Park’s screen time. This technique, also used in Spielberg’s Jaws, builds suspense and leaves much to the audience’s imagination. In total, the film has just 15 minutes of dinosaurs, which is divided between CGI and animatronics.
And finally, perhaps the most striking fact is that only the Brachiosaurus and Dilophosaurus from the film lived in the Jurassic period. On the contrary, most of the featured dinosaurs, including the iconic T. Rex, were actually from the Cretaceous period. So, yes! This means that the park’s name isn’t entirely accurate!
The 10 Best Quotes from Jurassic Park
- “Life, uh, finds a way.” – Dr. Ian Malcolm
- “Hold onto your butts.” – Ray Arnold
- “Welcome… to Jurassic Park!” – John Hammond
- “Dinosaurs had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction.” – Dr. Ian Malcolm
- “Clever girl.” – Robert Muldoon
- “I’m always on the lookout for the future ex-Mrs. Malcolm.” – Dr. Ian Malcolm
- “We spared no expense.” – John Hammond
- “We’re gonna make a fortune with this place.” – Donald Gennaro (blood sucking lawyer)
- “What have they got in there, King Kong?” – Dr. Ian Malcolm
- “They’re moving in herds. They do move in herds.” – Dr. Alan Grant
Jurassic Park 1993 Cast:
- Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant
- Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler
- Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm
- Richard Attenborough as John Hammond
- Bob Peck as Robert Muldoon
- Martin Ferrero as Donald Gennaro
- B.D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu
- Samuel L. Jackson as Ray Arnold
- Wayne Knight as Dennis Nedry
- Joseph Mazzello as Tim Murphy
- Ariana Richards as Lex Murphy
Here are 10 trivia facts about Jurassic Park (1993):
- The iconic T. rex roar in the movie is a combination of various animal sounds, including those of a baby elephant, a tiger, an alligator, and a penguin.
- The film’s animatronic dinosaurs were created by Stan Winston Studio, which used groundbreaking technology at the time to bring the creatures to life.
- Jurassic Park was one of the first films to extensively use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to depict realistic dinosaurs.
- The movie’s director, Steven Spielberg, initially wanted to use stop-motion animation for the dinosaurs but switched to CGI after seeing the test footage created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).
- The sounds made by the Velociraptors were created by mixing the sounds of tortoises mating, horses breathing, and geese hissing.
- To achieve the vibrating water glass effect in the famous scene with the approaching T. rex, a guitar string was attached to the underside of the dashboard, and the scene was filmed with the guitar string being plucked.
- The Dilophosaurus in the movie was portrayed as having a frill around its neck and the ability to spit venom, although no evidence of these features exists in real-life Dilophosaurus fossils.
- The film was based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, who also co-wrote the screenplay with David Koepp.
- Jurassic Park was a box office success, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release until it was surpassed by Titanic in 1997.
- The film won three Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.