10 Things You Might Not Know About JURASSIC PARK

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Geek Dave spares no expense to bring you 10 things you might not know about the original Jurassic Park.


1. Steven Spielberg very nearly didn't get to make Jurassic Park. Michael Crichton's agent had circulated his novel to various studios and directors, including James Cameron, Richard Donner and Tim Burton - but not initially Spielberg. Fortunately in 1989 the pair had a meeting to discuss a screenplay that Crichton had written for a proposed ER movie. At this time Crichton shared the Jurassic Park novel with Spielberg who loved it so much that he put all his other projects on hold to work on the cinematic adaptation. (The pair would eventually bring ER to the small screen in 1994.)


2. Jurassic Park could've had some very different, yet familiar faces in the starring roles. Both Harrison Ford and William Hurt turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill). Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Robin Wright-Penn, Sherilyn Fenn, Helen Hunt, Teri Hatcher, Elizabeth Hurley and Gwyneth Paltrow were all considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). Jim Carrey auditioned for the part of Ian Malcolm, and according to the casting director, Janet Hirshenson, he did a terrific job, but Jeff Goldblum was always first choice. Same goes for Richard Attenborough and John Hammond - Spielberg convinced Lord Attenborough to come out of a 14 year acting retirement for Jurassic Park, however if he had declined the role then Sean Connery was next on the director's very short list.

3. During production of the movie Hurricane Iniki ravaged the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i, which was doubling for Jurassic Park. All the cast and crew were evacuated to safety, except for Richard Attenborough who simply stayed in his hotel room and slept through the whole storm. When Lord Attenborough told Steven Spielberg he hadn't heard a thing, Spielberg was amazed, 'Dickie' simply responded "Dear boy, I survived the blitz!"

Incidentally, the helicopter pilot that flew Spielberg and many of the other crew off Kaua'i away from Hurricane Iniki was a man called Fred Sorenson. Sorenson had a very brief movie career some years earlier, his single credited role was that of Jock, the seaplane pilot who rescues Indiana Jones at the beginning of Steven Spielberg's Raiders Of The Lost Ark.


4. When it came to bringing the dinosaurs to life in Jurassic Park various ideas were at first considered. After Spielberg told the visual effects supervisor Phil Tippett that they would be using CGI and not stop-motion to animate the dinosaurs, Tippett (who specialised in stop-motion) replied "I think I'm extinct!" Spielberg found it funny and adapted it for the movie, it became Ian Malcolm’s famous line "Don’t you mean extinct?". Tippett was kept on as a consultant, and offered a very strange credit on the movie which inspired an internet meme...


5. It wasn't just CGI that was used for the dinosaurs though. Alongside the amazing work of ILM, who provided the ground breaking CGI effects, there was the Stan Winston Studio who produced the very realistic animatronics. Plus there was a third slightly more lo-tech way featured in the movie. During the kitchen scene some of the shots of the velociraptors were achieved by animators wearing rubber suits! As this production model depicts...


6. When it came to creating the sound of the dinosaurs a combination of non-extinct animals were mixed together to produce the desired effect. For the roars of the tyrannosaurus' the sounds of a dog, penguin, tiger, alligator and elephant were combined, the dilophosaurus was given a voice made up of howler monkeys, hawks, swans and rattlesnakes, and the velociraptor squeal was created by mixing walrus grunts and dolphin squeaks.

7. Thanks to the massive amount of rain during the movies production the animatronic T-Rex would frequently short circuit and "come alive" of its own accord. Producer Kathleen Kennedy explained,
"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."
8. That wasn't the only time the T-Rex scared the cast. In the scene where the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Explorer, the plexiglass was meant to stay intact. But old Rexie came in a bit fast and the glass began to shatter, producing the noticeably genuine screams from the children...


9. A little Easter Egg for eagle-eyed Spielberg fans. The movie Jaws is playing on one of Nedry's computer monitors...


10. Did you know that Jurassic Park is partly responsible for The Phantom Menace? After principle photography was completed, Spielberg found that post-production was taking longer than expected, so he handed over control to his good friend George Lucas, allowing Spielberg to fly to Europe and begin work on Schindler's List. Lucas was so impressed with the effects that ILM had produced he realised that the CGI was now at a level where he could bring his vision for Star Wars back to the screen. As soon as his commitment to Jurassic Park was completed he set about on the Special Editions of the original trilogy, and began planning Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. So if you have a problem with Han shooting first or Jar Jar Binks, take it up with Steven Spielberg!

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