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(Wired)   Jurassic Park Turns 21: A Look Back at How It Revolutionized Special Effects   (wired.com ) divider line
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2942 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Jun 2014 at 1:49 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-12 12:35:08 AM  
i1282.photobucket.com
 
2014-06-12 12:53:11 AM  
That's one long title for the 21st JPT movie, subby
 
2014-06-12 01:47:57 AM  
I don't know how much of the effect carried over to the following films, but the other night the Jurassic Park movie with Tea Leoni was on in the background while I was on the computer, and more than once I turned around and looked at the screen and thought "wow, this movie is 14 years old and I've seen loads of much worse effects since...".

Also, I was 15 when the original came out, and I didn't know anyone my age who wasn't at the theater week after week, seeing it again.
 
2014-06-12 01:56:57 AM  
Back in the day, hacky-sack types occasionally would wear t-shirts that read "Jur-Acid Park:  65 Million Trips in the Making".

/CT-SHIRTB
 
2014-06-12 01:57:20 AM  

criscodisco: I don't know how much of the effect carried over to the following films, but the other night the Jurassic Park movie with Tea Leoni was on in the background while I was on the computer, and more than once I turned around and looked at the screen and thought "wow, this movie is 14 years old and I've seen loads of much worse effects since...".

Also, I was 15 when the original came out, and I didn't know anyone my age who wasn't at the theater week after week, seeing it again.


They did a fantastic job with the 3D IMAX version that came out a few months ago.
 
2014-06-12 02:07:06 AM  

criscodisco: I don't know how much of the effect carried over to the following films, but the other night the Jurassic Park movie with Tea Leoni was on in the background while I was on the computer, and more than once I turned around and looked at the screen and thought "wow, this movie is 14 years old and I've seen loads of much worse effects since...".

Also, I was 15 when the original came out, and I didn't know anyone my age who wasn't at the theater week after week, seeing it again.


The CGI in Spider Man 3 or the last two Matrix films should have looked better than they were but looked too much like they were computer generated.
 
2014-06-12 02:12:36 AM  
This scene still makes me cringe.  And this movie had A LOT of cringe worthy moments.

blog.smartbear.com
 
2014-06-12 02:15:19 AM  

gingerjet: This scene still makes me cringe.  And this movie had A LOT of cringe worthy moments.

[blog.smartbear.com image 500x333]


Not that I'm some kind of computer expert, but even my 8 year old self knew this was BS when I first saw it.
 
2014-06-12 02:16:41 AM  
The effects STILL hold up. Like someone up above mentioned, the 3D re-release was gorgeous.
 
2014-06-12 02:22:21 AM  

robohobo: The effects STILL hold up. Like someone up above mentioned, the 3D re-release was gorgeous.


Cleaning up the graphics doesn't get you past the lazy acting and weak dialog.

/at least Spielberg knew how to cast child actors unlike certain pudgy friends of his
 
2014-06-12 02:23:53 AM  

gingerjet: robohobo: The effects STILL hold up. Like someone up above mentioned, the 3D re-release was gorgeous.

Cleaning up the graphics doesn't get you past the lazy acting and weak dialog.

/at least Spielberg knew how to cast child actors unlike certain pudgy friends of his


Oh, agreed. Dialogue was not the best. Hated the kids, though.
 
2014-06-12 02:27:00 AM  

robohobo: The effects STILL hold up. Like someone up above mentioned, the 3D re-release was gorgeous.


Yep, they hold up because they didn't really look like effects in the first place, they looked real. And with the practical effects mixed in, the lines between the two blurred further. This worked especially well since no one has seen a living dinosaur, it's hard to say it doesn't look real without a live one to compare it to. It's just not something we have a point of reference for. It really was an amazing feat they pulled off, especially when you look at the computer tech they had at the time.
 
2014-06-12 02:39:45 AM  
iruntheinternet.com
 
2014-06-12 02:43:38 AM  

gingerjet: This scene still makes me cringe.


She's right though - it was a UNIX system (a Silicon Graphics workstation running IRIX) and she did know how to use the fsn browser.
 
2014-06-12 02:50:12 AM  

Ivo Shandor: gingerjet: This scene still makes me cringe.

She's right though - it was a UNIX system (a Silicon Graphics workstation running IRIX) and she did know how to use the fsn browser.


Yep, completely real.  People who complain about how fake it is make me cringe.
 
2014-06-12 02:51:41 AM  
img.fark.net
I'll never forget this scene.
 
2014-06-12 02:53:35 AM  
I've seen Jurassic Park (this is absolutely true) over 80 times, including twice in its original theater run. I love it to bits.

They had me from that first raptor squeal in the cage loading scene.

But it was the Brachiosaur reveal that *really* hooked me. When that thing thundered on to the screen stretching into the sky with the bass impact of its steps crashing in my ears... I mean... wow...

I was 15 at the time, but I was from a tiny island in the Caribbean that had one two-theatre cinema and no real mainstream tv providers yet. My exposure to scifi - while enthusiastic - was limited.

Jurassic Park combined everything I loved. Biology (or a derivative thereof), Science Fiction and Movies.

It holds an indelible place in my heart.
 
2014-06-12 02:59:41 AM  
I was 17 when the movie came out. I remember going to the dollar theater a couple times a week and re-watching because there was nothing better to do.

I also recall the first "Matrix" and how revolutionary it was at the time (a shame they never made a sequel). The same with the first LOTR.

Hoping to see something that revolutionary sometime soon. Maybe with the next "Alvin & the Chipmunks".
 
2014-06-12 03:05:47 AM  

marcre3363: I was 17 when the movie came out. I remember going to the dollar theater a couple times a week and re-watching because there was nothing better to do.

I also recall the first "Matrix" and how revolutionary it was at the time (a shame they never made a sequel). The same with the first LOTR.

Hoping to see something that revolutionary sometime soon. Maybe with the next "Alvin & the Chipmunks".


I did the same thing with T2. Also, I've always had a thing for Linda Hamilton.
 
2014-06-12 03:36:00 AM  
First movie I ever saw in the cinema. For an 8 year old, it was mind blowing.
 
2014-06-12 03:39:17 AM  
...And it's not on ANY subscription movie streaming service now. Not on HBO, Starz, Encore, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crackle... It's just not out there.

I hate when they have some anniversary for a movie and their reaction is to pull it from every network and streaming service, thus forcing people to rent a physical disc, or buy a copy.

Fark that.
 
2014-06-12 03:40:19 AM  

commisioner: First movie I ever saw in the cinema. For an 8 year old, it was mind blowing.


How did you make it to 8 without ever seeing a movie in a theatre? Just curious.

Fantastic film for a first time, though. Mine was 'The Secret of Nimh' in '82 and I still love it.
 
2014-06-12 03:42:48 AM  

Nix Nightbird: ...And it's not on ANY subscription movie streaming service now. Not on HBO, Starz, Encore, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crackle... It's just not out there.

I hate when they have some anniversary for a movie and their reaction is to pull it from every network and streaming service, thus forcing people to rent a physical disc, or buy a copy.

Fark that.


Even if you're not willing to torrent, there are plenty of HD streams out there for perusal.
 
2014-06-12 03:50:15 AM  
It probably birthed the cultural meme that practical effects can look significantly better than drawn-in effects, for sure, in the same way that The Matrix started the idea that drawn effects didn't necessarily have to be cartoony.

It's still sort of the standard "your animators suck, look at this 20-year-old movie that's more visually believable" film, I think.
 
2014-06-12 03:52:26 AM  
I was six when it came out, and one of my great childhood injustices was being the only one in my class who did not get to see it in theaters. I went and saw the rerelease in 3D though, in a brand new theater with leather seats. I was the only one. The whole time I kept thinking how a great wrong was being corrected, and how great the movie still looked after 20 years.
 
2014-06-12 03:59:13 AM  

robohobo: commisioner: First movie I ever saw in the cinema. For an 8 year old, it was mind blowing.

How did you make it to 8 without ever seeing a movie in a theatre? Just curious.

Fantastic film for a first time, though. Mine was 'The Secret of Nimh' in '82 and I still love it.


Grew up with a big family on a small farm in Ireland. Never was much spare money laying around.

Hell of a way to start my cinema experience though!
 
2014-06-12 04:07:36 AM  

robohobo: marcre3363: I was 17 when the movie came out. I remember going to the dollar theater a couple times a week and re-watching because there was nothing better to do.

I also recall the first "Matrix" and how revolutionary it was at the time (a shame they never made a sequel). The same with the first LOTR.

Hoping to see something that revolutionary sometime soon. Maybe with the next "Alvin & the Chipmunks".

I did the same thing with T2. Also, I've always had a thing for Linda Hamilton.


i.dailymail.co.uk
Uh, yeah.
 
2014-06-12 04:08:19 AM  

commisioner: robohobo: commisioner: First movie I ever saw in the cinema. For an 8 year old, it was mind blowing.

How did you make it to 8 without ever seeing a movie in a theatre? Just curious.

Fantastic film for a first time, though. Mine was 'The Secret of Nimh' in '82 and I still love it.

Grew up with a big family on a small farm in Ireland. Never was much spare money laying around.

Hell of a way to start my cinema experience though!


Absolutely! You could have done much, much worse in '93. Cliffhanger. Philadelphia. Sleepless in Seattle. Mrs. Doubtfire.

Jurassic Park is certainly a landmark.
 
2014-06-12 04:11:56 AM  

robohobo: marcre3363: I was 17 when the movie came out. I remember going to the dollar theater a couple times a week and re-watching because there was nothing better to do.

I also recall the first "Matrix" and how revolutionary it was at the time (a shame they never made a sequel). The same with the first LOTR.

Hoping to see something that revolutionary sometime soon. Maybe with the next "Alvin & the Chipmunks".

I did the same thing with T2. Also, I've always had a thing for Linda Hamilton.


And that was two years before JP. But of course it was the same team: ILM and Stan Winston.
 
2014-06-12 04:14:24 AM  

robohobo: commisioner: robohobo: commisioner: First movie I ever saw in the cinema. For an 8 year old, it was mind blowing.

How did you make it to 8 without ever seeing a movie in a theatre? Just curious.

Fantastic film for a first time, though. Mine was 'The Secret of Nimh' in '82 and I still love it.

Grew up with a big family on a small farm in Ireland. Never was much spare money laying around.

Hell of a way to start my cinema experience though!

Absolutely! You could have done much, much worse in '93. Cliffhanger. Philadelphia. Sleepless in Seattle. Mrs. Doubtfire.

Jurassic Park is certainly a landmark.


Funny, now that I think back I can't even remember the first movie I saw in a theater. Though I know for sure the first R-rated movie I ever saw in the theater was "Alien" at age 10.
 
2014-06-12 04:25:54 AM  

fusillade762: robohobo: commisioner: robohobo: commisioner: First movie I ever saw in the cinema. For an 8 year old, it was mind blowing.

How did you make it to 8 without ever seeing a movie in a theatre? Just curious.

Fantastic film for a first time, though. Mine was 'The Secret of Nimh' in '82 and I still love it.

Grew up with a big family on a small farm in Ireland. Never was much spare money laying around.

Hell of a way to start my cinema experience though!

Absolutely! You could have done much, much worse in '93. Cliffhanger. Philadelphia. Sleepless in Seattle. Mrs. Doubtfire.

Jurassic Park is certainly a landmark.

Funny, now that I think back I can't even remember the first movie I saw in a theater. Though I know for sure the first R-rated movie I ever saw in the theater was "Alien" at age 10.


My first R rated movie(in the theatre, at least) was "Die Hard". I have distinct memories of R rated horror movies watched at home before that, though. Halloween and Creepshow, specifically.

/OG Michael Myers still creeps me out
 
2014-06-12 05:32:59 AM  

PIP_the_TROLL: I've seen Jurassic Park (this is absolutely true) over 80 times, including twice in its original theater run. I love it to bits.

They had me from that first raptor squeal in the cage loading scene.

But it was the Brachiosaur reveal that *really* hooked me. When that thing thundered on to the screen stretching into the sky with the bass impact of its steps crashing in my ears... I mean... wow...

I was 15 at the time, but I was from a tiny island in the Caribbean that had one two-theatre cinema and no real mainstream tv providers yet. My exposure to scifi - while enthusiastic - was limited.

Jurassic Park combined everything I loved. Biology (or a derivative thereof), Science Fiction and Movies.

It holds an indelible place in my heart.


It's still one of my top 5 favorite movies. I've watched it so many times, first in the theater, then on VHS, now on DVD and I never tire of watching it, and I doubt I ever will.
 
2014-06-12 05:35:58 AM  
It's because they mostly cheated:

The rule of thumb is: Any full body shot or background shot of a dinosaur is CGI. Any partial shot -- teeth, leg, head, etc. -- is animatronic, especially if it's a closeup. Part of the illusion is that they always used animatronics whenever humans were in the shot and interacting with the dinosaurs ie: hitting them, narrowly escaping them, or shutting doors on them.

And there's a good reason for that: It is immensely difficult to have actors act against nothing and have the computer animators make it look believable. Men in Black and the Harry Potter franchises are the worst offenders of this, where the actors have to be reacting to and interacting with giant monsters but it comes off as fake and unnatural (Will Smith annoyingly called it "acting with a blue tennis ball on a stick"). It was only with the rise of motion capture tech that interactivity with CGI started looking more natural because the actors have another actor to act with/against, like Andy Serkis as Gollum or Bill Nighy as Davy Jones. And that seems to be the way to go.

But the genius of Jurassic Park wasn't the CGI, it was knowing when to use CGI. Spielberg was originally not sold on using it and was considering Harryhausen-style stop-motion (and even storyboarded some animatics to see how it would turn out), until he was convinced by a test showing of the gallimimus flock to go with CGI. There was more animatronics in the finished film than actual CGI, and the CGI holds up because of sneaky tricks like that: The action gets you to not necessarily pay attention to the creature. And they knew they weren't good enough at computer modelling to show any Dinosaur up close, so they didn't. This is in comparison to other movies later on in the decade, like Spawn and Species and The Matrix, that used excessive CGI and just looked fake because of their over-reliance on it.
 
2014-06-12 05:57:26 AM  
smhttp.14409.nexcesscdn.net
monsterawarenessmonth.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-06-12 06:53:03 AM  
If you weren't alive at the time, there's no way to explain just how ground breaking the special effects in the original Jurassic Park were.  The only other film to make a more dramatic leap forward in special effects achievement was Star Wars.
 
2014-06-12 06:58:26 AM  
I was technically an adult when Jurrasic Park came out (18), and for some reason my suspension of disbelief kicked in while the T-rex was destroying thr Fords. For pretty much the duration of that scene you couldn't have pried my hands free of the armrests of my seat with dynamite.

And when it blew Sam Neil's hat off I about lost my shiat.


Speaking of movies where the effects still hold up, Dragonheart still looks awesome.
 
2014-06-12 07:01:13 AM  
I watch it and wish some movies just used the same methods today because it holds up and looks so good.

/when dinosaur movies ruled the earth!
 
2014-06-12 07:32:39 AM  
My wife showed JP to my son a couple years ago when I was out of town. I was worried he would have been too scared by the Raptors, but that is not what he came away with.

He was near the peak of his dinosaur fetish at that time and seen probably every Discovery channel program and such on dinos.

But when he got on the phone with me the next day and I asked him how he liked the movie, he responded with a sincere, awed whisper, "They're real, Daddy. Dinosaurs are real!"
I realized at that point that even after 20 years the special effects in JP stood the test of time and would for many years to come.
 
2014-06-12 07:38:54 AM  

Ishkur: But the genius of Jurassic Park wasn't the CGI, it was knowing when to use CGI.


So very much this.

It can't be emphasized enough.
 
2014-06-12 07:45:09 AM  

SunsetLament: If you weren't alive at the time, there's no way to explain just how ground breaking the special effects in the original Jurassic Park were.  The only other film to make a more dramatic leap forward in special effects achievement was Star Wars.


I agree.

I saw Star Wars in the theaters when it came out.  I was 10 at the time.  And I keep going to see it.  Must have seen it something like 50 times.  There was a $1 theater near me at the time, and it was a relatively cheap way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Jurassic Park was a similar leap forward.
 
2014-06-12 07:55:46 AM  
Jurassic Park was a really scary adult book, and Spielberg turned it into a saccharine kiddie movie.  It sucked.
 
2014-06-12 08:08:42 AM  

dittybopper: SunsetLament: If you weren't alive at the time, there's no way to explain just how ground breaking the special effects in the original Jurassic Park were.  The only other film to make a more dramatic leap forward in special effects achievement was Star Wars.

I agree.

I saw Star Wars in the theaters when it came out.  I was 10 at the time.  And I keep going to see it.  Must have seen it something like 50 times.  There was a $1 theater near me at the time, and it was a relatively cheap way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Jurassic Park was a similar leap forward.


In many ways, JP was an even wider leap forward, since it paved the way for CGI's use for non-genre
productions.
 
2014-06-12 08:09:10 AM  

slotz: Jurassic Park was a really scary adult book, and Spielberg turned it into a saccharine kiddie movie.  It sucked.


geekphoria.net

What a saccharine kiddie movie might look like.
 
2014-06-12 08:09:46 AM  

Boudyro: I was technically an adult when Jurrasic Park came out (18), and for some reason my suspension of disbelief kicked in while the T-rex was destroying thr Fords. For pretty much the duration of that scene you couldn't have pried my hands free of the armrests of my seat with dynamite.

And when it blew Sam Neil's hat off I about lost my shiat.


Speaking of movies where the effects still hold up, Dragonheart still looks awesome.


Agree 100%! That scene was the most intense scene in a movie I had seen since the climax of the original Back to the Future. And when that velociraptor slammed into those bars in the bunker at Ellie, I jumped out of my seat, into the aisle and yelled something about religious excrement.

Saw Dragonheart twice in one day when that came out. Probably can't see it now, but the scene where Drago is talking to the Queen, you can see her reflection in his eyes. It's that kind of detail that I love.

CGI in The Matrix sucked. It LOOKED fake even back in the day.
 
2014-06-12 08:18:46 AM  

robohobo: Fantastic film for a first time, though. Mine was 'The Secret of Nimh' in '82 and I still love it.


First movie I ever remember seeing in a theater was Star Wars. I was almost 7.
 
2014-06-12 08:23:03 AM  
Jurassic Park looks great because they had to prove half way through shooting that CG could look real. After that, CG became commonplace and lazy.
 
2014-06-12 08:24:02 AM  
The dinosaur inaccuracies take me out of it now. I don't think Dilophosaurus needed the frills or spit to be intimidating to Nedry. He was a dope anyway. I also think T-Rex having vision-based movement was BS. In fact I know it is because it's been explained that T-Rex had binocular vision similar to a hawk's.

Other than my petty concerns I still shut up and enjoy the ride.
 
2014-06-12 08:44:15 AM  

verbaltoxin: The dinosaur inaccuracies take me out of it now. I don't think Dilophosaurus needed the frills or spit to be intimidating to Nedry. He was a dope anyway. I also think T-Rex having vision-based movement was BS. In fact I know it is because it's been explained that T-Rex had binocular vision similar to a hawk's.

Other than my petty concerns I still shut up and enjoy the ride.


Actually, most predatory vision is based upon movement.  Anyone who's been deer hunting intuitively understands that it's easier to see an animal that is moving than one that is standing still.

It could very well be that the T.rex in the film could "see" Dr. Grant, in that it could recognize that there was an object there, but without him moving, an unfamiliar object like a person might just be interpreted by the tyrannosaur's brain as a weird-looking tree stump or something like that.
 
2014-06-12 08:45:33 AM  
I remember that Jurassic Park was the first movie to use the ill-fated DTS sound system, which consisted of playing a CD in sync with the movie.  (I think they used some type of time-codes to keep things coordinated.)  What was funny was when a theater would accidentally swap the CD with that of another movie...you'd get the soundtrack of one movie and the visual of another.
 
2014-06-12 08:47:31 AM  

marcre3363: I was 17 when the movie came out. I remember going to the dollar theater a couple times a week and re-watching because there was nothing better to do.

I also recall the first "Matrix" and how revolutionary it was at the time (a shame they never made a sequel). The same with the first LOTR.

Hoping to see something that revolutionary sometime soon. Maybe with the next "Alvin & the Chipmunks".


Too bad they never made a sequel to The Matrix.
 
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