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.
The T-Rex model weighed 9000lbs and measured 40ft.
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.
Although this was one of the first to use CGI, it was pioneered (albeit in its infancy) on another Steven Spielberg film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
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. |