Some Monstrous Jurassic Park Trivia
William Hurt was offered the role of Dr. Grant, but he turned it down without reading the book or the script.
Harrison Ford turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant.
Richard Attenborough's first acting role in 15 years.
Michael Crichton's agents circulated the book to six studios and directors. Warner Brothers wanted it for Tim Burton to direct while Columbia was planning it for Richard Donner. Fox was also interested and was intending the project for Joe Dante, while Universal wanted 'Steven Spielberg' to direct. Crichton was reluctant to submit to a bidding war, He instructed his agents to put a set price on the film rights and he could decide who was more likely to actually get the film made. After interviewing all the prospective directors, he agreed to sell the rights to Universal and Steven Spielberg, who was already his first choice.
In Michael Crichton's novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the first instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version. This feat was not repeated until 2009, when boxer Paolo Roberto played himself in the film version of The Girl Who Played with Fire. He too was already previously featured as a character in the book.
The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.
Director Steven Spielberg was worried that computer graphics meant Nintendo type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but upon seeing ILM's demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of galamides across his ranch, he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method. The animation was first plotted on an Amiga Toaster, and rendered for the film by Silicon Graphics' Indigo workstations.
Generally speaking, any shot of a full dinosaur was computer-generated, but shots of parts of dinosaurs were of animatronics.
The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.
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A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. Special effects technicians worked on this effect for a year but the scene was cut at the last minute as Steven Spielberg thought it would ruin the pacing of the film.
The park software is written in Pascal; a program is clearly visible in one of the monitor close-ups on the UNIX system. The graphical interface recognized as a UNIX system was the experimental Silicon Graphics 3D File System Navigator. The version number of the Silicon Graphics UNIX Operating System is 4.0.5 and is visible in one of the close-ups in the operating system's shell window (command program).
In the egg-hatching scene, a new-born baby triceratops was originally supposed to come out of the egg, but it was changed to a velociraptor.
There were so many wires and rigging to control the velociraptor animatrons in the kitchen stalking scene that the child actors had to literally step over and around them while the scene was being filmed. The kitchen set was greatly expanded from the original design to accommodate the velociraptors. Some reports say that all of the dinosaurs in the kitchen scene were computer-generated.
Many errors were corrected digitally: some stunt people were made to look like the actors, and in one scene an entire Ford Explorer was digitally generated.