Universal Studios Parks and Resorts announced today that they are developing a new park in Frisco, Texas.
The entertainment conglomerate has purchased nearly a hundred acres of land to establish a new park and resort destination for families with children that will include rides, character interactions, and a hotel.
While there is no official word on what specific brands and characters guests will be able to encounter at the new Universal destination, based on the official concept artwork released it seems like there is a heavy emphasis on Dreamworks properties. Among them also looks to be a whole area themed to Jurassic.
Many are already speculating, especially if the park focuses on Dreamworks properties, perhaps the Jurassic section will be heavily inspired or centered around the hit Netflix show Camp Cretaceous.
Celebrate one of the most thrilling franchises of all time with this in-depth look at the making of the Jurassic World trilogy. Following the release of director Colin Trevorrow’s smash hit Jurassic World in 2015, the dinosaurs of Isla Nublar once again dominate the public imagination. Jurassic World: The Ultimate Visual History is the definitive account of the franchise – and a companion book to Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Visual History (released in 2021) – delivering a comprehensive look at the making of the first hit film as well as its thrilling sequels Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) and Jurassic World Dominion (2022). Through rare and never-before-seen imagery and exclusive interviews with key creatives, the deluxe volume explores the entire creative process, from the films’ stunning dinosaur designs to the epic location shoots and the creation of the films’ incredible visual effects.
The book also includes sections on the DreamWorks Animation animated series ‘Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous’, various games, toys, theme park attractions, and even the short film ‘Battle At Big Rock’. This is the first time any of the ‘Jurassic World’ films have received a behind-the-scenes book, which already makes it vital for this reason alone. But is it truly a “definitive account of the franchise” for this trilogy of films, or is it met with some the same (perhaps nitpicky) issues found in the previous book? Let’s have a look!
VISUAL & WRITING STYLE
Just like in the previous ‘Jurassic Park’ version, this book is visually pleasing. It’s filled with as much colorful artwork and photographs as possible. The text is neatly placed within it all, and nothing ever feels too crammed or out of place. The previous book had more going on with the borders around each page, whereas this ‘Jurassic World’ version has a more barren approach. It simply features gray tabs on the sides with gray/amber-tinged headlines for each new section. This simpler approach feels appropriate with the sleeker look of the films themselves, particularly the first ‘Jurassic World’ and its park’s design.
The writing itself is clear and precise, which is vital in stitching together different information from different sources. James Mottram, who also penned the previous book, weaves the information into a distinct fabric to tell its story.
This book includes a foreword by Bryce Dallas Howard (“Claire Dearing” in the trilogy), introduction by Colin Trevorrow (director of ‘Jurassic World’ & ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’, writer of the trilogy), preface by J.A. Bayona (director of ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’), & an afterword by Frank Marshall (producer of the trilogy). Mysteriously absent from this list is Chris Pratt, but I suppose he is too busy voicing Mario these days. These exclusive passages are great bookends for the entire presentation, with each person adding their own personal tribute. They even reveal fun information, like J.A. Bayona as he details Michael Giacchino‘s fantastic music score for ‘Fallen Kingdom’:
One of my most cherished memories from making Fallen Kingdom was working with composer Michael Giacchino. We spent hours talking about film music and listening to soundtracks. There was one specific piece of music we paid attention to: Bernard Herrmann’s work for Mysterious Island (Cy Endfield, 1962). Our common goal while venturing into the musical tapestry of our movie was expressing our love for this kind of film. When I listen to Michael’s music for Fallen Kingdom, I sense our mutual desire to travel back in time and bring back the same unparalleled fascination and heartwarming happiness that those movies gave us.
FANTASTIC COLLECTION OF IMAGES
While many of the book’s images have been revealed online over the years by various concept artists who worked on the films, it is still great to have them all cobbled together in one book as the trilogy’s history is told. Even better, there are some art and photographs that have never been seen before! Here is just a tease of what to expect!
NEW & OBSCURE INFORMATION
Making a book like this requires many sources for quotes, stories, and other information. Website articles, television interviews, Blu-Ray bonus features; everything was sifted through to collect the data. While some, maybe even a lot, of the details could be considered “old news” to people deeply invested in this trilogy’s history, it is all well-arranged while even including new details sprinkled throughout. [NOTE: I will be honest and admit I am not as familiar with the history of the ‘Jurassic World’ trilogy as I am with the ‘Jurassic Park’ trilogy, so forgive me if any of this is not truly “new”.]
For ‘Jurassic World’, some of these fun new details include Derek Connolly never having seen a ‘Jurassic Park’ movie before when he was tasked with co-writing the script with Colin Trevorrow; production designer Ed Verreaux had sent his art department team to the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood to photograph everything (including signage) to see what they wanted their fictional park to resemble; and concept artist David Lowery came up with an unused idea for a “Pteranodon Terrace” where guests traveled in glass gondolas hanging from a huge cable that stretched across a vast expanse of jungle (and included “food Frisbees” that would be shot out of the gondolas and snapped up midair by the flying reptiles.). However, one of the most exciting new details for me was a little more about the script written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver right before Trevorrow & Connolly were brought in to pen their draft.
Spielberg also wanted to revisit the idea of a hero character capable of training and commanding dinosaurs. These ideas manifested in the character Vance who, in the Jaffa/Silver draft’s opening scene, is seen jumping out of a helicopter with a pack of trained raptors and landing in a compound belonging to a Colombian drug dealer. Although [John] Sayles used the bipedal Deinonychus in his draft, Spielberg felt that the physically similar Velociraptors, first seen in Jurassic Park, would be a better fit for the role. The story also focused on a Chinese paleontologist who visits the now-open Jurassic Park with her sons. The scientist has a secret agenda, believing that the park’s owners have stolen DNA from bones she unearthed of a previously undiscovered dinosaur—the Malusaurus. The corporate side of the park is run by Whitney, a female manager who views the dinosaurs as commodities and nothing more. Inevitably, the Malusaurus created using the stolen DNA escapes from its enclosure, and Vance must use his raptors to hunt it down.
‘Fallen Kingdom’ includes interesting tidbits, such as Benjamin Lockwood originally having very little connection to John Hammond and the past of ‘Jurassic Park’; in its original draft they went from Isla Nublar to England where a small village gets destroyed by dinosaurs (until Steven Spielberg told them there was no credible way to make that journey happen); and the film’s fantastic opening sequence was originally just over a single page in the script, with Bayona fleshing it out further with an extended climax on the helicopter ladder while also adding Jurassic staples (like the pouring rain and the yellow raincoat worn by the tech that resembles Nedry’s apparel from Jurassic Park). The film’s title itself (along with the next film’s) proves to also have its own unique history:
“I wanted to call [the first film] Jurassic World. And the second one was Jurassic Earth, and then the third Jurassic Kingdom. The studio was like, ‘You can’t keep changing the title of the movie. You already did it once.’” Taking Universal’s feedback into consideration, Trevorrow decided to combine the overall franchise name with a subtitle, taking the word kingdom from his proposed third film and adding it to fallen, suggesting the decline of the dinosaurs’ domain.
Even the small section on the short film ‘Battle At Big Rock’ gets a nice detail on its inspiration: a YouTube video titled “Battle at Kruger“, in which tourists witness a water buffalo being attacked by lions and an alligator.
The section on ‘Dominion’ reveals that a scene featuring Daniella Pineda (Zia Rodriguez) had to be recast with another actor, Varada Sethu, when COVID restrictions kept her from being able to leave another production she was on; production designer Kevin Jenkins ensured that the equipment seen in BioSyn’s abandoned amber mines displayed 1990s-style Biosyn logos, a detail reminiscent of the old rivalry between the company and InGen (although I suppose footage containing it must have been cut, because I can’t seem to spot it in either version of the film); and animatronic creature effects artist John Nolan took inspiration from Frontier Developments’ 2018 video game ‘Jurassic World: Evolution’to get a better sense of the Dilophosaurus’s locomotion for the film. In fact, Nolan’s team had created a device that would allow the animatronic version of the dinosaur to travel on a dolly track with eleven puppeteers following behind it using levers, rods, and cable controls to create the dinosaur’s walk. However, Trevorrow was not happy with the result. But perhaps one of the biggest pieces of interesting information involved our favorite clone girl, Maisie.
When it came to casting the role of Maisie’s mother, Charlotte Lockwood, Trevorrow considered using digital tools to graft Isabella Sermon’s face onto a body double and age her features appropriately. However, during a casting section for the body doubles, he made a remarkable find. “I had been given a set of faces whose bone structure was similar enough to Isabella Sermon’s,” says Trevorrow. Among those faces was Irish-born Elva Trill. As Trill began reciting lines with the director, he quickly came to realize that she would be perfect as Charlotte and abandoned the digital augmentation idea. “I’ve never seen an actor come in and just grab a role by being so good,” says Trevorrow.
The section near the end of the book that details ‘Camp Cretaceous’ scored some of its own interesting details, such as the showrunner’s original plan to feature Owen Grady and Claire Dearing; there was an early version of the story where Ben doesn’t survive past Season 1; and most interestingly how the originally intended final shot of the film trilogy was instead used as the final shot for this series:
Camp Cretaceous also brought Trevorrow full circle, back to his early meetings with Steven Spielberg when he pitched the arc of the Jurassic World franchise, which would ultimately lead to dinosaurs entering our everyday lives. Specifically, the image of a child looking out his window on a suburban street and seeing a traffic jam caused by a Brachiosaurus at an intersection. “We actually ended up making that the very last shot of the entire [Camp Cretaceous] series,” says Trevorrow. “After nine years, that idea found its way back into the story.”
As usual with Insight Edition’s Visual History books, there are numerous “inserts” on certain pages that feature unique items. While some are still applied with an adhesive per the previous book, many of the inserts this time are more technically “part of the book” and not meant to be removed entirely. Some are just meant to be unfolded beyond the confines of the book’s dimensions, while a few are even in the form of actual booklets to flip through. The only real negative is that it is focused more on the first film than the rest. Here is a complete list of what you will find:
From ‘Jurassic World’: Poster art advertises Jurassic World’s Gyrosphere ride; Storyboards by David Lowery from an early iteration of Jurassic World’s evolving storyline; A map of Isla Nublar showing the island’s topography and the location of Jurassic World; Dr. Wu’s Jurassic World security pass; Concept art by Glen McIntosh for Jurassic World’s petting zoo; The sketches that Steven Spielberg drew for Colin Trevorrow to illustrate his feedback on the Indominus rex breakout sequence; A tourist map of Jurassic World highlights the theme park’s attractions; & Storyboards by Glen McIntosh for the scene in which the raptors pursue a pig in the Raptor Research Arena.
From ‘Fallen Kingdom’: Raptor movement study by Glen McIntosh; A sticker sheet featuring production design art created for the Dinosaur Protection Group; & Production design art for the jacket of Dr. Ian Malcolm’s book, God Creates Dinosaurs (not actual size).
From ‘Battle At Big Rock’: Concept Art Booklet.
From ‘Dominion’: Storyboards by Glen McIntosh for Jurassic World Dominion’s prologue scene & Malta Concept Art Booklet.
From ‘Camp Cretaceous’: Concept Art Booklet.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER?
A fan wouldn’t be a fan without needing to nitpick, right? (Don’t answer that.) Despite being mostly pleased with this book, there are still a few areas that could have been improved upon (perhaps in a revised edition, which Insight Editions have done before).
WHAT ABOUT ‘JURASSIC PARK 4’?
The opening of the book does briefly go into ‘Jurassic Park 4’ (the obvious working title before it eventually was named ‘Jurassic World’), mostly delving into some details on the John Sayles script and then eventually a little more about Jaffa/Silver’s script before Trevorrow/Connolly did their own version. But what about the rest? There were numerous versions of the film, by other writers, that were tackled in the 14 years between ‘Jurassic Park 3’ and ‘Jurassic World’. Given that it was such a long range of time where the studio kept throwing ideas around to try to make things happen, most of it shrouded in secrecy, this had been one of my most anticipated sections. Instead, it was only a few pages, and generalized.
Also, while they mention the dinosaur/human hybrids, it’s a shame that none of the wild concept art (that has been online for many years) was included at all. Perhaps they couldn’t get the rights to feature them?
Speaking of art from this period: where was John Bell‘s art? Last year’s book featured loads of art by Bell for the original trilogy, plus a tease of two pieces of artwork he did for ‘Jurassic Park 4’. And yet, this book didn’t feature any of it. This is another case where the art has been online for years, on Bell’s very own site. And there is some fantastic stuff, including his concepts for gyrospheres and even a version of the park’s map that perhaps coincided with the Jaffa/Silver script. This book even mentions Bell in the “special thanks” section, making the exclusions even more mystifying.
Look, I get it: this book can’t be 1,000 pages long like all of us die-hard fans would like it to be. Putting the complex histories of three massive films into one book is a huge undertaking (just like it was in the previous book). Still, there were some things I wish had been mentioned or visually included in this book. Because when and where else would it be, apart from random online articles & videos that eventually get buried with the rest? Perhaps that’s why some of these details were possibly missed to begin with?
Seamus Blackley, the creator of the XBOX and the ‘Lost World’-related game ‘Trespasser‘, had pitched a video game that he titled ‘Jurassic World’ (before anyone else); which would later inspire several ideas for the new film trilogy. None of this important revelation is mentioned at all (although to be fair it wasn’t publicly known until very recently). Also for ‘Jurassic World’, there is no mention of the “Stegoceratops“: a second hybrid dinosaur that was originally planned to be in the film, and even had a toy made for it!
The previous book had spent a lot more time detailing most of the different scripts for the films. This book does this at times but to a lesser degree. While it was nice to learn a little more about the Jaffa/Silver script for example, it still just grazed the surface. And since this script can’t be found anywhere online currently, a more detailed summary would have been amazing. For example, was the concept art that was shown in one of the Blu-Ray bonus features (and not in this book) of the Indominus attacking a robotic T-Rex coming out of a waterfall (ala ‘Jurassic Park: The Ride’) something from this script?
MORE LOVE FOR THE SEQUELS
This is another reoccurring issue, but it just feels like more focus is given to the first film of the trilogy (despite me just complaining I wanted more from it!) with less invested in the sequels; ‘Fallen Kingdom’ and ‘Dominion’. More details about their different scripts, more inserts related to them (A pull-out Hammond painting from ‘Fallen Kingdom’ would have been awesome!), or even the mention of certain deleted scenes we know were filmed thanks to still images (that aren’t in this book): such as Iris’s death from the Indoraptor & a dead/decayed Stegosaur that Owen and his team come across as they search for Blue on Nublar.
According to more “hush-hush” behind-the-scenes stories, we also know that ‘Fallen Kingdom’ was going to originally involve Isla Sorna, a ‘Gene Ship’ for Wu’s experiments, and more of Ian Malcolm. He was going to try and sabotage the rescue mission on the Arcadia! ‘Dominion’ was originally going to be two films that would have been filmed at the same time. But again, none of these details are brought up.
In an ideal world, each film in the series would have gotten its own book. This would have allowed much more breathing room to fully explore all these things, and more. Perhaps that is just not economically feasible anymore, even for a big franchise? Especially when, let’s be honest, the sequels in each trilogy are not as popular or well-regarded as their first entries. While a slew of die-hard fans would have clamored for a ‘Fallen Kingdom’ making-of book, for example, is it really something that would sell well? Especially now? Sometimes these sorts of “package deals” are the only way to at least get what we are able to.
SO, SHOULD I GET IT?
I think‘Jurassic World’ fans shouldabsolutely get this book. My complaints, as you’ve read, only really dwell with what isn’t in it. While the omissions are disappointing, it isn’t so egregious that it takes away from what is included. There’s a wealth of information, concept art, photographs, and nice inserts (the “concept art booklets” being my favorite) that are all woven together wonderfully. In most ways it improves upon their ‘Jurassic Park’ book, and in retrospect I may have originally been a little too critical on it. But if being a little harsh helped make this book better, well, that’s why I still felt the need to point some things out this time, too.
What I didn’t expect to feel while reading and looking through this book was how much nostalgia it gave me. The first film in this trilogy is nearly a decade old, and it’s crazy how time flies. Books like Jurassic World: The Ultimate Visual History help preserve these films beyond the screen, along with all our memories that come with them.
The feelings we had in anticipation for these films, the news as details were revealed, the organized screenings every time they came out, and the events we attended where other people obsessed with this series finally felt like they belonged. Friendships made, perhaps even hearts broken, or miraculously the bond of marriage formed. We all have our stories. And when you go through these pages, I can almost guarantee that at least one image, maybe something obscure not literally in the film that you would never expect to elicit an emotion, reminds you of a time that once was. And you remember your place in that time, and perhaps realize just how different you are now; or the same.
This trilogy, and our time in it, is over. But like everything in nature, it will evolve. And so will you.
What are some of your favorite memories related to the ‘Jurassic World’ trilogy? Did you go to a fun event, see any of the films with someone you loved, or make new friends because of it? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and may the joy you have for these films never go away!
ADDENDUM: In celebration of the release of “Jurassic World: The Ultimate Visual History”, Insight Editions presents author James Mottram in conversation with Jurassic World Animation Director/Paleoartist Glen McIntosh. Discussion moderated by Derrick Davis, Writer at Jurassic Outpost & Creator of Jurassic Time! Intro/Outro by Insight Edition’s Marketing & Publicity Strategist Amanda Hariri. Live Book Release Event via Crowdcast (10/25/22).
Several years ago, a trailer was leaked on YouTube that featured a Quetzalcoatlus wreaking havoc on a beach. After flying around, it eventually snatches a surfer on the waves, taking him into the air, then crushing him with its beak. Its then joined by another Quetzalcoatlus, as they bond for a moment before going their separate ways.
For years, this trailer confused many people. It was originally said to be for an unreleased game, but others claimed it was for a movie-pitch. The strangest thing of all was its title: ‘Jurassic World’. Was this an inspiration for the film of the same namesake, or something else entirely?
To learn the story behind this trailer, we must, appropriately, go back in time.
“Trespasser- The Lost World: Jurassic Park” was released in 1998; an early PC experience that was advertised as “the evolution of first-person 3D gaming”. You played as Anne, voiced by Minnie Driver: a woman who just wanted to go on a vacation to escape from the drama of her life. Unfortunately, Anne got more than she bargained for when her plane crash-lands on Isla Sorna. Also known as “Site B” – the abandoned island that was once used by billionaire John Parker Hammond to experiment with the extraordinary science used to recreate extinct dinosaurs. His success becomes Anne’s folly, as she must traverse through the island’s dinosaur-infested ruins alone to find any hope of rescue. Her only company are Hammond’s memoirs, voiced by Lord Richard Attenborough, that are recalled as the island’s myth becomes a reality.
Seamus Blackley produced and programmed “Trespasser”, introducing realistic environments, physics, and artificial intelligence that were ahead of its time for the gaming industry. Unfortunately, release dates and budgets were pushed, cutting off the game from reaching its intended potential. This led to an incomplete experience when it was released, ridden with technical bugs and an engine that ran sluggish on the lackluster 90’s graphic cards. It became a critical and commercial flop, despite a dedicated fan-base that was mesmerized with what the game still achieved and went on to inspire.
Thankfully, Seamus made a massive comeback in 2001 when he created Microsoft’s “XBOX” gaming system. To this day, it is the only true rival against Sony’s “Playstation”, spawning many classic games including the “Halo” series.
Then, a decade later, Seamus had the unexpected chance to revisit what he had explored with “Trespasser”. He was tasked to make a “gaming sequel” to the first three Jurassic Park films. It led to the creation of concept art, detailed documents, and even a fully-completed “pitch trailer” that was shown to executives. Sadly, the game never got made. But its remains were not left to fossilize…
Part One of the 3-part interview delves into the “Trials Of Trespasser”. Seamus goes into the details of that game’s inception, creation, and ultimate failure thanks to forces beyond his control with the studio. It’s an honest and dark look into the history of the game, but a necessary starting point to put the rest of his story in context. As he tells his story, footage of every level from the game plays to offer everyone a glimpse of the world he and his team created. Despite its flaws, it’s still impressive, even now.
In Part Two, Seamus reveals the “Origins Of Jurassic World”. What’s fascinating is that the origins of his unproduced ‘Jurassic Park’ game are also part of the origins of the ‘Jurassic World’ film series itself. Thanks to some extra sleuthing, Jurassic Time presents the game’s pitch trailer for the first time in HD, as well as some rare footage of the game’s early stages, and even some concept art. While Seamus tells it best, Steven Spielberg himself appointed him to come up with a game sequel to the original ‘Jurassic Park’ trilogy before a fourth film was truly underway. While great work was done that had been met with approval from everyone, including Spielberg when he saw the pitch trailer, its fate came before it got any further. Ownership in the company changed and focus on producing a game became dashed. Instead, the materials that had been made were carried over into the film’s production department for the fourth entry in the series. Various ideas clearly inspired the studio, including the title of the game itself: ‘Jurassic World’. Coincidence?
As a special bonus, the second part of the interview also has a brief appearance by his wife, Caroline Quinn. She was the art department coordinator for the original ‘Jurassic Park’, and she shares a brief story behind the film’s famous joke: Do-You-Think-He-Saurus! Included are several never-before-seen photographs.
The third and final part of the interview is where the gloves come off as Seamus delves into the “Remnants Of A Lost Jurassic World”. A story reel that was made of concept art from the game (featuring work by David Krentz, Iain McCaig, & Mishi McCaig) starts it off with a bang, leading into the reasons behind Seamus’s choice of the game’s protagonist: Billy Brennan from ‘Jurassic Park 3’. As pictured in all the artwork, Billy was meant to have a relationship with the raptors, and other dinosaurs, based on the same level of communication and respect that was seen in ‘Jurassic World’ with Owen and the “raptor squad”. The lead raptor also, just happens, to be “blue”. What’s awesome about the raptors in this game were that they were all feathered: an evolution of the creatures since we saw them in ‘Jurassic Park 3’, via DNA “correcting itself” on its own from generation to generation.
These revelations, and many more, can be found in the complete and extensive conversation with Seamus Blackley. While it is a shame that we never got this game, at least pieces of it lived on via the ‘Jurassic World’ trilogy. Owen’s relationship with the “raptor squad”, a prehistoric reptile attacking a surfer on the beach waves, and a Quetzalcoatlus wreaking havoc in the skies were among the many inspirations drawn from this unproduced game.
Do you still wish this game could be made today? What do you think about its connections and inspirations for the ‘Jurassic World’ trilogy? Share your thoughts below, and stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for the latest!
Rick Carter was the production designer of ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’, among many other classic films from the ‘Back To The Future’ sequels to ‘Avatar’. Now, immerse yourself in Rick’s visually-stunning mind with ESMoA’s new art exhibit: ‘TIME’.
“TIME, a project by artist and production designer Rick Carter, is an immersive collage that contemplates the concept of time. The exhibition features paintings, drawings, and collages by Carter along with photographs, movie memorabilia, and additional works by eight other artists who were invited to participate.”
Rick Carter further explains:
“Over the past five decades as an artist and film production designer, I am frequently immersed in the realizations of visual concepts. […] This experience at ESMoA provides the opportunity to explore with younger LA-based artists the legacy of my artistic career as both a painter and visual collaborator with movie directors.”
Last weekend I attended a special advance preview of the exhibit, and it was quite extraordinary to see it in person! After being a fan of his production design in films for so many years, it was unique and exhilarating to be in a representation of his vast mind. Below is a gallery that features just a taste of what this exhibit is like.
For fans of ‘Jurassic Park’, there are various interpretations by other artists that are beautiful and engaging. Such highlights include art by Jacori “Aiseborn” Perry that feature a raptor running towards the gates of ‘Jurassic Park’ and a Triceratops hatchling!
There is also a myriad of work by Rick Carter himself, of course; straight from his own production files. This includes a special area at one end of the exhibit where a portion of the wall features several key items that have never been seen before. Unique collages of Jurassic Park’s Visitor Center and pencil sketches done on napkins create an early look into what would eventually be realized on the screen. A glass case at the center of this section displays a miniature Velociraptor model created by Stan Winston’s team. This detailed creation is clearly a cherished item in Rick’s collection that everyone can appreciate.
One of the coolest things for a ‘Jurassic Park’ fan to see is the mural Rick created that is actually featured in the film’s cafe; most iconically during Richard Attenborough’s portrayal of John Hammond as he tells his ‘Petticoat Lane’ story to Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler. It was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s Guernica!
Another neat treat is an illustration of a Tyrannosaurus Rex made in 1990 (the first year of pre-production for ‘Jurassic Park’). It is credited to both Rick Carter and his daughter Amee Carter.
However, ‘Jurassic Park’ is just one of many films that Rick Carter was part of that the exhibit showcases. Other artifacts and artistic depictions include ‘Avatar’, ‘The Polar Express’, the ‘Back To The Future’ sequels, ‘Cast Away’, ‘What Lies Beneath’, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘Forrest Gump’, and a lot more. There are also more abstract and personal pieces not related to any film, including many stunning renderings of human faces.
Walking around this massive room, with art reaching all the way to its tall ceiling, you can’t help but be wonderfully overwhelmed with Rick’s vision and the representations of his entire career (so far). One of the most arresting visuals Rick himself produced for this exhibit are the faces of the four leading directors he has worked with through the years: Steven Spielberg (‘Jurassic Park’), Robert Zemeckis (‘Back To The Future’ trilogy), James Cameron (‘Avatar’), & J.J. Abrams (‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’). They almost appear to be looking down at the entire exhibit, seeing their entire worlds that Rick helped create with them.
One of the coolest features of this exhibit is the ability to have your own self-guided tour of sorts using ESMoA’s “Grid” feature! Using correlating numbers that are painted on the floor near the items they represent on the walls, you can look up each number on the Grid then select it to view a small cropped version of the artwork along with information about the specific artist and other details. There are even some fascinating sketchbooks that Rick created that you can digitally thumb through! These features are additionally informative if you somehow aren’t able to visit this exhibit in person, presenting a version of everyone’s work to be appreciated by virtually everyone. Or, as John Hammond would say, “Everyone in the world has the right to enjoy these illustrations.”
Additional artists that illustrated Rick’s mind and career are: Alex Garcia, Luke Hayes, Muraji Khalil, Dalila Paola Méndez, Helena Park, Jacori “Aiseborn” Perry, Ivan “Mr Mustart” Petrovsky, and Carlos “Kopyeson” Talavera. The creation of the exhibit itself was also a massive undertaking, as evidenced in a cool time lapse video that begins with its inception then leads up to the preview event. The exhibit was curated by Dr. Bernhard Zuenkeler.
While attending the preview event, I saw all of the talented artists and ran into some ‘Jurassic’ veterans, including: Rick Carter (of course), David Lowery (Storyboard Artist), John Bell (Art Director), & Seamus Blackley (creator of the ‘Lost World’ PC game ‘Trespasser’… and a little thing called the XBOX). Seeing this exhibit with so many of the creative leads that were involved with the extraordinary films represented will certainly be a night I will never forget!
Derrick Davis pictured above with Rick Carter and then Rick Carter & David Lowery
While ESMoA is applauded for having an online version of the exhibit accessible to everyone, I must stress just how much more incredible it is to see it all in-person! They really did “spare no expense“! This amazing freeexhibit is open from May 5th to September 17th 2022 in El Segundo, CA, USA. Be sure to plan your trip in advance for the exact location and available hours and days it is open. Also check out their various upcoming programs that include opportunities to see Rick Carter in person!
For another Rick Carter-related experience that is connected to ‘Jurassic Park’, watch Jurassic Time’s illustrated audio drama of ‘Rick Carter’s Jurassic Park’; an adaptation of Rick’s script for the film, featuring thousands of production images from the film and interviews with Rick!
Note: Some images were obtained directly from ESMoA. Special thanks to Rick Carter & Eugenia Torre. ‘Rick Carter & Select Illustrators’ and ‘Installation Shots’ are credited to Mark Knight.
Do you plan to make a trip to this exhibit? And besides the ‘Jurassic’ films, what are Rick Carter’s other films that he worked on that you also love? Share your comments below, and as always stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for the latest!
Last year, Jurassic Time unveiled ‘Rick Carter’s Jurassic Park’: an illustrated audio drama that presented an early version of ‘Jurassic Park’ through production designer Rick Carter’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s final draft screenplay. It featured the film’s original production artwork brought to life with fantastic music, sound effects, and the voice talents of enthusiastic fans.
While the production was released in February 2021, additional artwork was revealed from people who worked on the film through various outlets; including many in better quality than previously available. More would be uncovered throughout the year, thanks to a resurgence of interest in how the film was made. There was so much more material to work with that it became clear the video program had to be updated.
In February 2022, Derrick Davis (video editor & head of the project) began re-working the videos with the new materials. Such additions included Art Director John Bell‘s character designs of Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm that differed greatly in appearance compared to how they would look in the film. It should be noted that character appearances changed frequently during pre-production, creating unavoidable inconsistencies throughout the artwork. However, adding such imagery gave the videos even more authenticity and revealed more insight into the endless production ideas.
During this process, an amazing opportunity took place. Derrick was able to reach out to Rick Carter himself, who had seen the 2021 version of the illustrated audio drama! Rick was delighted with the production, and never thought something like it would have been realized from his script. Their discussions led to a recorded conversation that was then edited into two separate videos: one focusing on his script, the other an hour-long look into his career that delves into ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘AI: Artificial Intelligence’, ‘Avatar’, and other productions. More importantly, Rick explores the core of what he brings to any project he works on with his inspirational wisdom.
Both conversations now appear at the end of the production as supplemental features, perfectly cementing the entire presentation. His wonderful insight into the film’s production, his career, and his life were an emotionally fulfilling highlight.
One of the many brand-new talking points from Rick Carter explains how he ended up revising Michael Crichton’s ‘Jurassic Park’ screenplay into his own draft, and the purpose it served in the production of the film.
“Steven and all of us were having such amazing conversations as we explored where the movie could go, based upon Michael’s book. And I knew Michael Crichton through my mother, so I already knew him as a person independent of all of this. So, I knew what he was writing from his book, and the conversations with Steven, and we were developing all sorts of ideas for scenes and context that it was fine for him to do his version.
When it went to the next step, there was Malia Scotch Marmo who was brought on; and I wasn’t part of those meetings. And I knew that many of the things that we were discussing were going through Steven to her and then he was wanting to see what she would bring. But it was making it a little bit hard, as I remember, to know what to coordinate for the art department to focus on. I mean, we knew the main road attack would be there, we had the design of the Spitter, the Spitter would be there, we knew there was a raptor pen; you know, we knew certain things. But there was a whole river extravaganza, there were a lot of things that were in the book that we were still playing out and exploring.
So, I wanted to get something in front of Steven that we could use as our working document. And I started to write sort of memos that would outline scenes and I’d throw images with them, and that kind of thing. But it got to be where it almost was easier to do it as a screenplay form. And then, of course, once I entered into that I started just putting in dialogue and, you know, whatever. Or whatever I took from the book that I thought was still really good.”
Now, the final version of the program is completed. The end result is a one-of-a-kind experience that was an ultimate labor of love from everyone involved. While the debate can rage forever if this early version of the film would have been better than what we got, it is still fascinating to see it performed in such a dramatic way. It is also great to finally have an engaging way of presenting the art from those who worked on the film, instead of having it locked away or forgotten forever.
Derrick Davis & Bernard A. Kyer (the project’s sound designer & music composer) would like to thank Rick Carter and everyone in the production for bringing this dream to life and realizing the imaginations of those who worked so hard to create our cherished, classic film: ‘JURASSIC PARK’.
How exciting was it to hear brand-new conversations with the production designer of ‘Jurassic Park’? What were details that he shared that you enjoyed the most? Share your comments below, and as always stick around with Jurassic Outpost for the latest!
Join me on a lengthy and engaging discussion with David Lowery! He was the storyboard artist on the entire ‘Jurassic Park’ trilogy and the first ‘Jurassic World’ film. His talents were also part of the productions for ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’, ‘Rango’, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, ‘The Mandalorian’, and many others. Included in the interview are a myriad of David’s storyboards, with some that have never been seen before!
There are four parts to the interview, with each one focusing on a different film. The first part delves into how it all began with ‘Jurassic Park’! David explains how he got involved with the film, what it was like to shape classic sequences with Steven Spielberg, why certain scenes were cut, and a lot more! Newly-revealed storyboards show Robert Muldoon attempting to tranquilize the Tyrannosaurus Rex after it has escaped from its paddock; a scene inspired by the novel that was never filmed! There is also a drawing featured that was made by Spielberg himself!
In Part Two, David recounts his memories from working on ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’. Before the film even began, he first helped Spielberg create a new studio: DreamWorks! From there, his role expanded in the first ‘Jurassic’ sequel, working even closer with Spielberg and storyboarding many sequences, including: the thrilling Stegosaurus meeting, the terrifying trailer attack by the Tyrannosaurs, and the divisive San Diego chase (a bigger climax that was created due to pressure from the success of ‘Independence Day’ the year prior)! For the first time, we also get a look at the full storyboards for the Rex raid on the hunter camp and the raptor attack in the long grass! He also details how the film’s paleontologist advisor, Jack Horner, helped shape the look of a shot involving footprints that was left largely unfilmed!
The third part of the interview touches on ‘Jurassic Park 3’, and what it was like shifting to a different director: Joe Johnston. David remembers what it was like being at the extraordinary indoor jungle sets! He also details the challenges he and the production faced to please eager audiences with the anticipated film. The story went through many changes, with several never-before-seen storyboard sequences featuring a group of kids as they are faced with Isla Sorna’s fierce inhabitants! We also discuss the interesting change of the film’s lead dinosaur from Baryonyx to Spinosaurus; something that was evident in an early logo!
In the final part of the interview, we discuss the early storyboards David did for ‘Jurassic Park 4’, which would eventually become ‘Jurassic World’. Many of the sequences he storyboarded either didn’t make it into the film or were tweaked in various ways after he had left the project. He explains what the original opening of the film was before Colin Trevorrow came on board to direct, and it definitely sounded… interesting! Despite leaving the film during its production hiatus to work for Jon Favreau on Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ remake (leading David to eventually storyboard for the highly-praised ‘Star Wars’ Disney+ show, ‘The Mandalorian’), he was thrilled with how the film, and largely the series as whole, turned out. At the end of the interview, we are treated with a video “animatic” of David Lowery’s “Opening Montage” storyboards from the film, fan-made by BernardA. Kyer (beginning with footage from the fantastic computer game ‘Jurassic Explorer‘)! It shows a vastly expanded version of what the opening to ‘Jurassic World’ could have been!
I’d like to thank David Lowery for taking the time to reminisce about his experiences working on the ‘Jurassic’ films, and the many fantastic storyboards he created that are truly a work of art!
I hope you enjoy this multi-part interview! After watching it, what were some of your favorite stories David told? Which storyboard sequences captured your imagination the most! Share your thoughts in the comments below, and as always stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for the latest!
William Stout, whose book The Dinosaurs: A Fantastic New View of a Lost Erainspired Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, presented a “Spotlight on William Stout” panel at San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition this weekend, and we were fortunate enough to attend. During the presentation he shared some very fun insights into his work on the ‘Escape From Jurassic Park’ animated series as well as stories from his career in the art and film industries – most interestingly those from his time in the world of Jurassic Park.
William Stout’s career spans more than 50 years, and his love for dinosaurs spans even longer. He wrote and illustrated his book The Dinosaurs: A Fantastic New View of a Lost Era in order to incorporate and share new discoveries about dinosaurs’ lives and behavior.
One of his first major film credits was Conan The Barbarian, and he first met Kathleen Kennedy (producer/executive producer of the first three Jurassic Park films) in the production office of that film. Through Kennedy and other connections in the industry, his name was in conversations surrounding the production of Jurassic Park in the early 1990s. Stout was among those considered by Steven Spielberg to be the production designer for the film. Though he was very interested and thought he could’ve been perfect for the job, Spielberg later chose Rick Carter (who did an incredible job). When asked about this, Stout said:
Stout certainly would have had a very unique take on the production of Jurassic Park. He remains a huge fan despite it all.
When asked about his time working on ‘Escape From Jurassic Park’, Stout said:
The unfortunate cancellation of the series is truly a shame. It sounds incredible every time it comes up in conversation, and it seems Stout really loved working on it. The image above, according to Stout, was “inspired by zookeepers feeding Condors at the San Diego Zoo.” You can view some of his concept artwork for ‘Escape From Jurassic Park’ in the gallery below. Read our exclusive coverage of the full season one plot of ‘Escape From Jurassic Park’ here.
What do you think about these new insights and stories from William Stout? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for more Jurassic coverage from San Diego Comic-Con!
Images and concept art courtesy of William Stout. Visit his website to see his incredible Jurassic works and more!
For years, fans of ‘Jurassic Park’ have wanted an art book of the franchise’s original three films. While we have had wonderful “making of” books for both ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’ since the films were released, there was only so many of the thousands of production artwork that could have been displayed. ‘Jurassic Park 3’ never even got any form of a “behind the scenes” book at all.
The most comprehensive book about the Jurassic Park trilogy to date, Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Visual History begins with an in-depth account of the making of Spielberg’s original film, including rare and never-before-seen imagery and exclusive interviews with key creatives. Readers will then unearth the full history of the trilogy, from The Lost World: Jurassic Park to Jurassic Park III, through unprecedented access to the creative process behind the films. Fans will also find a fascinating look at the wider world of the saga, including video games, toys, comics, and more, exploring the lasting legacy of the movies and their influence on pop culture.
But after all this time, is this new book truly the “ultimate visual history”? Unfortunately, it’s not; but it is a good attempt with some beautiful new images and information thanks to the “key creatives” from the film’s production.
The book is visually pleasing, featuring Jurassic-inspired borders around the pages, filling them up with as much colorful artwork and photographs as they can. The text is neatly placed within it all, and nothing ever feels too crammed or out of place.
EXCLUSIVE INTROS/OUTROS FROM THE ORIGINAL TRIO
Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum each get their very own pages in the book to speak about the franchise from their own words. This is a nice personal touch to the book that fans will love. For example, Laura Dern recounts:
My favorite memory is going to the Amblin offices to watch Jurassic Park for the first time. We were in this small screening room, and it was just me, Steven, Jeff, and Sam. Steven’s assistant very kindly brought us popcorn, the lights went down, and we watched our movie. It’s a beautiful thing to see a movie with your filmmaker. […] You really feel the beauty of the collaboration, and there is nothing like it. And, in that moment, we realized Steven had made a world none of us had ever seen before—not even in our wildest dreams. The four of us were screaming and crying. It’s one of the great memories of my life, and to be able to share in the magic he created was really incredible.
As hoped for, there are some never-before-seen illustrations, and some that are seen in better quality than in the past. Across the board, ‘Jurassic Park”s Art Director John Bell fills this book with amazing artwork for all 3 films (most were recently seen in advance on his website). One of the new illustrations is of Dennis Nedry in his Jeep, driving during the storm toward the East Dock, thwarted by crashed machinery that blocks his path.
Storyboard Artist David Lowery also provides several new storyboards from all 3 films, including little Benjamin’s point of view in his San Diego house when the T-Rex arrives (complete with an E.T. toy reference that didn’t make it into the film, but later would in ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’).
While many stories do get recounted to drive a narrative for the book, there are plenty of bits of new information thanks to new interviews.
For ‘Jurassic Park’, several details are revealed: Spielberg’s infatuation with dinosaurs as a kid thanks to museum exhibits, lowering the budget was the reason the baby Triceratops scene was ultimately cut, John Williams expresses his delight writing the music for the Raptors, and even Spielberg’s take on there suddenly being a drop in the T-rex paddock: “There’s a T. rex [there]! [The audience isn’t] gonna notice anything else but that!“. There is also mention of how Ian Malcolm was almost cut from the film, more than once, until Jeff Goldblum auditioned for the role:
Reading lines from the novel, Goldblum, known for playing a brilliant yet troubled scientist in The Fly (1986), immediately captured Malcolm’s essence. “I watched the tape with Steven and we just went, ‘Yes!’” says Hirshenson. Jim Carrey, a few years away from his breakthrough role in 1994’s The Mask, also tried out for the part and made a strong impression. But Hirshenson instinctively knew Goldblum was perfect for Malcolm: “He just has a persona and speech pattern like nobody else . . . such a wonderful oddball!” Goldblum’s take on Malcolm was so compelling that it convinced Spielberg to keep the character. Recalls Koepp: “Steven said, ‘I know why you want to cut him. But Jeff Goldblum came in and was just reading from the book, and he was so good.’” With the actor’s distinct vocal patterns in mind, the character finally clicked for Koepp, and he wrote Malcolm back into the script: “Once I started picturing Jeff, it was easy. He’s such a distinctive actor. He was perfect for the part.”
For ‘The Lost World’, Spielberg reveals how he originally was going to do a third film where dinosaurs got off the island until he realized he likely wouldn’t do another one, which was a big reason why the climax of ‘The Lost World’ changed to San Diego’s T-Rex rampage. There is also a brief mention of why Kelly became Malcolm’s daughter instead of a student, like she was in the novel: to mirror the protection of the T-Rex’s offspring with that of Malcolm’s. But perhaps the most interesting new detail is that screenwriter David Koepp directed some second unit footage for the film, which shaped how one sequence played out due to a circumstance:
After Spielberg and the main crew returned to LA, David Koepp stayed in Kaua‘i to direct the second unit, principally shooting an early sequence where a chartered boat ferries Malcolm, Van Owen, and Carr to the island. “It was supposed to be a sequence of them landing the boat,” says Koepp. “People and equipment pour off the boat, and they have this conversation on the beach.” But on the day of the shoot, the tide changed and the boat they were filming on got stuck on a sandbar. Panicked, Koepp called Spielberg. “I remember Steven was on a plane, and I was talking to him, saying, ‘We’re stuck on a sandbar. I can’t do the landing.’ And he said, ‘Oh . . . what are you gonna do?’” On the spot, Koepp reshaped the scene so that the captain of the ship refuses to go further upriver, spooked by stories of fishermen disappearing near the island: “I kind of rewrote it on the boat as we were all sitting there.”
‘JURASSIC PARK 3′
As mentioned, ‘Jurassic Park 3’ never had a behind-the-scenes book before; so that automatically gives this book a major bonus point. While some stories and quotes are lifted directly from other sources over the years (more on that later), to finally have a compilation of the film’s history is praise alone. Unlike the old DVD bonus features, the book takes a more honest look at the film’s troubled history involving its script. In fact, David Lowery recounts how there was even a contest involved with coming up with the film’s opening sequence:
“They had a contest: Who could come up with the best opening? We all pitched some version. Nobody won the contest, which was kind of a bummer.”
The compilation of information is joined by a myriad of artwork, both new and old, which is all incredible to see finally cobbled together.
FOCUS ON SCRIPTS
While touched upon in the prior books made for ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Lost World’, this time there is a greater focus on the scriptwriting process of the film. David Koepp usually chimes in with commentary on his drafts, making the process that much more interesting to delve into. Several different drafts, in different stages, get summarized in this book for all three films, although there is one omission that is a bit puzzling (more on that later, as well).
One of the biggest standouts for the book are its various inserts, which is a staple of Insight Editions books. There are some replica prop designs throughout that are fun (but with some issues, that you will see below), beautiful character design illustrations for ‘The Lost World’, various selections of never-before-seen storyboards, a blueprint, and a lot more.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD?
The inserts are often held with an adhesive that will unfortunately leave a permanent stain on some items, whether they are removed or not.
Unfortunately, this book has inaccuracies. Some leeway must be given with the nearly 3 decades since the original film came out, for example, but there are some errors that easily would have been spotted by a fan if seen in advance. For example, it is mentioned that “Hasbro brought its relationship with Jurassic Park to an end in 2005“, which is not accurate at all. ‘Jurassic Park’ toys from the company continued in 2006, 2009, and 2013. Let alone 2015, when it took on the toys for ‘Jurassic World’ (though to be fair, one could say that is no longer ‘Jurassic Park’). Another flub is that the Stegosaurus animatronic in ‘The Lost World’ is completely out of the film when it can be seen, for multiple shots, in a cage during Sarah and Nick’s sneaking into the Hunter Camp. While it is easy for a writer unfamiliar to the franchise to make these kinds of mistakes, even with research, perhaps it should have been looked at further by people who could have averted this kind of misinformation.
While editing a book always involves “cutting the fat” out of its diet, I feel like some things should have been adapted that weren’t. For example, the biggest portion of new artwork comes mostly from John Bell and David Lowery: something NO ONE is complaining about seeing! But a countless number of artists worked on all three films, and it would have been nice to see more variety from some of the lesser-presented talent. There are also some surprising artwork omissions compared to the original books, such as no art at all for the omitted river sequence of ‘Jurassic Park’. Having key sequences like that from the film’s history not even present this time, when it was before, takes the word “ultimate” out of the equation. So don’t you dare throw away your old copies of the “Making Of” books!
This may feel personal, but I am also surprised that the widely documented (and even performed) script arranged by Rick Carter, ‘Jurassic Park”s Production Designer, which featured many storyboards as seen here, was not even brought up. While it may have been obscure or not even referenced in their files, it would have easily shown up online at the time the book was being worked on. Which brings us to…
YOU HAVE THE INTERNET… USE IT
While there is definitely new information in this book, due to whatever access they did have with people and places, it still doesn’t feel like they took full advantage of all opportunities at their disposal. Fan sites that have been around for years could have been courted with the wealth of additional materials they have procured if it wasn’t immediately available to them (many with images in high definition). It has also been known that special collections house materials from the films that could have been accessed for this book. An internet search would have likely picked up on these details easily.
Jurassic Outpost is quoted in this book numerous times for our Shelly Johnson interview, for example. It is clear they were aware of at least some parts of our site… yet we were never contacted. Had we been, and if they had seen our additional articles and interviews, they could have been greatly assisted. While we appreciate being referenced in the book, we were not fully utilized… and to their disadvantage.
The cover features a beautiful illustration by David J. Negrón that was made for the film during pre-production, featuring Grant and the kids being chased by the Tyrannosaurus Rex. It’s a striking image, and easy to see why it was used for the cover. Unfortunately, there is something very WRONG with it. The faces and even the bodies of the three humans have been photoshopped to resemble their film counterparts.
The REAL illustration features how the characters were conceived based on scripts at the time, and gave Grant the likeness of Harrison Ford due to a request that Spielberg made… which is even mentioned in this book:
Spielberg had considered [Harrison] Ford, his Indiana Jones, for the role of Grant. “I had a concept painting made featuring Grant with Timmy and Lex running toward camera, the T. rex in hot pursuit,” he says. Mulling over the possibility of casting his longtime leading man, he asked the artist to paint in Ford’s face and sent it to the actor with a copy of the script. “I know he read the script and he saw the picture,” recalls Spielberg. “And he just said . . . at this point in his life and career, this wasn’t his cup of tea.”
Now, from a marketing perspective it makes sense to perhaps touch up the image to make the characters resemble as they do in the film to better sell their product. However, the big problem here is that the same illustration is featured later in the book… in the same photoshopped form. Worst of all, it credits David J. Negrón only, and has no mention of the alterations or who did them. While it is POSSIBLE David had been contacted to do it himself, this seems rather unlikely. What we have here then is a case of art being misrepresented, and it’s a big issue. It’s like painting a smile on the Mona Lisa.
Also, why not just use another image for the cover that didn’t require any photoshop at all?
IT’S JUST NOT “ULTIMATE”
When it comes down to it, it’s hard to call this book “The Ultimate Visual History” when it isn’t. Is it a beautiful book, loaded with wonderful imagery and with plenty of details and goodies? Yes, it certainly is. Will many fans love it? Definitely. But the criticisms must be pointed out, because if they are not, these kinds of things will just keep happening. Inaccuracies can become facts, omissions can become lost to time, and not taking advantage of materials easily at your disposal is a detriment to the fans for a product like this. This book is good, but it isn’t great; which is truly unfortunate. It comes with a mild recommendation, if you can afford it at its current price point.
If anyone involved with this book sees this article, please don’t take it personally. We are passionate fans who are just passionate about these kinds of products. The Insight Editions Back To The Future book had a revised version; perhaps the same can be done for ‘Jurassic Park’? I hope it happens so these issues can be resolved, at least to some degree.
While we did NOT quite endorse this book, what do you think? If you agree, comment below. If not, don’t bother. Only joking!
One of the scenes from ‘Jurassic Park’ that the production spent a lot of pre-planning was the famous “Raptors In The Kitchen” sequence near the climax of the film. It went through many variations as evidenced in the scripts, storyboards, and animatics. However, this newly-revealed concept video shows yet another variation on the entire sequence with a key difference that sets it apart from anything previously known.
The concept video (which Jurassic Time has enhanced with resources and added music from the ‘Rick Carter’s Jurassic Park’ score to make it more watchable) begins with a series of storyboards that depict Dr. Alan Grant, Tim, and Lex entering the Visitor Center after they have trekked through the park. And unlike every known version of the sequence, Grant leaves them in the restaurant with a park worker who just happens to still be in there. After Grant leaves to find the others, the worker goes into the kitchen to prepare a meal for the hungry kids.
Shortly after, a raptor’s shadow grazes over a mural against a restaurant wall that features its likeness. The kids retreat into the kitchen to hide. As the raptor approaches the door to the kitchen and opens it, the storyboards change into actual video footage of an unfinished raptor suit worn by John Rosengrant from Stan Winston Studios. He walks into a makeshift version of the kitchen set, using a collection of tables, real items, and even some hand-drawn representations. But he isn’t alone; he is quickly joined by another raptor represented by a life-size cardboard cutout! Together, the two “raptors” stalk Tim and Lex; played by the production’s Art Director John Bell and Art Department Coordinator Caroline Quinn. From here, video footage becomes intermixed with additional storyboards.
Together, the two “kids” avoid the raptors by crawling around the kitchen floor between the long tables, similar to the final version of the film. However, in this version both kids climb into the cubby that is reflected against the shiny cabinetry (or in this video’s case, an actual mirror is used to sell the idea) as a raptor charges into it instead of them. The kids crawl away once again, but before the raptors can make another move, the park worker enters the kitchen from the pantry where he had been preparing the kids’ meal. The park worker, played by set designer John Berger, sees the raptors and drops the meal.
To protect himself and the children from the raptors, the park worker grabs a pair of knives that are nearby. Unfortunately, he is no match for the teeth and claws of the raptors as they both leap on top of him! The kids watch as the park worker is maimed by the vicious dinosaurs, but then take advantage of the distraction to escape from the kitchen. Of course, the raptors spot their exit… and it is only a matter of time before they catch up to them. (It is interesting to note that the freezer is not featured at all in this concept, despite it being used in some form in all the other versions.)
This storyboard/video hybrid was created by the film’s art department for director Steven Spielberg to see. It is unclear exactly when in the production this was made, but a good portion of the storyboards used were from later incarnations of the sequence (while also including some that have never been seen before). The raptor suit used is also unfinished, so this may have also been a concept to show off how it looked in the sequence for feedback on any desired tweaks. It’s also interesting that the pantry was once part of the set, as evidenced by blueprints that have been finding their way online; and this concept of the sequence shows why it was once included.
Just when a fan, such as I, thinks they know all the production’s ideas that were brought to the table… something like this is found! Whether one agrees with the ideas in this concept or not, it is thrilling to see yet another variation of what could have been in the film. ‘Jurassic Park’ had a monumental production team, and this video proves once again just how free their ideas were allowed to shape the classic film we have today.
Be sure to also check out Jurassic Time‘s illustrated audio drama series, Rick Carter’s Jurassic Park, that explores an entirely different version of the film as envisioned by its production designer!
What do you think of this concept video? Do you think this would have been a better version of the sequence? Just who was this park worker? Share your comments down below!
RICK CARTER’S ‘JURASSIC PARK’ was an epic project born out of the dire 2020 pandemic lockdown. Author Derrick Davis, the creator of JURASSIC TIME and writer at JURASSIC OUTPOST, had acquired many rare and previously unseen selections of concept art, storyboards, scripts, and other materials related to the original ‘Jurassic Park’. One of the most interesting items he acquired was a unique script that had many elements that would eventually be scrapped, but would also shape the final film, and beyond.
“I was brought onto ‘Jurassic Park’ about two years before we finally started shooting […] On most shows, the production designer is brought in and handed a script and asked to visualize it. Not so on this one. I was in on many early meetings with Steven where we would break down the scenes in the book and discuss which ones would work best for the film.”
In the beginning, Michael Crichton had provided severaldrafts of the screenplay for his novel before passing the pen to whoever would take a crack at future drafts. Director Steven Spielberg went on to film ‘HOOK’, as Jurassic Park’s production team continued to work.
“While Spielberg was doing ‘HOOK’, I would go to him with all these different ideas of how to make things work. It was a very managed production.”
“After our last script meetings, I began collecting together my notes. I realized that the only way for me to see how the ideas might actually play out in the story was for me to “collage” them into Michael’s latest script. Well, one thing led to another and I found myself going through the entire story.”
Out of all the scripts written for ‘Jurassic Park’, Carter’s version is perhaps the most interesting. It includes the early process of making John Hammond a more sympathetic character, the sick triceratops replacing the sick stegosaurus, and other changes from Crichton that will feel more familiar to how the film ended up. At the same time, the script introduces some interesting changes that would not carry over. This includes using the opening of the novel at the Costa Rican clinic, a condensed version of the river sequence, the removal of Donald Gennaro, Hammond’s idea of recruiting Grant and Sattler to work at the park, the discovery of a raptor den secretly nestled far beyond their pen, trees that are deforested by the giant dinosaurs, and the inclusion of lava fields. There’s even an umbrella designed to look like a “spitter” that is used as a distraction against a velociraptor; an idea similarly used in ‘Jurassic World’.
It’s not every day that a production designer writes a screenplay to get his ideas across in order to make the film a success. But Rick Carter was a special production designer. While his version of the script would not end up being used for the film, it wasn’t his intent anyway. He simply wanted the best way to further continue the production progress of ‘Jurassic Park’, and he felt altering the script was the best way to do it.
But what if it had been made? What would it have been like? Would it have felt just as grand, just engaging, and just as memorable? Or would it have had its own unique flavor that no one else could have concocted?
After nearly 30 years since it had been written, Derrick Davis had discovered the script and wanted to know the answers to all of those questions. He decided the best way to experience this early version of the film was to bring it to life. This led to him teaming up with another fan of the franchise, music composer Bernard A. Kyer. Derrick presented him with the idea of creating an audio drama experience from the script. He would do this by using concept art, storyboards, and other official artwork to illustrate it; many of which had never been seen before. Bernard took the script and adjusted it to flow in this format, while Derrick went to several fans of ‘Jurassic Park’ that could perform various roles, including himself as Tim Murphy and John Hammond.
Within almost a year’s time, Bernard assembled all the character performances while providing the script narration and additional voices, such as Dennis Nedry. The process included mixing a vast library of sound effects, many obtained from the film itself to instill further authenticity. Once that was completed, he composed a fantastic music score to bring it all to life; inspired not only by John Williams but other composers like Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, and Danny Elfman.
After the audio was completed, Derrick assembled all the artwork he could find to match what was described, while enhancing it for high definition. Despite obtaining rare materials for years, including an entire binder of storyboards from ‘Dinosaur Supervisor’ Phil Tippett‘s collection, there was still much more that he needed. One of the people he had been in contact with over the years that had a great source for artwork and storyboards from the film was fellow collector and fan Astríd Vega of The Jurassic Park Collection and its YouTube channel. Derrick had shared and discussed the Rick Carter script with her long ago, and had even offered her various voice roles in an earlier-proposed version of the audio drama. Tragically, Astríd passed away in May of 2019… almost a year since Derrick had finally met her in-person at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Event in May of 2018. Without her collection that she had shared, large portions of the video for this audio drama would not have been possible. The production is dedicated in her memory.
Despite amassing quite a collection of original and official materials, there was still a need for additional artwork. This task was completed by fellow fan and artist Felipe Humboldt. Felipe created several character sketches and scenic paintings based on descriptions in the script, which sometimes differed greatly from how they ended up in the final film. It should also be noted that character appearances changed even during the process of the original production itself, creating unavoidable inconsistencies throughout. Felipe also illustrated some additional moments from the script where no official artwork existed or could be found.
The end result is a one-of-a-kind experience that was an ultimate labor of love from everyone involved. While the debate can rage forever if this early version of the film would have been better than what we got, it is still fascinating to see it performed in such a dramatic way. It is also great to finally have an engaging way of presenting the art from those who worked on the film, such as Art Director John Bell, instead of having it locked away or forgotten forever.
Derrick Davis thanks everyone in the production for bringing his dream to life and realizing the imaginations of those who worked so hard to create our cherished, classic film: ‘JURASSIC PARK’.
Learn more about Bernard’s process of crafting the sound design and music score for the illustrated audio drama by checking out eachofhisfour in-depth articles from his site. Be sure to also hear Bernard’s album release of his music score for the project!