Jurassic Park's Special Effects Were More Than Just CGI

With its breath-taking special effects that were well ahead of its time and unique storyline, Jurassic Park has gone down in film history as a classic. One scene that was particularly difficult to film was the escape of the T-Rex. Surprisingly, the challenging part of this scene was creating the after shock of the T-Rex's footsteps.

Watch the full scene to refresh your memory.


The rippling water in the cups were crucial to the impact of the scene. Michael Lantieri, special effects designer on 1993's Jurassic Park explained how he created the eerie sequence. Spielberg called Lintier from his car telling him that as he was listening to Earth Wind & Fire his rearview mirror began to shake. Recounting the story, Lintier says that Spielberg said,


"That's what has to happen when the T-Rex arrives,

"As well as that, I wanna have a cup of water and I wanna have the water ripple. That's the way we're gonna see the arrival of the T-Rex."


It sounds simple enough, but making those circles in the water was no easy feat.



"What he really wanted was exact timed concentric rings, starting from the centre, moving its way out,

"So the obvious is you, you know when you throw a rock into a pond and you get that."


When the T-rex has escaped... (via Universal/Business Insider)

But this didn't work, as you could see the something go into the cup in the shot, which wasn't what Steven wanted. They kept trying, and trying with little result. One night, Lantieri was playing his guitar with his son, and put a drink on top of the guitar face and when he plucked at the strings, the water would ripple.


"So, I took a guitar string and ran it through the the cup, through the dashboard of the car, through the floorboard of the car, and tuned it, and when we plucked the string, the water began to ripple.

"When Steven saw the cup ripple, he had a big smile, and he says, 'that is now the arrival of the T-Rex'"


The film was nominated for and won three Oscars, one of which went to Lantieri and his team for visual effects. Check out Great Big Story's full video here.

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By Daan, published on 15/11/2016


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