Interviews: ‘Jurassic Park’ Visual Effects Artists & Star Ariana Richards

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JurassicPark BeautyShot Interviews: Jurassic Park Visual Effects Artists & Star Ariana Richards

Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy Set” will be available on Blu-ray beginning tomorrow, October 25th. The set will include digitally restored and remastered 7.1 surround sound versions of all three films (Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III), as well as more than two hours of all-new bonus features.

Spielberg, of course, helmed the first two films and took the executive producer position on the third, which was directed by Captain America’s  Joe Johnston. However it is the original Jurassic Park which stands out as the true visual effects game-changer. At the time of its release in 1993, Jurassic Park ushered in an era in CGI where filmmakers were given the freedom and tools to believably depict purely imaginative worlds.

In preparation for the Blu-ray release we had the opportunity to speak with Ariana Richards (who played Lex in the first and second films) as well as three of the visual effects artists who helped to bring the film to life: Dennis Muren of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM); Phil Tippett of Tippett Studio; and John Rosengrant of Legacy Effects (formerly the Stan Winston Studio). Each of these men represent the three elements that combined to create the dinosaurs that inhabited Jurassic Park.

John Rosengrant worked with the prodigious artist Stan Winston on the on-set animatronic dinosaurs; Dennis Muren was hired to supervise the digital portion of the effects and Phil Tippet was originally hired to create the stop-motion animation that was to be used to depict the animals in motion. When Spielberg saw a CG animatic of the T Rex chasing a herd of Gallimimus, however, production switched to digital. Word has it that Spielberg turned to Tippet and said “You’re out of a job,” to which Tippet replied, “Don’t you mean extinct?” The stop-motion scenes were used as a template for the digital composting and Tippet Studio is now a leader in the world of computerized visual effects.

We spoke to all three gentlemen about what it was like to witness such a dramatic shift in the effects world, and how they believe the elements of practical and digital effects ought to intersect today.

Richards (who is now an artist whose work can be found on her website galleryariana) spoke to us about being a part of filmmaking history at such a young age, working with director Steven Spielberg and the famous “Lex and the T-Rex scream.”

Take a look at the interviews below.

Ariana Richards (“Lex”):

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Visual effects artists Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett and John Rosengrant:

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The Jurassic Park trilogy will be available on Blu-ray beginning October 25, 2011.

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  1. Any time I think of Ariana Richards I think of Tremors instead of Jurassic Park.

  2. I remember watching the original stop-motion footage and even though it looked cool, I’m so glad that they decided to go with the CGI. The raptor kitchen scene in stop-motion looked like a scene straight from either robocop or howard the duck

  3. JP is a great movie, The Lost World was tirrible, JP 3 was pretty good

  4. Would love to see her and timmy return to Isla nubar…for a 4th JP Movie….It could really be a reunion movie.