Jurassic Park question

OK, about a week ago I saw Jurassic Park for the first time. At first I thought that despite hearing that it used CGI and animatronics I thought they were using stop motion because of how jerky some of the dinosaur was, but looking it up, sure enough, just CGI and animatronics.

But there’s one scene that I’m curious about, when Dr. Grant, Tim, and Lex (the kids) were crawling in the ducts to get away from the raptors, and Lex almost falls out, and the others are trying to pull her out, when she’s dangling, it has a stop motion, or strobe light effect in the room below, and on her as well.

Does anybody have any idea how they did that scene? Thanks.

Don’t know if it helps at all (prolly not), but that was actually a stunt double who fell through the grate. They then digitally pasted the actual actress’s face over the stunt-double’s.

I actually just re-watched Jurassic Park a few weeks ago and I don’t recall any “jerkiness”–in fact, I still think the movie has some of the implementation of CG in an action film. That aside, the film was originally going to use stop-motion technology; there’s an interesting feature on the DVD that actually shows some test footage involving the kitchen raptor scene.

That is interesting, but I’m still curious as to why it looked like she was struggling in a strobe-light room.

Yeah, I read where he was going to go with stop-motion, but then CGI provided movement more realistic than stop-motion could have provided so he went with that instead.

I haven’t seen it in a while, but doesn’t Lex knock a light out of the ceiling when she falls through the grate? That would account for the strobe light effect.

Maybe…I don’t have the movie and I can’t find that part on YouTube or Google Video to watch it again more closely.

From what I remember, they are climbing through the ceiling, she kicks a florescent light down and it’s hanging by a cord and spinning as she’s jumping up to the ceiling. I think that accounts for the lighting effect.

Two votes for a dangling light, I guess that’s it. Thanks.

It’s funny you bring this up, I just re-watched “Jurassic Park” again last weekend and was amazed at how well the effects have held up, in fact I think they’re even more realistic than most movies released today. It’s hard to believe that movie is 16 years old.

Are you me? :wink:

But yeah, it’s weird, isn’t it how a lot of modern CG stands out now much more so than in Jurassic Park. I think part of it is they knew CG’s limitations back then, whereas now it’s treated as if it doesn’t have any, which is hardly the case.

This thread just got me to rewatch that first scene with the brachiosaurus again for the first time in years. It’s one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, just a spectacular blend of acting, special effects, and one of the best main themes ever written. As someone who was inspired as a teenager to go into science by movies like “Jurassic Park,” it now holds some extra resonance as well - the wonder that Grant and Sattler display upon seeing their life’s work literally come to life in front of them is something with which I can very much empathize.

The rest of the movie has its ups and downs, quality-wise, but that first reveal of the dinosaurs is one of the great moments in cinema, as far as I’m concerned. And the visual effects still look incredible.

But they didn’t know its limitations. They were pushing so many boundaries they were in danger of overextending themselves, which is the standard operating practice for ILM. What they did do, which is now considered a cheat, is kept a lot of it set at night and in the rain to help hide some of the rough spots.

Hence knowing its limitations…

Not to mention very effectively creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.

If that’s “cheating,” I’d still take it over “we need to put this scene in broad daylight to show off our KICKASS RENDERING ENGINE” anyday.

There’re two idioms that come to mind that I learned in college:
If you can’t make it good, make it shiny.
If all else fails, have it be at night.

I just wish CSI hadn’t reasoned the same way. You’ve got bodies on autopsy tables in the morgue being examined by flashlight, ferchrissake.

Re : the rain. Wasn’t the set in Hawaii hit by a major hurricane while filming ? I think that might have something to do with it.

No, the rain was deliberate. The sequence with the T Rex vs Car was filmed on an indoor set.

I see it more as hedging their bets. But perhaps you’re right.

Why is it considered a cheat? That’s how it went down in the book. I think…

I think when he says “now” considered a cheat, he means that it’s now considered a cheat to set a scene in the dark or rain to avoid problems with CG. Not that, in hindsight, we now consider it a cheat in Jurassic Park.