‘Jurassic Park’: T-Rex Nearly Killed a Crew Member
Working on a movie set can be a dangerous job. Just ask any of the countless actors and crew members who have been injured — or even killed — during the course of their work. Many of these accidents happen during stunt work.
For example, Jackie Chan cracked two vertebrae and dislocated his pelvis — ouch! — while filming Police Story. Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, was supposed to disappear in a cloud of smoke, but when the stunt went awry, Hamilton ended up with third degree burns on her hands and second degree burns on her face!
Of course, plenty of things that look dangerous on the screen are perfectly safe. They’re handled by CGI, crafty camerawork, and technological tools that can build the suspense without putting the professionals in harm’s way. One would think that would be the case for the set of Jurassic Park.
After all, there weren’t real murderous dinosaurs lurking about. Be that as it may, one crew member got the scare of his life when he was nearly killed by a T-Rex while creating the classic film.
‘Jurassic Park’ was a thrilling suspense film
Jurassic Park takes viewers on an up-close tour of a fantastical island run by a rich eccentric who wants nothing more than to bring the past to life. Using state-of-the-art technology, he creates living dinosaurs and plans to open up an amazing theme park where visitors can see these beasts in person. Before he can bring his dreams to life, however, things go wrong — in the deadliest way possible.
These days, the original Jurassic Park is considered a fun piece of retro and nostalgic entertainment. Premiering in 1993, the film’s special effects aren’t really comparable to today’s in terms of realism. For it’s time, though, Jurassic Park used cutting edge technology to bring to life an experience unlike anything moviegoers, especially those who caught the flick in theaters, had experienced before.
Many other films of the era — and, honestly, many less well-handled films that came after it — had terrible CGI effects. Jurassic Park, however, featured top-notch work to make the thrilling suspense as real as possible.
‘Jurassic Park’ has left a legacy
The star-studded Jurassic Park is a fun and nostalgia-filled film that left audiences ripe for a sequel. Films in the franchise released in 1997 and 2001 without much fanfare. More than twenty years after the original film released, the franchise saw a resurgence with Jurassic World bursting onto the scene.
In this installment, the MCU’s Chris Pratt stars as Owen. Owen works at the newly built Jurassic Park, which has been revitalized on the ruins of the former and failed endeavor. The new facilitators, however, have bigger ideas on their mind than a theme park.
They’re breeding powerful hybrid dinosaurs with the hopes of militarizing their strength and weaponizing their abilities. Predictably, this plan doesn’t go smoothly, and an escaped Indominus Rex — one of the hybrid creatures — wreaks havoc for all involved.
The film was so successful that it sparked even more sequels. In 2018, Pratt reprised his role for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and the much-anticipated Jurassic World: Dominion is in post-production with an expected release date in 2022.
A terrifying accident on ‘Jurassic Park’ left a crew member rattled
While the heart-stopping action filled the big screen, the actual set of Jurassic Park was filled with animatronic dinos brought to life with the help of CGI. In other words, the cast and crew didn’t actually have to face deadly beasts when they clocked in.
As the Stan Winston School of Character Arts explains, though, that was little solace for one crew member who found himself in the clutches of a prehistoric beast. One of the animatronic creatures has been brought to the set to test it before fitting it with skin to complete the look.
“We had to actually pull the skin on, glue it down from the inside, and sew it all up once we were there,” Alan Scott explained. The long skins required crew members to crawl inside the creature to fully secure them, and that’s when tragedy (almost) struck.
Scott remembers volunteering to do the hard part, and he warned the tech on set to keep him safe: “Don’t shut it down, and make sure nobody trips on this cord. I’m going to be inside, and if this thing moves, with all those hydraulics inside, I’m dead.”
Not long after that warning, Scott found himself trapped inside the moving beast as it powered down. Luckily, he was able to pull his arms and legs in close to his body and avoid injury. Some crew members pried the jaws open and pulled him to safety.