Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jurassic Park Special Effects

Jurassic Park is a classic film and was ahead of its time with the use of special effects.  Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of director Steven Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.  This film has everything dinosaurs, chase scenes, and large storms.  Twenty years later Jurassic Park is the quintessential special-effects movie.  You would think, with all that time gone by to refine the technology, that Jurassic Park would look hideously outdated, or at best charmingly quaint.  Jurassic Park is as impressive now as it was back in 1993.  In 1993 moviegoers were promised amazing dinosaurs, and if they didn’t get them, the whole edifice of Jurassic Park collapsed.  So the filmmakers had to invest as much time, energy, and money as it took to get it exactly right, because they knew they would be under the spotlight. 

Jurassic Park’s special effects contain elements of ethos, pathos, and logos.  The special effects of this film look very real and this gives the film ethos or credibility.  The special effects invoke emotion or pathos like the scene when the children are trying to hide from the dinosaurs in the kitchen.  Logos or logically if the viewer enjoyed Spielberg’s pervious films with special effects like E.T. or Jaws they would appreciate Jurassic Park.  This film’s special effects rival those of films made ten or even twenty years later. 

We live in a time when almost every movie uses computer animation or involves the use of a green screen.  In some cases the full movie is actors and actresses acting in front of a green screen and nothing is real.  “In the past, whole scenes often had to be reshot because of technical glitches. For example, if a modern building or auto appeared in a period of film, the scene had to be recut or even rephotographed. Today, such details can be removed digitally” (Special Effects 1).  During the time of Jurassic Park this technology was brand new. The filmmakers mainly relied on animatronics, some CGI, and used as many real elements in the film as possible.  “If William Shakespeare were alive today, he would be enthralled by the ability of computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create fantastic, brave new worlds, where the magical is commonplace. This digital technology, perfected in the 1990s, revolutionized special effects” (Special Effects 1).  Most of the major special effect scenes were filmed in low lighting scenarios so the viewer could not see the flaws in the CGI. 

The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park look scary and very real; this keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the movie.  The goal of the special effects artist was to help the viewer forget that they are watching a movie and convince them that dinosaurs do exist.  Jurassic Park has broken accepted rules of special effects photography by expanding upon traditional methods of character animation.

I have watched this movie many times and it provides hours of entertainment.  Jurassic Park is a prime example of what special effects are supposed to be like.  Special effects are not supposed to be noticeable, they are supposed to make components of the film more real.  So much time, energy, and money went into this film and it is apparent in the film.  This is one of Spielberg’s best special effects films.  Jurassic Park does contain all three elements of ethos, pathos, and logos. I rate the special effects of Jurassic Park five out of five slurpees.

I wanted to do another movie that could make us laugh and cry and feel good about the world. I wanted to do something else that could make us smile. This is a time when we need to smile more and Hollywood movies are supposed to do that for people in difficult times” (Steven Spielberg).


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