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  1. #1

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    Best Special Effect Film?

    In my opinion, hands down, Jurassic Park.

    Believe it or not, the first CGI effect film was first used in the 1973 film Westworld, in which the screenplay was written, and inspired by the same man who wrote the novel Jurassic Park. Can't deny that there have been many films since 1856's Oscar Rejlander, who created the world's first "trick photograph" by combining different sections of 32 negatives into a single image.

    By 1920s, came the 'Schüfftan process' and animation effects like King Kong or Mickey mouse. Light speed ahead to Star Wars, which was the third film in history to use Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), for the wireframe of the Death Star plans, and the targeting computers in the X-wings and the Millennium Falcon. Which that film still looks dated, and made in the late 70s.

    Arrives 1991, the ultimate bad*** film from James Cameron..

    ...which revolutionized the movie industry, and made a bookmark for Hollywood conventional optical effects to digital effects to mainstream audience. Actually, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker created the first ever digital effects/robot (thanks to ILM) back in 1988...

    Just when you thought the making smooth dancing robots like MJ or killer robots like T-1000. Here comes the demands of the ultimate storyteller, Steven Spielberg. Who wanted living, breathing, believable looking animals from a million of years ago to be alive in today's time.

    When Spielberg read the transcripts of Michael Chricton's upcoming novel by the same name (back in 1990). Spielberg convinced Universal Pictures to back him up to buy the full rights to this little novel called Jurassic Park. A no brainer, with dinosaurs being the number ONE most fascinating creatures/subject on Earth! Knowing it was going to be one hell of a dino-mite thrill ride of movie in the making. A dinosaur theme park gone wild, how better can it get?

    Spielberg, the man behind Jaws, E.T., Poltergeist, Indiana Jones, Twlight Zone (the movie). With science, special effects, thrills, and a adrenaline of a theme park story. It is a perfect marriage of all sorts. There's films that have done an outstanding achievements in special effects history but when one really looks back on them films that really made a difference. Jurassic Park, hands down, is the ultimate poster boy (or girl, since all the dinosaurs were females) for ILM, and movie magic.

    6 years in the making, Spielberg knew of Jurassic Park since the late 1980s when Chricton was making the novel to the transition of print, and after ILM did Terminator 2. Spielberg knew Jurassic Park was possible. ILM, didn't think so but after 2 years of study, and hard work. What came out of pressure was this...

    then came this...


    The flawlessness of Stan Winston's most realistic animatronics in film history, no one could tell what was CGI or a animatronic dinosaurs...



    The film still holds up even against films like Avatar! Empire magazine's 15th anniversary issue in 2004, judged Jurassic Park the 6th most influential film of all lifetime. In a 2010 poll, the readers of Entertainment Weekly rated Jurassic Park as the greatest summer movie of the past 20 years. In addition, many filmmakers saw Jurassic Park's use of CGI, realized that many of their projects/visions, previously thought impossible or too expensive, were now possible.

    Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey), contacted Spielberg to direct A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

    Filmmaker Werner Herzog said that from Jurassic Park, Spielberg was a "great storyteller" and that he knows how to weave special effects into coherent stories. George Lucas started to make the Star Wars prequels thanks to Jurassic Park, and Peter Jackson began to make, and believe he can make The Lord of the Rings, and King Kong...

    Jurassic Park inspired many films and documentaries since June 11, 1993.

    Did you know? Stan Winston, enthusiastic about the new technology pioneered by Jurassic Park, in which he help create the most elaborate animatronics. That Winston joined IBM and director James Cameron to form a new special effects company called Digital Domain, thanks to Jurassic Park!

    One can't deny how flawless or witness the transition of the animatronic to CGI dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and feeling when exiting the theater... Was that real or what? Even after 17 years, the film still holds up the test of time!!!






    Jurassic Park was also the first film to introduce...

    ...the first multichannel audio technology surround sound that changed film soundtrack forever! The sound was created for Jurassic Park from DTS, Inc. and investor, Spielberg. Hands down, DTS sound is the ultimate sound!

    And who wasn't terrified by this...

    Last edited by JMora; 11-18-2010 at 02:31 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    I've said it before, but do we not have an entire thread devoted to youtube videos? There is so much clutter in the entertainment forum with all these threads that are all just random youtube videos that you stumbled upon and half the threads don't have any responses. Please....just pump the brakes. Dear Lord.....
    What an idiot....

    Yeah, I do that Twitter thing.


  3. #3

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    I got to agree with Tui on this. My God man I can see posting 2 or 3 videos but almost all of the threads have like 10 you tube videos. Why??? Just wondering. What's the point?
    "Here you leave Today and enter the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Bankruptcy!"


    Maybe for once, someone will call me "Sir" without saying, "You're making a scene!"


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  4. #4

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    Yeah, every thread feels like some grand dedication or anniversary of sorts. Not every little intricate detail needs a thread of its own.

  5. #5

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    Ok, guys, chill out. This was a history of special effects and these videos were examples of techniques. Would you rather he try and describe them in text? Or just leave obscure names that no one understands? If you don't want to watch the videos, scroll past and keep reading. Otherwise, you get to learn about the history of some very amazing special effects and their influence on the industry.

    Thanks JMora for the research you put in to that post. I too have to agree with you that Jurassic Park is probably the best effects movie ever made. Even today those effects stand up.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  6. #6

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    While watching the Encore special documentary about Industrial Light & Magic documentary (ILM celebrating 35 years), Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible. ILM crew & co revealed that Jurassic Park was basically "the" pinnacle special effect film that changed cinema forever. A guilty pleasure inside me was jumping up & down =)~

    Dinosaurs Rule!!!
    Last edited by JMora; 11-18-2010 at 02:10 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    I've always been fascinated with special effects. I made a Super 8 film in high school using various practical effects. At that time we weren't cutting on computers yet.

    I will agree with Jurassic Park being one of the best effects films made. I remember seeing this film at least 3 times in the theater. I didn't look at any of the video posted here, but I have watched videos in the past on the making of Jurassic Park. When they started there was so much uncertainly if they could pull of such photo realistic CGI and even began with stop-motion animation from Phil Tippett who worked on Star Wars. Jurassic Park really took effects to the next level and showed that we were finally at the point where just about anything could be done on film.


  8. #8

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    Jurassic Park Blu Ray Expected this Year
    By: Avinash Bali | 15 Jan, 2011, 12:29PM IST

    After laying dormant for a while now, Jurassic Park is back in the news once again. First we have word of a new game, courtesy of Game Informer. And now, according to an interview conducted by French site, Ecranlarge, Jurassic Park will be out on Blu Ray this year. Details are slim but the interviewee, marketing director for Universal France claims the disc would be full of extras like never seen before behind the scenes footage, a special "making of" feature and lots more.


    HD Dino action FTW!

    In all probability Universal may also release the entire trilogy in addition to stand alone releases. Either way, this is awesome news for fans of the franchise who’ve been clamoring for some dino action in HD.

    The box set is the coolest I've seen from the collection yet. It's the Raptor transportation cage, and it will be made of steel. Each film will be a Special Edition. No official date has been announced but come June 11, it would 18 years since Jurassic Park stomped into theaters. For almost two decades, the special effects still look amazing!

    Before & After


    "Something Big Is Coming"
    ILM - Industrial Light & Magic: Creating The Impossible (2010)

    All those involved in Jurassic Park, and in the Hollywood industry all agree, with Jurassic Park.
    "The world has changed" "A Revolution"
    Last edited by JMora; 01-27-2011 at 11:03 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Best Special Effect Film?

    JP related

    Sometime ago, I wrote a article on past Universal Studios Hollywood attractions (thread is closed), and tonight I found the very article from 1994 from the LA Times that got me aware of Jurassic Park: Behind the Scenes was coming to Universal Studios Hollywood, which was a major part of the 30th Anniversary celebration of Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. Which sometimes and still confuses me as to why Universal hasn't done a anniversary of it's theme park, and studio since.

    Anyway, here's the article.
    Universal's Jurassic Park Tour Features Creatures

    March 26, 1994|DAVID WHARTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER
    At Universal Studios Hollywood, the movie lot tour is celebrating its 30th anniversary with Jurassic Park--Behind the Scenes, an extensive peek at the making of the box-office hit.

    Steven Spielberg has donated his private collection of notes, models and visual gadgetry for the exhibit, which runs through May and serves as a precursor for yet another film-based attraction, a Flintstones stage show that opens in June.

    As an opening act, Jurassic Park packs enough to entertain even industry-savvy locals. Housed in Soundstage 29, where much of the movie was filmed, it begins with the towering park gate. Smoky air and a rumbling score re-create the feel of the movie, while overhead lighting grids remind guests that this is a chance to look beyond the screen.

    "We worked with Spielberg as far as which tricks he wanted to reveal," said Don Burgess, who produced the attraction. "Steven loaned us just about everything in his warehouse."

    That includes storyboards and continuation scripts, the blueprints of filmmaking. Video monitors show everything from selected scenes--with commentary--to a discussion between the director and "Jurassic Park" author Michael Crichton.

    Even more impressive are the creatures themselves. A full-size Velociraptor stands overhead. A Brachiosaur pokes its immense head through a wall of brush. A triceratops lies on its side, breathing slowly. Later we learn that Buster, a pet dog, provided the breathing for the film's soundtrack.

    There is also a wardrobe display and a section on computer animation. In the control room, guests sit at interactive computer panels and pretend to check the dinosaur park's perimeter fences and weather forecasts.

    "We want people to get a feel for this," Burgess said, "to understand how movies are made."

    * Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City Plaza, Universal City. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. $29.95 for general admission, $23.95 for seniors and children 3-11. Parking is $6. Call: (818) 508-9600.
    For any JP fan, this was a MUST. The dinosaurs were the original audio-animatronics used in the film before they started to fall apart (nothing last for ever in movie making). It wasn't just a fun learning experience of how they made JP (interactive areas were setup too, so that guests can take on roles as Dr. Grant, Ellie, etc) but it was like you were in Jurassic Park.

    I was super bummed that Universal didn't allow people to take video or snap photos of this special exhibit. Since it was only a limited of time only, and the staff said something to do with atmosphere but I'm sure that was a scare tactic. Universal staff (dressed as JP Employees) did kick people out of the exhibit I remember for those who didn't listen after a second time of not following the rules by sneaking another photo or two, I guess they didn't see the hidden cameras, Universal wasn't fooling around.

    Here's a publicity photos of Behind the Scenes of Jurassic Park exhibit in Soundstage 29 at Universal Studios Hollywood, it was right behind Backdraft's soundstage (below)




    6 years later that very soundstage (soundstage 29) would be used for another JP film, Jurassic Park 3. As photographed below, the rock walls for the Pteranodon observatory. In 2007, Spielberg used the soundstage again for Indy's home for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (http://www.thestudiotour.com/ush/frontlot/stage29.html)


    Here's another throw back, 5 years in the making.

    You noticed they re-used the JP gates & Ford Explorer from the Behind the Scenes exhibit. In fact, that very Ford is now on the Tram Tour, all trashed and decaying =(

    Did you that the Tyrannosaurus animatronic at the climax of the ride weighs nearly a ton, and if he goes (collapses). The entire building would go down with Tyrannosaurus. Don't worry, it's the most earthquake proof building in Hollywood.

    The science behind the robotic dinosaurs of Jurassic Park The Ride.

    You're traveling down a gentle river surrounded by lush, green plants. Suddenly, a huge dinosaur rises out of the water the knocks your boat off course. As you plunge through the turbulent rapids, you notice a hungry Tyrannosaurus, member of a family, Tyrannosauridae, of bipedal carnivorous saurischian dinosaurs characterized by having strong hind limbs, a muscular tail, and short rex in hot pursuit!

    The people at Universal Studios Hollywood hope you're terrified. So do the 10 engineers who designed the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park--The Ride. They worked for five years to make the dings in the "ride" look frighteningly real.

    Of course, the dings are not real. They're robots--computer-controlled, electronic machines programmed to move like living being. How do you make a machine move like a living being? Give it a "brain," "muscles," and a "nervous system"--the same things that make it possible for living creatures to move smoothly--says Alan Levy.

    MOVE IT!

    For starters, Levy and the other engineers who worked on the Jurassic Park is a techno-thriller novel written by Michael Crichton that was published in 1990. These computer brains control the dino robots' "muscles"--just like your brain controls your muscles.

    The big difference: The dino robot muscles are made of hydraulic cylinders-fluid-filled cylinders with pistons that move when the fluid pressure in the cylinder increases. These pistons extend and bend the dinos' body parts. Pressure sensors around the cylinders and pistons detect how much fluid pressure builds up inside each cylinder and how far each piston moves. If too much fluid were to enter a cylinder, the sensors would detect the problem and warn the computer by sending an electronic signal through the dino's wires, or "nerves." The computer would then send back instructions to slow the fluid flow and tone down the pressure.

    This kind of feedback between nerves, brain, and muscles keeps you moving smoothly, too. But you're probably a lot more agile than the Jurassic Park dino robots. That's because your brain communicates with your nervous system several hundreds of times each second to coordinate your body's movement.

    Sensors in the Jurassic Park dings are not as sophisticated. They communicate with the computer "brain" 100 times each second. But the brain responds only about 30 times each second to make adjustments. Still, that's fast enough for the T-Rex to lunge realistically and frighten a boatful of thrill-seekers.

    To get a close-up view of how the dino robots' muscles and moving parts. "Parts" only include the mechanical components which does not include fuel, or any other gas or liquid. They work, take a look inside the 9-meter (30-foot) neck of the Ultrasaurus robot. You'd find a chain of hydraulic cylinders linked to each other end-to-end, like the chain of vertebrae. When oil flows into each hydraulic cylinder, the increased pressure pushes the piston at the other end. These pistons rotate "joints" that together lift or lower the Ultrasaurus' head and neck.

    With all these high-tech computers, hydraulic cylinders, and pressure sensors, you'd think the dings would be as coordinated as Olympic gymnasts, right? Well not quite!

    Just before the ride opened last summer, one Dilophosaurus developed the "shakes." The problem: Water from the ride leaked into the robot and disrupted the electrical signals running through its "nervous system." Remember: Water and electricity don't mix!

    To fix the leaky robot, says Levy, "you have to open it up, dry it out, and then reseal to close or secure tightly again, seal again; "reseal the bottle after using the medicine"
    seal, seal off - make tight; secure against leakage; "seal the windows" it."

    Engineers at Jurassic Park try to keep these problems to a minimum by making sure all the electrical wiring They also seal the dino skins by brushing on a layer of silicone--a type of plastic especially resistant to water. (You might use a similar silicone product to waterproof your winter boots.)

    ALL TOGETHER NOW!

    Engineers keep tabs on these kinds of problems--and the dinosaurs' everyday performances --with a master "show" computer. This computer, located in a control room at the center of the ride, coordinates all the dings' movements, as well as the ride's sound effects and lighting.

    A few hours before the ride opens each day, engineers start up this "mastermind. " The computer sends instructions for each dino's motions to the "brain" computers. Another computer operates all the boats in the ride. It is linked to the show computer to keep track of the location of riders' boats within the park.

    When everything runs smoothly, each time a boatful of guests enters the Jurassic Park laboratory, the lights flicker, the music swells, and a T. rex comes in for the kill . . . and thrill! COPYRIGHT 1996 Scholastic, Inc.

    Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.
    Last edited by JMora; 01-28-2011 at 01:43 AM.

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