How George Lucas saved the production of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’
(Credit: Netflix)


How George Lucas saved the production of Steven Spielberg's 'Jurassic Park'

Jurassic Park has roared onto Netflix, bringing Steven Spielberg‘s classic dinosaur adventure to streaming audiences. The 1993 blockbuster, known for its groundbreaking visual effects and thrilling storyline, invites a new generation to experience the wonder and terror of a prehistoric theme park gone awry. Perfect for a nostalgic rewatch or first-time thrill.

In terms of the single greatest year any filmmaker has ever enjoyed in terms of success, acclaim, and adulation, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 has got to be right up there, even if he required a helping hand from his old buddy George Lucas to pull it off.

Not content with directing the highest-grossing movie in the history of cinema in the form of Jurassic Park, Spielberg also pushed the boundaries of visual effects. He broke new ground for visual effects and changed the face of the blockbuster forever, with the dinosaur classic netting three Academy Awards for its technical merits.

Spielberg worked so economically that Jurassic Park wrapped 12 days ahead of schedule despite the volume of moving parts required. This allowed him a little extra preparation time before he dived straight into Schindler’s List, with cameras rolling on the World War II historical drama three months later.

With the two schedules overlapping, the bearded trailblazer wasn’t as heavily involved in the post-production of Jurassic Park as he was in the majority of his features. However, he did spend several hours each night looking through the edit during his downtime from being on the set of his second 1993 release, which left him completely exhausted.

Schindler’s List had barely even finished filming by the time Jurassic Park exploded into cinemas, but it just so happened that Spielberg had a very close friend on standby to lend an assist. As he explained to The Hollywood Reporter, he was spreading himself exceedingly thin at the time.

I was in post on Jurassic Park. I said, ‘I think I can overlap. I can do Schindler’s List while I’m finishing Jurassic Park,'” he reasoned. Tom [Pollock] resisted that. He said, ‘Jurassic Park is a huge piece of business for this company; you can’t abandon it.’ I said, ‘Tom, I’m not going to abandon it. I’ve locked the film. All I have left to do is mix it, score it and correct the colour.” And he said, ‘Well, you can’t do that from Eastern Europe.’ And I said, ‘Yes, I can.'”

Fortunately, Spielberg knew exactly where to turn in his hour of need. “I called George. I said, ‘George, I’m in trouble. The studio’s really upset with me that I’m going to not mix Jurassic Park and go off to Europe and make Schindler’s List. Would you mix Jurassic Park?'” he continued. “I already had his mixers working on the film, so George said he’d take over. And he and Kathy Kennedy mixed the film.”

Schindler’s List would go on to win seven Oscars – including ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’ – from 12 nominations, with Lucas taking over behind the scenes on Jurassic Park. Had that not happened, then there’s the chance both productions could have turned out differently and wouldn’t have been made in such quick succession.