Actor Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant takes on a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a scene from the film 'Jurassic Pa...

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New Jurassic Park visual history reveals incredible behind-the-scenes details

A book from Insight Editions delves deep into the dinosaur saga’s history.

Murray Close/Moviepix/Getty Images

Back in November 1990, novelist Michael Crichton unleashed a little book called Jurassic Park, a sci-fi adventure centering around genetically engineered dinosaurs being resurrected for a new island theme park and the unexpected perils of messing with Mother Nature.

Over 30 years later, that initial novel has spawned a film franchise that’s delivered five installments (with a sixth in 2022) and raked in $5 billion in global box office receipts. Beyond being one of Hollywood’s most profitable properties whose legacy includes clothing, comics, toys, video games, board games, and mobile apps, it’s been instrumental in attracting dino-loving students towards scientific fields like paleontology, biology, and archaeology.

An old-fashioned Hollywood B-movie poster created by art director John Bell after Jurassic Park wrapped shooting.Insight Editions

To mark the occasion of the original Jurassic Park trilogy directed by Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston that includes Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), and Jurassic Park III (2001), a new coffee table book titled Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Visual History was recently published by Insight Editions and we’ve got a peek inside the covers to share.

Rare storyboards by Dave Lowery and Dan Sweetman outlining the famous raptor kitchen scene with Tim and Lex.Insight Editions

Inside the volume’s 256 retrospective pages, readers can indulge in every aspect of the making of this foundational trio of Jurassic Park films to discover the genesis of its adaptations and earth-shattering impact on modern pop culture.

The iconic Jurassic Park gates were designed by John Bell and inspired by Spielberg’s vision of a “King Kong”-type park entrance.Insight Editions

Written by film critic and cinema historian James Mottram, with an introduction by Laura Dern, a forward courtesy of Sam Neill, and an afterword by Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Visual History salutes the thousands of artists, writers, editors, cameramen, concept illustrators, model makers, and digital renderers that conjured primeval creatures on screen.

Check out this fun photo of Stan Winston being startled by the full-sized T. rex puppet.Insight Editions

Steven Spielberg had just come off directing Hook when he signed on to adapt Crichton’s cautionary sci-fi tale. Rampaging into theaters on June 11, 1993 with its dark version of Disney, Jurassic Park collected over $912 million worldwide in its theatrical run and special re-releases.

Animator Randal Dutra manipulates the DID armature to animate the T. rex attacking the Ford Explorer.Insight Editions

This exhaustively-researched edition represents the most detailed account of the Jurassic Park trilogy ever published. Starting with a deep dive into the pre-production process for Spielberg’s original film and sequels, the book collects never-seen archival images, storyboards, revealing behind-the-scenes stills, and exclusive interviews with many of the key visionaries involved.

A never-seen shot of the Jurassic Park stunt team testing safety harnesses for the performers caught in T. rex jaws.Insight Editions

Moving past the first film, Mottram takes readers on a jungle trek to unearth the entire history of the first three movies, from the original entry to The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III. Stomping through all-access material to unveil the creative effort behind the films, fans will also find a fun look at the wider world of the saga that’s spilled out into the marketplace.

The Lost World concept art for the Pachycephalosaurus by Crash McCreery, and designs for the destroyed vehicle from Warren Manser.Insight Editions.

More than just a Hollywood box office juggernaut, Jurassic Park was a pioneering film that introduced audiences to computer-generated effects that shockingly still hold up today 28 years later. The Academy Award-winning work of ILM and legendary special effects wizard Stan Winston conjured up cinematic magic that heralded a new era of digital filmmaking. Its breakthroughs inspired a new generation of effects-driven franchises like The Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter series, the Transformers movies, and on to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The sixth film in the Jurassic Park universe, Jurassic World: Dominion, reunites most of the original Jurassic Park cast and is slated for a 2022 release.

Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Visual History is available now at stores and online retailers.

Insight Editions
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