EntertainmentOne Of Jurassic Park's Simplest Scenes Took Over 20...

One Of Jurassic Park’s Simplest Scenes Took Over 20 Takes To Film

The scene in question was, in fact, a scene from the beginning of the film wherein Dr. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) was proposing that Dr. Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) visit a mysterious, privately owned, dinosaur-related island dig that he personally owned to get their feedback on his work and approve of the site’s safety. In the scene, Hammond popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate their potential employment, happy to gain a stamp of approval from a paleobotanist and a paleontologist. 

The scene instigates the film’s action, and presented a lot of exposition. Hammond has only to lay out a few basic plot points, and Grant and Sattler don’t yet know about the coming dinosaurs that will appear later in the film. There is nothing dramatically strenuous for the actors, and the characters merely have to listen. A scene of this nature would require little beyond mere clarity; make sure the audience knows why they’re here. Indeed, too much style in an exposition scene can distract from the story and Spielberg is too canny a filmmaker to be lost in empty style in such a fashion. Multiple takes might be needed if there was a problem on set — perhaps planes flew overhead, ruining the sound — or if the actors can’t nail the scene for some reason — perhaps someone was struck by a case of the giggles. 

This was the final scene shot for “Jurassic Park.” As soon as Spielberg announced “Cut! That’s a wrap!,” shooting on “Jurassic Park” would come to an end. Was something going horrendously wrong on the final shot? Was there a complicated reason for this final scene to carry on for as long as it did?

According to Kretchmer, the reason was far simpler: Spielberg simply didn’t want to stop shooting. Nothing was wrong. The best take was in the can. Spielberg simply didn’t want the experience to end.

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