Spielberg parks ‘Jurassic’ under sked, budget

GOOD MORNING: Steven Spielberg wound principal photography on”Jurassic Park” yesterday–12 days under sked and considerably under budget. And it will definitely be ready for its planned June ’93 release even with Spielberg leaving in February for Poland to start “Schindler’s List,” also for Universal. Pal George Lucas will supervise the dubbing on “Park” for Spielberg … We met up with Steven yesterday at Universal’s Stage 27. That’s the same giant stage where we visited another of his creations–“Jaws.” The shark had not been cooperative that day. But believe it or not, the seven species of dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” were. So much so, said Spielberg, that of the planned 30 days in second unit, only two were used. And even though they lost one day because of Hurricane Iniki on Kauai, they didn’t suffer any damage to the irreplaceable dinos … Spielberg, in his usual, easygoing manner, reminded, “We were labeled a $ 70 million movie–even before we had a budget–the usual ‘unnamed sources’ continued to state that figure. But it was never true. The budget was $ 56 million–and we brought it in for a little less than that,” he smiled. “Jurassic” was filmed entirely on the Kauai location and Universal stages–plus the enormous Stage 16 at WB. “That’s the first movie stage I visited, when I was 15,” recalled Spielberg. “They were shooting ‘PT 109’ with Cliff Robertson. And we stayed on the set up until the moment when the Japanese destroyer sliced the PT boat in half–they made us visitors leave,” he said unhappily. But at 15 Spielberg was already making his own movies.

“HELLO, BOSS,” said actor Richard Attenborough to director Spielberg as Dickie headed for makeup. When Attenborough spotted me, he volunteered, “He (Spielberg) is the best director–and the best actor–I’ve known. He can imitate any of us–as well as them.” Whereupon Spielberg emitted a dinosaur-like roar. “I’ve been very lucky,” Spielberg said, “to have worked with two of the greatest directors as actors–Attenborough and Francois Truffaut (“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”). And (producer) Joel Silver should act more–he was great in ‘Roger Rabbit.’ ” Would Spielberg ever act? “No!” (Spielberg views Attenborough’s “Chaplin” this week) … As the next jungle setup was being readied, Wayne Knight, one of the “heavies” in “Jurassic,” was recovering from being “spat” upon by one of the dinosaurs. Makeupman Monty Westmore showed me his concoction of dinosaur spit–ugh! Westmore also worked some of the makeup magic on Spielberg’s “Hook.” And talking about “Hook,” those great sets have been carefully dismantled and stored, said Spielberg, in case Sony wants to eventually have its amusement park. What happens to the great Stan Winston dinosaurs–some of ’em 17 feet tall and 40 feet long? “They’ll rot,” said Stan. At least their outer skin will disintegrate, because they were created to be very pliable to react intricately to the more than 10 men who operated the innards. But Spielberg assured the dinosaurs could be used for another movie or–the Universal Studios parks. “Jurassic Park” will definitely be an attraction as will be “Cliffhangers”–as in movie cliffhangers. Incidentally, Spielberg insisted on calling the dinosaurs “animals” and not “creatures,” the norm for sci-fi movies. Because they don’t fly around in some unnatural way, but move as a dinosaur should/would! Spielberg credits his technical troupe, especially Dean Cundey, Mike Lantieri, Rick Carter and, of course, Winston.

“I FEEL I HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY,” said Spielberg of his movies. “And I want to go back and forth from entertainment to socially conscious movies.” That is why he is next making the Holocaust-themed “Schindler’s List” for Universal. His sked at WB is equally busy with “Pet People” (which Diane Keaton will direct) and “Plastic Man” with Brian Spicer debut-feature directing. Also the “live” action “Mr. Magoo.” And Spielberg will direct an untitled ’30s-set drama-comedy scripted by John Lee Hancock. He also plans a cartoon feature, “We’re Back,” for next Thanksgiving–and one every two years. Also 22 segs of “Sea Quest” for NBC and Judy Bloom’s “Fudge” and he would like to do a cable series on his “Amazing Stories,” which already ran 44 shows. He feels it would be as helpful for new talent as “Tales From the Crypt”… Spielberg revealed he had a two-hour talk with Bill Clinton after the Lew Wassermans’ party. “He (Clinton) spoke to me about movies–and I spoke to him about politics. Then he spoke to me about politics and I spoke to him about movies!”… There won’t be a “Roger Rabbit 2” in all likelihood, he said, because Bob Zemeckis will definitely not direct a sequel. Waxing philosophical, Spielberg lamented there are no charismatic stars like Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Myrna Loy. He recalled fondly talking with John Wayne, who told him the most important thing in any of his movies was–the script. Spielberg also warmly recalled sitting with David Lean viewing the restored “Lawrence of Arabia”–as Lean described each camera angle to Spielberg. Moments to remember for Spielberg, moviemaker and movie fan.

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