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I was in high school when I read Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park and later saw the Spielberg movie of the same name. But the idea of dinosaurs roaming the modern world and humans being subject to the whim of wild creatures much more powerful than us captured my imagination.

Pictured above: A miniature John Rosengrant revealed inside the raptor suit maquette.
Pictured above: A miniature John Rosengrant revealed inside the raptor suit maquette.

Jurassic Park the movie came out in 1993, before the advent of modern full CGI movie productions. As a result, most of the dinosaurs in the movie were real. I mean, physically real. Real custom hand-made (one might say bespoke) poppets. The Raptors were actually a suit in which a man, in this case Stan Winston Studios supervisor John Rosengrant, performed the role of carnivorous dinosaur. That made scenes like the one where the Raptors are hunting the kids in the kitchen super scary. Here’s behind-the-scenes footage of the making of those Raptor Suits.

Although Stan Winston Studio created multiple raptors for JURASSIC PARK, including full-size cable-controlled puppets, half-puppets and insert legs, some Raptor shots were most efficiently captured with a man in a suit. SWS supervisor John Rosengrant was pegged as the main Raptor suit performer, with SWS concept designer Mark “Crash” McCreery also pitching in when the shot required two raptors. [Stan Winston Studios]

Dinosaur Fact: Stegosaurs lives between 150 and 155 million years ago and Velociraptors lived 71 to 75 million years ago. So Stegosaurs were as ancient to Velociraptors as Velociraptors are to humans.



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