Jurassic Park at 24: How Steven Spielberg’s Film Changed My Life

Universal Pictures

Jurassic Park was released 24 years ago on June 11, 1993 and this film changed my life as it was the one that set me on a course of wanting a filmmaking career.

I still remember the first time I watched the film in 1993 at Showcase Cinemas and how I flinched when the Tyrannosaurus Rex appeared on screen for the first time.  To this day, I still find myself either quoting the film or humming John Williams’ score.  My collection is at home but I try and watch the film once a year if I can.

A lot of people who know me would likely believe that it was Star Wars that set me on a track of wanting to go into filmmaking for a career and they would be wrong.  Sure, Star Wars would have set me on that track but it was the Spielberg thriller that would pull me towards a career in film.  I do have connections to the film with my uncle’s cousin having worked on the visual effects and I would later meet his cousin a few years ago.

Just to sit here and think how much has changed for visual effects in film is nothing short of astonishing.  I got to meet Richard Roeper last year following a screening and I saw him again the next day at another screening.  Because I had seen The Jungle Book, the visual effects were on my mind and that’s what we discussed during the elevator ride down to street level.  Without Jurassic Park, a movie such as The Jungle Book wouldn’t have been able to happen–not without technology changing the way it has.  Jurassic Park paved the way for so many franchises to hit the big screen and the Star Wars special editions in addition to the lesser liked prequels.

While things have changed over the years, my filmmaking roots haven’t.  I’ve written so many unproduced projects including a novel idea that could be described as a mix of Jurassic Park and The Hunger Games.  There may have been another film to inspire it.  Nobody will likely see it as I spent more time developing the backstory that heavily featured the transgender daughter of a politician and I was working on this back in 2010 (deeply closeted and wasn’t telling anyone because I felt so ashamed and repressed for as long as I possibly could).

I don’t know what my future holds for me as far as a filmmaking career is concerned.   I have ideas.  Oh, do I ever have ideas.  I might have a screenplay for an indie film completed by the end of the year.  We’ll see.  I’ve got some ideas from my Writing for TV/Film class that I took through The Second City Training Center.  In the meantime, when I’m not screening movies, reviewing movies, interviewing people or transcribing phone interviews, I’ll be trying to get a sitcom pilot script indie comedy feature-length screenplay (with a transgender lead) completed first and hope to submit it to festivals before eventually going into production.

Jurassic Park won all three Oscars in which the film was nominated: Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects.  They deserved all three of them.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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