Top 10 Uncredited Heroes of Jurassic Park

By Dear Cast & Crew

Mailed on April 04, 2013

Dear Undervalued Artists of Jurassic Park,

Hard to believe 20 years have passed since you all helped bring Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park to life. This action/sci-fi/horror/drama phenomenon was a landmark in blockbuster cinema and continues to be just as thrilling today in 3D as it was during the original release. So how disappointing it must have been to not have your work acknowledged in the film's final credits. Again.

Luckily, as the film tells us, life finds a way. In this case, via the Internet. So hold onto your butts, we're about to break you out of obscurity. Natural selection, be damned!

1. Dear Ron Kunecke, Night Light Operator(uncredited),
Who could ever forget that moment when Lex (Ariana Richards) is frozen in terror, shining a flashlight into the eye of a T-Rex? Seeing those monster pupils dilate is exactly the kind of detail I know you insisted upon. Thanks to you, I'll never operate a light at night the same again.

2. Dear Gary Rodriguez, Miner Who Dug Out Mosquito(uncredited),
Seriously, what are the odds? To find a mosquito, perfectly encapsulated in tree syrup so many miles beneath the earth. If you had swung that pickaxe a little to the left, there wouldn't even be a Jurassic Park. If you screw up your take, who knows how they would have made those dinosaurs. God knows convincing CGI didn't exist in '93.

3. Dear George Burns, Car Modifier (uncredited),
I'm not sure what you used as a reference point, but those poor cars never stood a chance. Chewed up by a T-Rex, pushed off the side of a cliff and slammed down prehistoric trees - the film's most memorable moments owe you a debt of gratitude. We're gonna need a bigger car.

4. Dear Scott Billups, Pre-Visualization (uncredited),
No one could have predicted how incredible this film was going to look. Well, no one but you. Somehow you managed to convince an entire team of specialists how to do the impossible - bring dinosaurs to life in a film that would stand the test of time. But you did, and it has.

5. Dear Steven R. Kutcher, Entomologist (uncredited),
Before the buzz-kill that is [modern science][6], the idea of extracting 65-million-year-old dino DNA from a mosquito sounded perfectly plausible. In fact, this concept is so brilliantly simple (and explained so wonderfully in the park's mid-tour cartoon) that we can completely suspend our disbelief for the rest of that film. You probably suspected DNA could never last that long, but why bug the filmmakers with actual science? It's still a perfectly tangible concept that seems to elevate the film beyond "science fiction" and into a cautionary tale.

6. Dear Bob Corff, Voice Teacher (uncredited),
Screaming kids is hardly anyone's idea of fun. But there's a wonderful balance in Jurassic Park of knowing when to crank up the cries for help (such as when the T-Rex attacks through the roof of the jeep), and when to simply let them breathlessly tremble (like the Jell-o scene). Coaching pre-teens how to react both authentically and without ear-shattering annoyance is no easy task, but you did a fine job.

7. Dear Ron Mendell, Lead Model Maker (uncredited),
This is one of the most obvious examples of just how old Jurassic Park is: models were still being made with lead, of all things. Maybe it was for the best that Jurassic Park paved the way towards computer graphics, since the health risks of working with lead are not worth even the most amazing—

Oh, wait—Lead Model Maker? You were the main model maker on the movie? Well, uh, good job then, because everything looked fantastic. Real or digital.

8. Dear Greg Butler, Camera Engineering Intern (uncredited),
What a time to be interning. You start a project expecting to learn cutting edge stop-motion techniques from a master like Phil Tippet, but instead wind up with a front-row seat as the entire FX industry is turned on its ear. As your subsequent Oscar-nominated career has shown, you obviously knew how to make the most of this opportunity. The student has become the teacher.

9. Dear Brian Smrz, Driver of Grant, Sattler & Malcolm's Jeep (uncredited),
I don't know if you had the easier job, or the harder one. You're the driver of the jeep that takes Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldbloom to their first glimpse of Jurassic Park's amazing creatures. On one hand, you didn't have to do much reacting to the yet-unfinished effects on location, with the been-there-done-that expression you employ as the other three pretended to stare in wonder. On the other hand, you missed what might have been your only chance to make the Spielberg Face.

10. Dear John Alvin, Poster Artist (uncredited),
I'm glad that IMDB exists so you can get your due credit, because dude, that poster is iconic. And beyond that, it's almost a character itself in the movie, that logo appearing on all manner of ready-to-sell merchandise lining the park's gift shop. It actually marks a turning point in Spielberg's career. Coming off the disastrous Hook—a critical and commercial low point—this was an early example of Spielberg bringing some self-awareness to his films, taking a shot at the tie-in friendly filmmaking for which he was known, reflecting on the idea of art (or, in the film's case, creation) as commerce. It's no coincidence that 1993 began Spielberg's second act as a more confident, self-assured artist.

Still holding on to our butts,

Dear Cast and Crew

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