SMALL DINOS CAN KILL YOU TOO
THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK introduces the Compsognathus (Compy), a chicken-sized dinosaur and the first dino to be seen in the movie in a chilling encounter with a young girl on the beach.
The Compys return for more mayhem in a later scene in which a pack of them attacks hunter Dieter Stark (Peter Stormare).
KEEPING THE ATTACK "REAL"
Although the Compys that are first seen running in the forest and jumping onto Stormare were computer animated, the actual attack on the hunter was accomplished almost entirely with practical puppets.
Pictured Above: Dieter Stark puts up a fight against a pack of hungry Compys.
DIFFERENT PUPPETS FOR DIFFERENT PERFORMANCES
Stan Winston Studio built a dozen Compy puppets, of four different types, to create the range of behaviors required in the scene.
Pictured Above: The Compys were made out of foam latex over a wire frame.
“Very often, producers will say, ‘Just make a general puppet,’” said Shane Mahan long-time SWS Supervisor and co-founder of Legacy Effects. “It costs them less to have us build one puppet that can do a handful of general things; but making a general puppet is never as good as making different puppets that can perform specific functions really well.”
Pictured Above: SWS mechanics Chris Colquhoun & Jon Dawe developed a tiny blink mechanism for the Compys.
MAKING THEM MOVE
One type of Compy puppet was attached to the actor by velcro, and rigged with a fishing line that ran to a controller. By tugging on that controller, the puppeteer created a pecking motion.
Pictured Above: Some of the Compys were attached to the vest worn beneath the actor's clothes.
Another type of Compy puppet featured high-powered magnets on its feet to adhere the puppet to the actor’s clothes, which had attracting magnets sewn into them, allowing for shots of the character grabbing Compys and pulling them off. The mechanical crew inserted springs into the magnet Compy to give it a bit of neck movement.
Pictured Above: A stunt man rehearses the attack sequence a final test.
THE HERO COMPYS
The "Hero" Compys were mechanized with servos to create full head movement, with pneumatic eye blinks and tail movement. The featured hero Compy had all the same functions, plus fully articulated arms that could grab at the actor while attacking.
Pictured Above: The featured hero Compy bites Dieter's lip - the effect made people on set cringe.
A CHILLING EFFECT
Stan Winston himself was impressed with the final effect in the movie. “Some of these puppets were very simple,” Winston said, “strings and springs, basically. But they worked beautifully. Between those simple puppets and the more mechanized ones, we were able to create this violent cacophony of Compy performance.
The scene is so chilling, it actually was listed as the 2nd most horrific death in the Jurassic Park Trilogy by Next Movie.
Excerpted from THE WINSTON EFFECT: THE ART & HISTORY OF STAN WINSTON STUDIO