REHEARSING THE BRACHIOSAURUS
Watch the Video
By Andy Schoneberg (Lead JP Brachiosaurus Artist, SWS)
You're looking at a video of the Brachiosaurus rehearsals in the shop at Stan's [Stan Winston Studio] before the Brach was packed up and taken to stage 28 at Universal [Studios]. You can see the mouth movement. It's a seven and a half foot tall puppet that included the head of course and part of the neck.
Pictured above: SWS Dinosaur artist Mark "Crash" McCreery's rendering of JP's Brachiosaurus.
CHEWING LIKE A COW
The jaw is a 4-axis jaw so it has up and down movement and side to side. The reasoning behind that was Stan wanted the Brach to appear to be as docile as possible, so one of the things that a 4-axis jaw gives you is that sort of orbital movement of the lower jaw grinding side to side which is reminiscent of a cow chewing its cud. And we thought, "Well, that certainly can't be bad." So we grabbed some vines from out in front of the building and we put them in the Brach's mouth.
Pictured above: The 4-axis Brachiosaurus jaw allowed for an orbital chewing motion reminiscent of a cow.
COORDINATING THE BRACHIOSAURUS PUPPETEERS
At this point the tongue is moving also, and the lips are moving, a little too much, but that's something you learn as you go. So it's a matter of a number of people coordinating. And I think there were six of us altogether puppeteering on the Brach. There was someone on the eyes, someone on the tongue, I was on the jaw movement. There's someone on the lips. And the big move was the neck movement. There was head movement but there was also neck movement where the whole thing could pitch forward and back.
Pictured above: The completed Brachiosaurus puppet at Stan Winston Studio.
Pictured above: The Brach & Stan Winston on set.
JURASSIC PARK'S BIGGEST NON-HYDRAULIC PUPPET
It was the largest puppet we built that had absolutely no hydraulics in it. So it was weighty and a big challenge to get to move. I got quite a workout on the jaw, making a big circular motion with this giant controller, getting everything moving and grinding properly.
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