AN EARLY CONCEPT OF THE "RAPTORS IN THE KITCHEN" VIDEO
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Ever since 'Jurassic World' put a spotlight back on the 'Jurassic Park' franchise, things from the productions of the original films that were long buried in the depths of files, folders, and boxes have been unearthed. Scripts, storyboards, original artwork, and now a previously unseen concept video presented by Jurassic Time! Created by Stan Winston and Dennis Murren!
One of the scenes from 'Jurassic Park' that the production spent a lot of pre-planning was the famous "Raptors In The Kitchen" sequence near the climax of the film. It went through many variations as evidenced in the scripts, storyboards, and animatics. However, this newly-revealed concept video shows yet another variation on the entire sequence with a key difference that sets it apart from anything previously known.
The concept video (which Jurassic Time has enhanced with resources and added music from the 'Rick Carter's Jurassic Park' score to make it more watchable) begins with a series of storyboards that depict Dr. Alan Grant, Tim, and Lex entering the Visitor Center after they have trekked through the park. And unlike every known version of the sequence, Grant leaves them in the restaurant with a park worker who just happens to still be in there. After Grant leaves to find the others, the worker goes into the kitchen to prepare a meal for the hungry kids.
Previously unseen storyboard of a park worker meeting with Grant and the kids in the Visitor Center.
Shortly after, a raptor's shadow grazes over a mural against a restaurant wall that features its likeness. The kids retreat into the kitchen to hide. As the raptor approaches the door to the kitchen and opens it, the storyboards change into actual video footage of an unfinished raptor suit worn by John Rosengrant from Stan Winston Studios. He walks into a makeshift version of the kitchen set, using a collection of tables, real items, and even some hand-drawn representations. But he isn't alone; he is quickly joined by another raptor represented by a life-size cardboard cutout! Together, the two "raptors" stalk Tim and Lex; played by the production's Art Director John Bell and Art Department Coordinator Caroline Quinn. From here, video footage becomes intermixed with additional storyboards.
Carboard cutout raptor in foreground with raptor suit in background.
Head of the raptor suit looking toward the camera.
Lex (Caroline Quinn) and Tim (John Bell) crawling and hiding from the raptors.
Together, the two "kids" avoid the raptors by crawling around the kitchen floor between the long tables, similar to the final version of the film. However, in this version both kids climb into the cubby that is reflected against the shiny cabinetry (or in this video's case, an actual mirror is used to sell the idea) as a raptor charges into it instead of them. The kids crawl away once again, but before the raptors can make another move, the park worker enters the kitchen from the pantry where he had been preparing the kids' meal. The park worker, played by set designer John Berger, sees the raptors and drops the meal.
The park worker (John Berger) emerges from the pantry with the kids' meal in tow, surprised by the sight of the raptors.
To protect himself and the children from the raptors, the park worker grabs a pair of knives that are nearby. Unfortunately, he is no match for the teeth and claws of the raptors as they both leap on top of him! The kids watch as the park worker is maimed by the vicious dinosaurs, but then take advantage of the distraction to escape from the kitchen. Of course, the raptors spot their exit… and it is only a matter of time before they catch up to them. (It is interesting to note that the freezer is not featured at all in this concept, despite it being used in some form in all the other versions.)
Knives can't stop the raptors as the park worker meets his demise.
This storyboard/video hybrid was created by the film's art department for director Steven Spielberg to see. It is unclear exactly when in the production this was made, but a good portion of the storyboards used were from later incarnations of the sequence (while also including some that have never been seen before). The raptor suit used is also unfinished, so this may have also been a concept to show off how it looked in the sequence for feedback on any desired tweaks. It's also interesting that the pantry was once part of the set, as evidenced by blueprints that have been finding their way online; and this concept of the sequence shows why it was once included.
Section of blueprint featuring where the pantry was, beside the freezer.
Just when a fan, such as I, thinks they know all the production's ideas that were brought to the table… something like this is found! Whether one agrees with the ideas in this concept or not, it is thrilling to see yet another variation of what could have been in the film. 'Jurassic Park' had a monumental production team, and this video proves once again just how free their ideas were allowed to shape the classic film we have today.
To hear additional commentary about this video, check out Jurassic Time's conversation with Jurassic Park's art department coordinator Caroline Quinn!
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Article by Derrick Davis. This article was originally published on Jurassic Outpost on March 2021 by the author.