Rick Carter's Jurassic Park: An Audio Drama - Part I
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
The Idea Of The Century
The owner of JURASSIC TIME and I have been good friends for close to 15 years. In that time, Derrick has worked hard to find, study, and preserve the history of the production of the JURASSIC PARK series and many of its ancillary materials. He’s collected production material from online auctions, interviews with people who worked on the production, and through collecting materials freely shared by other fans and private collectors. Perhaps most notably remembered for his work crafting an audio journey into the history of JURASSIC PARK Trespasser with his set "JURASSIC TIME," Derrick is no strangers to working with music, sound effects, and audio narration. A few months ago an idea came to Derrick. I'm glad he wrote it down:
What if... we preserved an early, unproduced version of the script to JURASSIC PARK as an audio drama?
Abracadabra... The Genie was out of the bottle... From this idea, Derrick and I began working to delve into the story of Rick Carter's version of Jurassic Park. The script, adapted from Crichton’s original script treatment, was the work of Production Designer Rick Carter and includes months of work, revisions, and meetings functioning as an intermediary step between the source (the novel and Crichton’s adaptation of it) and the final product designed by David Koepp.
It is worth mentioning that Malia Scotch Marmo did also do a revision of the script around this time but it is, over the course of the production, an outlier and doesn't seem to have contributed more to the main scripts development other than simply another set of eyes to try something else and see if it works.
For this project, we began working by creating mock ups of the opening scene, making subtle tweaks to the script to turn the script writing into a narration, and finding actors / fans to fulfill the roles. Derrick was able to reach out to many fans who we have both known and are excited to showcase them for you in the final cast we achieved! After this, I began to look through the script to figure out what sort of musical score it needed. It was apparent to us both that we should try to imagine a world where THIS was THE JURASSIC PARK we saw in theatres. What would that version sound like? What other composers--along with Williams--might have been considered? For instance, one director who vied to do the film was James Cameron and he worked very frequently with James Horner. The trailers for JURASSIC PARK also contained a lot of Hans Zimmer music and it seems apparent that this music (especially from Backdraft) was used as temp music at times in the film. With these insights, I began to work on some ideas and develop my thoughts for the score.
Reading the script, there were three ideas that stuck out to me: - Ian / Chaos - Alan & Ellie love theme / comfort & Family - Hammond / Control
Chaos The chaos motif, Ian's theme, is a collection of 6 chromatic notes leaving off on a hanging tone of uncertainty. It plays the role of showcasing danger, mystery, and chaos in action. It is the first true motif we hear in the score, heard in echoing winds then strings during the opening of the story as the worker is brought into the clinic in the First Iteration. This melodic idea plays whenever something is possibly coming apart at the seems, or the realization that things are not what they seem.
The sound of this is more alien, cold, but mysterious. It is often played on low winds in a very echoey chamber. This is to give the idea of an organic sound that is having repercussions and interacting with the environment around it to yield unexpected (read: chaotic) sounds.
Family / Comfort The next major melodic idea is the comfort / family theme which plays for Alan & Ellie. We hear this first when they are discussing the maternal behaviors of velociraptors at the digsite in the First Iteration. This comforting melody is evocative of their love and relationship (as they are Married in this version) as well as the idea of family--a story element brought out much more in the final iteration of the film.
This melody is delicate and warm, played on winds and loving strings. The opening notes are evocative of that longing love interval John Williams uses again and again in his love themes and exist in that style.
Lastly, throughout the story we have this push and pull of "Control" vs "Chaos" and their manifestations through Hammond and Ian. The control theme is melodic, proud, and triumphant. It plays the role of park theme as well, since the role of the park is to "control." The control theme is first truly heard in all its glory during the Apatosaurus sequence on the main tour in the Second Iteration. The hope with this melody was to be evocative of both “The Dinosaurs” and “The Island” themes from JURASSIC PARK and exist in that same space. Once I had a firm idea of what musical ideas would be needed and tested them out, I began to ‘spot’ the script. This means I read the script and planned what ‘spots’ in the story would require music.
Reading from a script and figuring out where these musical ideas belong is not easy and generally not done for films as so much can change in production. Since we knew that we would he producing this script “as is” for the most part, it meant I could treat this as a final product.
Next, I began to work out the first layout... (Continued on Part II)
In the mean time, check out the released parts of the story! The First Iteration: The Island Paradise
The Second Iteration: The Park Tour
The Third Iteration: The Saboteur