I have to start out this article with a big thank you and a massive apology. For those of you out there who read and enjoyed my previous interviews with bloggers across the internet (Ryan Helms talking about Glory and Aiden Redmond talking about The Matrix) that was posted earlier this year and wondered why there was never a follow up. Well the excuse was that I kind of got busy with other things at the time. I’ve been holding onto this interview for near six months and then Elisabeth Rappe (writer for Film.com, and you can follow her on twitter @elisabethrappe) was so nice as to sit down and spend near an hour with me discussing her childhood memories with Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. This interview is a bit on the long side but it’s got a lot of interesting stories from her past and I hope you enjoy it.
I hope to revive this feature and who knows who or what will be next in the Movies You Love series of interviews.
Me: You wanted to talk about Jurassic Park…
Rappe: Ye. It was so hard to pick. Jurassic Park is really like anything else it’s kind of rewriting history. It’s so hard because you love Raiders, I mean everyone loves Raiders, everybody loved movies because of Raiders of the Lost Ark so it’s not that good of a story.
Me: The film came out in 1993 and at that point in my life I was 7-years-old and I saw it in the theatre. What was your experience the first time you saw it?
Rappe: We saw it in the theatre it’s one of the few movies that, because it’s weird, you remember when you’re a kid and movies just sort of burst in. You don’t remember the lead up to the movie. I don’t know if that’s your experience at all. With the Disney movies that I saw as a child I don’t remember trailers or magazines I just went into the theatre and watched the movie. Jurassic Park was one of the first ones I remember like actually knowing it was coming out seeing it in the magazines I was reading, hearing about it, seeing the trailers, seeing TV spots and just being really really really excited and we went to the theatre and it was the first movie that I had to stand in line for. We went to the mall, back then our mall theatre was the nicest theatre today you don’t want to go to the mall, and the line wrapped around the mall and that was the first time that had ever happened to me so that had underscored how much of a big deal that movie was and was going to be. It felt like we were waiting in line for a thrill ride. I remember distinctly being so excited for this movie and you’re like waiting and why aren’t the people leaving the theatre because I want to see it, getting all impatient. I was 11, so I wasn’t too much older than you.
Me: So you were basically the age of my older brother then, who came with me at the time. One thing that I remember as a child watching that movie, and I don’t know if you’re also at fault with this, is that when I look back I don’t remember the first 10 minutes of that movie. I remember the opening moment when you see the raptor being taken in, but between that moment and then them going and finally meeting Sam Neill I don’t remember those scenes at all. Did you have a similar experience trying to recall your childhood memories of the film?
Rappe: I think I remember the raptor scene and I think it was just being so excited and keyed up, sort of like you were impatient. I didn’t really know the story, I knew that they had somehow made dinosaurs, I didn’t connect it that there was going to be a park for some reason. I was thinking that the dinosaurs had been found for some reason. I remember the archaeological dig and thinking, “What does this have to do with anything? Are they going to dig a hole and the dinosaur is going to come out of the hole?” I remember just trying to fit the pieces into some mystery for some weird reason. I remember my first real distinctive memory of it, because it had to be built up and I remember thinking, “this is going to let me down.” I might’ve had that thought dimly in my head, like I’m going to get let down by this whenever these dinosaurs appear it just cannot be as cool as it is in my head and then the real distinctive one is when you see the huge panoramic when you see them in the water and everything, I don’t know if it’s a brachiosaurus some of the dinosaurs have ceased to exist in Jurassic Park. Then he grabs the tree and that is still the moment I remember and thinking to myself that movies were never going to be the same. I remember actually thinking that as a kid, this is it, they’re never going to top this and if they do I can’t even imagine it. That was just huge, that was one of the most exciting things I had ever seen on a screen. The movie up till then is kind of a blur, like, “mmmm this is okay you know.”