Video reveals secrets of a 'Jurassic Park' Spitter
Learn how animatronic-puppet gurus created the terrifyingly cute Spitter (Dilophosaurus) dinosaur that attacks the bumbling Dennis Nedry in "Jurassic Park."
Do you remember these famous last words? "Look, stick! Stick, stupid -- fetch the stick. You don't want the stick? No wonder you're extinct. I'm going to run you over when I come back down."
In the movie "Jurassic Park," shortly before his demise, computer technician Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) mutters those lines to a peculiar-looking dinosaur. A behind-the-scenes video by the legendary Stan Winston special-effects company reveals how a small team built the Dilophosaurus (known as the Spitter in pop culture) for the dinosaur thriller.
Mechanical FX designer Rick Galinson narrates the 8-minute clip (below) that kicks off by explaining how animators closely studied the movements of an ostrich, and modeled those actions for the Spitter puppet.
Creating a realistic-looking dinosaur requires a great deal of engineering: the neck features three joints that could curve and turn in a lifelike way, and the tongue contains several mechanisms -- capable of going in nearly any direction -- that could give Gene Simmons a run for his money. Galinson and crew made the two colorful neck frills out of latex rubber and support rods, and used a pulley to make it appear.
Lastly, the infamous projectile poison spit comes from a paintball mechanism that blasted out a mixture of methacyl, K-Y Jelly, and some food coloring.
You can watch the Spitter again (or for the first time) when "Jurassic Park 3D" hits theaters on April 5.