Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Michael Crichton
(Oct 23, 1942-Nov 4, 2008)
If you know me, you know that my favorite film of all-time is Jurassic Park. Aside from Star Wars, I'd say Jurassic Park is the main reason I wanted to become a filmmaker. Steven Spielberg's directing, Stan Winston's dinosaurs, Gary Rydstrom's sound, and Dennis Muren's effects are all astounding, but Jurassic Park would be nothing had it not been for the imagination and scientific curiosity of Michael Crichton.

I remember reading the book in third grade and being absolutely scared out of my gourde. The way Mr. Crichton spelled out the science behind bringing dinosaurs back from life and his descriptions of the theropods' predatory behavior, it was very clear that these weren't monsters or mutants, but actual animals--very real, and very dangerous! I recall having to periodically glance up from the book just to remind myself that I wasn't being stalked by voracious Velociraptors through the black jungles of Isla Nublar. I haven't read as thrilling of a story since!

It's heart-breaking to hear of Mr. Crichton's sudden passing from a private struggle with cancer. Sixty-six is fairly young, and he was still very active as an author, filmmaker, and speaker. I am grateful for the amazing worlds he gave us and the way his stories would tantalize the imagination of the right side of our brains while challenging scientific assumptions of the left side of our brain. As a scientist and an artist, Michael Crichton was quite a human being, and it is the least I can do to salute him on this blog.

So for all of you artists and filmmakers out there, please take an interest in science; it will only inform and inspire your work. And for all you scientists, remember to let your imagine challenge your preconceptions about the world around you. Finally, for Mr. Crichton, thanks for the magnificent scares, sir, and please say hi to Tyrannosaurus rex for me!

Michael Crichton on Charlie Rose

Michael Crichton on Environmentalism as a Religion


Why Edward Juan? said...

I heard he passed away yesterday. cancer. sad.

btw, I voted for Xavier. 'cause I know he will use his mind force to stop prop 8.

Moro Rogers said...

I was bummed about that...When I was a little dinosaur-obsessed kid I wrote him a fan letter (a rather dopey one full of diversions and criticism) and he wrote me back (with clip art of a deinonychus.^^)

Moro Rogers said...

Crap, I meant 'digressions.' Sorry.

Michal said...

that's sad, i read a bunch of his books way back when. i think every artist should learn and branch out of what they do to explore other fields. it definitely brings in ideas.
and on a Jurassic note - we came across this guy's cube at Nick that's COVERED in Jurassic stuff, from posters and dinosaur toys, to cutouts of Jeff Goldblum. we almost took a picture for you, but the guy was in it, and he looked kinda creepy.