I like to dig deeper than just the surface level or accepted version of events. Those things that have become mythologised in “making ofs” and articles for years. The more breadth I can find in the narratives I record, the more interesting it becomes.
Now you may recognise Steve Williams’ story if you’ve seen… and I hate to say it because I dislike this show with strong feelings, The Movies That Made Us. Yes Steve, is the guy who made the T-rex skeleton against the wishes of his superiors and made sure it was seen by producer Kathleen Kennedy in the pre-production days on Jurassic Park.
This series of events changed the movie industry forever. You may say that this could have been to any number of VFX artists, and who knows how close other artists may have been to making a similar breakthrough, but this is firmly in the history of Steve Williams himself. He was that guy.
Scott Leberecht has directed Jurassic Punk, a feature-length documentary all about Steve. Warts and all.
Just a couple of weeks ago I emailed Steve after a kind friend sent his email address over. Almost immediately Steve called me on the phone. He’s great to talk with, very fun, very smart, we talked about UK sitcoms, Rugby and the fact that he’d travelled quite extensively, even to my home town… but he also carries this burden this story. The documentary is very open and honest about Steve’s issues with alcohol, his tempestuous career and seeks to shed more light on his impact on the VFX business.
There are a few swears in this conversation and I also wanted to point out that Steve misunderstood one of my questions to Scott about showing his early documentary cuts to friends… regardless of that I had a fun chat with both of these gents.
So here’s my conversation with Steve Williams (VFX artist) and Scott Leberecht (the director of the new documentary Jurassic Punk).