When 'Jurassic Park's Crew Was Rescued From A Hurricane (By The 'Indiana Jones' Pilot)
While the story of Jurassic Park concerns a big-budget venture that is very nearly completely destroyed by a devastating storm (and also, of course, a rogue I.T. guy) the production of the film very nearly mirrored its plot. While shooting the iconic blockbuster/inadvertent allegory for living in the 2020s on location in Kauaʻi, Hawaii, Steven Spielberg and company were hit by Hurricane Iniki.
The category 3 hurricane resulted in six deaths, caused more than $3 billion in damage, and is the “costliest natural disaster in Hawaiian history.” While the cast and crew were hunkered down in a hotel ballroom, fearing that they might die alongside Jeff Goldblum (not the worst way to go) Spielberg and director of photography Dean Cundey went out to shoot some footage of the storm to use in the film. Had the island been simultaneously attacked by genetically-engineered dinosaurs, they really could have amped up the realism.
Eventually they were saved, flown to safety by … well, this guy:
Not Indiana Jones, his buddy Jock, the pilot (and oddly dedicated amateur fisherman) seen at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Jock was played by Fred Sorenson, a real life pilot who was originally hired by Spielberg and producer Frank Marshall to fly them around while location scouting in Hawaii. Afterwards, they casually offered him a brief role in the movie, because that’s just how film roles were assigned in the early ‘80s.
Coincidentally, more than a decade later, it was Sorenson who ended up rescuing the Jurassic Park production while he was working for Hawaiian Air Lines. Sorenson and his crew offered their services to the Salvation Army, bringing water and blankets to Kauaʻi, and ended up running into producer Kathleen Kennedy who enlisted him to fly the Jurassic Park gang home – presumably soaring into the sunset while accompanied some majestic John Williams score.
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Top Image: Universal/Paramount Pictures