Private Project

"Jurassic Punk"

Steve 'Spaz' Williams is a pioneer in computer animation. His digital dinosaurs of JURASSIC PARK transformed Hollywood in 1993, but an appetite for anarchy and reckless disregard for authority may have cost him the recognition he deserved.

  • Scott Leberecht
    Director
  • Scott Leberecht
    Producer
  • Steve 'Spaz' Williams
    Key Cast
    Animator, Jurassic Park
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 26 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • South by Southwest 2022
    Austin, TX
    United States
    March 14, 2022
    World Premiere
    Documentary Feature Competition
  • Sitges Film Festival 2022
    Catalunya
    Spain
    October 14, 2022
    Best Documentary Feature
Director Biography - Scott Leberecht

Scott Leberecht began his filmmaking career at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic. As a visual effects Art Director, his credits include FLUBBER, SPAWN, and Tim Burton’s SLEEPY HOLLOW. Attending the American Film Institute conservatory, he wrote and directed the award-winning films LIFE AFTER PI, UNDERDOG, NATURAL SELECTION, and MIDNIGHT SON.

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Director Statement

Growing up in Ohio, I became obsessed with movie special effects. In 1994, I landed an internship at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, and became friends with Steve ‘Spaz’ Williams. We worked together on many films, and I was surprised to hear that his personal accounts of what happened during the making of THE ABYSS, TERMINATOR 2, and JURASSIC PARK were very different from what was reported in the special effects magazines and TV shows. As Steve's colleagues corroborated his versions of what happened, I began to daydream of telling the secret story of a ‘digital revolution’ at ILM. Twenty years later, I started filming.

As I gathered interviews with my dream cast, I knew early on that Steve would stand out as the most entertaining of the lot. We remained friends over the years, so it was fun to visit with him. He would regale me with anecdotes as we unearthed mounds of archival photos and videotapes he had stored away for decades. Long days of filming inevitably led to boozy evenings and drunken shenanigans. But the party didn’t last very long. Over the course of one year, my visits stopped yielding useful footage. His marriage began to dissolve, and the boozing got out of control. When I realized that Steve may be drinking himself to death, the direction of the documentary changed.

The film went from featuring an ensemble cast recounting historical events, to a character piece about an incredibly successful man being consumed by feelings of failure. As I held onto the faith that he would eventually pull out of this deadly spiral, there was one visit in particular where I actually thought it might be the last time I would ever see him alive. Watching Steve hit rock bottom through the lens of a video camera was extraordinarily painful, but I knew it was important to tell his story– to keep filming– for better or for worse.

Six years ago when I started this journey, I wanted to reveal the unknown history of the digital revolution at ILM. But in the process of making the documentary, my storytelling evolved as I got to explore the core of the human condition and how we relate to one another. These complexities are the ones I want to explore moving forward in my next projects.