Spielberg’s all-time masterpiece ‘Jaws,’ is the main reason why we all feel a bit skeptic to swim alone far from the coast and the reason why we always need ‘a bigger boat’.
Jaws was an unprecedented success at the box office, but the journey to movie infamy was fraught with challenges unlike any faced before.With no CGI, with a mechanical monster and tight budget, Spielberg made “the all-time favorite blockbuster” from scratch.
Shot mostly on location on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, the film had a troubled production, going over budget and past schedule. As the art department’s mechanical sharks suffered many malfunctions, Spielberg decided to mostly suggest the animal’s presence, employing an ominous, minimalistic theme created by composer John Williams to indicate the shark’s impending appearances. Spielberg and others have compared this suggestive approach to that of classic thriller director Alfred Hitchcock. Universal Pictures gave the film what was then an exceptionally wide release for a major studio picture, over 450 screens, accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign with a heavy emphasis on television spots and tie-in merchandise.
“When I first hear the word Jaws, I just think a period of my life, when I was much younger than I am now, and because I was younger I was more courageous or more stupid, I am not sure which. So, when I think of Jaws, I think about courage and stupidity and I think and both of these things exist under water”- sSteven Spielberg.
Take a look at behind the scenes of this epic movie.
Shooting at sea led to many delays: unwanted sailboats drifted into frame, cameras got soaked, and the Orca once began to sink with the actors on board.The prop sharks frequently malfunctioned owing to a series of problems including bad weather, pneumatic hoses taking on salt water, frames fracturing due to water resistance, corroding skin, and electrolysis. From the first water test onward, the “non-absorbent” neoprene foam that made up the sharks’ skin soaked up liquid, causing the sharks to balloon, and the sea-sled model frequently got entangled among forests of seaweed.Spielberg later calculated that during the 12-hour daily work schedule, on average only four hours were actually spent filming. Gottlieb was nearly decapitated by the boat’s propellers, and Dreyfuss was almost imprisoned in the steel cage. The actors were frequently seasick. Shaw also fled to Canada whenever he could due to tax problems, engaged in binge drinking, and developed a grudge against Dreyfuss, who was getting rave reviews for his performance in Duddy Kravitz. Editor Verna Fields rarely had material to work with during principal photography, as according to Spielberg “we would shoot five scenes in a good day, three in an average day, and none in a bad day
photos /Courtesy of Moonrise Media.