How the film "Jaws" was filmed: footage from the filming and 25 interesting facts about the film (31 photos)

Category: Movie, Facts, PEGI 16
22 April 2024

The film "Jaws" became the standard for films of this genre, and that same pumping music became so recognizable that it was repeatedly parodied in other films. Therefore, today I would like to tell you about how the cult film “Jaws” was filmed, and also show you interesting footage from the filming of this masterpiece.

1. It all started back in 1974, when writer and screenwriter Peter Benchley wrote the novel Jaws. The book literally became a worldwide hit overnight, which is why famous film studios, sensing the smell of money, immediately rushed to buy the rights to film the work.

But the famous film company “Universal” won this race, which acquired the rights to the film adaptation. Well, as you understand, the studio bosses never regretted it.

2. Karl Gottlieb was invited as a screenwriter. But he did not work alone, but in collaboration with the author of the book, Peter Benchley. By the way, Peter Benchley himself even played a small role in the film.

But the young but ambitious Steven Spielberg, who had only a few short films and television films, as well as a couple of episodes of the cult TV series “Columbo,” was hired as director.

But not all studio bosses were kind to Spielberg's candidacy. They did not yet know that a real genius was standing in front of them, so the candidacy of an inexperienced short film director raised questions among them. Of course, they can also be understood, because they wanted to see someone more eminent and experienced in the director’s chair. Still, the budget at that time was not so small.

Although, it is worth noting that at that time Steven Spielberg already had such a famous film “Like a Duel” in his collection, which was recognized as one of the best road films.

3. Studio bosses wanted Clint Eastwood to play Sheriff Brody. Clint would not have been averse to starring in such a film, but at that time he had already signed a contract with another studio and was already preparing for filming. Therefore, he had to refuse this offer.

But the author of the book himself wanted to see actor Robert Redford in the title role. Redford even agreed to the role, but was unable to take part due to filming in another film. And his proposal to postpone the filming of the film to another time was refused.

Various actors auditioned for this role, but in the end the role went to Roy Scheider, whose candidacy was also approved by Steven Spielberg.

4. Initially, studio bosses wanted to film overwater scenes in pavilions with swimming pools. But Steven Spielberg himself refused artificial filming, arguing that the film simply had to be shot on location, that is, in the real ocean.

According to him, only a real ocean could convey the entire atmosphere of the film, and the studio bosses simply did not understand this. But in the end, the bosses gave in and filming was moved to the ocean.

5. Due to the fact that instead of pavilions, water scenes were filmed in a real ocean, the filming time had to be greatly increased. As a result, instead of spending just under 2 months on filming, the film was shot over 6 months.

It's all due to weather conditions. Due to frequent storms, heavy rains and high clouds, filming had to be stopped for several days, because according to the script, the weather should be extremely dry and sunny.

Such a strong stretching of the filming process drove the directors crazy. they were even thinking about blacklisting Spielberg. But fortunately, everything worked out.

6. Initially, they wanted to shoot the film somewhere in California, but when city administrations found out that filmmakers were going to make a film about a killer shark, they immediately refused to allow them to film. The fact is that they were afraid that because of this film they would lose tourists.

If officials had known then that this film would be a hit, they would have greeted the filmmakers with bread and salt. Well, of course. Personally, I would love to visit the place where the movie "Jaws" was filmed.

As a result, the filming location was the island of Martha's Vineyard, which belongs to the state of Massachusetts. Well, the role of the fictional city of Enity was played by the small town of Edgar Town with a population of about 4,000 people.

7. The house in which Sheriff Brody and his family lived was rented from a nice couple. And when the film became successful and popular, this same couple decided to sell their famous house. Moreover, they sold this very house at three times the standard market price.

8. Remember the first scene of the shark attacking the girl? According to the plot, it happened at night. But when the film crew tried to film scenes in the dark, nothing good came of it.

Then Spielberg decided to go a different route. This scene was filmed during the day, and already at the editing stage it was darkened to show the dark time of day.

The role of the girl herself, named Christina, was played by stuntwoman and actress Susan Backline. Two cables were attached to the girl, which were pulled by two divers, imitating the actions of a shark.

But the girl’s cries for help and underwater screams were added already at the editing stage.

But the drunken friend of that same girl, who fell head over heels, was filmed not on the same day, but the next. and separately.

9. The original plan was to make a disfigured mannequin that would play the role of the corpse of the shark’s first victim. But in the end, the creators decided that this was too much and made do with showing the protruding hand.

10. Most of the underwater scenes were filmed not in a real body of water, but in a pool that was located on the pavilion. If necessary, fake blood was poured into it.

11. When the movie "Jaws" became a hit, many scammers began organizing boat excursions to the filming locations of the film. But in fact, they took naive tourists to completely random places that had nothing to do with filming.

12. When talking about the movie “Jaws,” it’s simply impossible not to remember the iconic musical theme of the approaching shark. This musical theme was written by the famous film composer John Williams, who was already known for the musical themes for the films “Jane Eyre”, “The Sugarland Express”, “How to Steal a Million”, etc.

But the most surprising thing is that initially no one really liked this very topic. Then Williams asked to put this music on underwater footage from the shark's point of view. Only after this did everyone (especially Spielberg) realize that this music was simply perfect for the film. But thanks to this music, the film even received the coveted Oscar.

Steven Spielberg fools around during the filming of Jaws

And a few years later, John Williams would become a composer for such cult films (and even franchises) as “Star Wars” (yes, that same musical theme is his creation), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (another Spielberg film), “Indiana Jones” ( also Spielberg), “Home Alone”, “Harry Potter”, etc.

13. Remember the moment when Quint, in order to attract attention at the meeting, drags his fingernails along the board, making a nasty sound? This idea came to Spielberg right during the filming of this scene, completely by accident. But later this scene was parodied in a huge number of films.

14. In the scene when the grief-stricken mother slapped Sheriff Brody in the face, the actress slightly overdid it and slapped Roy Scheider in full. After this, Spielberg even joked that there would be no more takes, otherwise Roy would have to be taken to the dentist.

15. In order to find people who would create the shark itself, production designer John Alvis had to visit several dozen different studios. But everywhere he was refused, since no one could create such a huge fake shark.

Then John came up with the idea of turning to retired special effects artist Bob Mattie, who once upon a time created the octopus for the film “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” And in the end, Bob managed to do the impossible, namely, create a large model of a shark, which other studios refused to do. This is how the pensioner outdid everyone.

Naturally, Bob Matty was not alone. He created his shark in a team of seven people. In total, it took the team about 4 months to create the shark.

Moreover, one group worked on the appearance of the shark, while the other worked on the insides of the monster. Also, a special pneumatic drive was installed inside the shark, with the help of which the shark was driven (or rather, its jaws).

16. In total, 3 sharks were created. The main shark was created from steel rods and polyurethane and covered in leather. This miracle cost the studio a total of 300 thousand dollars.

The other two sharks were smaller and were used for mobile scenes. There was a control mechanism inside the sharks. Moreover, in one shark the cutout was on the left, and in the other on the right. Therefore, these sharks could only be filmed from one angle. It took 200 thousand dollars to create each shark.

Well, we can’t help but mention the separate head, which was also used during the filming of the film.

17. In the scenes where the shark was shown from above underwater (with its fin sticking out), there was no mechanism at all. This role was performed by an ordinary diver with a shark cape.

18. Steven Spielberg planned to film the scene with the frightened crowd running out of the water in just a couple of hours. But in the end it took two days to shoot this scene. The problem was that the people playing the crowd were constantly laughing and doing everything wrong. In principle, this is understandable, because the extras were recruited from local residents.

19. In one of the frames, real shark jaws appeared. They were purchased by artist Joe Alvis to create the shark.

20. The scene where the shark attacked the cage with Hooper inside involved a real live shark.

This scene was filmed at an aquarium. But there was one problem: the shark was relatively small - only 2.5 meters, while in the story the fish was much larger.

Then the creators had to resort to deception. The artists created another smaller cage and placed a 140-centimeter dwarf stuntman in a diving suit in it.

The spectators did not notice that in front of them there was actually a small man, less than 1.5 meters tall, which made the fish really seem huge.

21. In order to film underwater scenes from the shark’s perspective, the camera was placed in a special waterproof housing, after which the whole thing was secured to a raft and lowered under water.

22. According to the original plan, Hooper was supposed to die, but Spielberg decided to pardon the character and leave him alive.

Also, according to an even earlier idea, all three main characters were supposed to die from the teeth of a shark. But the bosses didn’t like this decision, and test screenings showed that it was the wrong decision. Therefore, it was decided to reshoot the final scenes.

Except that there were no questions about Quint’s death. He should have died anyway. Several options for the character's death were even thought up, but in the end the most (probably) creepy version won.

23. Initially, $2.5 million was allocated for the filming. But during filming it became clear that this was clearly not enough. As a result, the budget was increased to $9 million.

But after the film's release, it became clear that it was worth it, because Jaws grossed $470.6 million at the box office. And I’m already silent about the stunning sales on media.

Well, it’s also worth noting that the film “Jaws” won three Oscars, although only in technical categories, namely “Best Sound”, “Best Editing” and “Best Score”.

24. The phrase “We need a bigger boat” has become so popular that it has spread into quotes. But initially it was not in the script. This is pure improvisation by Roy Scheider.

25. In the movie "Back to the Future 2", when Marty arrives in 2015, he is scared by a 3D shark. This all happens outside a movie theater where Jaws 19, directed by Max Spielberg, is being advertised, jokingly hinting that Spielberg's son (yes, Spielberg has a son, Max, who was a child at the time) will direct a sequel in the future. "Jaws."

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