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The Making Of Jaws


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#1 Richard Boddington

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:00 PM

Hi,

Jaws is in my top three list of favorite films, I've probably watched it 50 times.

Each time I am amazed that Jaws is essentially an "in camera film". There are very few post effects, it was basically edited together as it came out of the can. This fact has always blown me away because so many of the shots are just incredible. Imagine film makers in the CGI world of 2006 having to work like that.

I was watching it AGAIN on A&E last night and I noticed there where shots I could not figure out how they where done. One shot in particular, they have three barrells on the shark and it pulls down all three as it goes under the boat. The shot is very wide and showing the boat from a side view and the camera is quite high. On the other side of the boat is the open ocean.

So my question is, where on earth was the towing mechanism pulling the barrells? If it was a boat on the other side of the Orca it would have been in frame. I hope my description makes sense.

There are other shots I wonder about as well. So has any one ever seen a "making of" for Jaws?

Thanks
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#2 Marek Stricek

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:43 PM

I pulled out Jaws out of my bookcase and checked out the making of (50 minutes version).
The barrels were on the line which went through eye hook attached to the Orca below water surface and then to the motor boat which was pulling the line (I suppose that the motor boat could be hidden behind the Orca in first shot, and then on the side in the second). This was mentioned in the documentary mainly because this shot ended up with the Orca starting to sink. The problem was that the motor boat was going too fast and pulled out the plank out of the hull of Orca and the water rushed in. (as said by Mr. Spielberg)
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 02:51 PM

Ok so on the DVD there is a "making of", thanks, I'll have to trade up my VHS copy for the DVD.

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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 03:27 PM

The documentary on the DVD is probably the best source of info.

There was also an on location report from the set in the March 1975 issue of American Cinematographer, and an interview with Bill Butler where he discusses the shoot in the February 1977 issue.

Screenwriter Carl Gottlieb wrote a diary of his production experience called "The Jaws Log" that was just republished:

http://www.amazon.co...glance&n=283155

You probably want to get the new 30th Anniversary Widescreen Edition of the DVD:
http://www.amazon.co...&v=glance&n=130



Pulling barrels under was probably done in the manner that Fred Gabourie solved a similar problem in Buster Keaton's short film, "The Boat". Keaton's boat, when launced, had to slide into the water and keep going, sinking smoothly without a beat. They tried all sorts of methods (drilling holes in the boat, etc.) but the boat kept bobbing, or sinking too slowly.

Finally Gabourie attached a cable to the underside, looped it through an eyehook in a weight under the water, and at the other end of the lake, basically pulled the boat underwater by towing it with a pick-up truck.
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#5 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 05:09 PM

"On Location....on Martha's Vineyard (the making of the movie jaws)" by Edith Blake.
The teamsters drove I don't how many tractor trailer trucks from the Universal back lots to this small little town for production (3000miles)....once there they employed about half of the Vineyard's population.
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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 05:09 PM

Great, thanks David. I had no idea the diary was out there.

One thing I noticed in the review on Amazon, it says:

"The film, of course, was Jaws, which became the first blockbuster ever to gross over $1 million and catapulted Stephen Spielberg and the Great White Shark into the public eye."

1 million? That can't be right surely there where plenty of films that grossed over 1 million before Jaws came along. I think they must mean 100 million, and they forgot two important zeros.

Just goes to show you can't believe every thing you read.

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