There are several movies that will always be regarded as some of cinema's greatest films. One of those without a doubt has to be Steven Spielberg's Jaws, which has terrified beachgoers for over 40 years now. It is the fear of the unknown in a setting so common that really is the magic of Jaws. In honor of Shark Week 2016, I decided to go back and revisit Jaws with some more obscure unknown facts about the movie.
1. The Shark Was Brought To Life By Three Mechanical Models, Sleds, And Scuba Divers!
The infamous shark we see in Jaws was brought to life by a team and the results were great. It was over 40 years ago and with today's technology, it would have been easy to bring a shark to life. Although we can do this easily today how did they manage to bring a mechanical monster to life? A quick look through the web will tell you that a sled and a team of scuba divers can do just that. It required three of them to make the dastardly shark come to life. This might not be as interesting, but the shark was called Bruce after Spielberg's lawyer. It was also called "The Big White Turd" by Spielberg due to all the problems the shark caused on set.
2. The Shark Had A Lot Of Problems, And That's What Made The Movie!
Yes, even Spielberg had moments of panic where he didn't know what to do. One of these instances came during the production of Jaws when he noticed the shark prop looked completely fake. The director was just starting his illustrious career and certainly thought this would be the end of it. A shark that looked completely fake and also completely sank was not going to cut it, so he improvised and worked with it. Spielberg says he just simply thought "What would Hitchcock do?" This led him to show as little as possible of the shark. It certainly paid off, as the movie built a lot on the tension of not knowing exactly where the shark was at times.
3. The Boat Actually Sank, With Film On It!
The Orca, which was the boat in the movie, was no match for the power of Jaws — it actually sank! The worst part of it all was that there was a film that went down with it. If you know anything about the film then you know how fragile it can be, so the amount of panic must have been uncontrollable that day. Fortunately, the film was able to be recovered once it was sent to New York.
4. The Budget Actually Got Tripled During Production
In today's world of cinema, a budget of $9 million might be considered low-budget for Hollywood. You have movies that now are $250 million to make and that's pretty much the norm. The budget of Jaws was supposed to be $3 million but it actually tripled to $9 million, which was a lot back then. All of this might have to do with the fact that the film was supposed to be in production for 55 days, but stretched to 159. It looked like it was all falling apart, but the film grossed $471 million — not bad for a shark that sank.
5. 'You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat' Was Totally Ad-Libbed
The line is perhaps one of the most famous lines ever uttered in movie history and it wasn't even planned! It's usually how things happen in the movie world — some of the best moments come from improv. Roy Scheider actually ad-libbed the line and truly made the scene iconic. If you don't remember the scene you can check it out below!
Yes, it's been over 40 years since Jaws came out to terrify us all to look twice before going in the water. The film did a lot for the business and also for Spielberg himself who is pretty much one of the greats. Jaws was also responsible for a lot more attention and focus on sharks. It is truly the big contributor as to why we have Shark Week and movies like The Shallows going strong.