After completing Raiding the Lost Ark in 2012, I immediately embarked on a new project, tentatively called Jaws Bites Back. After 16 months of trawling, reading, spooling, skyping, chatting, interviewing, editing and refining, I am pleased to release Inside Jaws, A Filmumentary (2013). As with my other filmumentaries this is a completely unofficial and non profit making project made with a genuine affection for the film. Please share the link with your friends but under no circumstances should you buy or sell this on DVD or Blu Ray.
I would like to extend my thanks to all of the lovely, kind people that helped me on this voyage. In particular Jim Beller (of JawsCollector.com) , a Jaws expert, no, THE Jaws expert was always on call to answer my questions and give suggestions. The Jaws community as a whole really have helped motivate me to keep this project swimming forward and to make a good job of it. You’re a great bunch of people!
For this project I unearthed some unheard interviews with cast members and I conducted some interviews myself. So even you big Jaws fans should find plenty of new things to enjoy!
You can find the final video here.
Below are two of the poster designs. Pete Starling of Electrographica.co.uk put me inside Jaws (Left) and a wonderful pencil “sketch” by Martin Schlierkamp (right). Martin’s final, coloured version should be available in a couple of days.
Following the loss of about 70% of my files during the creation of Star Wars Begins, I clearly understand the importance of backing up. So, for both Raiding the Lost Ark and Inside Jaws, I’ve had a fairly regular regime backing up not just the FCP project file, but also the media files. I remember the hours of relinking media to a semi corrupt project file quite well. Something I didn’t want to repeat.
Earlier this week, I was happily editing away on Inside Jaws when the Mac OSX beach ball remained on screen for a little too long. It soon became apparent that dropping the drive on the kitchen floor the week before had in fact been more damaging than I had originally thought. After trying to remount the drive a dozen times, it was clear that I was in trouble.
I had made a backup a fortnight before, meaning that about 10-20 hours of work would be lost. However, fortunately and after 6 hours of tinkering, the drive came back to life in fits and starts and long enough for me to copy the smaller files across to my system disc. Voila, the media files, apart from two which only took a few hours to re-rip, were all back!
The only problem I have now, is that I don’t have a fast drive to actually do the editing on anymore. The system disc is no place for video editing. So, along with the wedding, my fiance leaving work due to ill health and my lack of work at this end of the year, I have to find the funds to by a new RAID. Two very kind individuals donated some money that has gone straight in that pot! THANK YOU! So, by the end of March, when the F1 season is back in full flow, I should have enough money to keep this project swimming along nicely.
Two nights ago I watched the first third of Inside Jaws (so far). It is clear that this is once again a different kind of filmumentary. Whilst I’ll be using all the available material in a constructive way, there just isn’t the amount behind the scenes footage available.
I reckon I am at about 60% or so complete at this point. Perhaps the end of February 2013 deadline is a little over optimistic. I am still to make a trailer actually so there is nothing firm about that release date.
Last night I edited for an hour or so and promised myself I would do another five or six hours this week. I’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: I’ve started working on a Storyboard Comparison sequence much like the ones in Building Empire (asteroid scene) and Raiding the Lost Ark (in the map room). This is all thanks to the very generous Joe Alves, who has kindly sent me great scans for use in Inside Jaws.
You can buy a limited print of Joe’s incredible storyboards at his site.
Many of my fellow fan editors feel an absolute imperative to preserve. Whether it’s Garrett Gilchrists restorative edits of Star Wars or Puggo’s 16mm and 8mm restorations or Adywan’s brave and successful efforts to preserve the feel of the original Star Wars films, there seems to be a real feeling amongst the community, that if the studio aren’t delivering, its up to us to do it. Many are turning to OriginalTrilogy.com and FanEdit.org.
Indeed after making Star Wars Begins and particularly Raiding the Lost Ark, in which I interviewed Wolf Kahler, now 72 years old, I felt almost an obligation to start interviewing more of these unsung heroes of the movies. Whilst my contact with Michael Ford, the Academy Award winning set director didn’t lead to an interview, it did lead to many chats with him over email and in person. The stories him and his colleagues told me over lunch, the names they dropped, were all absolutely fascinating and I am sure, would be to many others. Unless we start preserving these tales of movie making, many of them will just disappear, forever.
Whilst making my current filmumentary, Inside Jaws, I was fortunate enough to make contact with a fellow film maker who had interviewed many of the local actors and extras for a documentary that was never finished. He was very gracious in letting me use this interview material for my commentary track. Whilst I was editing several into my timeline, it occurred to me that at least two of these were probably the last time these people were interviewed about their experience of working on Jaws.
With this imperative to preserve comes a certain obligation. Not a begrudging one of course, but a certain self imposed contract to get the job done and to do it well. Jaws has been a difficult one to tackle and for that reason its taking longer than I had intended. Having said that, I’ve made a promise to myself that it will be finished by the end of February 2013.
Tomorrow, 3rd December 2012, marks my first day of work on Inside Jaws for a couple of months. My (paid) work has taken me around the world for the past thirteen years. It’s difficult enough trying to balance life and work at the best of times. But this year in particular has been a busy one. Not only have I had to head up a department (along with my colleague), but I started to do some directing and producing. In short, my hobby in the form of Filmumentary making has taken the brunt of this busy period. I’ve barely done a minutes work on Inside Jaws in the last quarter of the year. But tomorrow, I intend to reignite the project. I have already made a list of what needs working on, so I should be able to work quite quickly.
I have several previously unreleased interviews to listen to. I’ve already logged a couple of them and there is some great material in there. And I have my graphics guy James Bruhl to chase up (he’s been busy too!).
My aim is to release it by the end of February 2013. The second month of the year is a good luck charm for me. Both Star Wars Begins and Raiding the Lost Ark were released on that month in 2011 and 2012 respectively. My fingers are firmly crossed. Between tapping the keyboard and moving the mouse that is!
Remember you can also follow daily progress on Twitter
Want to own a signed Inside Jaws poster? They are on sale at £5 including postage in the UK. Send money via PayPal. This link is just to the right. Mention whether you’d like the portrait or landscape poster. If you are out of the UK, please contact me first.
Once again, thanks to the power of social media and the coverage which Star Wars Begins and Raiding the Lost Ark received, I was contacted from ‘down under’ by Popcorn Taxi. They are a Sydney based film event group that screens films both classic and modern, often with Q and A sessions. They wanted to screen Inside Jaws side by side with a 2k screening of the newly restored Jaws. I quickly told them that Inside Jaws would not be finished in time, but that I would happily send them a few snippets that I’d been working on.
So on 15th August, 2012, that very thing happened. Here are a few snaps from the screening.
I’ve made more progress on Inside Jaws this week that I have in the past two months. Life and work got in the way for a while there. But I am now all set up in my new home, I am free of Rubella and I have a couple of weeks off work. The new computer desk arrived this week and my productivity suddenly went through the roof!
The Inside Jaws timeline is now looking busy. I’ve integrated material from three different documentaries as well as snippets from half a dozen tv shows. I’ve also been working on some motion tracking using Apples’s Motion 5. More on that in a later post!
I still hope to release a chunk around the time of the blu ray release in August and imagine the whole thing will be finished by the end of the year.
Today marks the first proper day of research, planning and pre-production on my new Jaws Filmumentary. The title is yet to be set, but I quite like “Inside Jaws, A Filmumentary”.
Tonight I am chatting on Skype with Jaws collector extraordinaire Jim Bellar. There is much to talk about the hugely documented movie. I want to make sure there is something new and exciting that I can do with a Jaws filmumentary. Its all a little daunting at this stage.
I am simultaneously reading Matt Taylor and Jim Bellar’s book “Memories from Martha’s Vineyard”, Carl Gottlieb’s “The Jaws Log” and three different versions of the script. This morning I logged the 50 minute version of “The Making of Jaws” on the anniversary DVD.
James B, who did animations on “Raiding the Lost Ark” is back on board too. Hopefully this will come together nicely!