Inside Jaws, A Filmumentary

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!


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  1. Wondering if there’s any value in tracking down a copy of “Jaws 2 Log”? It documents the follow-up film, but I wonder if there are pertinent comments there about trying to follow up the most successful film of all time (at the time)…

  2. I am also developing a project in the same arena and would like to talk/compare notes if you are interested. Also have had a recent crash course in all the same materials and more. Would like to get copies of the screenplays if possible. Drop me an email if you’d like to discuss further.

    And if at all possible, remove my comment once you’ve read it. Thanks!

    • I’ll be going straight to The Temple of Doom after Jaws, hopefully. You never know what life may throw at you though. I don’t think I’ll ever do Indy 4 though. I’m not a fan.

      • I hear yea. Im not a fan myself. But i just wanted to say I love all your filmumentaries. Looking forward to inside jaws. Thanks for all your hard work. Died laughing at the lady bug orgy part by mark hamil. Priceless. Well once again thank you.

  3. I have a copy of Jaws 2 Log as well as the VHS tape of interviews on Martha’s Vineyard. I provided the tape to Jake Gove for his Jawsmovie website. Let me know if you’re interested in either. Good luck on the project! Dan

  4. Being the exhaustive movie information hound you are, you’ve probably already sniffed out a whole treasure trove of trivia and quotes, but reading that you were undertaking Jaws as your next feature, it triggered something in my brain that I remembered reading in the 20th Anniversary edition of Empire magazine, when Spielberg was guest editor. Bryan Singer had sent in a question about a dodgy audio edit in Jaws – figured it might be of some interest, if you didn’t already know about it.

    Singer: “There is a cut in Jaws that I always mean to ask you about, but always forget when I see you. When Richard Dreyfuss is examining the body parts, there’s a strange audio cut in the scene. It happens suddenly: there’s a woman’s severed hand, and Dreyfuss says, “This is what happens,” and it feels like there was a strange cut made there. That cut – Was it put in at the last minute? Was it a mis-cut? Was it intentional? If you can even remember…

    Spielberg: I remember this very well. I had cut out a line of dialogue and inside the line of dialogue I manufactured artificially a new line: “This is what happens.” Originally, he said more than that. I can’t remember what he said exactly. (Editor) Verna Fields and I pieced together “This is what happens,” from other words he was saying because the scene was too long. I was able to cut a huge – maybe 30-second – part of the scene out, simply by cutting to the insert of the arm coming up and putting the words, “This is what happens,” over it. I give Bryan Singer tremendous credit for catching it. That’s amazing anybody caught that. This is the first time anybody’s talked about it.

    And whilst I’ve got the magazine open next to me, I noticed two more questions about Jaws. One from Wes Craven, the other Elizabeth Banks.

    Craven: When you were making Jaws, were you aware you were making one of the single greatest horror movies of all time, or were you just trying to survive it?

    Spielberg: I was just trying to survive Jaws. All of us were. We were in survival mode every day on that picture. It was a physically dangerous production. Conditions at sea were often intolerable and, as we know from legend, the shark was not always working. I always knew we had a great seagoing adventure, but the practical problems of accomplishing our mission quite often overshadowed how the film was turning out. The film was actually turning out quite well, but you couldn’t see that because of the problems of bringing in the production upstaged everything. I didn’t know I’d made a good movie until the first sneak preview. That was the first time I knew the film worked for an audience because that audience hadn’t been along for the ride. Had they been along for the ride, they wouldn’t have been scared of the movie – they’d have been scared of the sea.

    Banks: How could you do that to sharks?

    Spielberg: Jaws gave me the freedom to make a lot of movies I wouldn’t have been able to make without the success of Jaws. I hope the sharks will forgive me, but if I had to do it all over again, I would!

  5. Jamie, lots of success on this project. FYI, there’s no such thing as a “Jaws” screenplay in print, if you’re talking about the text from which the film was actually shot. E-mail me here or through Facebook and I’ll explain why. And I can answer any questions the others haven’t asked a million times in the documentaries you’re researching.

    As for “The Jaws Log,” the end notes in the 30th anniversary edition address a lot of ambiguities left open in the original 1975 edition.

    Ray Lloynd (Jaws 2 Log) was a journeyman Hollywood reporter and journalist hired for low $ to do a quickie job after the fact. He wasn’t there. Nice guy, though.

  6. Hi as a jaws fan when will this jaws filmumentary be available to buy and will it be available to buy in the uk.and how different will it be towards memories from marthas vineyard. Best regards john maher(uk)

    • Hi John, Thanks for getting in touch. My filmumentaries are never available to buy. I merely upload them to Vimeo for your to watch. The book Memories from Martha’s Vineyard is being used as a source for my doco. Filmumentaries are unique in that they let you watch your favourite film like you’ve never seen it before. Watch this space.

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