Jaws Turns 43! How the Making of Steven Spielberg’s Classic Almost Ruined Him – News Today


 It’s been over four decades since the terrifying image of monstrous jaws emerging from a calm ocean left audiences reeling in theaters across the country  Directed by the now legendary Steven Spielberg, Jaws’ spine-tingling premise, iconic score and startling performances turned it into the movie that launched the summer blockbuster in 1975  Despite Jaws becoming a huge success, behind-the-scenes was rocky to say the least  In fact, according to Wondery’s “Inside Jaws,” a gripping series of Apple podcasts detailing the filmmaking process, the film underwent so many hurdles, no one could have expected it would, to this day, hold second place in the American Film Institute’s most thrilling movies of all time  Read below for some wild facts about the movie.  It was a repeatedly malfunctioning shark that gave those yellow barrels seen throughout the movie their emblematic status Every time the shark wouldn’t work, they would use the barrels to symbolize its arrival or presence In fact, the shark doesn’t make an appearance until an hour and 20 minutes into the two-hour film  Spielberg’s shoot went way overtime due to the difficulties of shooting in the Atlantic Ocean The budget was imploding, and producers threatened to pull the plug towards the very end At one point, the Orca (the boat used in the film) actually started sinking with the cast and crew on it due to a leak, but they were able to send a rescue boat and salvage the footage  In what was perhaps the most humorous and indicative moment of filming, captured in the Jaws making-of documentary, The Shark Is Still Working, Spielberg is seen yelling, “Get the actors off the boat!” — to which sound engineer John Carter replies, “F— the actors, save the sound department!”  According to Carl Gottlieb, Jaws’ screenwriter and Spielberg’s roommate throughout the shooting, Spielberg would rarely sleep over nightmares of a shark pouncing towards him at the bottom of the ocean, only to have it malfunction—its eyes roll to the back of its head, and its body begin to float Spielberg even tried sleeping with celery in his pillow, so that the aroma would calm him  In October 1974, Jaws’ prolonged shoot finally ended, and Spielberg was on his way back to Los Angeles However, the director experienced a panic attack at Boston Logan Airport from the months of debilitating production The budget had blown up to $9 million, over twice as much as the original goal, and the feedback from Universal Pictures was less than favorable That is, until they reaped the $470 million reward worldwide.  Because of the on-set struggles, Gottlieb needed to re-write the script throughout the day, and Spielberg had to improvise multiple elements on the spot, including the barrels Spielberg would often read the scripts in the morning over tea, and then head off to set Unrelated to the grueling logistical hardships, arguably the most famous line in the movie, Roy Scheider’s “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” was also entirely improvised on the day of the shooting  When sweet and innocent Chrissie (played by Susan Backlinie) became the first gruesome victim in the movie’s opening sequence, Spielberg decided to authenticate the moment by adding an element of surprise She wore a harness attached to ropes that the crew was ordered by Spielberg to yank without telling her when they would do it, so that her reaction of shock would feel more genuine on camera  In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director opened up about his battle with mental trauma following the movie’s completion “I would work through my own trauma, because it was traumatic. I would just sit in that boat alone for hours, just working through, and I would shake My hands would shake,” Spielberg said. Even after the film’s widespread success, Spielberg made these trips for over two years He went on to explain that the film’s success did empower him to take more risks and tell his own stories “The experience gave me complete freedom for the rest of my career,” he added. Tags Movie News Steven Spielberg

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