Pictured above: Steven Spielberg (director of “Jaws”) laughing inside Bruce’s (the robotic shark’s) jaws.
- Author or Actor?: The author of “Jaws,” Peter Benchley, makes an appearance in the movie as a newscaster.
- Unplanned Cinematography: The robotic shark was nicknamed “Bruce.” Steven Spielberg hated it, as it was very problematic and never quite worked when they needed it to. However, this forced Spielberg to be creative with the cinematography and inspired him to allow the camera to insinuate the shark and show what the shark was seeing in many scenes. This ended up making the movie scarier and more suspenseful, and was a new technique at the time.
- If It Doesn’t Work, Don’t Force It: Hooper (the diver in the cage) wasn’t supposed to survive. (He dies in the novel.) However, the footage used for this scene was footage of an actual Great White thrashing around and trying to get loose from the cabling of the cage. Because there was no actor in the cage while this was shot, Spielberg couldn’t realistically sell Hooper’s death, and therefore he had to alter the plot and let Hooper live.
- Important Improv: The most famous line from the film – “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” – wasn’t actually in the script. Schneider improvised this line after he was caught off guard when the robotic shark popped its head up near the boat where he was standing.
- Spielberg’s Unimpressed!: John Williams, composer of the “Star Wars” theme song, also wrote the “Jaws” theme. The first time he played it for Spielberg, Spielberg thought he was joking. He was angry that Williams thought two notes could pass for a theme song for a major motion picture. It’s crazy how famous the theme song is now!
- Filter Effect: The opening scene, where Chrissie is dragged through the water and killed by the shark, was actually filmed during the day. A filter was later put over the footage to make it appear as though it was filmed at night. Take a look: