Steven Spielberg Sees His Mechanical Shark Malfunction Regularly While Filming jaws as a cinematic treat, but he says the fear the film generated against real-life sharks is something he wishes he hadn’t been in on.
During an interview with the BBC deserted island discsAs the director hits some of his favorite songs and breaks down his film resume, the discussion spans everything from his work on movies like The Fabelmans, West Side Story, ET, and Schindler’s List, to his own personal life and pop cultural influences like Bruce Springsteen and Alfred Hitchcock.
It’s the latter, a master of horror, who Spielberg credits with helping him find success with the 1975 film That and a mechanical shark that just wouldn’t work.
“I had to be inventive to figure out how to create suspense and terror without seeing the shark itself. Hitchcock did that and I think Hitchcock was a great guide for me in the way that he could scare you without really seeing anything,” Spielberg mused. “It was good luck that the shark kept breaking. It was my good luck, and I think it’s also the audience’s good luck, because it’s a scarier movie without seeing the shark as much.”
The scares he was able to scream for his 1975 release, directed at just 27, helped secure Spielberg’s place in the canon of Hollywood’s greatest directors. But the filmmaker says there was a downside to bringing terror to audiences so successfully, and it’s one he regrets.
When asked how it would feel to be on a deserted island surrounded by shark-inhabited water, Spielberg addresses the impact of the film’s negative portrayal of sharks.
“That’s one of the things I still fear: not getting eaten by a shark, but the sharks being somehow mad at me for the crazy sport fisherman feeding frenzy that happened after 1975, which really, and even Today, I’m sorry. the decimation of the shark population because of the book and the movie,” he explained. “I’m really, really sorry.”
Peter Benchley, who wrote the 1974 book on which Spielberg’s film was based, has also publicly apologized for his role in the sharp decline in the shark population, which George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research in Gainesville, he told the BBC it was like “a collective fever of testosterone” that “spread up the east coast of the US.”
“Thousands of fishermen set out to catch trophy sharks after seeing jawshe told the outlet, while suggesting, similar to other published studies, that the shark population was markedly affected by the film’s release. “It was some good blue-collar fishing. There was no need to have a fancy boat or equipment: an average Joe could catch big fish, and there was no regret, as there was the mentality that they were man-killers.”
For that reason, Benchley spent part of her life after the book’s publication working on a campaign to save the ocean creatures her book had vilified. “jaws it was completely a fiction,” he reportedly told the London Daily Express in 2006. “Knowing what I know now, I could never write that book today.”
“Sharks don’t attack humans, and they certainly don’t hold grudges,” he continued. “There is no such thing as a man-eating shark that likes human flesh. In fact, sharks rarely take more than one bite of people, because we are very skinny and unappetizing to them.”
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