This article originally appeared in the June 18, 1975 issue of the Miami Phoenix.

Steven Spielberg, the director of "Jaws," was recently in town to promote the film and the following conversation with THE MIAMI PHOENIX ensued.

MP: "Jaws" seems to be a terrifying movie. Was your intention to make it that way?

SS: I shot the movie to both entertain and to be fearful. But the movie doesn't say "If you go into the water - you'll get eaten by a shark."

>> REVIEW: Jaws (1975) by Janet Maslin <<

MP: I'm surprised the hotel owners on Miami Beach haven't tried to stop the film from being shown here. Or have they?

SS: Actually they should be excited. It may keep some people out of the water but they'll head for the bar.

MP: What do you think about Jacques Cousteau's criticisms of the story? He seems vehement that sharks don't behave that way.

SS: All I can say is, if he hated the book - wait til he sees the movie! Not much is really known about sharks. I studied a lot about them before I began the movie. And there are hundreds of reported incidents about shark attacks. The number is relatively few in an overall sense but they did happen. Did you know for instance that sharks can seemingly smell out of the water? I mean there was an incident reported where two men were in a small boat after a shipwreck and one of them was badly hurt and had been bleeding a lot and it had dried on his arm and begun to stink. But they had been very careful not to throw anything or allow anything to drop overboard. But because of the smell, the sharks began to attack the boat.

MP: How long did it take to actually shoot the film?


SS: We shot for seven months. It was supposed to be five but we ran into a lot of problems, especially the weather. The film was made totally on the ocean because I felt the added realism was important. But it did make the shooting harder than it would have been in a studio tank. The realism was very important to me. At one point it was suggested to use sensaround but I vetoed the idea because the movie isn't a ripoff, it's not a gimmick. Even though we used Bruce, 70 percent of the actual shark footage was of real sharks.

MP: Were you actually involved in the in-the-water stuff?

SS: I was at the water daily in a wet suit. But I'm not really an ocean lover. I've always been a little afraid of the ocean.

MP: Do you have any advice for would-be directors?

SS: Yes, unless you're thinking about film making at night and obsessed by it during the day, don't.

MP: Do you have any idea what will be next for you?

SS: I'm doing a science fiction film, sort of science fiction with a personal touch that I've written and will be directing for Columbia Pictures.

Related: [NSFW?] Photos: Spookadelica at the Somerville Theatre, Interview: Adam Green gets frightful laughs with 'Holliston', Interview: Seth Grahame-Smith emerges from the Shadows, More more >
  Topics: Flashbacks , Movies, Steven Spielberg, film,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MICHAUD FOR GOVERNOR  |  November 03, 2014
    However you’ve been following the race for Governor this election season, you’ve been hearing it from all sides, so we’ll make this one brief. We urge you to vote for Michael Michaud.
  •   ADVANCED BEAUTY LESSONS  |  November 03, 2014
    Described as a “body-positive visibility project,” Portland’s Jack Tar 207 is all about representation. Models are encouraged to bring their own clothing and personal belongings to the shoot, which owner-designer LK Weiss says brings out “a level of confidence that many people don’t feel in front of a camera.”
  •   LITERALLY LGBT  |  October 31, 2014
    A community-compiled list of important GBLTQ works through the years.  
  •   DEAR PROVIDENCE PHOENIX...  |  October 15, 2014
    Some made us chuckle, others made us choke up.
  •   BACK TO REALITY  |  September 18, 2014
    If you’re a student in southern Maine and are at all interested in arts and humanities, and have a budget of exactly $10 to spend on any one event, there’s a lot in your favor.

 See all articles by: PHOENIX STAFF