CINÉ-REAL #01 – JAWS
The 1st CINÉ-REAL evening showed the Jaws (1975) directed by a 29 year old Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley’s novel. The film was shot on location at Martha’s Vineyard, and had a difficult production, going over budget and over schedule.
The film was projected with a Bell & Howell TQ III:
Creation from limitation:
As the mechanical sharks suffered many malfunctions the script was refined during production, and forced Spielberg to shoot most of the scenes with the shark only hinted at. Spielberg, with the help of editor Verna Fields, included multiple shots of just the dorsal fin, props, such as the floating yellow barrels, along with John Williams haunting score to develop the character of the unseen shark. As a consequence, this enforced restraint, heightened the suspense, giving the movie an almost Hitchcockian feel.
In film editor Susan Korda’s 2005 lecture, “We’ll Fix It In the Edit!?”, Korda explains the contribution of editing to the film:
”What is fascinating in Jaws is that the shark has a personality, the shark has intelligence, indeed sometimes I think the shark has a sense of humor, morbid as it might be. And that was all achieved in the first two acts of the film before you see the shark. So the cutting was very essential for that.”
The length of shots used in films has changed significantly in the last 50 years. In 1930-1960 the average shot time was 8.11 seconds (300-700 shots). In the 1970′s it was reduced to 5-8 seconds and now it’s 1.5 seconds.
Images from the production: