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Excellent and very detailed documentary on the making of a classic. Filled with appealing trivia, exhaustive interviews with cast and crew members, and never before seen footage. Written by
Marco Rambaldi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Finally a making of documentary that deserves to be seen with the movie that it's based on!
The thing that I loved about The Making of Jaws was not the fact that the Special Edition DVD featured a shorter version of the documentary than the Special Edition VHS (both of which I own because I'm just a geek like that) but the fact that it covers every aspect of production from Peter Benchley's original conception of the story of Jaws all the way to the public reception of the completed film at the test viewings. Even the interviews are edited together smoothly, which is something that these making-of documentaries are notoriously bad at. It also goes into great detail about a wide variety of different topics, bringing back a surprising number of the original cast members. Even the girl who got eaten at the beginning of the film shows up here for an interview.
I tend to find it tiring when these supplemental features on DVDs spend a lot of time playing clips of the movie that you just finished watching, so it was nice that this documentary showed so much behind the scenes footage and outtakes, as well as explanations for why certain scenes were not put into the movie. Steven Spielberg gives some great insights into his methods of directing, and everyone has some great stories to tell about the problems that were encountered during production, particularly with the shark hardly ever working.
There's a part in this documentary where Spielberg talks about a time when he was genuinely concerned that the studio was going to send someone in to take over the project because he was taking so long during production, which really gives a lot of insight into how difficult film-making can be sometimes. Oh and you get to hear him cuss, too. I'd never seen that before. One of the most popular things that this movie spawned was not only the endless repetition of phrases like "Don't go in the water" and "You're going to need a bigger boat" is a tendency for people to make fun of the movie because the shark looked fake. But when you watch this documentary and see how much work went into making the shark look as real or fake as it did, it really makes you appreciate the movie more. Save your criticisms for the horrendous sequels.
One of the other things that I really liked about this documentary was that it showed footage of some of Steven Spielberg's home movies, evidently shot with a home video camera on the sets during production. It was pretty interesting to see footage that he shot that looks like it could have been shot by anyone. Strange to see that one of the greatest filmmakers alive shoots video just like anyone else. A few days ago I watched a supplemental documentary for The Day the Earth Stood Still called Making the Earth Stand Still and I was disappointed not only that it had nothing to do with making the Earth stand still but that it was such a poorly made documentary to accompany one of the best science fiction films ever made, so it was nice to see that the re-release of Jaws was fitted with a fitting documentary.
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