The shark was originally designed to be a mechanical shark. Spielberg hired Bob Mattey,creator of the giant squid from ﬁlm 20,000 leagues under the sea, to work on building threeindividual sharks for the ﬁlm. Due to many problems during production and the sharksactually malfunctioning, this led to Spielberg making the decision to ﬁlm only a few shots ofthe shark. The scenes that do feature the shark can seem a little dated and fake at times,though overall the clever and tactical editing by Verna Fields, made the shark appear real;by for example cutting a shot just at the right time to prevent the audience from taking inthe shark fully. The image above is one of the few moments in the ﬁlm where the audienceactually sees the shark close up; even here the shark is only on screen for a shortmoment.The image above shows a more unrealistic moment in the ﬁlm. We see the sheer size ofthe shark at last, and it is a bit unbelievable and takes the audience out of the moment.The ﬁlm presents the idea of a killer shark as something that could actually happen, andwhich brings the point that the idea of a giant killer shark is a rather goofy idea, which hasbeen played for laughs in ﬁlms such as Deep Blue Sea. Spielberg seemed to be aware ofthis, and incorporated humor in the ﬁlm. Writer Carl Gottlieb co-wrote the screenplayalongside Benchley, the original author.Spielberg juxtaposes humor with suspense in jaws. In the scene where Brody is feedingﬁsh into to the sea in order to attract the great white, he makes a quip to the others aboutthe dirty job they’ve given him to do “ why don’t you come down and chum some of thissh*t?” This the cue for the audience to laugh. But instantly that laughter is quelled by theﬁrst real appearance of the shark followed by the stunned and shocked reaction of Brody.This is followed by yet another joke “we’re gonna need a bigger boat”.
says thatthis is an example of the
clever way Spielberg ‘manipulates’ his audience ‘guiding anddirecting’ them throughout the ﬁlm.
Fig.3: Quint Vs. Shark