In a wonderful case of synchronicity, an actor from Jaws has become the police chief of the town where the Steven Spielberg movie was filmed. Jonathan Searle – who played one of the young pranksters who wore a fake fin, and terrorised the beachgoers of Amity Island – was recently offered the job of police chief in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard.
“I’m clearly elated and I’m humbled and honoured to have been offered the position,” Searle told The Vineyard Gazette. Here’s hoping when he finally takes the position in June he doesn’t have to cope with a great white shark menacing the beaches of Oak Bluffs and if he does at least he’ll know what to do.
A number of locations were considered for the location of Amity Island before Martha’s Vineyard was chosen. According to Jaws producer David Brown, the location was chosen because it looked like the type of middle-class town that would be devastated if the tourist trade went away. It also helped that the relatively shallow waters allowed Bruce the mechanical shark to be (relatively) easily operated.
Widely considered one of the best movies ever made and the first bonafide summer blockbuster, production on Jaws was notoriously difficult. It didn’t help that Spielberg insisted on shooting at sea which made filming a nightmare for the cast and crew. Reflecting on the shoot Spielberg admitted he was naive and cocky about shooting at sea.
“I was naive about the ocean, basically,” he told Ain’t it Cool News. “I was pretty naive about mother nature and the hubris of a filmmaker who thinks he can conquer the elements was foolhardy, but I was too young to know I was being foolhardy when I demanded that we shoot the film in the Atlantic Ocean and not in a North Hollywood tank.”
Basically, it turns out that taking expensive cameras and an even more expensive mechanical shark out to sea isn’t a great idea. Still, it all worked out in the end. Jaws was a monster hit and was the highest-grossing film ever until the Star Wars movies came along and spoiled everything.
If you love Spielberg and shocks check out our list of the best thriller movies.