Let’s take a moment to get into the guts of Bruce, the troublesome mechanical shark who made movie history in Jaws. And I say “troublesome” not because the Great White in the movie killed five people, but because he caused so many problems in filming that director Steven Spielberg ended up calling him “The Great White Turd” as well as Bruce(after his lawyer).
Bruce was attached to a 12-ton platform on the sea floor, connected by a 100-foot long cable. The 13 technicians who operated the controls down at the platform had to wear scuba gear. During Bruce’s second test on water, his hydraulic system exploded.
Three mechanical “Bruces” were made, each with specialized functions. One shark was open on the right side, one was open on the left side, and the third had a full skin. Each shark cost approximately $250,000.
The shark spent most of the movie broken-down, and was unavailable for certain shots. This led Steven Spielberg to use the camera as the “shark”, and film from the shark’s point of view. Many think this added to the “chilling/haunting” quality in the final release saying that it would have made it too “cheesy” had they shown the shark as much as originally planned.(From IMDB Trivia)
And, help me spread the word, people…if you see any site out there in which the shark from Jaws is called “Jaws the Shark”, please smack them for me. In a polite, online way, of course.:)
Here’s a trailer for a documentary called “The Shark is Still Working”. Check it out!
Great video by the film crew:
And a side note, perhaps as somewhat of an apology for all the ignorant shark hatred and killing that followed the movie:
Peter Benchley has mentioned that if he had known about the actual behavior of sharks, he would have never written the book.