Generally speaking, studios almost never have press events for the DVD/Blu-ray release of a film. But for a film like Jaws – one of the most culturally embraced motion pictures of all time – there is reason for Universal to give a shit. Nearly 40 years old, and still finding new fans and generating profits, Jaws is something special. The Blu-ray of Jaws is coming your way August 14 as part of Universal’s 100th Anniversary series (I will have more to say about the Blu in a few days), and Universal’s PR team actually put something fittingly special together. Instead of occupying a suite in a hotel (the norm for junkets), the Jaws Blu-ray function took place in the town of Amity — or at least the Amity facade that exits as part of Universal Studios’ Backlot Tour. Here, with the shark periodically attacking a tram full of tourists in the background, I interviewed screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, production designer Joe Alves, and J. Michael Roddy, the filmmaker behind the truly wonderful new documentary The Shark Is Still Working.
First up we have screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, who co-stars in the film as Meadows, a newspaper editor and Mayor Vaughn stooge. Gottlieb also wrote The Jerk and The Jaws Log — required reading for aspiring filmmakers and Jaws nerds alike. Note: for those curious, the other Spielberg films Gottlieb refers to in the interview are two TV movies pre-fame Spielberg directed called Something Evil and Savage, both of which Gottlieb acted in.
I dare you to not become horribly distracted when the shark arrives to do its thang.