Sunday, 23 June 2013

An obsessive and fascinating look at JAWS

Durr duh...Durr duh....Durr duh....

I love obsessive people, I am one in fact, people who don't just like things, they love them, they immerse themselves in every single detail and aspect of something and strive to uncover the minutiae of their obsession. Obsessive creatives are great, I can relate to it personally, why do you think "Of Shark and Man" is taking so long? It has to be perfect, the nuances must be just right, each colour and sound must have a reason. I don't do rush jobs...

Nor by the looks of it does Jamie Benning, someone who makes my own obsessive personality seem positively lackadaisical. Jamie researches his favourite films with a passion and dedication few others could hope to match (seriously, check out his vimeo page linked in his name above...)

Jamie has just released a sixteen month long project on JAWS which I watched the other night and thoroughly enjoyed. I am also a JAWS obsessed nerd, I've seen the film well over 300 times, easily over 400 and likely nearing 500, I know pretty much everything about it after seeing pretty much everything ever made about it but Jamie has managed to squeeze a little more juice out of the JAWS orange that was new to me which is in itself an impressive feat.

What Jamie does is essentially play you the film with narrative overdubs from the people involved discussing what you are seeing but also, and for me most pleasingly, the real fan-boy, minuscule details that only the most ardent fan of the movie will notice or think about. Very much like a "Director's Commentary" feature so common on modern DVD and Blu-Ray releases, it really fleshes out lots of fascinating details about the making of the film, includes some great stills and provides insights from people you almost certainly have never heard from since their involvement in the film, including a generous contribution from Kevin Pike who was a labourer on the film and even input from people who played the tiniest roles in the backgrounds of certain shots.

This is not really for the casual observer, this is very much a film for the most dedicated JAWS fan and as such, I loved it!

Please bear this in mind...Jamie put in 16 months of work on this and has released it for free, yes, totally gratis! I would have paid for it, so should you really but you don't have to. This kind of dedication to something done purely for the love should be admired and applauded.

If you are a JAWS freak then you will have seen or heard much of this in the superb "The Shark is Still Working" and on the bonus featurettes on the multiple different DVD and Blu-Ray releases over the years alongside Carl Gottlieb's brilliant "The Jaws Log" but this is still well worth a look for the stuff those other works didn't include.

Jamie, this is a great piece of work and I salute you, "'s to swimmin' with bow legged women!..."

If you watch and enjoy it, please make sure to add your comment and thank him for taking the time to make this.

Inside Jaws, A Filmumentary by @jamieswb (2013) from Jamie Benning on Vimeo.


Tropical Selkie said...

Awesome! Readers my also be interested in this short film, "Legacy; the words of Peter Benchley" about the Jaws author's other words, after the book and film, about conservation.

OfficetoOcean said...

That reminds me, I need to try and find the documentaries Benchley made in the 70's and early 80's about sharks!

Thank you! :)