Last Remaining ‘Jaws’ Model Shark To Be Displayed In Academy Museum | Film News
Steven Spielberg instilled terror in the hearts of holidaygoers’ everywhere with the release of his 1975 classic Jaws, which saw a giant flesh-hungry shark attacking holidaying humans on Amity Island. In order to bring the Great White to life, in an age before CGI was widely used, Spielberg utilised four 25-foot long mechanical models of the beast.
Designed by production designer Joe Alves (who later went on to direct Jaws 2 and Jaws 3D), the four sharks were named ‘Bruce’ after Spielberg’s lawyer at the time, Bruce Ramer. The models became notorious for the problems that they caused the production team, often malfunctioning during shoots – which eventually effected the amount of screen time that the shark was given.
Out of the four models, only one survives today – as three were made from latex which deteriorated in later years. The fourth was made of fibreglass, as it was intended for use at promotional events. It found itself installed at Universal Studios Hollywood, but was later moved to Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking in California (“a graveyard for discarded Universal props and vehicles”) due to suffering damage over the years at Universal. This ‘Bruce’ has remained at Aalden Brothers for 30 years – Until now.
The Aalden Brothers Auto Wrecking studio is shutting up shop, and because of this have donated the beloved model to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who are currently constructing a new cinematic memorabilia museum.
The museum will open in 2017 in the historic May Company Building in Los Angeles.
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