Steven Spielberg has made some of the most loved, and most successful, movies of the last 30 years. While most of his features have aged fairly well, the director admits that if he were remaking one of his classics today, there's one thing he would do differently. The director of The BFG admits that if he were making Jaws now, the shark would almost certainly be a CGI effect.
As Steven Spielberg has been making movies for a very long time, his projects have used a great deal of both practical and computer effects over the years. In a recent interview by the Fox affiliate in Washington D.C., the director was asked how he might have made The BFG had he been making the film in the 1980s. Then, the interviewer flips the script and asks him if he would use CGI effects to create the iconic shark in Jaws, were he making that film today. Spielberg hesitates for a second before answering. It's clear he knows his answer will be seen as a faux pas, but he can't help but be honest.
It's a fairly well-known story at this point, that the production of Jaws was not a fun experience for most of those involved. The biggest problem was that the animatronic shark created for the film routinely broke down. And when it did make it on screen, it rarely looked believable. This made filming a movie about a giant man-eating shark a fairly difficult thing to complete. In the end, the fact that Jaws is rarely seen in the movie which bears his name was done as a response to the technical problems. Today, most fans believe that the suspense the film creates is in large part due to the fact that the shark is rarely seen, making the technical issues a positive accident in the history of film. Check out the full interview below.
We promise not to be too critical of Steven Spielberg's admission here. He's clearly trying to look at the hypothetical situation from the most honest perspective. If he had been on set in 1974 with a broken shark, and could have easily replaced it with a digital effect, of course he would have. Movie shoots can be grueling enough on their own; when you're on the spot you fix the problem.
Of course, if Steven Spielberg had been able to make the change, Jaws would have been a very different movie. Maybe still great, but certainly different.
Would Jaws with a more visible shark still have been the landmark in movie history that it became? Let us know what you think.