Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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A Wet But Wonderful Jawsfest

BY ADMIN | 16 August 2012

Despite the steady rain, it was a pleasure to have all the Jaws fans here at our Edgartown hotel last weekend (August 9-12, 2012) to enjoy all the goings-on of Jawsfest: The Tribute. Jaws fans are fun people. That’s a simple fact!

Martha's Vineyard Jawsfest
Jawsfest:The Tribute was a blast despite persistent rain!

To quote the JawsTribute website, hightlights of the event included, “Greg Nicotero’s absolutely amazing display of Quint, Brody and Hooper on the transom of the Orca, Ben Gardner’s head in the hull of his boat, Chrissies arm with her new rings by CB Stark Jewelers, Bill Wieger’s stunning sculptures, Paul McPhee’s paintings, and the opportunity to meet with, and hear stories from Shakr Savers, shark experts,and members of families, cast and crew from the making of JAWS.”

If you didn’t make it in for the big event, don’t let that stop you from visiting “Amity” as a fan. Our GM Joanne can fill you in on all the filming sites and lore. Inf fact, here’s a link to a video that Joanne made that will give you a sneak peek: Jaws and Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites

And, in case you missed it, Madeleine Coleman, in an August 2 Boston Magazine article, gathered these lesser-known facts abut the filming of Jaws on Martha’s Vineyard:

  1. Dubbed “Shark City” by the cast and crew, an Oak Bluffs warehouse and workshop situated here once held the notoriously unreliable Jaws robots (nicknamed Bruce after Spielberg’s lawyer).
  2. Roy Scheider, who starred as Chief Brody, spent so much time soaking up the sun atJoseph Sylvia State Beach that his varying skin hues created continuity problems within the film.
  3. No one knows who flung the first tomato, but by the time the food fight at the Harbor View Hotel had ended, Scheider, Spielberg, and Richard Dreyfuss looked like a post-brunch salad bar. “Those three managed to make a real mess,” bartender and eyewitness George Gamble told the Vineyard Gazette in 1975. “It was a disgusting sight — seeing them covered in ravioli, cake, and diced fruit.”
  4. The film’s final man-versus-shark scene was filmed in Katama Bay aboard an older ferry named City of Chappaquiddick, according to Tom Dunlop, author of The Chappy Ferry Book. The infamous half-submerged camera view? That came courtesy of the Vineyard’s working ferry, which doubled as a filming barge.
  5. Brody’s fishing boat, the Orca 2, didn’t really sink. “My husband stored it on his private waterfront property at West Basin for many years, where Jaws fans picked the items to death,” says Susan Murphy, who helped tow the shark during filming.
  6. The ring on Chrissie’s mangled hand in the film’s opening scene was purchased from C. B. Stark Jewelers. “A guy from Universal came in scouting for props,” says jewelry designer Cheryl Barbara Stark. “He said he needed nine rings. Later on, he came back with the arm to show us.”
  7. Lee Fierro was an acting instructor and a member of the Island Theater Workshop when she was cast as Mrs. Kintner. She’d go on to deliver one of the most famous slaps in cinema history  — one that required 17 takes. “She’s so great with fans,” says Mike Smith, president of Roy Scheider’s fan club. “She’ll pretend-slap them for photos if they ask. But she prefers hugs.”