The Daily Jaws, which bills itself as the world’s largest fan site for Steven Spielberg’s classic summer blockbuster “Jaws,” celebrated the film’s 45th anniversary this past Saturday with the premiere of its global “WeMake.” The original was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard, with Islanders playing supporting roles in the summer of ’75 blockbuster.
More than 100 fans in the U.S, U.K. and India participated in the project, recreating scenes from the movie in the comfort of their own homes. Creativity was of the utmost importance, as fans included a mix of live action, animation, action figures, and stop-motion to bring their scenes to life. The final result was a collage of each fan’s inventiveness, humor, and appreciation for the original film.
“We couldn’t be happier,” said Ross Williams, the founder of Daily Jaws. “We were blown away by the quality, the enthusiasm, and the passion.”
The WeMake, which includes more than 70 submissions from around the world, still has some ties to the classic summer blockbuster. The fan-made film starts with a surprise introduction from Ian Shaw, the son of Robert Shaw, who played Quint in the original movie. Some scenes were shot on Martha’s Vineyard, the home of “Amity Island” in the original movie. The film also briefly features Marty Milner, who helped build the famous mechanical shark that scared millions. Miller told Daily Jaws the WeMake was “a wonderful effort.”
The movie also features U.K. comedian Tim Vine, who plays Chief Brody, Mayor Vaughn, Ellen Brody, Harry Meadows, and the coroner — sometimes even in the same scene. “‘Jaws’ is my favorite film, so having a reason to make bits of it has been the perfect way to fill my lockdown afternoons,” Vine told Daily Jaws.
What really defines the WeMake, however, is the ingenuity of the fans, who reimagined their favorite scenes with a great sense of humor.
One personal favorite was a fan who recreated an autopsy scene in his kitchen. The fan read from a notebook titled “5th Grade Biology Notes” as he struggled to pronounce the scientific terminology when describing the victim’s injuries. “The head and shoulders appear to be intact,” the fan says, before pulling out a bottle of men’s Head and Shoulders shampoo.
In another scene, a toddler plays the movie’s villainous shark. The suspenseful “Jaws” theme plays as he walks around his backyard, his hand on his head to recreate a shark fin. The scene then cuts to another fan who exclaims, “That’s a 20-footer!”
“At that crucial moment, it was hilarious. It was really, really fun to just see the different approaches that people took,” Williams said.
The Daily Jaws had been mulling the WeMake project for the past year, but considered it a pipe dream until the coronavirus pandemic, said Dean Newman, chief writer for the site. The project officially launched on April 21 as a way to rally “Jaws” fans affected by lockdown or stay-at-home orders.
“We know a lot of people have been stuck at home, or not been able to go out,” Williams said. “We wanted to help keep ‘Jaws’ fans entertained and celebrate 45 years of the release of the film in our own unique way, and it does just that.”
The WeMake, which premiered on YouTube on June 20, has enjoyed a great response with more than 13,000 views. “The #JawsWeMake has restored my faith in humanity,” one fan tweeted on Sunday. The film has also won the praise of Jeffrey Kramer, who played Deputy Jeff Hendricks in the original blockbuster. “That was great fun! Thank you!” Kramer commented on Instagram.