JAWS is coming to EIFF 2018 – and the screening will be presented with its iconic score played by the RSNO! With what promises to be an unmissable film-in-concert experience just a few weeks away, it’s the perfect opportunity to look back at one of the greatest-ever suspense classics and examine some behind-the-scenes facts.

A child swimming in the ocean looks on in horror at something in the distance

1. The filmmakers originally wanted to train a real great white shark for the film. When they realised this was impossible, Steven Spielberg concluded that the only thing that would work would be to build three giant robot sharks. He named them Bruce (after his lawyer) and they each cost a staggering $250,000.

2. Upon receiving Bruce, Spielberg still wasn’t satisfied that the robot looked enough like a real shark. As a result, the shark does not appear in the film for its first 81 minutes, Spielberg choosing instead leave the monster go unseen by the audience. This actually helped to build the suspense magnificently and contributed to the success of the film.

Amongst a busy crowd at the beach, Chief Brody looks out to the ocean, pondering 3. Spielberg wasn’t originally supposed to direct the film. Dick Richards was fired by the producers after he kept referring to the shark as a whale.

4. Director George Lucas was visiting the set and stuck his head inside the robot shark’s mouth to check it out. Spielberg decided to prank him by closing the jaws of the shark, but found that he couldn’t get them open again and they had to struggle to set Lucas free. Steven Spielberg in a shark's jaws 5. To achieve the jerking motion of Chrissie struggling in the water while the shark attacks her from below the surface, the filmmakers simply attached a rope to her waist and tugged it from beneath the water.

6. The film’s most famous line, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”, was ad-libbed by Roy Scheider on the day of the shoot. Crowds panic to leave the water including a mother clutching her small child. A yellow helicopter flies overhead.

7. Fidel Castro was a huge fan of JAWS, considering it to be a Marxist masterpiece.

8. The shoot was originally planned for 65 days, but ended up taking a whopping 159 days to complete. Brody looks out to the ocean and smokes a cigarette on board the Orca, while Quint steers the boat in the background

9. The film features footage of a real great white shark that accidentally got caught in the rigging for one of the shoot’s underwater diving cages and was fighting to free itself.

10. John Williams, composer of the famous score, first played the main JAWS theme for Spielberg on the piano using only two fingers. As a result, Spielberg did not initially realise Williams was being serious, but once he asked him to play it again he grew to love it, crediting half of the success of the film to the score, and describing it as the film’s signature. The critics clearly agreed, as it won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Tickets to experience JAWS with live orchestra accompaniment by the RSNO are currently available here.

Friday 22 June | Festival Theatre | 19:30