Jaws 3-D (1983)

PG | 98 mins | Horror | 22 July 1983

Director:

Joe Alves

Producer:

Rupert Hitzig

Cinematographer:

James A. Contner

Production Designer:

Woods MacKintosh

Production Company:

Alan Landsburg Productions
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HISTORY

       The 4 Apr 1979 Var announced a planned joint production by Universal Pictures and National Lampoon magazine, titled Jaws 3, People 0, a parody of the studio’s successful franchise about great white sharks. The original scenario was written by National Lampoon president Matty Simmons, who intended to select three of the magazine’s editors as screenwriters. Producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown, who originated the series, planned to executive produce. The 29 Jun 1979 HR stated that the film would star Roger Bumpass, with a screenplay written by John Hughes and Todd Carroll. According to the article, the picture was to depict the making of a fictional sequel to Jaws (1975, see entry), and would feature members of the original film, along with a brief appearance by Sid Sheinberg, president of MCA, Universal’s parent company. Principal photography was expected to begin 7 Oct 1979. However, by Oct 1979, Zanuck, Brown, and Universal executives had rejected the completed screenplay, as reported in the 17 Oct 1979 LAT. Simmons argued that, as a humorist, he was better qualified to judge the script, and hoped to sell it to another studio, though the possibility was weak, since the “Jaws” franchise was the property of Universal.
       One year later, the 29 Oct 1980 LAT reported plans by Alan Landsburg Productions to produce a sequel with the working title Jaws 3, scripted by Guerdon Trueblood. Universal approved the project based on demand from foreign exhibitors. Zanuck and Brown anticipated a diminished role as consultants ... More Less

       The 4 Apr 1979 Var announced a planned joint production by Universal Pictures and National Lampoon magazine, titled Jaws 3, People 0, a parody of the studio’s successful franchise about great white sharks. The original scenario was written by National Lampoon president Matty Simmons, who intended to select three of the magazine’s editors as screenwriters. Producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown, who originated the series, planned to executive produce. The 29 Jun 1979 HR stated that the film would star Roger Bumpass, with a screenplay written by John Hughes and Todd Carroll. According to the article, the picture was to depict the making of a fictional sequel to Jaws (1975, see entry), and would feature members of the original film, along with a brief appearance by Sid Sheinberg, president of MCA, Universal’s parent company. Principal photography was expected to begin 7 Oct 1979. However, by Oct 1979, Zanuck, Brown, and Universal executives had rejected the completed screenplay, as reported in the 17 Oct 1979 LAT. Simmons argued that, as a humorist, he was better qualified to judge the script, and hoped to sell it to another studio, though the possibility was weak, since the “Jaws” franchise was the property of Universal.
       One year later, the 29 Oct 1980 LAT reported plans by Alan Landsburg Productions to produce a sequel with the working title Jaws 3, scripted by Guerdon Trueblood. Universal approved the project based on demand from foreign exhibitors. Zanuck and Brown anticipated a diminished role as consultants on the production, following their recent departure from Universal to Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. Ten months later, the 28 Aug 1981 LAT referred to the film by the alternate working titles, Jaws 1982 and Jaws III, to be directed by Mel Stuart. The 28 May 1982 DV announced actor Mickey Rooney as a leading cast member. Neither Stuart nor Rooney were listed in onscreen credits.
       On 18 Aug 1982, Var reported that the film, with its latest working title, Jaws 3, would be photographed using a process simulating three dimensions. Principal photography was planned for Oct 1982 at Sea World theme park in Orlando, FL, an inland location with a freshwater lagoon. Additional photography was planned for the Sea World park in San Diego, CA, and locations in the Florida Keys. A spokesman for the parks expressed concern that “shark scares” were in opposition to the company’s “public education efforts about marine life,” and worried that the company’s image may have been damaged by the screenplay, which portrayed park employees using foul language.
       The 1 Sep 1982 LAHExam revealed that the film, now officially titled Jaws 3-D, had an advertising campaign that predated the screenplay.
       The 13 Oct 1982 DV announced the 11 Oct 1982 start of principal photography in Orlando. The 29 Oct 1982 HR reported that $15 million of production costs would be directed by Joe Alves, production designer for the first two films in the series. Carl Gottlieb, Richard Matheson, and Michael Kane were listed as screenwriters, although Kane is not credited onscreen. On 3 Nov 1982, Var estimated that forty to sixty percent of the budget would be spent in the region over the course of the forty-two day schedule. Approximately 3500 area residents applied to work as background actors.
       An article in the 31 Jan 1983 DV stated that the first nine days' worth of film were rejected due to inadequate results using the “Optomax” system. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, a new three-dimensional system was developed for the picture that required only one camera with a split lens, as opposed to the traditional two-camera system. Although Sea World in Orlando was a primary location, it was situated forty miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The estuary and sea gate were constructed for the film on Key Biscayne, off the Florida coast. While the “Undersea Kingdom” and “Neptune Room” were not actual Sea World attractions, the park management had definite plans to build an underwater restaurant based on the film’s “Neptune Room,” and was considering an attraction similar to the “Undersea Kingdom.”
       Producer Rupert Hitzig stated that he originally intended to hire actors to portray the park’s whale trainers, but after observing real-life trainers Liz Morris and Dan Blasko in the performance of their duties, it was decided that teaching them to act was preferable to acclimating the whales to new trainers. Additional training was required for several of the actors as well: Bess Armstrong became a whale rider, Lea Thompson spent three weeks learning to water ski, Simon MacCorkindale studied scuba diving, and Dennis Quaid was trained in the use of a jet ski.
       Because no suitable water tanks were available for underwater filming, the producers constructed one of their own. With a depth of twenty-six feet and a diameter of 110 feet, it was, at the time, “the largest underwater facility of its kind in the United States.” It held 1.6 gallons of water, maintained at a temperature of 76ºF by a solar heating system. The tank featured five large viewing ports, made with “distortion-free tempered glass.” Once the tank was filled, however, visibility was poor due to impurities in the water, so the producers purchased a highly sophisticated filtration system. When it proved ineffective, a local company loaned them a more traditional system at no charge, which ultimately solved the problem.
       The scene in which the shark breaks through the control room window was accomplished by mounting the rear half of the room onto a steel platform. With the actors and technicians on board, it was lifted into the air by a large construction crane. Attached to another crane was a sluice tank containing 3,500 gallons of water to be poured onto the set, after which the entire platform would be immersed in the tank. Two camera operators wearing scuba equipment were tied to the platform, along with a group of electricians, and stunt doubles in place of actors. Although the sluice was released without incident, the immersion into the tank resulted in the capsizing of the platform, damaged equipment, and an injured diver. The sequence was eventually perfected after several practice runs.
       The mechanical shark, built by Roy Arbogast, was considered “the largest prop of its kind.” Hitzig explained that sharks perceive sound as “pulsations in the water,” rather than being able to hear, which led to the decision to record underwater sounds as “frequency modulations,” giving the audience an aural simulation of the shark’s environment. Alves told the 17 Jul 1983 Albuquerque Journal that the updated shark was built on the chassis of the shark created for Jaws 2 (1978, see entry), “but with new skin and new flexibility.” There was also a “three-quarter-shark” powered by hydraulic and electrical systems that operated the gills, enabled the eyes to roll back in its head during an attack, and the mouth to exposed the teeth while biting. Alves noted that filming in fresh water allowed the sharks mechanisms to operate more effectively, after witnessing the corrosive effects of salt water in the previous “Jaws” productions.
       The 2 Jul 1983 LAT announced the world premiere of Jaws 3-D on 17 Jul 1983 at the Plitt Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets prices were $100 for adults and $25 for children, with proceeds benefitting Find the Children, a charity dedicated to recovering missing children. The film’s FL premiere was held 21 Jul 1983 at Sea World’s Undersea Fantasy Theatre, according to the 6 Jul 1983 Var. Tickets sold for $50, and included a reception, buffet, and a tour of the park’s Shark Encounter and Jaws exhibits. The temporary installation of a 3-D projector in the park’s Undersea Theatre was financed Alan Landsburg Productions. Among the expected celebrity guests were actors Armstrong and Quaid, and several executives from Landsburg, Universal, and Sea World. Proceeds were donated to Find the Children and the Adam Walsh Foundation.
       The picture’s general release was preceded by the syndicated television special, The Making of Jaws 3-D: Sharks Don’t Die, as reported in the 18 Jul 1983 HR. Produced by Alan Landsburg Productions, the one-hour special was syndicated through MCA-TV and sold to 108 television stations throughout the U.S. A 28 Jun 1983 press release from Landsburg noted that the documentary would feature interviews with Armstrong, Quaid, Hitzig, and Alves, and narration by actor Louis Gossett, Jr.
       Shortly before the general release, Alves admitted in the 17 Jul 1983 Albuquerque Journal, that he had reservations about making such a conspicuous directorial debut. Originally intended as a television production with a modest budget, Alves saw it as an opportunity to direct, and convinced Sid Sheinberg and MCA chairman Lew Wasserman to make a 3-D theatrical film. Despite warnings from 3-D consultants, Alves discovered a considerable amount of flexibility with the process, and was able to complete photography in eighty-five days, thirty of which were dedicated to underwater scenes. He also discovered the limitations of the process, saying it was better suited to narrow objects, and believed the effects would have been more successful with a barracuda rather than a shark.
       Jaws 3-D opened nationwide 22 Jul 1983, and earned approximately $40 million within its first twenty-four days of release, according to the Oct 1983 Box. The 26 Jul 1983 LAHExam reported that it was the most successful opening in the history of Universal Pictures, and “the second biggest opening of the summer,” superseded only by Return of the Jedi (1983, see entry). Reviews were mixed, with several declaring it a failure as a horror film.
       The National Geographic Society filed a lawsuit against Alan Landsburg Productions and Universal Pictures, as reported in the 18 Oct 1983 HR. The plaintiff alleged that the television special, The Making of Jaws 3-D: Sharks Don’t Die, contained nearly two minutes of footage from the National Geographic documentary, The Sharks, originally aired by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), and later acquired for distribution by Landsburg and Golden West TV. According to the lawsuit, Landsburg was denied a request for permission to use the footage, but still included it in the special. National Geographic sought to have all copies of the special destroyed, and the defendants barred from any continued use of the footage. The plaintiff also sought $50,000 for each infringement, plus court costs, which might have required payments from the television stations that aired the special, along with the defendants. The outcome of the case has not been determined.
      End credits include the following statements: "'Sea World,' 'Shamu,' 'Cindy,' 'Sandy,' are trademarks of Sea World, Inc."; "The producers gratefully acknowledge the technical assistance of the Sea World staff, water ski team, and Sea World of Florida."
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Albuquerque Journal
17 Jul 1983
Section D, pp. 1-2.
Box Office
Oct 1983
p. 50.
Daily Variety
28 May 1982.
---
Daily Variety
13 Oct 1982
p. 8.
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 1983
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 1983.
---
LAHExam
1 Sep 1982
Section B, p. 6.
LAHExam
26 Jul 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Oct 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Oct 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1981.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Jul 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Jul 1983
p. 1.
New York Times
23 Jul 1983
p. 11.
Variety
4 Apr 1979.
---
Variety
18 Aug 1982.
---
Variety
3 Nov 1982.
---
Variety
6 Jul 1983
p. 29.
Variety
27 Jul 1983
p. 21, 24.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Alan Landsburg Productions Presents
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
Underwater op
Underwater cam des
Unit still photog
Video op
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy
3-D consultant
3-D consultant
3-D consultant
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Property
Scenic chargeman
Chief set builder
Const coord
Painter
Painter
Elec equip provided by
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Ward handler
Ward handler
Ward handler
MUSIC
Mus comp, arr & cond by
Shark theme by
Mus prod & coord by
for Strand Music Limited
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd asst
Post prod sd by
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Sd ed
Foley eff created by
at TAJ Soundworks, Los Angeles
Foley eff created by
at TAJ Soundworks, Los Angeles
Underwater hydrophones furnished by
Spec shark sd eff created by
Eng by
at Sound City, Van Nuys, California
Re-rec, Lion's Gate Sound
Re-rec, Lion's Gate Sound
Re-rec, Lion's Gate Sound
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual creative consultant
Visual des consultant
Spec photog and opt eff by
Spec photog and opt eff by
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec vis eff/Miniatures/Electronic composites
Main title des by
MAKEUP
Makeup des
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod exec
Casting
Addl casting by
Post prod exec
Supv exec
Scr supv
Tech adv
Extra casting
Extra casting
Intern
Loc mgr
Post prod asst
Equip mgr
Public relations exec
Prod assoc
Bus affairs liaison
Asst to prod
Prod office coord
Asst to prod offic coord
Asst to Mr. Landsburg
Prod control
Auditor
Assoc auditor
Assoc auditor
Transportation coord
Post prod supv
Post prod supv
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod services
Prod services
Screening coord
Sea World liaison
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Underwater coord/Dive master
Dive double
Dive double
Dive double
Stunt double
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the novel Jaws by Peter Benchley (Garden City, 1974).
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Jaws III
Jaws 3, People 0
Jaws 1982
Jaws 3
Release Date:
22 July 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 17 July 1983
Orlando, FL premiere: 21 July 1983
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 July 1983
Production Date:
11 October 1982--January 1983 in Orlando, FL, and San Diego, CA
Copyright Claimant:
MCA Theatricals, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 August 1983
Copyright Number:
PA185604
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses/Prints
Filmed in Arrivision 3-D
Lenses/Prints
Additional 3-D by Stereovision™
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27012
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A team of water skiers perform at Sea World theme park, narrowly avoiding the great white shark swimming just below the surface. On shore, spokesman Leonard Glass briefs reporters on the park’s latest attraction, the Undersea Kingdom, a structure comprised of four viewing tunnels, a control center, and the Neptune Room restaurant and lounge, all conceived by park owner Calvin Bouchard. The attraction lies forty feet below the surface of a man-made lagoon, connected to the ocean by deep-water channels. Meanwhile, engineer Mike Brody instructs his crew to secure a severely damaged gate that connects the lagoon to the ocean, before meeting his girl friend, marine biologist Kathryn Morgan, for a dinner date. At the park exit, they encounter Mike’s brother, Sean, who has just arrived from Colorado, and he joins them at a local tavern. That evening, technician Shelby Overman dives into the lagoon to secure the gate, but is killed by the great white shark before his work is finished. At the tavern, his girl friend, waitress Charlene Tutt, asks Mike about Shelby’s whereabouts, suspecting her boyfriend of having an affair. Mike, however, is more concerned that Shelby may have defied orders barring overtime work. Sean joins a game of Standoff with Kelly Ann Bukowski, a member of the ski team, and a romance develops between them. Kelly offers Sean a ride home, then tries to coax him into the surf for a late night swim, but Sean refuses, citing his fear of the ocean. While driving Kathryn home, Mike tells her of the shark attacks he and his brother witnessed as children on Amity Island, where ... +


A team of water skiers perform at Sea World theme park, narrowly avoiding the great white shark swimming just below the surface. On shore, spokesman Leonard Glass briefs reporters on the park’s latest attraction, the Undersea Kingdom, a structure comprised of four viewing tunnels, a control center, and the Neptune Room restaurant and lounge, all conceived by park owner Calvin Bouchard. The attraction lies forty feet below the surface of a man-made lagoon, connected to the ocean by deep-water channels. Meanwhile, engineer Mike Brody instructs his crew to secure a severely damaged gate that connects the lagoon to the ocean, before meeting his girl friend, marine biologist Kathryn Morgan, for a dinner date. At the park exit, they encounter Mike’s brother, Sean, who has just arrived from Colorado, and he joins them at a local tavern. That evening, technician Shelby Overman dives into the lagoon to secure the gate, but is killed by the great white shark before his work is finished. At the tavern, his girl friend, waitress Charlene Tutt, asks Mike about Shelby’s whereabouts, suspecting her boyfriend of having an affair. Mike, however, is more concerned that Shelby may have defied orders barring overtime work. Sean joins a game of Standoff with Kelly Ann Bukowski, a member of the ski team, and a romance develops between them. Kelly offers Sean a ride home, then tries to coax him into the surf for a late night swim, but Sean refuses, citing his fear of the ocean. While driving Kathryn home, Mike tells her of the shark attacks he and his brother witnessed as children on Amity Island, where their father was chief of police. Sean explains that he moved to Colorado to get as far away from the ocean as possible. They come upon Kelly’s car and Mike is amazed to find his brother playing with Kelly in the surf. The next morning, Kathryn arrives at the park and learns that the dolphins, Cindy and Sandy, are disobeying their trainers and displaying nervous behavior. Kathryn later discourages the advances of Philip FitzRoyce, a famous English documentarian hired by Calvin to publicize the park’s new attraction. Elsewhere in the park, Calvin orders Mike to fire Shelby for leaving the gate open, and Charlene is angry over her boyfriend’s prolonged absence. When Mike discovers that Shelby has left behind his wallet and identification, he suspects the worst and asks Kathryn to join him in a search of the lagoon. During their exploration, they are threatened by a small great white shark, but are pulled to safety by Cindy and Sandy. Calvin, Philip, and his assistant, Jack Tate, are told of the shark’s presence, and Philip suggests killing the beast. However, Kathryn believes it would be to Calvin’s advantage to have the only great white shark in captivity, and convinces him to take it alive. As they prepare for their mission, Philip suggests bringing a pair of hand grenades along as a last resort. Both Mike and Calvin disapprove, saying that an explosion could easily damage the acrylic tunnels. Kathryn, Philip, and Jack enter the lagoon armed only with tranquilizer darts, while Mike observes from the surface. Within moments, the shark attacks Kathryn from behind, gripping her oxygen tank in its teeth. After Philip frees her, Mike fires a dart into the shark’s back and renders the creature helpless. Days later, visitors crowd the park for the opening of the Undersea Kingdom, and Calvin orders the shark to be transferred to a pool for display, dismissing any suggestion that he consult Kathryn beforehand. When Karthryn learns of the transfer, she and her assistant, Dan, hurry to the pool and find the shark dead. Meanwhile, tourists visiting the undersea kingdom are horrified as Shelby’s mutilated body floats past. Kathryn examines the body and discovers a bite three feet across, indicating the presence of a thirty-five foot shark in the lagoon, which she believes is the mother of the captured shark. As she and Mike deliver the news to Calvin, Philip, and Jack in the lounge, the shark appears on the other side of the glass partition. Calvin orders the park evacuated and closed, while Mike warns the ski team and tourists of the impending danger. The shark damages one the underwater tunnels, trapping a large group of visitors inside as automatic doors contain the incoming water. Mike and his crew work feverishly in the machine shop, fabricating parts to repair the tunnel. Philip and Jack approach Calvin with a plan to eliminate the shark by trapping it inside a filtration pipe, using the powerful suction of the water pumps, while capturing the event on film. Calvin observes from the control center as Jack secures Philip’s lifeline, and the shark is successfully trapped inside the pipe. However, when the lifeline fails to hold, the suction draws Philip into the shark’s gaping mouth and he is swallowed whole. Calvin assumes the danger has passed and shuts off the pump, allowing the shark to escape. Kathryn joins Mike in the lagoon as he patches the tunnel, as the shark looms nearby. However, the dolphins intercede and create a distraction, allowing the couple to return safely to the control center. Inside the tunnel, the water recedes, the doors open, and the tourists are able to leave. After Kathryn and Mike return to the control center, the shark crashes through the observation window and kills Calvin's technician nephew, Fred, while water pours into the room. With its head caught in the jagged glass, the shark thrashes helplessly as Calvin and another technician escape, and Mike glimpses Philip’s lifeless hand holding a grenade inside the creature’s mouth. Using a metal rod, Mike removes the pin, and he and Kathryn take cover before the shark’s head explodes. The couple swims to the surface, flanked by Cindy and Sandy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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