Comme vous vous en doutiez, je n’ai pas eu la chance d’assister à la projection du DCP de Jaws 3D en compagnie de trois des principaux responsables: Joe Alves, Carl Gottlieb et Rupert Hitzig. Déjà, le vol Metz-Hollywood coûte un oeil! Et puis, quand il s’agit d’avion, je rentre en mode Barracuda from the A-Team! Seule solution pour vous tenir au courant de l’actualité Jaws 3D: piller les articles parus sur internet à gauche, à droite (en particulier celui du journaliste Ben Kenber)! C’est peut-être pas très glorieux mais c’est toujours mieux qu’un coup de pied aux fesses! Alors, est-ce que nos trois intervenants se sont montrés bavards? Une chose est sûre, la question de la très mauvaise réception critique de ce troisième volet il y a 30 ans n’a pas été abordée pendant ce Q&A. Mauvais point.
Impossible de parler de ce Jaws 3D sans faire référence au National Lampoon’s JAWS 3 PEOPLE O et Jaws’81… Et c’est Joe Alves qui s’y colle avec un discours parfaitement rodé: « They really didn’t want to make Jaws and we fought to get that made. They tried to stop it four times. Jaws 2, after they fired the first director, they closed it down and Verna Fields and I had to convince Ned Tanen (then President of Universal Studios) that we should go ahead and make it. And then here comes the third one, and they think so much of their biggest movie that they title it Jaws 3, People 0 which means they are making fun of their most successful film. Fields, who later became Vice President of Universal Studios, contacted me and told me that, since Brown and Zanuck left, the rights to Jaws were sold to Alan Landsburg, a television producer best known for the show That’s Incredible and that he was making a mess of everything. Fields asked me to talk with Landsburg which I did, and Landsburg offered me the chance to produce the sequel. But having worked 100 days as a Second Unit Director on Jaws 2 I was far more interested in directing it. But the conversation became very interesting when Landsburg told me of what his plans were for this sequel.
« I said you have to think about making a big shark, » I told Landsburg. « And he said, ‘oh no, no, no, no, no. I just want to use real sharks from what I have from That’s Incredible and mechanical people. So that’s how great the thinking was when this production started. »
« Then, I went to visit various aquatic parks for research and I came across an underwater exhibit that was in 3D (the movie SeaDreams). I thought it was great and loved the depth of the technology that was being used. After exiting the exhibit, I started to think about the possibilities of filming Jaws 3« in 3D.
With Jaws 3-D you accomplish two things. You take the onus off the third because there were very few thirds back then… I think Rocky III was the only one at the time (et Halloween III?). And then you introduce a fresh look at it (the franchise). I went home and did a shark drawing in 3D and I took it to Landsburg and to Sid Sheinberg, and he looked at it and said, ‘can I have this?’ I said ‘Sid, you’re President. You can have whatever you want! I just got to show it to Lew Wasserman first. I got the directing job and that’s how it started. »
Pour les questions de scénario, c’est bien évidemment Carl Gottlieb qui s’y est collé. Revenant dans un premier temps sur le script problématique de Richard Matheson, le sympathique Carl (appelé en renfort) s’est surtout attardé sur le tournage en Floride: « When Joe and Rupert came on, they all agreed on me. I had done the other two under difficult circumstances, and they said ‘can you do it again?’ So off I went to Florida and looked at Sea world, surveyed the situation and thought ‘yes I can do the script.' »
Once everything was ready to go, the cast and crew proceeded to Orlando, Florida to film Jaws 3-D… The only food down there was « deep fried, refried or just fried! Making the movie proved to be challenging not only because they were filming in 3D, but also due to the fact that the filmmakers were dealing with water and a big shark ».
Impossible donc de parler du film sans rappeler les difficultés inhérentes à la troisième dimension… Joe Alves précise: « We worked with one film and not two cameras. You take and split 35 mm film one way that you have a proportion that is really difficult to compose. A shark is very difficult to get out into the audience because it has a dorsal fin. If you cut the dorsal fin off, you could float it right into the audience. You could take a snake through it, but as soon as something hits that frame it jumps back. So the shark could come out as far as the dorsal fin and that was it. » Des soucis techniques déjà mentionnés par Joe dans la presse de l’époque (fangoria, Starlog)…
Il est toujours question de technique quand le jusqu’à présent très discret Rupert Hitzig prend enfin la parole: « This film was so different because we were so awed by the concept of 3D, but you only see in 3D those frames that work. You don’t see the ones that don’t work. Now there is a point of convergence, and the two lenses of the camera have to be put into convergence. So if I’m focusing on you and you’re in vertical in the back, then I’m focused on you but you’re gonna be two images in the back. Joe had to watch out that there were no verticals in the back because they were going to be too strong. So we go to the motel room in Orlando and we would be watching the movie and going ‘that shot is beautiful’ and ‘oh no!’ Our eyes would go cross eyed or walleyed and we ducked to the floor. Nobody was looking at the performances. So after the third week, I put a sign in the motel room that said « just when you thought it was safe to open your eyes – Jaws 3-D!«
Pas particulièrement fan de 3D, Carl Gottlieb se confie: »I haven’t seen it in 30 years and I’m looking forward to it. Every 3D movie is an experience, and sometimes I like to see them twice: once in 3D to have the stuff whizzing by, and a second time flat so that I can enjoy the story and the performances and everything else without the distractions of shooting for effects. » Notre ami Rupert Hitzig préfère, quant à lui, anticiper la possible déception du public en faisant preuve d’un peu de mauvaise foi quand même (rien sur la politique de Landsburg sur l’ Electronic compositing par exemple): « Remember that its 30 years ago. We didn’t have CGI, we didn’t have video editing and everything was cut on film which was a problem with 3D. I remember in the very beginning, Sid Sheinberg said ‘if you can get the shark to come through the screen and land in the audience’s lap, we’ll all be rich. So try and get that shark (which was so huge) through that little screen. Instead of CGI, we had to composite on videotape and then go back to 3D which was almost an impossible technical stunt. It’s not an apology, it’s just a realization of what you’re going to see. »
Alves rebondit en partageant une anecdote assez peu connue concernant le journaliste Gene Shalit: « I had talked to him on Jaws 2 and he wanted to know what we were doing on the third one. I was showing him the 3D stuff and was saying if it was a snake I could get it into the audience. A couple of years later I happened to be working on another movie and I saw Gene and he yelled over ‘it should of been a snake! » On sent pointer une légère déception dans les propos du réalisateur… Le mot de la fin appartiendra à Carl Gottlieb: « This script was typed on a typewriter. Fingers on keys, an IBM electric, clickety-clack, clickety-clack. » C’était il y a plus de 30 ans!
Aucune vidéo de cet échange n’est apparue sur la toile… C’est bien évidemment dommage de passer à côté d’un tel document. La prochaine projection/Q&A de Jaws 3D aura lieu dans quelques jours. Le tout sera filmé dans un but historique. Le président de ce festival 3D m’a assuré qu’il ferait le maximum pour m’obtenir des photographies de l’évènement… Pour la vidéo, c’est mort. Inutile de me demander!
Vivement en tout cas que ce DCP soit disponible sur le territoire français afin que les fans de l’hexagone puissent enfin en profiter! Si vous possédez d’autres photos du 13 aout, n’hésitez pas à me les envoyer à firstname.lastname@example.org
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