Underwater videographers Ron and Valerie Taylor have been filming sharks for nearly 50 years primarily for documentaries, according to CNN.com. However, a sequence that they filmed for the horror movie “Jaws” might be one of their most recognized pieces of film. The Taylors discuss shooting the sequence in the video above.
While the fictitious shark featured in “Jaws” was supposed to be upwards of 25′ in length, the Taylors were used to filming great white sharks that were about half that length. To compensate for the size difference a miniaturized cage with a “small” man were used for filming the sequences in the movie that involved a real white shark (other scenes used the infamous mechanical shark “Bruce”). Ron Taylor goes on to discuss how the real white shark actually became entangled in the prop cage, which resulted in the shark panicking and essentially dismantling the cage, which gave off the appearance in the sequence used in “Jaws” that the shark was purposely attacking the cage.
While the Taylors are committed to conservation efforts for sharks these days, Ron Taylor admits that some of their work might have contributed to the negative stereotypes that exist among the general public when it comes to sharks. He says that “Jaws” was so effective and “well done” that people started believing that the fictitious tale was indicative of real shark behavior. Taylor goes on to say that some documentaries perpetuate these stereotypes due to the fact that a lot of documentary footage featuring human and shark interactions, involves baiting the sharks.
The Taylors are proponents of “no-take zones” in which fishing for all species of sharks would be prohibited to allow for sharks to reproduce and maintain sustainable numbers. Valerie Taylor believes that “good imagery” can help change perceptions about these protected marine environments and likens them to land-based national parks.
The full interview with the Taylors will air on CNN’s Talk Asia. For more information check out the article at CNN.com.