If you’re not familiar with the work of Jamie Benning, you really should acquaint yourself with it.

Inside Jaws

Inside Jaws – Copyright: Martin Schlierkamp

Essentially he creates what he calls Filmumentaries – Making Of documentaries that play out like a DVD commentary, but he edits in various bits and pieces such as behind the scenes footage, animations and deleted scenes.

In many cases these Filmumentaries go way beyond the standard extras you get on a DVD or a blu-ray and in the case of his Raiding The Lost Ark feature, mostly superior to the features officially released by Lucasfilm.

His love for his chosen films is clearly evident by a the disclaimer stating “this project was made with a genuine affection for the film and is not made for profit”.

With Inside Jaws, Jamie Benning’s work has been taken beyond the comfort zone of Lucasfilm and into the early days of Spielberg’s career.

Ultimately, Jaws was the first summer blockbuster. Not only was it a franchise starter, it set the template for all future releases and paved the way for many films that followed.

You’d think that for a film that was shot in 1974, there wouldn’t be much footage, photographs and interesting tidbits to be extracted from it.

But Jamie Benning has done the impossible and actually managed to draw blood from a stone, amassing a collection of unseen b-roll footage (mostly shot on 8mm film), outtakes, production photographs and various interviews.

Not only are the deleted scenes from the blu-ray present and correct (my personal favourite being Quint in the music shop), but he has also included footage of Spielberg and his crew shooting scenes that were ultimately abandoned and re-written.

Naturally the commentary features interviews with all of the stars – Spielberg, Richard Dreyfus, Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, an extremely well spoken Robert Shaw (those dulcet tones actually reminded me of just how great his performance in Jaws is), but Jamie Benning has also gone out of his way to interview various local extras that were involved in the production while filming at Martha’s Vineyard.

Finding out what they got up to, how they got their roles, how much they got paid and what it was like to work with The Beard – obviously before he had a beard.

Inside Jaws also features some interesting animated diagrams that highlight the mechanics of Bruce the shark and how he attacked Quint’s boat, The Orca.

As I mentioned earlier, this is the sort of insight that you would never normally see in an official making of documentary and it is this sort of thing that sets his work apart most others.

On Jamie’s blog, he hints that he might go on to do a Ghostbusters or Back to the Future Filmumentary. I can’t even begin to image how much blood, sweat and tears goes into all his work, but whatever his next project turns out to be, I am sure that it’ll be worth checking out and I eagerly look forward to it.

You can view Inside Jaws below:

To view more of Jamie’s work (and I sincerely recommend that you do), head over to his website at filmumentaries.com.

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.