Jaws: The Great White Myth, Waddell Media’s latest international success story, premieres in the UK this Saturday 6th October at 7pm on Channel 4.
There are very few movies we can say truly changed the world, but Jaws is one of them. Careers were made, fortunes were created, and ways of directing and scoring movies and shooting special effects were changed forever when Hollywood’s first blockbuster was released.
But the impact the film had on the oceans and their inhabitants was as big as the audience it found, and at least as surprising. In the aftermath of the film's release, sharks were vilified and killed, leading to their near-disappearance from the east coast of America.
At the same time, public fascination with sharks led to a golden age of shark science that completely changed our view of the ocean and how it works. What the science revealed is how critical sharks are, as apex predators, to the health of our oceans. It spurred a worldwide conservation effort whose earliest champion was Jaws author Peter Benchley.
For the past 12 months Holywood based Waddell Media has been deep in international waters setting out to prove ‘how Jaws changed the world’ shooting in Australia, South Africa, The Bahamas, Florida and Martha’s Vineyard to reveal the stories of how lives and the natural world were significantly influenced by this infamous movie monster from 1975.
Commissioned as part of Discovery Channel’s prestigious 25th Anniversary of SHARK WEEK, and coinciding with the long awaited release of Jaws on Blu-ray, the special aired this August in the US. It was a huge rating success becoming Shark Week’s No.1 show. Discovery US were just one of the partners involved in a $1m international co-production which saw Waddell’s Creative Director and Executive Producer Jon-Barrie Waddell bring together Discovery Canada, Network Ten Australia and Channel 4 with production funding from the Northern Ireland Screen fund supported by Invest NI and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Jaws: The Great White Myth is the latest version created for Channel 4. Waddell Media has produced one and two hour specials for the various networks and the show has now aired on Discovery Canada’s Shark Week and premiered last week in Australia on Network Ten. Zodiak Rights hold international distribution, including DVD rights, and will launch sales in Cannes next week at MIPCOM.
The show is Produced and Directed by Anne Sommerfield; Story Producers Daniel Crozer and Kate Bradbury; Head of Production Mike McGeagh; Edited by Paul McFarlane and Executive Produced by Jon-Barrie Waddell. Anna Miralis is the Commissioning Editor for Channel 4.