Certain movies have this effect on us, this power over us.  Perhaps no film has ever shaped our recreational lifestyles, our connection to the environment, like the movie Jaws.  Before it, our fears of the water were based in drowning, but after the summer of 1975, an overwhelming phobia of sharks permeated the consciousness of a generation of Americans and then another and another. 

And no where was that hysteria more available than at the Jersey Shore, the site of the first publicized shark attacks on humans, nearly 100 years ago.  Those 1916 attacks, an extreme anomaly (you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than to be attacked by a shark), inspired

Jaws author Peter Benchley to pen the book, that Steven Spielberg would bring to the screen.  Indeed, the result of the film was that many refused to swim and many of those who did, did so with an uneasy feeling.  It was a sad consequence of a powerful film and a testament to the power of good filmmaking, grand storytelling.  Back then and even until today, beach kids, me included, would hum out John Williams haunting theme song as they approached their sibling’s rafts intent on attack.  

At a recent big screen showing of the film at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank Driving Jersey Corespondent, actor Brian Gaskill, and I asked fans about their love of the film and their fear of the water. 

Music for The Jersey Projector was composed by Ryan Bott.