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Death Be Not Proud


Jaws and seasickness
Michael Chapman Film-maker
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I was very happy for Bill do the lighting, I was so happy operating. I- I was having a wonderful time. I wasn't in any way envious or anything, I'd not- I don't think it ever crossed my mind that, gee, I would have done it different, or why did he put that light there, I'm pretty sure it never crossed my mind. I just wiped it, I was having such a wonderful time, and every day I- I mean, it was marvellous, you'd get up and I- I didn't have a car, I had a bicycle and I'd bicycle down to the dock and get in the Boston weather and the teamsters ran the whalers- they would take us out to wherever we were, you know, and then- and then we'd spend the whole day on the water and- and when the shark broke down, we'd dive for clams and dig them up and eat them, and- but they were paying us to do this, you know, and- and when the time came to actually shoot, I would handhold the camera and I had, it was just, it was like a great sports event, you know, I- I was- I felt like I was, I've said this before, and it's probably pompous and presumptuous, but I felt that I was having an MVP year, you know, that I was hitting 300 and- and I mean I was really nailing it every time. It was wonderful, I was having a great time. And it turned out pretty well. That's pretty interesting, because you spent a lot of time on the water, and you get this motion sickness- In those days, well I don't, I don't, I've never been seasick- Okay. For some reason I don't. Some, a lot of people did actually, but I don't know why, I just- I've always had boats and then lived on the water and lived near the water, and- and for some reason I don't seem to ever get seasick. But, aside from that, in those days they didn't have Steadicams, and the various motion control things, you know, there would- there would be a pendulum and they were just hopeless, and so we just did a little about, just hold it, and do it that way, and actually that turned out to be far and away the best way to do it, because if you- once you get into the rhythm of what the wave is like you can make your body move with it, and keep the horizon line pretty flat, I- it's- I mean it was a bravura job of operating, I don't mean in any way to take anything away from myself, it really was a bravura job of operating, and I had a great time doing it, why- why would I not, I mean I was having MVP season, you know, you don't think somebody's hitting 350 and 50 home runs, he's not happy, he is. And I was doing well and there were, well, we won't go into that part of it but it was a nice summer, it was a very nice summer.

Michael Chapman (1935-2020), an American cinematographer, had a huge influence on contemporary film-making, working on an impressive array of classic films including 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull', 'The Lost Boys' and 'The Fugitive'.

Listeners: Glen Ade Brown

British Director of Photography and Camera Operator Glen Ade Brown settled in Los Angeles 10 years ago.

He has been working on features, commercials and reality TV. He played an instrumental role in the award-winning ABC Family series "Switched" and is also a recipient of the Telly and the Cine Golden Eagle awards for Best Cinematography. He was recently signed by the Judy Marks Agency and is now listed in her commercial roster.

Tags: Jaws, Philip Kaufman, Bill Butler, Steven Spielberg

Duration: 2 minutes, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008