One thing Jaws fans never forget is their first time – it seems there’s a shared nostalgia for being scared out of your wits at a very early age, which leads to a continued fascination with the film.
“I’d have seen Jaws when I was around five and, like everyone, was terrified of going in the bath after,” recalls Newman. “It was the first VHS video I bought when I was 12. Around that same time I even ended up writing Jaws 5 in my English class. It was set in Cornwall and saw the return of Matt Hooper.”
“I was around four or five years old when I first watched Jaws so it was one of the first movies I remember seeing,” says Williams. “I watched it on TV with my mum who let me stay up late (a rarity), which added to my excitement… Once I’d seen it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. The shark, the excitement, and the characters. I was obsessed.”
For many fans that obsession continues their whole lives, and with more and more re-watches of the film and an increased focus on the story beyond the shark – of a town under siege, and of three men thrown together, each with their own motivations, baggage and fears – it develops into something richer and deeper that needs to be shared.
“Amity, as you know, means friendship,” quips Newman, quoting the island’s Machiavellian Mayor Vaughn. “And so does Jaws and The Daily Jaws. It’s great sharing stories about when people first saw it or when they have introduced it to their kids. It’s a part of the fabric of people’s lives and I think that is where we have been so successful. Like the film, we aren’t just about a shark, we are about people and relationships.”