A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, The Daily Jaws was lucky enough to chat with Jaws super fan and collector, Jimmy Sandefur. He shared with us his love for Jaws and some incredible photos of his collection. We hope you enjoy meeting 'Jaws Fan Jimmy' as much as we did!
The Daily Jaws (TDJ): Jimmy, when did you first watch Jaws?
Jimmy (JS): I vividly remember the first time I saw "Jaws". I was 10 years old and my sister took me to the Show Town Drive-in in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was the first time a film really affected me - I jumped, I laughed and I was just plain scared silly. I remember shouting out loud when Brody blew up Bruce during the finale'. Ever since that time, "Jaws" has been my favorite film. Obviously, it's a classic - but to me it's the perfect movie - perfect cast, plot, pacing, editing and score.
TDJ: Why are you such a huge jaws fan?
JS: For the reasons stated above - "Jaws" opened the world of movies to me - it showed me what impact a great movie could have on your emotions. Back in those days there was no home video and we had to wait years to see the film on HBO, etc. "Jaws" was re-released i 1979 and I remember going back to the theater to see it again. I relived my first experience and shortly thereafter I bought my first One Sheet movie poster (of the '79 re-release). Later that year (as I recall) the movie debuted on HBO. I was sitting at home and couldn't believe that I could watch my favorite movie at home!
TDJ: What is your favourite line from the movie?
JS: When Quint says: "Don't know what that bastard shark will do with it. Might eat it I suppose. Saw one eat a rocking chair one time." I love those lines! Perfectly encapsulates Quint's character: full of bravado and piss - and may or may not be telling the truth.
TDJ: Classic line! Who is your favourite character?
JS: Brody. Brody is "everyman" - he hates the water and as the movie progresses we fear the shark and experience the terror through his eyes. He is clearly in over his head, but won't give up. He feels obligated to the town (and perhaps Ms. Kitner) to remove the threat. Brody is "us" - he is the audience.
TDJ: Couldn't agree more. What was the first piece of Jaws memorabilia you got?
JS: The first item I ever got was the re-release One Sheet. I hung it on my wall for years.
TDJ: You have an immense collection. How long have you been collecting?
JS: I have been "seriously" collecting since about 2000. I picked up a piece here and there over the years and am constantly on the "lookout" for items to add to my collection. Jim Beller of jawscollector.com has been a great friend and invaluable resource regarding scarcity, value and places to search for certain items. He also posts valuable information on "fakes" on his web page and Facebook page.
TDJ: Jim Beller is a Jaws legend! The North Star for many Jaws fans. Now for the really hard question, but I have to ask... What is your favourite piece from your collection?
JS: My "holy grail" is the stunt harness that Susan "Chrissie" Backlinie wore during the opening attack sequence. As you know a pair of blue jean shorts were altered and "brackets" were attached to each side. Stunt men hooked cables to the brackets and ran up and down the beach to give the illusion that Chrissie was being attacked and dragged. I obtained the piece from a collector who obtained them directly from Universal Studios. I was fortunate enough to meet Susan at JawsFest in 2005 and she couldn't have been more gracious. She signed the harness for me ("Come on in the water!"). This was, is and will be the prize piece in my collection. The harness has been featured in several books including Martha's Vineyard Memories: The Making of "Jaws".
TDJ: What is the rarest piece in your collection?
JS: The harness - one-of-a-kind! I also recently acquired an original "Jaws" crew t-shirt from 1974. I had that framed and it proudly sits on my wall.
TDJ: Are there any Jaws memorabilia you are still trying to get?
JS: I'd love to get some more original production items but they are so rare and expensive! Several years ago, I recall an auction for the original "ORCA" letters. I called in to bid but the gavel price was $30,000.00! Also, this month a scrapbook from the set with original photos and signatures sold for $25,000.00.
I have collected the rare "Sharkfacts" poster and a rare silk banner that was displayed in movie theaters at the time of original release. I also look for 'quirky' pieces - recently picked up an original Collegeville "Jaws" Halloween costume from 1975. Always on the lookout for new items when my budget (and wife) allow.
TDJ: What tips would you share with other movie memorabilia collectors?
JS: Collect what you love. Start small and look for affordable items (repo posters, movies) - and then start focussing on something a little more expensive that you'd like to add. Beware of fakes! Don't hesitate to reach out to other collectors to get their opinion on items. (For example there were no Sharpies in 1975, but eBay is full of "original" "Jaws" cast autographs that are in Sharpie). Look around, be patient and most of all, have fun!