Dustin Meadows first noticed “Jaws” as a younger youngster, and the 1975 thriller left such an impression on the comic that to at the present time he nonetheless refuses to enterprise greater than 15 ft into the ocean.
“Again in 2018, when my fiancée and I went to Santa Monica seashore, I feel I waded in possibly 10 ft from the shoreline and I used to be like, ‘That is so far as I am going,’” Meadows stated not too long ago by cellphone.
Within the years since that first viewing, Meadows has revisited the film with regularity, catching screenings at native theaters (Studio 35, Gateway Movie Heart, South Drive-In) and even unpacking it in additional educational phrases whereas deconstructing the flick in faculty, the place he minored in movie manufacturing. “It’s form of nuts to have a monster film the place you hardly see the monster, and you actually don’t absolutely see it till over midway by,” Meadows stated. “And the script is de facto good. … It’s a extremely well-paced film, which is one thing I hardly ever say about motion pictures that stretch previous the two-hour mark. It’s simply amazingly well-done.”
For these causes and extra, “Jaws” appeared like a pure match when, a couple of months into the coronavirus pandemic, Meadows, who has been vocal about the importance of taking time off to absorb the unfolding global catastrophe, began to really feel that acquainted artistic tug, which led him to the thought of recreating a famed film scene-for-scene.
“The pandemic has challenged me and lots of different comedians and artists I respect to specific themselves in another way, whether or not it’s by different mediums or simply in altering up how they do issues,” stated Meadows, who participated in a handful of digital comedy occasions however has no quick plans to return to reside levels. “For me, I spotted I wasn’t going to be doing lots of stand-up … so I believed possibly I might remake a film. After which it bought in my head that ‘Jaws’ may very well be enjoyable.”
For the formidable challenge, Meadows invited numerous associates each in Ohio and throughout the nation to contribute, splitting off scenes and giving every artistic workforce carte blanche on how you can strategy it. Consequently, the finished movie has a lovably patchwork high quality, combining scenes filmed with human actors with “animated” sequences populated by numerous Pez dispensers, Legos or Barbie dolls. In a single early scene, a contributor spends a number of minutes explaining his preliminary formidable plans for the shoot, which included procuring a shark from Chicago, which he stated later ate the footage, leaving him with nothing. Ultimately, he data a video apology and divulges a tattoo on his arm of Jaws consuming a younger boy.
“The one actual onerous and quick guidelines we had have been a couple of costume issues in order that it might be obvious all through which character was which,” Meadows stated. “Past that, the thought was by no means to remake it faithfully. It was to have some enjoyable with it, and to offer it our personal little twist.”
In a single scene, for instance, Meadows altered a monologue in order that the dialogue referenced the occasions of the film “Deep Blue Sea,” and there are a handful of mentions to residing amid a pandemic, which was one thing Meadows initially resisted however that grew to become unimaginable to keep away from as life amid COVID-19 has continued to pull on.
“Initially what I informed everybody was to keep away from references to [the coronavirus] for worry of relationship ourselves, however that was additionally once I thought this may be over by the autumn,” stated Meadows, who initially hoped to launch his tackle “Jaws” final Fourth of July, after which on Halloween, earlier than giving up and realizing months extra could be required to complete the challenge, which launched earlier this month and might now be seen on YouTube. “And the longer I spent on it the extra I used to be like, ‘OK, I don’t care about relationship myself. I don’t care about avoiding references to issues which might be happening proper now, as a result of at this level how are you going to not?’”
Whereas Meadows encountered numerous hurdles all through the manufacturing, together with some contributors dropping out, which required him to recreate extra scenes than he initially meant, these might need paled compared to the idea of capturing the vast majority of a movie that requires the fixed presence of the ocean inside a landlocked state.
“It was enjoyable seeing what everybody’s resolution was,” Meadows stated. “For a few my scenes we drove all the way down to Senecaville to shoot on the lake there. … And a few individuals substituted a bath for the ocean, or bought actually artistic utilizing a blue tarp to characterize the water.”
Had the manufacturing stretched on for much longer, Meadows might have filmed a few of his scenes oceanside. In late June, the comic will depart Columbus together with his fiancee, Michelle Weiser, for a long-planned transfer to Los Angeles, the place he intends to pursue comedy, along with movie work.
“We’re each very excited, particularly since we bought a spot locked down means sooner than we thought we have been going to, which was one of many large hurdles,” stated Meadows, who was compelled by COVID-19 to delay the transfer a yr. “I by no means thought I’d discover myself saying this, however I’m going to overlook an excellent chunk of the individuals right here, and I’m going to overlook some issues about being on this metropolis. It’s been good to spend a little bit extra time right here earlier than shifting on to that subsequent step.”
Watch the collaborative remake of “Jaws” beneath.