Flip a and get more from director Jaume Collet-Serra on The Shallows…
Collet-Serra explains that he wanted to use the elements, like murky and mysterious waters, crashing waves and more to help the intensity of the film. As we all know the shark was a digital enhanced antagonist of the film, though the great white was not in the film when filming. That was a challenge all of its own, Jaume Collet-Serra explains the filming process to Film.
“It’s a fear that lasts a year. You don’t see the shark. It’s not like we do a movie and jump into the movie knowing we can do it; we hope we can figure it out. You just jump into the water and get wet. The first time I edited the movie, the shark was a dot. You just put a dot on the screen that’s red, and it moves across the screen, from left to right to right to left. Then you move to the next stage, where you have a very rudimentary, not even like a flat animation of a shark, but a cutout, you know? Then you keep moving forward until you eventually see the real shark, but you never really see it. I just saw it for the first time two weeks ago. But it comes into pieces, to be honest.”
“Every once in a while, you get a really good shot, like the one in the trailer where the shark is coming out of the water and eats the surfer. You see that early, like two months ago, and say, “Wow. Great. I have another 100 shots to go.” You start seeing the other shots — and some work great at the beginning, some just don’t work and you adjust.”
Jaume Collet-Serra describes the work load:
“It’s work. Every day, for hours and hours, with a laser pointer and a conference call, talking to different teams all across the world, telling them: “What about this? What about the muscles under the mouth? Can we do something here in the eye?” It’s every detail, every frame, and every gesture.”
“There’s a lot of control. The problem is, there are 1,100 shots in the movie, right? If I spend, maybe, one minute looking at each shot and get to review it three times, if you add that up, that would be two weeks of full-time work for me. Those are eight-hour days looking at shots. What that tells you is that I can maybe see a shot three times before it’s done. The first time, if it doesn’t look very good, you try to make it look good. By the third time, you’re adding details, but you can’t do big changes. That’s why big movies often get pushed around in the schedule and whatnot, to give more control and time to the director, because these things take a lot of time. Because we wanted this to be a summer movie we knew we had to make strong decisions and make them early in the process to make our date.”