From the June 21, 1974 edition of the Vineyard Gazette: No matter what the calendar says about this, next week is the Fourth of July on the State Beach. All week, maybe even starting tomorrow if the weather is fine, Universal Studios will be filming the last sequences on land of Jaws — Monday the Fourth, Tuesday the Fourth, Wednesday.

“We shall want to have a very large crowd of extras to simulate the Fourth of July look on the beach and in the shallow water,” Universal’s production director William Gilmore told the county commissioners Wednesday. “We expect to shoot for about a week. We’re anxious to get out before the season opens at the end of the month.”

He added pensively that it would be painful if the production of the film were to run over into the season, “at seasonal prices” for room and board.

Mrs. Robert W. Nevin, secretary to the production staff, had brought him to the commissioners’ meeting to complete an elaborate round of clearances, involving formal permission from police, governing bodies, and conservation commissions in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, along whose connecting shorelines the action will be staged.

“We hope to be out within a week,” Mr. Gilmore said. He referred to land-based filming. Work at sea will continue beyond that.

“We hope you’ll have had a pleasant stay,” said Shirley K. Frisch, one of the commissioners. “We like the look of your money.”

“I hope it can be said we paid our dues,” Mr. Gilmore said.

Shari Rhodes, casting director, was recalled from a vacation in Texas to cast the crowd scene, which will involve 400 extras. Mrs. Daniel Hull and Mrs. Everett Poole are assisting her. All three are still looking for men of 25 years or better.

For a while this week the action went to sea, and Jaws-watchers had to stand by and wait for the non-stop Fourth.

Wednesday the shark rig was towed into position and sunk in 22 feet of water. Above it was anchored the shark house, which is a station for divers and special-effects crews engaged in training the sharks. They’re machines.

The Irish star Robert Shaw, who plays Quint, has been alternately seasick or chafing at the hawser to get out of the country. If he spends too much time in the U.S. he gets hooked for income taxes U.S. style, and he has been pleading, “Why can’t this be filmed in Mexico or the Bahamas?”

When the sharks proved uncooperative the shooting ceased, so did Mr. Shaws’ seasickness, and he deported himself to Canada, where he awaits his call which depends entirely on the whim of three mechanical sharks.

Since the shooting must go on, Jaws moved to the shores of Chappaquiddick; at least the actors did. The cameras and their merry crews stayed on the relatively unsandy town dock and did their filming with the aid of a 500-mm lens.

Now on the State Beach, all speed, efficiency and excess manpower have been called out to erect the gaily painted cabanas and bandstand, the houseful of rented beer and the “closed” hot dog stand. These have created an instant beach club on the state road where the shooting will be done for the week at least.

Back into the sand went the big arc lights, the track for the camera dolly and a lot of atmosphere. Atmosphere has nothing to do with the air, but is people doing what people would really be doing. Atmosphere is the extras.

The day was hot, a perfect beach day (even the weather works on cue occasionally). Mrs. Richard Fligor was there with her children, or somebody’s children, holding a birthday party with a big yellow cake. There were a few uneasy moments when, what with all the rehearsing and perpetually famished young, the cake consumption was too high and the director had to yell, “No cake between takes!”

The children were cooking hot dogs over a fire, which like all picnic fires preferred not to burn and had to be made to flare up by special-effects men, who were also cautioned not to burn down the cabanas.

All the crew (it’s always prepared for anything) appeared in bathing suits and in moments off took the plunge. As a result there were some interesting moments among electricians who had to lug in hundreds of volts when dripping wet.

There were the usual number of numbing rehearsals and takes, but lucky was the Labrador retriever that got a stick thrown in the water for him to fetch. The more takes, the better. He never had it so good.

While the shooting was going on, four Lasers rented in Edgartown at $10 a day were trundled across the sand by the frustrated carpenters who were there to build a fence but couldn’t make hammering noises during the shooting.

Every now and then there would be a great hiss of compressed air escaping from the off-shore shark house as something went awry with the shark training.

So while Mr. Shaw sojourns in Canada to the sorrow of the Internal Revenue Service, the mad beach scenes will treat extras and residents to a week’s conglomeration of confusion long to be remembered.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox