The producers of the hit film Jaws hired 27-year-old Steven Spielberg to direct the film before the release of his first movie, The Sugarland Express. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, shooting the film took longer than expected and drove costs up to $8 million while the budget was set at $4 million. At one point, Universal threatened to shut down production of the movie, but had a change of heart and instead promoted Jaws with a $700,000 marketing campaign. The mechanical shark used in the picture was affectionately named Bruce. (Pixar named the shark in Finding Nemo after him as well.) The famous “daa-daa” music was composed by John Williams and was performed by tuba player Tommy Johnson. Jaws made about $7 million during the opening weekend becoming one of the first summer blockbuster films ever. It also caused a lot of people to be afraid of going into the water. Any water.
Nicole Kidman is Born
Though she is mostly know as an Australian, Nicole Mary Kidman was born on this day in 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii while her parent were in the United States on educational visas. Kidman’s first tried acting while in primary and high school. Kidman says that she was first inspired to act after she saw Margaret Hamilton’s performance as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Kidman first studied at Philip Street Theatre in Sydney and studied alongside actress Naomi Watts. One of her first breakout roles was in the 1989 thriller, Dead Calm. The next year she married Tom Cruise and appeared with him on the big screen in the 1992 film, Far and Away. She sang for the first time on screen in 2001’s Moulin Rouge! and divorced Cruise the same year. In 2006 Kidman married country singer Keith Urban and the two are practicing Catholics.