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Documentary Takes A Bite Out of 'Jaws'

Television executive Bill Harris of Wilton marvels at the lasting impact of the blockbuster movie "Jaws," saying, "It's the holy grail of great summer excitement films."

Director Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller left a mark on many people, including the producers of "The Shark is Still Working" a documentary that shows the legacy of "Jaws." Harris' wife Megan Smith-Harris showed the documentary Thursday at the Wilton Library as a part of her film series, "New Perspectives."

"It is satisfactory for the general public, but for the subculture that is obsessed with the movie, it's amazing," Smith-Harris said.

"The Shark is Still Working" shows viewers two aspects of the movie. One side is new interviews with the big names involved with the movie; the other shows the perspective of the Martha's Vineyard locals who were hired as extras on the film.

The Vineyard residents were paid $64 a day and still happily recalled their dealings with Spielberg and the actors. One such resident was Lee Fierro, who played Mrs. Kitner, whose son Alex is eaten by the shark early on in the movie. Fierro laughed when she said that people still come up and ask her to slap them like she slaps Roy Scheider in the movie.

The producers of "The Shark is Still Working" are showing their documentary at film festivals and looking to work out a distribution deal for their film. They are also hoping the success of this film will launch their filmmaking careers.

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