From the Vineyard Gazette edition of Oct. 21, 1977:

On Monday Jaws 2 was back cluttering up Edgartown with cables, trucks, extras and all the wonderful paraphernalia used in the world of illusion. It rained on and off which meant that production was on and off, and since the scene was to be June (and a hot day at that) it meant that coats were on and off.

Filming started outside the John M. Coward house on the corner of South Water street and Davis Lane. This had been used as the Amity police station in the earlier Jaws and was on stage for the second time. Action called for chief of police Martin Brody, alias Roy Scheider, to walk just a few simple steps to the photographer’s shop, which had been created in the first Harborside Inn building beyond the Gift and Garden Shop. It took him all day and into the night. In fact until 9:30. The walk was made in a multitude of set ups. In the first he passes a female tennis player, in the next it’s Bill Bowie. The chief finally got into the shop and made a quick stop before walking back up the other side. It was not a lengthy walk, but a long one.

Marvelous portable antique gas lanterns materialized on the street where they haven’t been in years (they were even lighted at night), and replaceable meandering trees appeared.

Trees have always been a problem to Universal. The first difficulties were encountered in Jaws 1 when production expected to shoot July scenes in May before there were any leaves on the trees. Then the studio came back last spring to shoot winter scenes with June busting out all over. Now they are shooting hot summer in the middle of October. Therefore the accumulation of fallen leaves acquired after several back-to-back (it was really front-to-front) northeasters had to be swept up before each take, since leaves continued to fall.

Because of the delicate condition of the molting trees, new trees pre-mounted on boards were placed at random in the scenes when needed, each with a lovely new bushy crop of leaves, leaving one to wonder from whose greenhouse they had come. The touring trees could be seen as they were trucked about in David Hand’s pickup. He was loading and unloading them with a regularity that was surprising for David. He was also one jump ahead of the camera putting signs up as the Edgartown National Bank became Amity National Band and Brickman’s of Martha’s Vineyard became Brickman’s of Amity Isle.

The signs used in the spring filming had been donated by Jaws to be auctioned off for the benefit of the new ambulance, and many had been taken off-Island, so Pete Ortiz was painting new replacements on demand.

The unstable weather finally burst forth in torrents, and the crew burst out in matching blue foul weather gear making it a good deal easier to tell who belonged and who didn’t. Often members of the crew don’t know each other because many are freelancers coming from different locations and from the East and West Coast unions.

Fifty extras had been hired by Mrs. Daniel Hull to fill in about the streets, forming what in the business is called “atmosphere.” They mostly camped out in the lobby of the new Kelley House which slowly took on the look of a disaster area with a room full of refugees. What with a cache of used coffee cups, scattered, a coffee machine dripping on the carpet, dirty ashtrays, smashed soda cans and extras sitting on the floor (there weren’t 50 chairs) it looked the part.

One of the extras wondered how the arriving guests who had registered (at $50 a day) felt about their fancy, highly recommended hotel, on finding the refugee atmosphere in full flower.

On Tuesday all 50 extras were back and so was the sun. Everyone was out on Main street blocking traffic. The young dashed happily about on mopeds and bikes loaded by Batavus while pedestrians lugged boat or beach gear up and down the street. All this background was to make Main street look the busy way it does in summer, while the police car (fake) dashed through the crowds down Main street to Dock street and on-board Tony’s ferry.

After lights, camera and action had been thoroughly rehearsed, Roy Scheider and Lorraine Gary (his movie wife) would get in the cruiser, and it would all be done again. People and dogs jay walked, babies were pushed or carried and the confusion was immense, but after Mrs. Hull had seen the dailies she said, “It wasn’t half crowded enough for real summer.”

By afternoon the police car was approaching the ferry. In the background Hank Scott was fake-painting the life saving boat, Bill Bowie was helping a woman from a car, someone was mowing the lawn, teenagers were waltzing by, couples were spooning, Willis Gifford was painting the widows walk atop the Samuel Norton house, and Samuel Warriner was docking Thomas Bowe’s sloop on the windward side of the Steamboat Wharf. (Jaws has an affinity for sailboats docking on the wrong sides of docks.) It was a busy background.

Compiled by Hilary Wall