MediaMikes helps usher in JawsFEST: The Tribute

9:00 a.m. came early on the island of Martha’s Vineyard this morning. But that didn’t stop Dave Picton and I from covering the opening ceremonies of “JawsFEST:The Tribute,” a salute to the film “Jaws,” which was filmed here in 1974.

The day began with a mob of people assembled in front of the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, waiting for their chance to purchase their admission bracelets. As the purchases began a buzz went through the gathering as an old-style fire truck approached, transporting many of the special guests that the masses had come to see. Among those on the truck: Production Designer Joe Alves, co-screenwriter and co-star Carl Gottlieb, co-stars Jeffrey Kramer and Susan Backlinie and Hollywood make up master (and Media Mikes pal) Greg Nicotero. My day got off to a great start. A special batch of Media Mike’s t-shirts had been printed for the event and the first recipient was Wendy Benchley, whose late husband, Peter, had written the original “Jaws” novel. Several people in the crowd were Media Mikes fans and clamored for the shirts. Thanks to everyone there, especially those of you that complemented our site. Several of us with media credentials were allowed an early peek at what is sure to be one of the event’s most popular attractions, a display of memorabilia entitled “Behind the Screams.” Inside fans will be greeted with various items detailing the making of the film. I’m happy to say that several items from my own collection are prominently featured and I couldn’t be prouder. But what fans are going to fall in love with is a group of lifelike character sculptures of Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss greeting them from the transom of the ORCA. The sculptures are the work of Greg Nicotero, who had built a full size mock up of the mechanical shark’s head for the first JawsFEST in 2005. These sculptures are truly works of art and are so realistic and lifelike that many fans found themselves doing double takes.

One of the highlights of my day came when I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Ms. Virginia Shaw, whose late brother Robert played Quint in the film. I also had the chance to talk with Erik Hollander, director of the fan driven “Jaws” documentary “The Shark is Still Working,” which will finally be released next week when it is included on the upcoming “Jaws” Blu-ray DVD.

As the day went on, fans spent their time touring the exhibit, attending a book signing with Matt Taylor, Jim Beller and artist Paul McPhee, who collaborated on last year’s award winning book, “Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard.” They also took a (2) hour bus tour around the island visiting various locations where the movie was filmed. There are three more tours planned for the rest of the event. Friday’s tour will be hosted by Lou and Yana Pisano, whose “JawsFest” film series is popular among fans. I’m very proud to say that I will be hosting Sunday’s bus tour. For tickets visit


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Blu-ray Review “Usher: OMG Tour- Live From London”

Starring: Usher
Rating: Unrated
Run Time: 104 Mins.
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have never been a BIG fan of Usher’s music, but I am not denying that he is the reigning King Of R ‘N B. He album sales are in the multi-millions and he is known all the around the world. This concert was filmed in high definition at London s O2 Arena in the spring of 2011. The “OMG Tour” was to support Usher’s recent chart topping “Raymond V Raymond” album. One thing you gotta give to this show and to Usher himself is that the guy knows how to put on a show. The show is more like a stage production with fantastic lighting and amazing pyrotechnics. He also pulls a Madonna and Cher with multiple costume changes. The show also boosts some really intense and fascinating choreography, which gives the show the amped up production that actually tells a story.

The picture on this Blu-ray is clear and even though it is only 1080i (like most music Blu-rays), it looks really good. The audio is key for a music Blu-ray and this one packed a solid DTS HD Master Audio track. It is very impressive and the songs sound great. If you like his early hits you got “You Make Me Wanna”), he also includes his ballads like “Nice & Slow”, love songs with “There Goes My Baby” and of course the big hits with “Yeah”. Usher is not just a singer he is a performer and he does a decent job in this show to entertain his audience. If you are an fan of his music than this disc is a new-brainer. If you are not a big fan, like me, this might make you one.

There are some decent bonus features on this release as well including a very interesting behind the scenes look in “On The Shoulder Of Giants”. It focuses on Usher and his team as they put together the show. Also included is a short piece about Usher’s New Look Foundation in London called “New Look”. Overall this is a pretty impressive release and it has been very enjoyable to check out.

1) Monstar
2) She Don t Know
3) Yeah
4) U Remind Me
5) U Don t Have To Call
6) You Make Me Wanna
7) Mars vs Venus
8) Nice & Slow
9) Love In This Club
10) Lil Freak
11) Hot Tottie
12) There Goes My Baby
13) Burn
14) Bad Girl
15) Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)
16) Caught Up
17) DJ Got Us Falling Love
18) More
19) OMG