At the November Writer’s Room an audience filled The Basement to hear Carl Gottlieb (Jaws, The Jerk) talk to Nick Ward (Stickmen, Second-Hand Wedding) about the film that made box-office history. 30 years ago Gottlieb co-wrote what was to become the world’s first blockbuster, Jaws, a film that  scared those with the steeliest nerves and has since been labeled the first “high concept film”.

Gottlieb entertained the audience with a multitude of crazy holywood stories including details of the time he spent holed up with Stephen Spielberg in a country house writing Jaws.

Gottlieb voiced dismay at the way in which screenwriting gurus have “popped up everywhere” and are telling writers that a specific structural formular is the only way to go.  He believes that mainstream producers have bought into this practice thus breading generic, formulaic cinema.

He argued that Jaws doesn’t follow such a structural model at all and left writers with the advice, “Don’t write to a formular – it never works”.

Gottlieb is a key figure in the American Writers Guild.