"Open Water" -- How did they film?

Just saw this movie this weekend, and had some questions/comments. (I tried searching, I really did, and every time it gives me a horrid error message.)

Basically, I was wondering about how they filmed the shark scenes. I know it said on wikipedia/IMDb that they had a shark wrangler and were feeding the sharks tuna so that the actors could interact, but…is that really enough? I mean, there’s really minimal risk as long as the sharks are being fed? Because there was that one scene where the woman bumps into a shark (when she falls asleep and drifts) which really ooged me out.

I would assume they also had some of the “sharks” that were actually life-size models.

I got to play bongos on a rhinoceros’s nose once. It was a life-size head that was mounted on the wall of the props department of a studio where I’d been building sets. Even to the touch it was hard to tell it wasn’t real. The hide was made of the silicone stuff and really did feel like some kind of animal skin. It was extremely convincing and had been used in a close-up shot.

ETA: I also got to hold a whale from the Voygae Home Star Trek movie, or whatever that was called. It was a 1:50 model and had robotics so that it could move in water. I think they filmed it when doings scenes with miniature stuff.

ETA: I haven’t seen Open Water so I don’t know if this is plausible given the scene you describe. I’m assuming they used a mix of real and fake.

Well, I just know that on IMDb, they said no fake sharks were used at all.

I watched the “Making Of” documentary from the Special Features on the DVD last night. The filmmakers said it was very important to them that real sharks be used.

They said when casting they looked for actors who were certified, or willing to become certified scuba divers. The shark wrangler said they (the actors) had to be taught to stay calm & relatively motionless and not thrash about in the water, even when being bumped by the sharks.

He also said it was fairly easy to control the sharks- if they wanted the sharks to go from left to right, they threw some food off to the left. When the sharks went for it, they threw some food off to the right and started filming.

They never mentioned what species of shark was used, however.

Oh, cool. Thanks, Bumbershoot. I also remember reading that the female actress in particular said she was scared of sharks, but took the role anyway. I think I’d flip if I had to do that. I know they don’t go around attacking everything in sight, but even being close to them at the aquarium skeeves me a bit. Even being close to a barracuda sounds scary (I know the woman in the movie was nipped by a barracuda).

ETA: I feel like we’ve had other threads on this from when this film first showed but somehow every time I try to search on “Open Water,” I get that weird error message.

None? Wow. That’s impressive! I can not imagine the kind of insurance they had to get in case of chompage.