During the film Steve Spielberg uses music, a mysterious shark and camera techniques such as simultaneous track and zoom, long shot, close up shots and medium shots to build suspense, tension and scare the audience.
The music represents the shark, especially its movements and its presence. In the title sequence the camera is moving along the seabed like a shark. Spielberg makes the audience believe that the camera is viewing things through the shark’s eyes, he uses a camera shot called point of view shot. The music makes the shark seem a mystery because you haven’t yet seen the shark but you can feel its presence. The music clouds your vision and makes you imagine and believe something that actually isn’t even there. It builds tension and the music gives a dramatic and eerie effect. Other example of how music of silence is used to scare the audience or build tension will be discussed next.
The first scene, Chrissie strips to go swimming in the sea, the man from the same camp – where music is playing and the atmosphere is happy and relaxed – is chasing her towards the beach. The man is drunk and collapses; Chrissie has been in the sea already, for a long time on her own. The water is calm and you can here it lap against itself and brush up to the shore and a warning bell is heard that is used to warn ships and other obstacles. Suddenly the camera shot dips under the water, the dramatic music from the title sequence begins. The audience can see Chrissie swimming, as the music continues getting faster the sharks presence is made known to the audience. As the shark approaches her – her legs are dangling downwards under the water. Just as soon as we have a close up of Chrissie legs, the camera shot goes above the water watching Chrissie she looks around. Everything is silent, by surprise the shark suddenly pulls from below (the camera makes it believable). Chrissie starts screaming, there’s splashing, lots of tension as the shark underneath, supposedly biting her legs moves about Chrissie. There’s a close up of her face, Spielberg has a shown a close up to build tension and to show Chrissie’s agony. When Chrissie goes under for the final time, there is a ripple where she’d just disappeared; you can’t see any blood because it is dark. It’s strange because the sea is extremely still after such a vicious and terrifying shark attack, it’s as if nothing ever happened. I think Spielberg’s idea was to leave the audience bewildered. This frightens the audience because the shark attack was not expected it was camouflaged cleverly to draw the audience away from the main plot of the scene.
Another example of this would be at the time of the second attack when a boy called Alex Kintner is brutally killed by the shark. On the beach there is a radio playing in the background, there’s chatter and the atmosphere is relaxed but we know chief Police Martin is tense as he watches out to sea because he has the knowledge of what could happen and the camera shot shows it. A close up draws us to his creased and tense face and his eyes show he is scared. This puts the audience on the look out for anything suspicious. When Alex glides into the water on his yellow raft, it is silent. As the camera cuts back to focusing on the beach, the radio is heard again in the background. All the children rush into the sea screaming, laughing and splashing. This is a good cover, and the audience may start to relax but there’s still that fear, of maybe something happening. The camera shows Alex on the raft going further out into the water so not to get caught in the crowd with all the splashing. The camera suddenly dives under water and the shark’s presence is made known to the shocked audience. The dramatic music has begun and we see the view through the shark’s eyes. The audience sees the legs of other people. The music gets faster and faster and much more dramatic, from this point the audience knows what the shark is after. The shark focuses on Alex who is...
...Released in 1975, Jaws was probably one of the best adventure, action, and suspense films of that era. Directed by Steven Spielberg with the following staring main cast members Roy Scheider as "Martin Bordy" (chief police officer), Richard Dreyfuss as "Matt Hooper" (marine biologist), Robert Shaw as "Quint" (local fisherman), Murray Hamilton as "Larry Vaughan" (town mayor). "Jaws" the movie, is not like any other any other fish story. The film is about a gigantic 26 foot shark that has an appetite for people; how horrifying is that? The unusual story takes place on the seasides' of Amity Island. When Chief Brody uncovers the partial body of a teenage girl with shark like bites, Chief Brody contacts a shark specialist to verify if the bite was from a shark. When Matt Hooper arrives and confirms that a large shark rendered the bite, Chief Brody begins to worry of the possibility that his beach has a man-eating shark luring around the shorelines. Chief Brody orders the beach to close for the fourth of July. Quickly leaning about the unpleasant shark attack, the mayor immediately begins to panic and is concerned. The town will undoubtedly lose money from the profitable tourists if they were to find out about any shark attacks. Chief Brody knows that he needs to successfully find and kill the shark promptly, seeks the assistance of Quint. Quint is the only individual in town that has a large enough boat capable of trapping and capturing the shark....
...Sharks attacks happen in 3 feet of water, about 10 feet from the beach, and the sharks keep swimming around the same place until the food supply is gone. We all know that theme song from “Jaws”, played by a cello, which makes us cringe every time we hear it, no matter where we
are. This amazing film, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1975, is so addicting that it is still insanely popular to this day. (IMDb) It is known that every time you hear that theme song, the shark is around. The movie even opens with a tracking shot of the ocean floor with the
song playing, putting the audience in suspense of what will pop out on the screen next.
“Jaws” is the story of a great white shark, and its attack on a small shore town, Amity Island. The chief of police, Chief Brody, played by Roy Scheider, is the main character who discovers the first shark attack on Amity Island. Chief Brody wants to immediately shut down the
beaches but the mayor quickly opposes the thought because it is not good publicity for 4th of July weekend. Soon after this, there is another attack, which is when the mayor finally agrees to close the beaches, and this is also when Brody meets Matt Hooper. Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss, is an expert on sharks who teams up with Brody and Quint, a drunken fisherman played by Robert Shaw, to go catch and kill the shark that has been attacking the island. (IMDb)
Chief Brody is the only character we become familiar with from the...
...How does the director try to build suspense and scare the audience in the film Jaws?
The film Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg, was created approximately 30 years ago. It tells the story of a shark which attacks and kills numerous people off the north-east coast of the USA in a small holiday resort called Amity Island. The attacks took place around the 4th of July, which in America, is similar to the British bank holiday. During this time, many Americans and tourists from abroad visit resorts such as Amity Island for a summer vacation.
The director of the film, Steven Spielberg builds up fear of the shark using many different techniques. One of these techniques is the use of music. Spielberg uses a non-diegetic piece of music which plays whenever the shark is about to attack, almost like the shark’s very own theme tune. A non-diegetic sound is one which can only be heard by the audience and not by any of the characters in the film. Spielberg uses this particular technique just before the shark attacks Alex, the young boy who is swimming on his lilo. This technique makes the audience fear the shark, as whenever it’s played we expect another gruesome attack which adds a lot of tension to the film.
Another technique used to increase our fear of the shark is showing the tremendous damage that it can cause. For example, towards the end of the film, whilst Brody, Hooper and Quint are out at sea attempting to catch the shark, it attacks their...
Peter Benchley wrote "Jaws" the novel before it was made into a film directed by Steven Spielberg. "Jaws" is a thriller/horror with the main aim being to build up suspense and tension. When making the film Jaws Steven Spielberg had to face the challenging task of translating Benchley’s popular novel into a hit movie whilst still maintaining the suspense created through the many textual devices used by Benchley, such as language techniques and sentence structure. Spielberg managed use different camera angles and shots alongside lighting effects to create atmosphere and tension to pretty much the same effect. In the background he uses music and sound effects to add to the dramatic visual images he creates. Finally Steven Spielberg uses specific dialogue to show the victims feelings and emotions.
The film jaws is a horror film focused on a great white shark which terrorises the beach of Amity island and kills anything in its way until finally the police chief Martin Brody brings together a select few to take on the shark and put an end to the terror and killings. The film uses frequent point of view shots to increase the viewer’s tension and give a sense of firsthand experience as well as hiding the appearance of the shark forcing viewers to use their imagination to form an idea of the shark’s appearance. This is a clever technique as it allows the viewers to imagine the...
...How does the director build tension and suspense to scare the audience in the film ‘Jaws’?
The film ‘Jaws’, was made in 1975 and is a thriller set on a small American town called Amityville. The film is about a man-eating great white shark that terrorises the seas of Amityville and it’s public who swim in it. Steven Spielberg directs this nail-biting thriller. ‘Jaws’ is set on the 4th of July, which is an American Independence day. This film will keep you on the edge of your seats. This essay will show how Spielberg creates tension and suspense throughout the film.
One of the most famous techniques used in the film ‘Jaws’ was the music. At the start of the film the screen is dark and the music begins. The pitch is low and the tempo is slow, as the sequence goes on the tempo starts to speed up and the pitch gets higher. When the tempo of the music speeds up it is like the heartbeat of the shark, which is getting faster because the shark is getting excited about something. At the same time the audience get nervous about what the shark is preparing to do. This sequence is used throughout the film to make the audience aware that the shark is about to attack. Before the first attack is about to happen there is a lot of chatter, firelight and mouth organs being played. This makes it a good contrast to the scary scene that is about to happen. When the girl runs off with the drunken boy...
...‘Jaws’ is a 1975 American horror thriller film, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on a best-selling novel by Peter Benchley. ‘Jaws’ is set at Amity Island of USA. The film is about a police chief Martin Brody of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town; Brody just like other police chief’s tries to protect his people and tourists from a giant white shark by closing the beach although he is overruled by the town council who want the beach to remain open, so that the town can make profit from tourists during the summer season. The reason for this is that on the 4th July 1776, the declaration on independents of America was approved by the Contental Congress. So therefore Americans use this day to celebrate and people go on holidays that were to be marked by parades. After several attacks, Brody realises its driving him insane to see all those people suffer from the shark so he asks a marine biologist Matt Hooper and a professional shark hunter Quint to help him capture and kill the giant shark and stop all the freights people at Amity Island are getting.
The music of ‘Jaws’ is written by John Williams. The choice of music John has made is very interesting and easy to pick out or even memories. The main "shark" theme has its own simple alternating pattern of two notes, E and F and it’s also a classic piece of suspense music with approaching danger. The soundtrack piece was performed by a tuba player. But however John has...
...How does Steven Spielberg create tension in the film “JAWS”?
‘JAWS’ is a horror/thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg in 1975; it is based on the novel by Peter Benchley. Steven Spielberg is a master of suspense and has created tension all the way through the film ‘JAWS’. A great white shark attacks the summer resort Town of Amity Island; on the 4th July, Independence Day, a declaration of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. The police chief tries to close the beach but the town council overrule him and keep the beaches open; who want to keep them open to make money for the town. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of shark hunter Robert Schneider and marine biologist Richard Dreyfuss.
First of all, Spielberg creates suspense in many ways. The atmosphere at the start is peaceful with the sound of dolphins and whales, calm and peaceful animals. Then the atmosphere changes and you get two deep, striking notes. The notes are menacing and are played on a string instrument possibly a cello. Then the tempo of the music increases and makes a mysterious yet suspenseful piece of music, which increases still until it hits a crescendo, while the music is playing the camera shows a point of view shot, where the first two notes are played. The point of view shot gives you the impression that the viewer is the shark, and is moving forwards, as the fish scatter and you see the bleak cold water, as the...
11 April, 2013
Steven Spielberg created a film based off the thriller novel, Jaws, by Peter Benchley. Both the movie and the book tell the story of a giant man-eating great white shark and focus on the terror brought to the people of Amity Island. The movie does follow the novel’s main story line closely, however, when a producer turns a book into a film, it’s practical for one to thicken its plot line, and for two, tell the original story. The horror brought by the shark’s attacks are illustrated vividly throughout the text, as the film on the other hand, does not express the genre as the way the text does.
In the novel, Benchley comes off very strong with the first attack of the great white shark. The sharks first prey is Christina Watkins, also known as Chrissie. Benchley creates suspense throughout the text in the way that he would go back and forth with Chrissie minding her own business in the water swimming, and back to the shark’s wave vibrations. “The woman continued to swim far awayfrom the beach, stopping now and then to check her position by the lights shining from the house. . . the vibrations were stronger now, and the fish recognized prey. The sweeps of its tail quickened, thrusting the giant body forward with a speed that agitated the tiny phosphorescent animals in the water and caused them to glow, casting a mantle sparks over the fish” (4,5). In this quote, the author...