Capturing Emotions Through Sound and Camera Techniques in Jaws

Topics: Steven Spielberg, Jaws, Attack! Pages: 3 (1123 words) Published: February 17, 2011
How does the director build tension and suspense to scare the audience in the film ‘Jaws’?

Jaws Essay

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 the scene starts to get darker and quieter as they go further and further away from where all the people are. The girl runs into the water and the drunken boy lies down on the beach. The camera then points at the girl who is all alone in the water and there is no sound or light at all which makes the audience think that something bad is about to happen. This is really helpful to build tension and to begin putting fear in the mind’s of the audience, through the contrasts in the setting and in the changes in the music.

As well as the use of music in this film...
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