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Jaws

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  • September 2008
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Jaws (1975)
Media Coursework

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 shark as what they individually perceive as scary. It also plays on the idea that the less you see the more you get. Because most of the time the audience is not actually shown the shark, Spielberg uses a repetitive background sound (non-diegetic sound) to alert the audience of potential danger or the sharks presence. This technique relies on the audience to subconsciously associate the sound to the shark’s presence and can be later used to create false tension. The first time we hear this music is in the title sequence where the camera is at a point of view shot of...

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