Directed by Steven Spielberg, ‘Jaws’ is one of the highest grossing and most profitable movies ever made, making around five hundred million pounds. The film is about a great white shark which terrorises the shores of Amity, slowly picking out the towns people and dragging them down into the deep blue. In this essay I’m going to explain how Spielberg creates suspense, tension and panic in the film by describing camera and music techniques and how they are used in certain scenes. Firstly I’ll be focusing on the opening scene and how it ‘hooks’ the audience. The film starts with an underwater view as if something is lurking in the water, then snaps to a campfire at the beach. The victim in this attack is Chrissy a young pretty girl who allures a boy to go swimming with her. She runs into the sea but he passes out on the beach as he is so drunk; this is where the suspense really starts. At first you don’t except an attack as Spielberg uses calming music as Chrissy swims, but then the film snaps to an underwater view and the two note motif starts. This is the first fright the audience gets, so Spielberg makes it chilling and mysterious as we just see Chrissy flailing about trying to grab a buoy which causes the sound of bells tolling. This symbolises death, giving a hint this isn’t going to end well. Chrissy then gets dragged under the water and the music ends sharply as if nothing has happened. Using this sudden silence makes the audience want to watch on to see what happens to poor Chrissy. Next I’ll be describing the soundtrack techniques and how they create tension within the audience. Whenever the shark is near, a two note motif starts and quickly reaches a crescendo when the shark attacks. This is usually followed by a silence and the sound of crashing waves, which is to confirm the attack is now over. Spielberg also uses a series of false alarms to add more tension to the film. He uses sound to do this by using the same instruments used in the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document