• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How the director builds suspense and scares the audience in the film Jaws

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How the director builds suspense and scares the audience in the film Jaws? The film "Jaws" has been directed and produced in 1975 by Steven Spielberg. It is about a police chief that has been assigned to a hot resort on one of New England Coast's beaches. His job is to make sure that the killer shark, which has already eaten a person in this area, does not have a chance to attack again. The film is set on the 4th of July because it is a national holiday in America - The Independence Day. Lots of people organise picnics, go for holidays etc. The New England Coast is an attraction to tourists and many people visit it during their holidays. In the film the protagonist is chief Brody (Roy Scheider). The secondary characters are Quint (Robert Shaw), Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton). Tension in the audience is immediately built in the opening sequence. This is achieved by the non-diagetic music playing in the background. The audience can see the sea weeds from the shark's point of view. It is assumed that the creature is a shark because the majority of moviegoers have seen the shark in the "Jaws" trailer and on the "Jaws" poster on the way to the cinema. At this point the audience is "programmed" that when the theme tune starts to play in the background, it means that the shark is present. ...read more.

Middle

Before the attack happened it could be predicted that both the boy Alex and the black dog could be the victims. The audience can see the parallelism between these two characters and the way they are presented. The same camera angles were used on Alex and the dog; when the angle used on Alex changed, the second camera, the one on the dog also moved up to suit the shots. The fact that the dog was black told the audience a lot as well. It is known that black represents extreme danger and death. The audience linked these two facts and realized that the dog will die as well. Spielberg has also used a specific color, which appeared everywhere to stimulate the suspence sense of the audience before anything happened. The director linked all the characters that 'lose something' by making them wear yellow. Alex's mother was wearing a yellow boater, the owner of the dog has a yellow t-shirt, Alex swam on a yellow lilo. Even on the beach yellow could be seen in many places. Spielberg has done this to help the audience predict which people will die in the future attacks. In fact he could have done this to make next attacks more effective. It is possible that the next victims will not wear yellow. This is common in Spielberg's films - the audience is made predict something, but the prediction does not meet the facts. This rises the audience up, and drops them down - makes the audience feel that they know, and disappoints them. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that the scariest moment in the film is the first attack. It happened when Christy and her new friend went to the water to swim a bit. The man was drunk; he collapsed on the beach and fell asleep. A long shot of Christy swimming has been used. Suddenly the music started playing and the camera angle changed from high to low; it was tracking the girl. Christy stopped swimming for a minute, called the man by saying "Get in the water;" Suddenly the camera cuts to a shot of her legs from the shark's point of view. Here, the tension started to build quickly. The shark was getting closer, the tune was playing louder. More instruments joined the already chaotic music. The tune became extremely loud and camera angle changed again, showing Christy from a high angle. It was very scary when she felt that something was pulling her under the water because she had no return and no opportunity to swim away from whatever was trying to kill her. She was terrified. She started screaming and shaking her hands and trying to use force to get out of the shark's jaw. The scariest section of this scene was after the attack. The shark was gone and the non-diagetic music stopped playing. Dead silence came and all that could be heard were the sea waves. This was to show that nothing was left. It highlighted the fact that nobody came to help her even if anybody wanted to. She had no chance of surviving. The audience has been forced to acknowledge the horrible truth. I felt so sad after this... ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. How Does The Film Maker Create Suspense In The Sixth Sense?

    Whenever there is a ghost around the temperature drops and as Malcolm tries to talk to his wife her breath is always made visible showing that the room is getting colder. Malcolm appears in the same clothes throughout the film, the ones he wore on the night he got shot.

  2. My England by Clifford Oliver

    Ant asks Tony "What do you do?" Tony replies, "Oh, I,er, I work for a law firm," Ant then says "So what you run errands, make the tea." Tony knows what answer he will get from Ant he seess it coming so he just agrees with him.

  1. How does the play of the ‘The Woman in Black’ build tension to scare ...

    When Kipps is sleeping we here the sound of the rocking chair from the nursery, the way Kipps sits up frozen is very effective and is a perfect example of what I'm trying to say. Also when Kipps is having his nightmare with voices going around his head (Not in the version that I saw)

  2. Baz Lurhman describes 'Moulin Rouge' as "Audience Participation Cinema" - With close reference to ...

    Through using such a grand scale of lines from songs, it allows a greater portion of the audience to realise this effect. In celebration, Toulouse offers Christian a glass of Absinthe, the most potent alcoholic drink, and in correspondence, it is typed on his typewriter to reinforce furtherly to the audience the effect this drink will have on him.

  1. The Shark Net

    "One morning a man I hadn't seen before appeared in our back yard... Then he winked. I'm Eric." This confrontation gives the reader an insight into the unpredictable environment that young Drewe is surrounded with, depicting the innocence of the setting and the dark shadow Cooke cast over it.

  2. Analyse the techniques used in the sequence in which the alien emerges in 'war ...

    emerged and standing is one of the shock and confusion; they just stand there staring because they haven't seen this 'thing' before and they are almost paralysed by the sight, they have no idea the threat it poses or its next move.

  1. Essay on Jaws

    The second attack begins with a boy called Alex, coming out if the sea during the day. The camera mid-shots the boy and focuses on him. Alex walks up to his mum and asks for another little while in the water.

  2. How does the Director encourage the audience to feel sympathy for Derek and his ...

    This line sums up Derek's character perfectly, showing just how na�ve he is, that he is more worried of his father than of the law. A close-up of Craig's gun is shown. This image creates fear in the audience as it is clear he is ready to use it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work