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

'The Birds' And 'Psycho'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Neil Studd 'The Birds' And 'Psycho' 21.20.02 Alfred Hitchcock's productions of 'Psycho' in 1960, and three years later his classic of 'The Birds', are regarded by many as the greatest films of all time. This is largely due to the enormous amount of tension created within specific scenes, and his ability to create contrasts and parallels to emphasise issues of importance. The main contributors to the build up of tension are lighting, music, camera angles and sound effects. These are all present in Psycho, where Marion arrives and is killed in the Bates Motel, and in The Birds, where the crows attack the school. The use of lighting can evoke great feeling to an audience if it is used effectively. Its use is very much apparent in Psycho and is successful in creating tension, but this is reversed in The Birds, where there is an absence of lighting, which is also very successful. In Psycho the scene starts with Marion, in her car driving down a long straight road. It is nighttime so everything is dark. The headlights from cars travelling the opposite way are constantly flashing on to her face. Suddenly it starts to rain very heavily. The lights are blurred as they come through the wet windscreen. This is to signify the change from normality to distortion that is later very much apparent within the lives of the characters. ...read more.

Middle

The most commonly used camera angle is a low angle shot. This is used every time we see the Bates' house. This type of shot makes whatever it is focusing on seem powerful and makes the audience feel vulnerable as they are lower down. This is also apparent when Marion and Norman are sitting in the parlour; Norman always appears higher up. At one point when Marion mentions 'some place' Norman leans right into the camera as if to close up on the audience. This makes them realise that mental institutions are very significant to Norman's life, Perhaps he has even been in one. In the shower scene there are 48 camera shots. It starts off with Marion in the shower washing herself. The camera is at her eye level giving a relaxed feeling and relief from the anxiety of the previous conversation in the parlour. Next there is a point of view shot looking up at the water coming out of the shower. She is enjoying the shower and is calm and happy. She turns around so that she has her back to the shower curtain and we see a figure approach slowly from behind. This is a big leap for the audience from being relaxed, to the highest point of tension in the whole film. The shower curtain is ripped back to reveal the silhouette of a figure grasping an enormous bread knife. ...read more.

Conclusion

During the Motel scene it is the lower, tension-creating piece that is played, starting at a place of significance or tension within the film, like when Norman starts to talk about taxidermy and when Marion is looking for a place to hide the money. During the shower sequence there is no music to start off with. All we can hear is the sound of the shower. This is done to mask the sounds that the killer would make coming into the room. When she rips back the she shower curtain we get shrill, high pitch notes and the sound of her scream. This, combined with the sound of the knife penetrating her body, gives us the image in our minds that we see her getting slashed with a knife. In The Birds this is a very different story. The children start to sing at the very beginning and do not finish until the children leave the school. They chant an extremely repetitive tune but at the same time it does give a sense of ease within the school. Because the song is so repetitive it will stick in the audiences mind after the film has ended. This makes the scene more memorable. Even though the two films are very different, both make exiting viewing and to some extent fulfil their roles as horror films. They have lost some of their emotion evoking properties in this day and age as explicit subjects have become more accepted by today's society. Even though they both make exciting viewing. ...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 Hitchcock create suspense and tension in the film "Psycho?"

    As Lila sees Mrs. Bates skeleton face she is shocked and swings back. The swinging light illustrates the face of the skeleton and makes it appear to be animated and almost laughing or smiling. This creates suspense and tension because the eyes show the audience the face and emphasises how long it has been since she is dead.

  2. Free essay

    Lost and Found Orchestra

    Hitting two stones together, perhaps, or blowing down a hollowed bone. We've come a long way since caveman days, but Lost and Found Orchestra, the new extravaganza from Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell, the Brighton mavericks who created the worldwide phenomenon Stomp, are here to tell us that we haven't.

  1. "In 'Psycho' how has Alfred Hitchcock created tension throughout the film and what effect ...

    The weapon is plunged repeatedly into the detective, as he lets out one last cry, indicating the scene has ended. This Scene is very clever in the way that Hitchcock has planned this attack to make the audience believe that Normans mother is the killer.

  2. In a 1963 interview, following the phenomenal success of "Psycho" Hitchcock agreed with his ...

    feel that they want some answers so they desperately watch to find out. The lighting at this stage outside the house is poor; it is dark, possibly having an evil edge to it. This darkness of the scene might also have an effect on the audience; they already know that

  1. In what ways is "Psycho" (Alfred Hitchcock) a film for the modern audience? ...

    All we are in fact left with is the sound of the knife slicing up a watermelon (although the audience then wouldn't have actually known this). We are also left with the frantic arms of Marion, her ear piercing screams and spectacular close ups of her hands and lifeless eyes.

  2. DIGITAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

    I personally found Brecht boring and hard to understand which may be why I was less motivated at rehearsal times. As a group we wanted to develop a piece where we would have the chance to interact more with audience as we have not done much of that in the

  1. How does Alfred Hitchcock gain the sympathy of the audience for Marian Crane in ...

    had phone calls from her husband and mother when Marian asks if anyone called while she was away. She eventually gets round to telling Marian that her sister called to say she was going away for the weekend. The audience feel sympathy for Marian as it means she will be all alone for the two days.

  2. How does Alfred Hitchcock create suspense and tension in psycho? Focus particularly on the ...

    A non-diegetic sound is any sound coming from a course out side of the story, this could be; a narrator, a sound effect or mood music. One example of non-diegetic sound is when is when Marion is driving away whit the money she had stolen, the imagines conversations of what people would say about her leaving.

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