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

How does the director, Steven Spielberg, create tension in the opening scene of the film Jaws?

Extracts from this document...


Sarah Lancaster How does the director, Steven Spielberg, create tension in the opening scene of the film Jaws? As the film commences, the first thing we notice is the music, which is quite possibly the most famous theme music in the history of film, a terrifying, tension building piece, which mimics a heartbeat, this rapidly increases as the tension builds. The first visual thing we see is a dark, black background with contrasting bold, white writing. As the titles continue, the background moves to a dark marine theme where we assume that we are looking through the shark's eyes. Viewers develop a trapped feeling, a feeling of being chased as we are racing throughout the seabed; alien territory to us, home territory of the shark. ...read more.


Two characters appear, staring into each other's eyes, one a young, attractive man, and the other a young girl, sitting alone, isolated from the rest of the community. The man has a cigarette and blows smoke towards the girl; this causes a barrier between the two, which indicates isolation surrounding the characters. They start to run off, leaving the friendly, safe atmosphere, and heading towards the unexplored, dark sea. We see the two distinctive figures running away from the protected crowd, alongside a fence, the girl undresses as she runs, as the man stumbles about. The fence stops at the beach, which shows that the territory beyond is foreign, dangerous. ...read more.


We feel as if there is something following the girl, an unwelcome presence, but there is no evidence of this. The music once again starts to race, which increases the tension further. Then it stops. She goes under. Silence until she rises from the forbidden dangerous sea, then her screams surround us, we see her struggling and splashing around tumultuously, fighting for her life. Her heavy breathing and constant shrieks make us nervous. The man lies on the beach peacefully; he is safe, calm and unaware of the happenings to his lady friend. The bell starts to ring more frantically, as does the music, tension rapidly building. The manic screams and struggles stop. The music stops. She loses, not only the fight, but also her life. ...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 Music 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 Music essays

  1. Analysing How Steven Spielberg Creates Tension and Suspense in Jaws

    We know she is isolated because she is not going along with the crowd drinking, smoking and taking drugs; she is also sitting all on her own. We later discover she is to be the next victim. Chrissie decides to go for a swim.

  2. Media Coursework essay: Jaws

    When the characters reactions are shown it makes a lot more real. If they stayed calm during the whoile film it would make you think that the shark is not that bad, but when it is found out that the original shark is still out there even the character Matt Hooper is scared.

  1. 'How does Hitchcock create atmosphere, tension and shock in Psycho?'

    Marian is lit by a soft light and has soft objects placed around her. Gentle background music is played and all this contributes to calm but slightly sinister setup. Another strange feature of the parlor and house is that pictures of biblical scenes of women being accosted are placed around the rooms.

  2. Compare And Contrast The Opening Scene In 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' And 'Tomorrow ...

    The title sequence follows with a mixture of technology and ladies, for example when diamonds on a lady's necklace turn into satellites. Indiana Jones and James Bond contrast in many different ways. The Indiana Jones film starts in a hot, jungle in South America in 1936.

  1. How does Hitchcock create a sense of tension and mounting horror in his film ...

    This is similar to the 'Morning Room Scene'. At the start of 'The West Wing #2' she runs into the room and Mrs. Danvers is standing, arranging flowers, almost totally immersed in shadow. She looks intimidating and evil although she intends to appear to be innocently arranging flowers.

  2. Compare the famous shower scene from Psycho with the boat scene from Jaws. How ...

    But it is and the audience will be scared as the shark attacks. The music that gives you a clue that the shark is coming can be very nerve racking as you don't know when it is going to attack the boat, while the men are having fun.

  1. How does the director of The Crucible make use of the medium of film ...

    As she walks strongly away from them the music once again becomes sinister and woeful. Outside the camera angles and noise all change suddenly from being calm and moving to being frantic and crazy. There is a lot of noise and confusion as her boys launch themselves at the people who are taking her away.

  2. Analyse the ways in which Speilberg builds up tension and suspense in the hit ...

    A quality exemplar of this is the opening scene the camera is underwater acting as the sharks' eyes as the audience are led through weeds in tune to the music, furthermore when jaws swims faster the tempo becomes quicker and leads to a big crescendo.

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