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Media Coursework essay: Jaws

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14th June 2005 Media Coursework essay: Jaws Martin Brody is the new police chief trying to rid Amity Island of a savage shark terrorising the islanders and tourists alike in the 1976 thriller, Jaws. Jaws was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss. Amity Island relies almost fully on the income gained by tourists visiting the island in the summer vacation. It is up to Martin Brody to protect the beach goers by finding the shark and killing it. This brings up issues of fighting fears as well as fighting the constant battle between humans and nature. It is set around July 4th because this would be the height of the tourist season for the island and the threat of the shark could severely damage the enthusiasm of people to visit the island. The music is connected to the way the shark moves and builds up the tension for the first attack. The music is low and quiet at the start to create the tense of something far away, it makes us think that the something is approaching. The music is not jumpy and gives the sense of calmness, like when a shark swims it is graceful and makes little movement. ...read more.


Next, there is a close up shot of a small child singing, seeing the small child singing is calming which lulls us into a false sense of security, making the imminent attack scarier as you do not expect it. A view from under the water is then given from the shark's point of view showing legs. This gives us the signal that something is under the water, it builds up tension as we cannot be certain what it is, but that there is definitely something there. Finally, the attack happens, we see the boy being attacked from wide angle shot. As a result of the false alarm before at first we are not definatly sure that the boy is being attacked. Then the camera shows the blood in the sea. Brody then notices the attack. The camera does a close up shot and we see him panicking. There is now wide shots of everyone running out of the sea which is general chaos. The director uses music as a big way to build up the tension. The main theme which is famous from the jaws is the low bass music which over time increases in volume and speed. This gives the image that something is approaching which is scary because we don't know what it is. ...read more.


The final attack is quite a long time after the first to, so the audience are already starting to suspect one will happen soon. During the final boat scene on the small boat there is a mixture of close up shots on the characters and wide shots of the sea. Both of these types of shots create tension. The close up shots on the character let us sea the reactions on there faces but does not show us exactly what is happening. The wide shots show us how big the sea is and how venerable the boat is in it. This creates tension as we know the attack is definitely going to happen and we know that it is going to cause a lot of damage but we do not know when it is going to happen. I think the scariest moment of the film is the part where the shark jumps out at the boat at the end of the film. There has jus previously been an attack on the boat and the characters are still in shock so we really do not expect it. There is a wide shot of the sea which looks calm, suddenly the shark jumps out. We are given a false sense of security by the attack before which makes the impact of the attack much more. It literally shocks us when it happens. ...read more.

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