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Analysing Stephen Spielbergs Directing Techniques In The Film Jaws

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Analysing Stephen Spielberg's Directing Techniques In The Film Jaws In the 1970s Jaws was the scariest film around. For months afterwards people would be too afraid to go in the water, this was an age when dramatic devices were needed to create a spine chilling film without the use of special effects. Stephen Spielberg is one of the greatest movie makers alive today, and with a film like Jaws as a debute, his talent showed from the start. Some of the dramatic devices he used in this film were camera angles, non-diagetic and diagetic sounds, and colours to set the mood and atmosphere. The film is set on a small, idealistic island called Amity Isle, a tourist friendly, holiday hotspot that would never have expected danger to harm them in a million years, but a rouge shark they got! Who's out on a mission to eat every living thing around the Island and will stop at nothing to divert it from its feeding frenzy. The opening scene sets the film up dramatically, as the film starts underwater with the camera on a track, it is also a point of view shot, because it looks as if the camera was swimming through the water. ...read more.


Afterwards, the boy from earlier runs into the water along with a dog, the boy is carrying a yellow lilo, the colour yellow is used to make him stand out. The camera angles used are long shots, jumping from boy to dog, this is done to show the victims enter the water and warn the audience to make them wary, and the tension increases even more. As Brody continues to watch the water the mis-en-scene has gone, this shows that Brody is alone and singled out to create suspense as there is only one worried and only one that knows. When people come up and speak to Brody, panic is felt amongst the audience because the camera angles are long, point of view shots, so they see the people as they block Brodys view of the beach, creating tension. As Brody begins to get more and more tense, he hears screams and quickly assumes a shark, or he would see a misterious figure in the water and restrain himself from running down the beach. This behaviour is used by the director to create tension and build suspense to get the audience exited, and to build everything up to the real attack. ...read more.


The family went into the water as if they were going to there exicution, using humour- a trick the director is known for- Speilburg brings funny character quirks and behaviors amongst the characters to relax the audience. Cosequently,once everyone ran into the sea after them, there was a lot of splashing. This is known to attract shark attention, so as dramatic irony is created, the tension builds in the audience atmosphere. All in all, I think Jaws was extremely succesful in using dramatic devices to scare the audience, and this film shows these devices to their full standard and ability. The techniques used to create and relieve suspense and tension were used proffesionally- by the proffesional Steven Speilburg- by using the camera angles, colours and non-diagetic sounds. The music used for the movie- a simple, mindless two-note progression used to represent the shark- was effectively applied to the score by its speed or even by its absence to create, and relieve suspense. Above all, the quality of a film is held together by the way the director engages the audience and how the director plays with their emotions, Steven Speilburg created an amazing piece of work with that goal, his highest priorety. ...read more.

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