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How Is tension created in Jaws the Film

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10i1 Dr.Foster Course Work How Does Steven Spielberg create tension in the Film Jaws? Jaws, (1975) was directed by 27 year-old director Steven Spielberg himself and Carl Gottlieb, however Mr Spielberg was not quite the legend as we know of him now. He was only at the beginning of his career and his directing skills were yet to mature. Fortunately for Steven Spielberg Jaws was a massive hit, as Spielberg realistically captured tension throughout the film, keeping his audience clinched on to their seats. Right through the film the director introduces tension in different techniques to keep the mood of anxiety up. The main character that creates all of the tension and commotion is the Shark. The Shark was at least 40 foot in length. The skin was made of heavy latex which was waterproof. Altogether they had made three whole sharks, the first one got missing in the ocean, the second wasn't tested properly and sank, but the third one was the one that was used through out the film. In those days there was no such thing as computer graphics to make the shark look realistic so this film was the first of its kind. One of the best ways to create tension is through the use of music. The famous Jaws theme " da-dum ," the two notes e and f played in a continuous however highly effective fashion one after the other. Something as simple as this has been planted into the audiences mind to be remembered even when the film had ended. ...read more.


At this point it is the viewers and Brody who actually know about the viscous attacks therefore suspecting something to happen. Jump-cuts are used when the camera rapidly cuts through any character or objects to show the main point. In this particular scene it's when the nieve man in the black hat is swimming and starts up an alarm about a shark then the camera quickly jumps cuts through several people on the beach and straight to the horrified face of Brody, there is a lot of tension at this present moment, which then he is relieved that it was just a false alarm. An important camera shot used when creating tension and suspense is when the spectators get to see the point of view of one particular character. This is used so that we are involved in the film. The viewers get to see Brody's point of view just before the second attack when the sunburnt man talks to Brody blocking his view of the sea. At this moment the audience are put in Brody's shoes, feeling Brody's anxious emotions, as we too start to tell the man to move out of the way so that we can see what is about to happened. The spectators also get to feel and see the shark's point of view. This is when the shark just appears on scene and the audience gets to see the human legs underwater as the shark would be looking at them. This creates tension because even though we got to see the point of view of the shark we don't actually know when or who the shark is going to attack, making the viewers nervous and scared for the oblivious swimmers. ...read more.


As this is another part of the film which leaves us quite disturbed, as we get to see evidence of the sharks destruction, well what remains of it anyway. The shark's destruction is shown through what remains, which in fact in very little, and this is emphasized by the size of the box shown. However its when we see the left over arm, that when we feel the effect of the shark on us. Now after seeing this seen we feel even more scared towards the shark, as now we know there is no life after the shark has attacked. All these scenes are shown to help build up the tension in the film and also the fear in the audience. These scenes are extremely important to the film, as they are attempts made by Spielberg to build up tension and fear once again after the excitement of the first two attacks. I think Spielberg is successful in his attempt, as he does manage to create that tension once again, even without the use of the shark or an attack, and he manages to do this quite cleverly through the evidence left by the shark and through the emotions of the characters. I think that for the lack of technology they had in those days the director has done very well in making this film. I think that the well- known shark theme is synonymous to jaws, as yet to this very day people would relate to this theme tune for me that is exactly how I like my films and also it had a very scary effect to it. ...read more.

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