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

Alfred Hitchcocks Creation Of Tension In Psycho And The Birds

Extracts from this document...


Alfred Hitchcock's Creation Of Tension In "Psycho" And "The Birds" Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most well known movie directors of all time. He is especially well known for his skill to create tension in an effective way. Hitchcock is able to create tension and suspense by using certain camera angles and a careful selection of music and sounds. Hitchcock has made such an impact in the film industry that he is now known as the "Master of Suspense". Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone in 1899. From a young age he enjoyed reading novels, especially those by Dickens, G K Chesterton and Edgar Allan Poe. He left school when he was fourteen and started work at the Islington film studios in 1920. In 1927 he directed his first film, The Lodger in which he appeared in himself. When Hitchcock started making films audio was not invented. His first films were silent so when sound was used in films, Hitchcock was able to use both sound and silence in a way that would complement each other to create tension. Hitchcock has made some of the most psychological films of all time. His highlights include Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1961). Hitchcock used sounds to boost the effect to tension and suspense. He also knew the importance of storyboarding. Before filming a film Hitchcock knew exactly what he wanted and has cartoons demonstrating the camera angles he would use and the way the film would progress. ...read more.


The last scene in the film is literally black and white with dark colours which contrast with the start of the film which was light and fluffy. In 'Psycho' Hitchcock used a lot of suspense and only three shocks. This kept the audience is suspense all through the film which usually led to nothing. But in 'The Birds' there are lots of shocks. The shocks earlier on in the film are completely unexpected. For example the bird attacking Melany while she was in the boat was unexpected. It is easy to imagine people in cinemas spilling their popcorn. Once the audience realizes that the birds are attacking people and get used to the sudden shocks Hitchcock then starts to use suspense like he did in 'Psycho'. Hitchcock uses his experience of making silent films to make brilliant films using limited amounts of dialogue. In 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' Hitchcock uses a limited amount of dialogue and lots of action. In both 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' Hitchcock uses techniques inspired by his favourite writers. Hitchcock traps both of his main characters in 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' in different situations. In 'Psycho' Marion is trapped in the bath and when Norman Bates starts stabbing her there is nowhere for her to escape. Similarly in 'The Birds', Melany is trapped in the phone booth. Flocks of birds are attacking the phone booth which creates the feeling of claustrophobia. ...read more.


Everything looks calm as if nothing has happened. 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' were very successful films made by Hitchcock. Hitchcock has used different techniques in both films to create tension and suspense and both have been very successful. In 'Psycho' Hitchcock uses false suspense all through the film which has usually led to nothing. He has only used three shocks which were Marion's stabbing, Arbogast's stabbing and the revelation of Norman Bates mother. In 'The Birds' Hitchcock uses shocks all through the film after thirty minutes of light romance at the start. He increases the level of shock as the film progresses. The first shock he uses is Melany being bitten by a bird and the last shock in the film is the mass attack from the birds. Out of 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' I have enjoyed 'The Birds' the most. I think that 'The Birds' was better than 'Psycho' because it has a very misleading storyline. The audience is made to feel very bored of the film at the start of the film but as the story progresses and the birds start attacking the audience is hooked to the film and is on the edge of their seats the whole time. The final scene where the birds are massed is a brilliant use of anti-climax as against the audience's expectations the birds do not attack. However they ominously dominate the screen as the car edges away. The audience senses it is only a matter of time before they attack again. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Audience and Production Analysis 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 GCSE Audience and Production Analysis essays

  1. The Birds is a suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock based on the 1952 ...

    This can be good for a suspense film because with no non-digetic sounds it helps to take away the predictability of a typical thriller. An example of this is when the first attack happens. Melanie is attacked while in a boat in the bay, but there was no sound to indicate something bad or sinister was about to happen.

  2. Compare the way cultural difference is represented in two films (East is East and ...

    For this scene, the use of a bird's eye camera angle is useful as it shows the audience where he has taken the immigrants and what he is doing more clearly. Another positive change is when Jean realises that Maria, her housekeeper is her best friend despite being a different race.

  1. A Directors Commentary for the film "Touching the Void"

    Many people would think that remote environments are very quiet when in fact the noises there can be quite earry, to show this we used diagetic sounds of the wind and snow cracking to link it to the story. We also decided to mix in a non-diagetic sound of a

  2. With reference to The Birds and Final Destination 3 analyse and discuss how the ...

    The storyline of "The Birds" is about a beautiful blonde socialite (Melanie) who pursues the hunky lawyer (Mitch) to a small isolated Californian town called Bodega Bay. Half way across the lake, after delivering a pair of lovebirds to the Brenner's house, she is attacked by a gull that takes a little chuck from her head.

  1. How does Alfred Hitchcock create tension and horror in his film Psycho?

    calm, the room is brightly lit ,it is the light white colour that creates the scene mood; white is a symbolism of pure, safe and clean because the room is brightly lit the audience will feel safe, she starts taking a shower until the figure enters, the mood of the

  2. To what extent do the lesbian characters in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (2002) conform ...

    a more sexual side to Willow and Tara's relationship than has ever been shown before in the whole two years they have been together. However, we still only see them lying in bed together and sharing a kiss, whereas we often see explicit sex scenes between the straight characters on the show (for example, Buffy and Spike).

  1. How are good and evil characters presented in The Fellowship of the Ring?

    It can clearly be seen in the film that Isengard is represented as a huge industrial barren wasteland, with a lot of heat and noise, slowly growing outwards as the forest around it gets destroyed, like a city slowly urbanizing the countryside around it.

  2. How did Alfred Hitchcock change the Horror genre?

    The quantity of camera shots and the way it was presented created a jigsaw puzzle of death which made it a classic masterpiece and a complete surprise to the 1960?s audience as they had never digested anything like this before.

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