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How Does the Director Create Tension in the Opening of Jaws?

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Introduction

How Does the Director Create Tension in the Opening of Jaws? The media often shows sharks as fierce, fearless creatures that are capable and likely to eat anything that comes near them. This is mainly because of the numerous shark attacks that appear in the news. This gives sharks negative connotations. However, a small portion of the media shows them as beautiful misunderstood sea creatures, such as in documentaries. At the very beginning of the film all that can be seen is a black screen but you can hear the sound of the sea in the background. This automatically gives the audience a suspicion as to what the film is about. Tension is created here because the audience may relate the black screen with danger and in the company of the sound of the sea they may presume that there is danger in the water. ...read more.

Middle

It also shows her as a silhouette through the sharks' point of view, this could mean that to the shark the girl has no identity - making the shark appear a cold and heartless animal. This creates tension because it could signal a shark attack. The two tone music sequence creates tension because it becomes gradually faster, this could represent a heartbeat. This creates tension because it would relate to the pulse of the girl increasing, which happens when someone is nervous. It could also symbolize the sharks pulse in the means that it could be seen as the sharks excitement increasing. This would build tension because the audience would be anxious as to what the shark is getting excited about and may relate it to an shark attack. It in addition gives the sense that it is building up to something or that the shark is getting closer to an unsuspecting victim. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is why tension is created when the couple leave the circle, this is because it feels as though they are leaving the safety of the group and that they are more vulnerable when they are not in the group. Throughout the opening of Jaws Steven Spielberg successfully creates tension among the audience. I believe that the most successful method he uses to create tension is his use of colour. I think this because his use of colour creates many connotations that would make the audience curious or nervous. His most successful use of colour is that of the bonfire which is a juxtaposition. I think that his least successful method of creating tension is not seeing the shark. I think this because if the shark was shown, more tension would be created because of the negative connotations of the shark. It also does not create tension as much as the other methods because the title 'Jaws' already gives away that it is likely to be about a shark. ...read more.

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