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

How does the director Stephen Spielberg use filmic techniques to build suspense and build tension for the audience in the film Jaws?

Extracts from this document...


How does the director Stephen Spielberg use filmic techniques to build suspense and build tension for the audience in the film "Jaws"? Jaws is an expertly structured 180 minute creature feature. The film plays on the powerless and vulnerability of mankind against one of Mother Nature's most vicious mighty fish in water with serrated razorblades for teeth, the shark. Jaws has a simple plot about a man eating shark but this movie is made interesting and scary by the narrative. Originally based on the popular book by Peter Benchley "Jaws" is an expertly structured thrilling horror movie directed by Stephen Spielberg, an excellent film director. This film will have you on the edge of your seats. Chief Brody (Roy Schneider) has come from New York to escape the horrors of the rough drug fuelled crime on the streets to be chief of police in a small pleasant seaside resort in Amity Island, but little did he know that nature has more in store for him. The story is kicked off as a series of unfortunate shark attacks strike terror into the sunny seaside resort in Amity Island before the 4th of July holidays. But the gluttonous Mayor, Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) is convinced that it is nothing as the 4th of July holidays are coming up and the tiny town depends on the income. However his plans have gone to waste when a little boy was taken by the shark in front of the public on the beach. ...read more.


There are also scenes that keep the audience biting their nails because Spielberg makes fake alerts and real shark attacks seem unnerving and the fact that not a lot of people die in this movie makes it more terrifying to the audience as each character that gets killed by the shark will have more of an impact. There is so much suspense created on the beach scene of the false shark attack because of the confusion and chaos, while all this is happening the audience will be wondering is anyone going to get killed by the shark? So they don't notice that there is no theme tune of the shark and while their attention is diverted the real shark is swimming away towards Chief Brodys son. Suspense is created as the audience wonders when people are coming to get help to save the boys, and will Brodys son live or die? The theme tune also builds up suspense as it gets faster and faster and crescendos, the audience can feel the urgency and the speed of the shark as it comes closer and closer. More tension is created as the shark comes up behind a man in a tiny boat but the man doesn't hear the girl yell "Shark" so he is blissfully unaware until the shark starts attacking his tiny boat. Spielberg makes each attack seem more scary and alarming for the audience because he makes the audience care about the characters in the film. ...read more.


Spielberg lets Quint die in the story to create suspense as there is only Brody left on the boat by himself; Brody is seen as helpless and doesn't know what to do so the only thing he brought with him was a gun. The sudden disappearance of Hooper also creates suspense and tension for the audience because they don't know it he is alive or dead and how is he going to help Brody kill the shark? When the shark races towards Brody we can hear him praying to god before he's about to shoot the shark, this is a great suspense tactic because this is his only chance and if he misses the shark then he will be most likely to die. The audiences' reaction would be wondering if he's going to live or die as the tension here is so big. But the tension is soon relieved because of the fast pace of the film and the shark explodes leaving everything red, gory and blood spattered. Then the music changed to a happy one as we see Hooper emerge from the water unharmed, together him and Brody swim home on a piece of drift wood. This film will have your hair standing on end with the brilliant suspense tactics that Spielberg uses. The camera angles are skilled and very well thought out, the film creates a brand new level of fear towards the shark. The music is very dark and ominous our fear grows bigger with each crescendo. ...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. Alfred Hitchcocks Creation Of Tension In Psycho And The Birds

    If she stays in the phone booth she might get burned by the growing flames but if she goes out the birds will attempt to kill her. The next shot is a POV medium close up. In this shot the audience find themselves in the phone booth with Melany.

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

    They do not know what will happen next so this could be a reason that many viewers were so anxious to know as to what will happen. When 'The Birds' was released in 1963 it was just after the cold war, so for the people who live through that time

  1. Free essay

    Analyse the ways that Steven Spielberg builds suspense and scares the audience in the ...

    The camera moves to a medium close up of Chrissie's face and the music stops.

  2. Jaws - Throughout the film the director has used various media devices in order ...

    The "Jaws" theme tune also plays during the single shot; Spielberg uses this to teach the audience to associate the non-contrapuntal music and the point of view shots with the shark. The white font of the title (Jaws) was chosen purposely so that the evilness of the shark isn't so

  1. Jaws Film Review. Rather than waste the modest budget of $12 million on special ...

    Spielberg's false hope trick is also a great way of building up tension and preparing the viewer for when the Jack jumps out of the box. Not forgetting the lighting and colour which too play a big part; lots of reds and yellows are used to show danger and anxiety.

  2. Analyse the ways that the director builds up suspense and scares the audience in ...

    Music is used in many ways. In the title sequence music is used to show its actions and how close it is to its prey. Throughout the film the music is played to represent that the shark is coming therefore when the audience hear it they feel scared.

  1. Analyse the ways that the director builds up suspense and scares the audience in ...

    There is a swift change in atmosphere - it is the 4th of July. This is America's Independence Day, which is well known as being a family-friendly day filled with celebration, laughter and fun; it is no doubt that many families would then gather on Amity Beach on this day.

  2. How does the director of Mission Impossible 2 build intrigue and establish genre in ...

    which causes the audience to marvel at the view creating interest in the film. The music change in pitch also grabs the audience?s attention and increases interest in the film. The diegetic helicopter noise that Woo uses when the character reaches the summit contrast with the harmonious music making it

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