The second attack occurs on a crowded beach, a venue where everyone feels safe. Contrary to popular belief this is not true though, as recent studies have shown that Great White Sharks are often found in just three feet of water. This supposedly safe environment is emphasised with a mid shot that gives a good perspective of a relaxed environment with people enjoying the sun and generally having a good time. A dolly zoom on Brody shows an anxious face that is not completely satisfied about the safety of the people on the beach. The dolly zoom technique was first used in Alfred Hitchcock's film, Vertigo. It is used to disorientate the viewer, so you feel as though you are in the position of the character, in this case Brody. The technique works by the camera zooming in whilst the dolly moves backwards, thus creating this disorientating and unusual effect. The camera then pans across the water and shows you one of the possible victims of the next attack: a dog in the water. A close up shows the dog and a boy running into the water at the same time and it is at this point that the audience realises that one of them is going to be attacked. The camera then reverts back to the dog and its owner and for a second, a mid shot pictures them both suddenly fall into the water as the owner hugs the dog. For a moment the audience is unsure whether they have been attacked or have just fallen. Then the camera moves into a close-up of the boy, who is now lying on a yellow lilo. Brody continues to look at the water, which raises tension. The first time at which Brody thinks that an attack is about to happen in this scene occurs with a man who is wearing a black swimming cap swimming with his head just above the water. This is strongly related to Great White Sharks who, when in shallow water have their large dorsal fin showing above the water's surface. This is emphasised by a long shot so that the audience and Brody are unable to see exactly what it is. Amid all of this suspense, a man walks over to Brody and blocks his view of the happenings in front. The mumbling sound and the constant attempts to try and see over his shoulder show that Brody is not listening. Then a close up on a woman shows her drop suddenly and then rise into the water. The audience believes this is an attack because the movements echo the first attack. Instead though, a close up shows that it was just a male friend playing around. The camera then reverts back to the dog owner who is beckoning for his dog who is nowhere to be seen. This, the audience knows, is an attack because there was nowhere for the dog to go apart from below the surface of the water. The camera then shows the legs of the child from below, and as the audience knows, this angle is from the eyes of the shark.
From the opening credits the director successfully builds up the audience's fear of the shark by using a number of techniques. Initially, in the first attack, there is the fear of the unknown with the audience asking themselves; "What is in the water? And who is the attacker?" However, the audience does know that the film is about a man-eating shark and they are aware of the inevitable danger that will be included in this film. In the first attack, Spielberg deliberately does not show the shark so that the audience is able to use their imaginations to construct a picture of what the attacker looks like. The mind is more instrumental in scaring oneself in horror films than, for instance gore. Tension is continued in the film with the 'killer' music factor. It is fast paced and is played in a low and quiet tone, which is similar to techniques used in other films. In the second attack the director builds up fear for the characters by making the dorsal fin clearly visible to all. This is the first time that both the inhabitants of Amity Island and the audience have seen the shark and they are able to make the connection between this attack and the first one.
The second attack also strikes fear into the hearts of the characters because of the brutality of the shark. In some of the most successful horror films the victims were not only adults but also children e.g. Poltergeist. If an adult dies or is killed it is an awful occurrence, but for a child to die it is seen as cruel and unnatural because children are much more defenceless compared to adults. It is clear that in Jaws we are dealing with an irregular attacker, who makes no differentiation between its victims. This brutality makes the audience and the inhabitants of Amity Island fearful. When Matt Hooper arrives in Amity he asks to see the remains of the first victim. This is the first point where we are able to see what the shark is capable of in terms of destruction; we see only a hand and a wrist unattached. We also see Matt Hooper's face become sweaty as he becomes agitated. He then asks for a glass of water and begins to speak in a professorial and technical manner about how the victim is missing various parts of her body. He then turns to Brody and reaffirms that the death was the result of a shark attack and not a boating accident. The audience now has the word of a professional person and not just the beliefs of Martin Brody, which strengthens the tension in the film.
In Jaws, camera techniques also build up the fear of the shark. There are many fin shots before each attack, for instance, when Brody, Quint and Hooper are on the boat hunting the shark they see the huge fin coming towards the boat before the attack. The characters and the audience know that this is the calm before the storm and combining this with the music, the audience is provided with another signal that an attack is going to take place. The fear is clearly illustrated by the facial expressions of the trio. Furthermore, at this part of the film, Quint fires multiple darts which are tied to barrels at the shark to stop the shark from diving beneath the water's surface and also to slow it down. It takes three barrels attached to the shark to stop it diving below the water. This truly amazes Quint who has hunted many sharks but has never seen a shark take so many barrels and continue to swim at high speeds. This amazement quickly changes to fear and builds tension when he realises the shark is still at large and is still-hunting them. Throughout the attack Quint is slightly overconfident and when he becomes fearful of the shark the audience and the other two members of the trio realise that the size and power of the shark is bewildering, even to a shark expert.
Spielberg has structured the film so that the first two attacks are close together. He has done this to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats after the first attack. It also continues the themes of tension and fear for both the characters and the audience alike and the second attack is placed at this point to affirm quickly Brody's belief that the first death was the result of a shark attack. In virtually all films the audience is drawn to believe the protagonist. In Jaws the protagonist is Brody and subsequently we are drawn to believe him. For instance after the first attack he is the first person to come up with the theory of the shark and it is here that we first side with him. In the third attack, more tension is created after a smaller shark is killed under the belief that it was in fact the shark that had attacked the two people. Matt Hooper, on the other hand, believes that it is too small to be that particular shark and Brody sides with him. This means that Hooper, Brody and also the audience are all waiting for another attack creating tension. The third attack is different to the other attacks. In this attack Spielberg picks out Brody's son as an individual with an identity who is involved. Where as the previous two attacks have been on strangers the third attack has more impact because of the personal effect it has on Brody. In the last section of the film there is more tension than at any other part of the film. Whereas the two previous attacks had occurred in busy areas, this time the audience realises that they will be travelling out alone to catch the shark in a small boat. They are fearful because they realise that the shark will kill without mercy. When the team eventually see the size of the shark they realise how unprepared they are and they are afraid because they believe the shark is able to kill them as they underestimated the size of it:
"We're going to need a bigger boat!"
The suspense now truly begins because they and the audience knows that the shark is out to hunt them. .
Spielberg purposely made sure that the boat was small to create all of the fear, tension and suspense described above. Right until the end the tension is maintained by Brody shooting the shark at the very last moment and blowing it up so that the audience remains on the edge of their seats throughout.
The film Jaws was made at a time when special effects and computer imaging were almost non-existent. Spielberg though, still manages to scare the audience using incredible and inventive techniques which have made him world renowned and respected. Many regard Jaws as one of the greatest films ever made and regard Spielberg as one of the greatest ever directors, and in evaluating it I can understand why.