How is suspense created in the elevator scene in the film speed?

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How is suspense created in the elevator scene in the film speed?

The director of Speed, Mark Gordan, uses a range of techniques to build tension and suspense in the film Speed.

Camera Angles

We see a group of business people leaving a meeting and getting into the lift. The camera angle is at eye level to help the audience feel as though they are looking into their eyes, almost as if they were there with them. This is useful in order to help the audience identify with them and develop feelings for their situation later.

After the first two explosions, the camera angle changes to looking down on the passengers. This makes them appear smaller and vulnerable.

In contrast to this, the shots of the lift shaft are long shots to contrast the dizzying drop to the basement.

There are also various close-up shots of the passengers, suspended in limbo in the lift shaft. This enables the audience to see the fear and anxiety of their faces. We also have close ups of Harry and Jack showing them sweating to help convey the sense of urgency.

Camera Techniques

We see the finger of the bomber pushing a button on the detonator. The figure is anonymous. Unlike the eye level shots of the passengers that we are invited to identify with, this technique leaves the bomber as a dislocated figure, removed from view and leaves the audience with no means of identifying with him. This ensures our sympathies are with the passengers and not him.

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Shots of the lift shaft are alternated with shots of the passengers to underline how closely the fate of the passengers is connected to it.

Shots of the passengers and each being pulled to safety are alternated with various shots of buckled cranes, twisted metal, back to passengers, back to more twisted and creaking metal with increasing frequency as the number of passengers left to be rescued goes down. This technique helps to remind us that the lift is going to give way at any time and with each passenger saved there is left time left to pull ...

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