Analysis Of The Techniques Used By Steven Spielberg To Create Interest In The Opening Sequences Of

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C/W        Robert Minks        23/10/03

Analysis Of The Techniques Used By Steven Spielberg To Create Interest In The Opening Sequences Of “Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark”

Indiana Jones is a rough and tumble archaeologist played by Harrison Ford who gets artefacts the hard way. Compared to other films like “The Mummy” and “Tomb Raider” he is a hero who works alone and for the sole purpose of his job, whereas the hero’s for these films are working for revenge, money or fame or even to destroy forces of evil. The film is an action adventure based around the time of 1936; Indiana is searching for “The Lost Ark” in competition with the Third Reich, who thinks it is a significant power due to their beliefs. The film is set in the Amazon Rainforest, in a tomb full of ancient booby traps, including light sensitive spikes and touch sensitive arrows. The script was written in 1979 and the film was released in 1981, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas, it is entertaining but I feel was spoilt by the sequels “The Temple Of Doom” and “The Last Crusade”, these films by themselves are good, but have nothing special to offer, the sequels are just copies of the first film used to make more money.

To start, Indiana Jones is a white American with a rugged look, he appears to be the hero, you can tell this because he is smart, he is quiet, he is calm and he knows what he is doing and where he is going. He looks more important than the other three characters who accompany him in the opening sequence, because he has better clothes, he is more skilled, he appears to know more than they do and you find out his name. Whereas you do not find out the names of the other three characters, these characters are South American who seem to live near or in the rainforest, since you do not find out there names it means they are not important characters in the film, you can tell that they are just guides for him and they will not last long, their fate becomes obvious when two of the characters flee in fear leaving only one to assist Indiana in the tomb. At the end of the scene, two of the three are dead and the whereabouts of the other is unknown; this proves that they played an unimportant role. This creates interest because even in the opening scene two people have been killed and Indiana Jones makes a spectacular escape. Also it helps to make you understand that Indiana is an important character in the film and that he is the most skilled.

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Steven Spielberg also used many camera shots to create interest such as an opening dissolve; this made a smooth opening from the “Universal” logo into the film. The opening shot is an establishing shot; this creates interest because it shows that they are in a rainforest, in the mountains. He also uses tracking several times to create the effect that the watcher is walking in the jungle with the group, this is normally at a long shot range to show much of the setting as well as characters. There are some ELS shots to show large areas, for example, when ...

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