How does the “JAWS” trailer successfully

 hook the viewer?

“JAWS” was released in June 1975 and was only Steven Spielberg second theatrical film. It was originally a bestselling novel written by Peter Benchley’s, the film cost $8m to produce but eventually grossed $260m.

There were many reasons for it becoming such a big success, but mainly because Spielberg knew what he wanted to do from the start. He used a combination of intelligent camera shots, clever editing, an effective soundtrack and some other clever tricks. This essay will be looking at all of the devices that he uses and how they are put together to successfully hook the audience of the trailer.

        At the beginning of the trailer the audience is looking through the eyes of the shark; although we don’t know it’s a shark, in a point-of-view shot. The shark is swims through the coral at the bottom of the ocean, before stalking a woman who is treading water, from below. This camera shot creates a sense of unknown, mystery and tension and keeps the audience in suspense. This is because we do not know what is at the bottom of the sea.

        Later on during the trailer you see a long shot of a man’s legs getting trapped by a rope. The rope wedges the man’s legs between it and the edge of a boat, the man screams in pain but the camera quickly flashes away. This reminds the audience of everything that could go wrong during the film, showing just how dangerous it is likely to be. It also shows the obstacles and problems that lie in their way and the challenges that they must face. But this only hooks the viewer if more problems occur during that part in the trailer, which they do. In the same trailer section, another man is hit by a water tank. The camera again quickly flashes away before you see what then happens to the man. The clip after this is of a boat keeling over, the boat’s edge touches the sea water and two men slide towards the edge. There are countless more examples of danger on the boat and when they are all joined together in quick succession the audience gets the full feeling of everything that can and will go wrong. The camera quickly flashing away from each clip gives the viewer the impression that the director is trying to hide them from the horrors of the film. For some people this heightens the want to watch it because they enjoy scary things and also want to find out what they are being kept from witnessing. Spielberg also does not want to spoil the film, he accomplishes this by cutting each clip in the correct place so that the audience does not know how each clip finishes but gets enough of an taster to be tempted into watching “JAWS”. The combination of these quick and short clips helps to get the adrenaline pumping inside the audience without giving away too much about the film.

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        Furthermore, The Director uses “over the shoulder” shots frequently and sometimes combines them with “point of view” shots. The audience looks through the eyes of the main character Chief Brody. He is looking over the shoulder of someone who is talking to him and is watching what is happening in the water. The voice of the woman who is talking is muffled and the noise coming from the water is clear and can be heard above the woman. Looking through the eyes of Chief Brody implies to the audience that we are hearing what Brody is hearing. This gives the ...

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