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Suspense And Tension In Jaws Film Studies Essay

How does the director Stephen Spielberg use film technique to build suspense and tension for the audience in the film “Jaws”? The film “Jaws” was directed by Stephen Spielberg. The film is about the incessant shark attacks that happened in Amity in USA. It was set up in Amity which is near Kansas in USA. It is set on 4th July which was an Independence Day in USA. Everyone has the day off to celebrate their holiday very year and it is a national holiday in America. Throughout the film we are about to discover the fantasy of the war between Shark and People, which the director Spielberg uses the devises to build that tension, suspense and fear.

The music is played when the shark comes in distance and closer to the beach. First the music very slowly and when it gets louder and louder we feel like the shark is coming. This sound is like a theme of the film, which makes everyone to keep attention to the film. This type of music is Non-Diegetic music. This gives the audience that they are below the sea imagining the shark is waiting for them. If the shark be revealed straight away, it would destroy the whole story. Stephen Spielberg wants to build suspense by suspense to create the film attentive to it audience. One technique is that the music is used to build up the tension. Stephen Spielberg uses long shot to show this and cover all the details in the proof to show what happened.

Second attack was quite different. It is the attack of the little boy whose name was Alex. He swam in his inflatable lilo away from the rocky sand to the sea. When he was there the shark attacked him. We know this by looking from the music and fins coming out from the shark. The camera angles builds up the tension and suspense to show like we are looking from the angle of shark and when the attack happened from the distance it shows people to show exact how the boy was attack.

The Director builds up the fear of the shark by making music devious and dangerous like you get on the horror film. Director uses music like “dun, dun” sound/music that makes you follow the shark on its trail. You will follow the music as well as you are looking from the shark perspective. On this second attack he uses lots of close-up shots of the boy to show off the detail. The camera shot tracking is shown as though as you are shark and following the boy on his lilo. Jump cut is shown to take close shot of the people by cutting people shot one by one. After that 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. When we look around the beach we see yellow objects; umbrella, bathing suits, towels and a boy’s lilo. This is because yellow associate with fear because most of the warning signs have yellow sings like a hazardous sign.

As the camera films the shore, we see a man wearing a yellow shirt playing with his dog. Moments later when he was playing fetch with his dog pippin, pippin goes missing. Dog is nowhere to be seen but only a stick floating on the surface of the sea. This is known as a camera focused, focusing on the stick only and usually called Miss -en- scene. There is no music being played, audience don’t know whether the shark came again or the dog run off somewhere along the beach. This creates suspense as well as a fear.

Director use number of techniques to build up fear of shark in numerous. At the first attack, Spielberg doesn’t reveal the shark so audience will use their imagination a visual picture in their mind of what the attacker looks like. Tension is increased by the music factor. It is played in fast tempo and played in slow and silent way. At the second attack he builds fear for the characters by making a fin visible in the ocean surface bed. This may be first time the audience and characters in the story seen the shark and able to come to decision about first and second attack.

Spielberg uses lot of camera techniques as well as music to create the suspense during the story. We hear shark music “dun dun” sound to tell us that the shark is coming. The music is like a heartbeat which makes louder and louder as it represent mainly shark. The music is like theme or symbol that represents the shark in the film. This is how Spielberg uses the film to become more tense and interesting. As we get to shark, we expect shark to attack or we know it is lurking quite close.

Spielberg structured the film so that first and second attacks are together each other. First he kept audience alert at the first attack then continues to build fear and tension at the second attack which we see a boy in his lilo and dog goes missing. Broody’s predicted that first attack was done by shark. Most of the films there is some kind of hero. In the film hero is Brody. In first attack he was the male actor to spot the theory of the shark and we were side of him. At the third attack, tension increased after a smaller shark had been killed and it was been killed by two people. But Brody thinks that the shark is too small to bit the people and this tells us more tension is about to come. This third attack is difference by manipulating others. In this attack Spielberg chose Broody’s son as an alone poor child. First two attacks were involved strangers, now in the third attack it’s the Broody’s son being involved because this has an effect on Broody. It’s the last section of the film which has more tension than any other part. Whereas two attacks had been occurred in beach but now they will be out in sea to catch that killer shark in a small boat. They are fearful because they suddenly remembered that shark will be gone forever. After the investigation team have found a size of the shark, they become more afraid and couldn’t believe the size of it. It putting a dramatic suspense on now because the team now realised that they now need a bigger boat to kill the shark. Now the suspense begins and audience knows that shark is going to hunt and maybe eat them.

Spielberg made sure the small boat was involved to create that fear, tension and suspense. At the very last, Tension decreased because Broody kills that shark for last blowing the audience remains on seat though out the rest of the film.

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