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New Generation
12-05-2008, 12:51 PM
This was written for English and for "Analyzing" a film called "Jaws" by Steven Spielberg.
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Media Assignment

Analyze the way in which the director builds suspense and scares the audience in the film “JAWS”

The films Jaws is a top hit suspension horror film set just before 4th of July, which is a celebration of Independence Day when the beach make a lot of profit. The film starts very effectively with the sounds of dolphins/whales calling each other with high pitched signals, a very mysterious ghostly sound which makes the audience uneasy or rather confused. There is an atmospheric shot of the sea bed. After that the famous tense, slow tempo music begins to play which is non-diegetic meaning it is added to the soundtrack. The tempo rapidly rises with ostinato while the camera angle shows us a close up under water shot of the sea bed which is covered with corals. The shot shows us the shark’s point of view; this scene scared me because of the frightening music and the clever view of the sea bed because humans are frightened of water as we can drown in it.

The director releases us by swiftly switching the scene to a nice cosy beach with harmonious music playing and diegetic sounds (real sound), such as people talking. The director applies a little love scene as the drunk boy starts chasing Chrissie.
This makes us worried because it’s in the middle of the night and the boy is drunk which makes the audience feel concerned but off guard at the same time.

As Chrissie enters the water, the camera shows us an under water shot, a sharks perspective which shows us movement of the shark in the water, and then again the deep tension music begins to fade in, rapidly raising in tempo which signifies that there is something terrible approaching Chrissie. In a blink of an eye, the camera switches to a medium top of the view showing Chrissie getting literally dragged down into the water countless times, making the audience jump out of their seat and pump with adrenaline. She starts to scream for help; “God help me.” That particular sentence made me feel uneasy and also empathise her suffering. Her words sound blurred. The music now has a fast tempo, which frightens the audience dramatically. We do not see the shark just yet; it was done very cunningly like that so as to keep us guessing what the attacker really was? The camera switches back to the boy, unconscious. There is absolute silence except the diegetic tranquil sound of the waves which releases us from the fear.


The next scene shows us a bright calm morning with Brody chief of the law and his wife. There is no music. Brody drives off in a car for an emergency.

When he arrives he meets the young man who was drunk last night. We hear a police man blow his whistle, which alerts us that there is something horrific that the police man saw as the sound is really high pitched. The camera switches to his face, and this shows us a reaction shot of his face. His face shows us that he is broken down, disgusted, shocked & frozen by what he saw. When Brody sees the hand covered in crabs, the camera shows a reaction shot of him too, a close up shot of his face. This part makes the audience terrified as we see the supremacy of what they are really dealing with. Brody looks far off into the sea; this shows that the enemy is certainly in the sea. After this he goes back to his office and writes “Probability of death: Shark Attack” The camera zooms in on Brody’s face and he realises something has to be done about it. He tells his officer about the problem and when the Mayor of Amity Island arrives and speaks to him, he says that the beach cannot be closed as they will lose profit. This tells us that there is an argument and that makes the audience rather worried because the shark is still out there.

The next scene shows us a nice cosy bright day at the beach, which made me relax. The water is shining from the sunlight. Alex goes in the water with a yellow lilo. This scene makes the audience quite nervous as there is a probability that he might be attacked by the shark which is on the loose. Brody is on the look out for the shark, watching the water. A dog runs in the water for a stick. The scene switches to an underwater shot and the camera clearly represents a perspective of the shark. Alex is splashing on his lilo. Excessive movement attracts sharks. The horrifying deep music is rapidly increasing in tempo which makes the audience be at the edge of their seat. Right after the shot, the camera zooms out from the sea, while the shark completely shreds Alex. An an excessive amount of blood is shown which made me petrified to the bones. Then after that the camera switches to Brody’s face, zooming on him. Brody is shocked. Though we do not see the shark just yet, the director made it cleverly like that to keep the audience on the edge, People start to panic, a crescendo of diegetic sounds, while people start screaming and running out of the water which adds to the fear. The man calls for his dog “Peppet!” There is no answer which signifies that the dog has been eaten as well. The camera then shows Alex’s mother shouting his name. This part made me empathise with her feelings. Then we see the lilo completely shredded, blooded on the shore. Alex is a goner.

The next day, the situation gets serious. There is a $3,000 reward for whoever catches the shark. Quint shows up, an experienced fisherman and he says that he will catch the shark for $10,000. His words sound hopeful and assuring. This part made me feel hopeful.
It’s ominous and two local fishermen are trying to catch the shark by throwing bait. Then the camera switches to Brody, looking at real photos of sharks and people who were attacked. It really made me a bit disgusted as I saw that they can shred anyone to pieces. The music starts again, now at a medium tempo and straight after that the landing bay completely breaks off which makes the fisherman fall in to the water. He is desperately trying to swim back for his life. The music especially makes this scene shocking. As the shark is just about to get him, he screams “I can’t get up, HELP ME!” This made me empathise with his feelings, that he is about to be dinner for the predator, though he escapes just by a second which left me feeling shocked but relieved that he escaped. The music slowed down and faded out.

The next day every fisherman in the town was trying to catch the shark for the reward. Hooper arrives to meet Brody and talk to him about catching the shark. So those three men are Brody, chief of the law. Quint, is an old experienced fisherman, and finally Hooper a young man who is an oceanologist. Hooper examines the remains of the first victim (Chrissie)

The next scene shows us that the shark Tiger: Shark has finally been caught by the local fisherman. Hooper confesses the shark that has been caught doesn’t have the same bite radius. Brody’s face changes, a reaction shot. Hooper does an autopsy on the shark. The disgusting odour of the shark is tremendously unbearable. The remains of Chrissie are not found meaning this is definitely not the right shark. This scene made me nervous as I thought that the shark is still out there, lurking beneath the shadowy waters.
Brody and Hooper set off in to the sea to gather evidence from the shark in a high technology boat. They find an abandoned wrecked boat. There is mist and its night which made the audience really petrified. Hooper dives in, finds the sharks tooth and right out of a hole, the head of a dead man lunges out while a crescendo of music began to play, starting from a high pitch screech. This scene made us scream, and jump out of our seat immediately while our hearts started pumping faster with adrenaline. 4th of July has began, guards are patrolling the sea and Brody is on the lookout as well. The mayor encourages an old man and his family to go into the water. As he goes in, the crowd follows. The camera switches to people swimming, we see the shark’s fin, then we a see a woman’s reaction shot. She is shocked and screams: “Oh my...GOD!” then we see another reaction shot, now of a man, he is terrified and swims back. Panic arises. People start to scream. The guards realise that those are only 2 boys playing. The screaming and the reaction shots pump up the fear. The boy says “He made me do it” which made me feel released from the tense atmosphere. Brody then swiftly finds the real shark swimming close by. The camera switches to a man on a small boat saying to the boys “Are you alright?” We see a top view and get a swift glimpse of the shark’s size, as the man gets swallowed completely. The camera then shows a bloody leg slowly falling down to the sea bed which made me feel disgusted and I nearly turned away. Brody’s son was saved but he went in to a state of shock. Brody looks far off in to the sea; this tells us that he is absolutely going to slaughter that shark. This made me feel how he feels angered and thirsty for vengeance.

The 3 men: Brody, Quint and Hooper set off in a boat to hunt down the shark. Only Quint notices the pull on the string, he prepares for it wearing a safety belt meaning the shark got the bait, but they lose it. Brody throws chump off into the sea. As quick as a bee, the shark rises to the surface and Brody notices it, swiftly jumping back paralyzed by fear at how gigantic the shark is which made me feel the same way, terrified. Brody says “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The music starts, rapidly rising as the shark passes by the boat showing us how really big it is to all three men. Hooper says that he weighs 3 tons which made me feel surprised. The shark is continuously circling the boat, which told me that it is intelligent. Quint shoots the shark with a sharp harpoon which is tied to an air barrel which logically stops the shark from diving in but this time the shark is way too powerful because it still somehow can dive in. As they chase the shark, heroic melodic music starts to play, which made the audience hopeful and relaxed. As the shark dives in with the barrel, the music slows down in tempo and pitch to a deeper tone. A reaction shot of Hooper as his hope is lost.

The day comes to an end and as Quint and Hooper relaxes with a few pints of beer by the side. This scene made me quite worried because when you’re drunk you are off guard and not in control of the situation. Quint tells stories of sharks. We then hear whales calling each other, a strange mysterious high pitched scary sound which made feel uneasy and something told me that they got attacked by the shark. The atmos effect as it was night especially increased the fear of the audience. The audience gets released as the 3 men start to sing. The shark suddenly budges the boat (a shake effect of the camera) making a hole which makes the water rush in. A candle is dropped while fire burns the floor; Brody tries to put it out. They lose electricity, abominating panic arises. No one likes darkness that’s why this made me tremble as well as the added deep music as well. The boat is damaged.

The next day they are trying to fix the boat. They notice a barrel nearby. They try to get the rope and right out of nowhere the shark jumps out terrorizing me completely, and adding to it, a crescendo of sounds are played in the background. Brody tries to make a phone call, Quint completely smashes the radio. This tells us that he is now mad. They are now out in the sea, alone and surrounded by a very dangerous predator, thus making the audience panic. The camera shows Quint’s point of view, as he shoots the shark once more with the harpoon tied to an air barrel. They chase it and once again heroic happy sounding music starts to fade in. Quint injures the shark a third time now which made me feel safe as I thought that the shark is now really injured and might die. The shark though easily frees itself of the air barrels which made me feel alarmed again as I thought that this shark is very durable. The shark goes under the boat; the shark follows the boat. They stop as the boat is now really damaged and half of the boat is unbalanced thus making me lose hope and feel frightened.

Quint finally decides to give hope to Hooper and his high technology. Hooper dives in a protective steel cage to catch the shark by puncturing it with a harpoon filled with poison. That deep music fades in and the shark approaches. We see Hooper face, a reaction shot as he is petrified by the size and the terrifying mouth. His cage gets smashed several times. This is an underwater shot and the shot changes to a medium shot from a close shot, thus showing the real power of the shark. The cage gets destroyed. Hooper loses his harpoon. The camera switches to the boat as the shark lunges straight down on the boat; Quint falls right down into his mouth, shredded bit by bit which made feel disgusted. This also made me feel sad as I got to know him, and the director cleverly made it like that because we didn’t want him to get killed. The boat is dramatically sinking as Brody grabs his gun and climbs on top of the boat. He punctures the shark many times by a sharp metal weapon. He then loses it. This scene was really terrifying as it was man against beast. As Brody struggles to survive, his last chance was that he made the shark munch compressed air, as the shark was approaching, Brody was trying to get the barrel to explode while heroic arousing music was playing. The last shot showed Brody and his face, an angry face and that he is tired of this struggling, so he said “Why you son of a...” while a gigantic explosion appeared killing the shark once and for all with a visual blood shower making Brody the hero. Then the camera shows us and underwater shot of the dead shark covered with blood while mysterious high tone music, a piano rhythm starts to play. Finally we see Hooper return and they both swim back home and finally we have a feeling of absolute release.

In my opinion I think the most hideous scene was when Quint was being chomped alive bit by bit by the shark with crunchy sound effects which made feel quite disgusted as it was really dreadful and merciless as well as utterly horrifying.

Bibliography:
• Jaws – the film by S.S.
• Teacher notes.
• www.dictionary.com - Thesaurus

ThatGuy
12-05-2008, 04:12 PM
From the few bits I actually read, that was awful. It looks like you just went on thesaurus.com and threw a bunch of big words at your paper.

Also, why?

New Generation
12-05-2008, 04:13 PM
For English, a media assignment. I got a strong C. My teacher thought it was really good. I only tried to get similar words as horror, panic, and suspense from the thesaurus. It took me about 7 lessons to complete that(7 hours)

Also a few hours at home as homework. You're just jealous!

Krob
12-05-2008, 04:17 PM
It's filled with overused vocabulary and personal opinions.

New Generation
12-05-2008, 04:24 PM
That's what it's all about!

You have to explain how the film scared me, but I have to vary it from us(the class) the audience(as in a cinema) or me. Did you even read the bold bit under the Title?

We didn't do any research as the teacher didn't tell us to do that, but we got a few papers about the music, and the features of the scary film and we obviously watched the film, and believe me the "head popping out" was scary to the whole class.