English media Coursework
How does Steven Spielberg use cinematic techniques to create dramatic tension in jaws?
The title “jaws” is very effective because it’s short and to the point. It fits in with the film because of the terror the sharks mouth brings; throughout the film whenever you see the shark’s mouth open it reminds you of the title of the film. The title creates dramatic tension because it makes the viewer curious about what title “jaws” could refer to.
In the beginning of the film there is a blank screen with noises of sea creatures this immediately shows you that the film has something to do with the sea. Steven Spielberg used camera shots as a cinematic technique. He used lots of long shots which helps convey both isolation for the victims and makes the shark seem to have incredible hunting abilities. The POV camera shot taken of the shark perspective creates dramatic tension because you can’t actually see the shark yet it creates a lot of tension by giving the illusion that something scary is just going to happen when unexpected. Then when you do see the shark, he is barely shown at all it’s mostly a part of his body or even the reflection on the top of the water. This makes the viewer curious to see what the whole shark looks like also what kind of shark it is. Also in the beginning scene when the woman is just about to be devoured by the shark it shows half of the body underwater (legs kicking), this symbolises panic and people splashing although we can’t see the shark we know he’s there. This technique builds up anxiety by waiting for the dramatic part.
In the scene where Chief Brody, Hooper and Quint try to catch the shark there is a part where Chief Brody is throwing bait in the water for the shark. Chief Brody gets distracted and starts talking to one of the others on board. We can see the water although Chief Brody can’t because he has his back facing away from the water. While his back was turned the shark’s head came out of the...