J AW S S 1 M E D I A U N I T THE BIG PICTURE By the end of this unit you will be able to write a critical essay on the movie ‘Jaws’, directed by Stephen Spielberg. Your critical essay will focus on the ways that the director builds tension and scares his audience. In this unit you will study several filmmaking techniques which you will be able to discuss in your critical essay. SKILLS At the end of this unit I will have developed my skills in talking and listening, reading and writing. I will be able to: watch a text for enjoyment and interest, and express how well it met my needs and expectations and give reasons, with evidence, for my personal response. (LIT 3-01a, 3-11a) identify and comment on aspects of the director’s style and other features appropriate to the genre using relevant evidence (ENG 3-19a) show my understanding of what I watch by commenting, with evidence, on the content of the text (LIT 3-07a, ENG 3-17a) make notes and organise them to develop my thinking, help retain and recall information, using my own words as appropriate. (LIT 3-05a,3-15a ) identify and give an accurate account of the purpose and main concerns of the text (LIT 3-04a) discuss and evaluate the characterisation using supporting evidence (ENG 3-19a) review and edit my writing to ensure that it meets its purpose and communicates meaning at first reading (LIT 3-23a) BACKGROUND • Jaws was made in 1975 • Horror / Thriller genre • Directed by Steven Spielberg • Based on Peter Benchley‘s novel of the same name. • Jaws is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all times. • Original title was ‘Still in the Water.’ W H AT ’ S I T A L L A B O U T ? • The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant great white shark by closing the beaches. He is overruled by the town council and the Mayor, who wants the beach to remain open to draw a profit from tourists during the summer season. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. NAME THE CHARACTER • He is the main character. • The film centers on him. • He is the chief of police. • He has just moved to Amity from New York. • He is scared of water. WHO IS HE? NAME THE CHARACTER • He is a shark specialist from the Oceanography Department. • He comes to Amity to help catch the shark. • He is the person that confirms that the first shark caught is not the right shark. • He insists on diving using a shark cage. WHO IS HE? NAME THE CHARACTER • He is a professional shark hunter. • He is hunting the shark for money. • He was involved in a shark attack when he became shipwrecked during the war. • He is an unstable character. • He is eventually killed by the shark. WHO IS HE? NAME THE CHARACTER • He hunts off the coast of Amity Island • The audience often sees things from his point of view. • He doesn’t behave normally for his species. • He seems to be vengeful. • He appears to like the taste of humans! WHO IS HE? HIGH KEY AND LOW KEY LIGHTING High Key Lighting – Scenes which are evenly lit with very few dark spots or shadows. Low Key Lighting – Scenes which are darkly lit and show dark spots and shadows. D I S C U S S W I T H A PA R T N E R • Why do you think a director or cinematographer would use a combination of high key and low key lighting? • How do the low key scenes add to the tension to the film? • How do the low key scenes make the viewer feel uneasy? • How do the low key scenes help to create drama? • Look at the scene where Brody is on the beach. How does the high key lighting help you to understand Brody’s point of view? Take notes as you discuss and be prepared to share your thoughts with the class. Now you are going to write a paragraph explaining how the use of lighting in Jaws helps create tension and horror. You may use the following cloze passage if you like or you can write your own explanation. In the film __________ directed by _________ ____________ a combination of high _______ and _______ key lighting help to create tension and horror. In the beach scene where the character of __________ nervously watches the water for signs of the _________, the use of high key lighting helps the ___________ to understand how alert Brody is. The high key lighting helps to create a ___________, carefree mood which is in contrast to the _____________ of Brody. The ____________ makes use of low key lighting in the scene where the shark is underneath the swimmer. This helps the viewer understand the point of view of the shark in the __________ water. It also helps to create the feeling that something is about to happen. This adds to the _________ of the movie by creating tension. Brody. Horror. Director. Shark. Steven Speilberg. Viewer. Jaws. Happy. Murky. Nervousness. Key. Low. • The camera is distant, and the setting makes up most of the space in the frame. A standing actor fits completely within the frame, neither his head nor his feet being cut off. • This is the opening scene where you can see the relationship of the characters and their connection to the sea. CAMERA ANGLE – LONG SHOT • Camera shows a person from the middle up and still exposes some of the setting. • This scene is when Martin Brody discovers Chrissie’s body. This shot shows the body from the waist up, a little background can be seen, and body language is show too. This shot not only shows us what the character is doing but also how they are feeling. CAMERA ANGLE – MID SHOT CAMERA ANGLE – CLOSE UP • The camera is zoomed in on something – often a person’s head. • This is a close up shot of the character Quint. This shot allows the audience to develop a relationship with the character by seeing their expressions and emotions. • The camera is so close that only a part of something is seen, like a hand, eye or ear. • This is an extreme close up of Martin Brody’s face, this picture shows his eyes. It reflects how distressed he is with the town’s shark attacks. CAMERA ANGLE – EXTREME CLOSE UP CAMERA ANGLE – POINT OF VIEW • The camera takes up the position of a character, so we feel as if we are looking at the scene from the character’s point of view, or over their shoulder. This is done so the audience can identify with that particular character. • This is from the shark’s point of view; this shows what the shark is seeing/feeling. Also, this the shot that made this movie a phenomenon. CAMERA ANGLE – HIGH ANGLE • The camera is high up, looking down on something, making the character seem subject small, weak and vulnerable. • The camera is positioned above Martin to show how vulnerable he is, that he is truly uncomfortable at sea. • A low angle shot is one in which the camera is low and looks up at the character, making them seem larger, more formidable and menacing, or perhaps, tall, regal and powerful. • In this shot, Quint is happy with the way things are, he feels that he can catch the shark soon. It is a Low Angle shot that represents his confidence with his skills. CAMERA ANGLE – LOW ANGLE CAMERA A N G L E - PA N • Short for panoramic. The camera moves in an arc from a fixed point. • This is a panoramic shot, which shows us the whole background. This is a serene picture, to show to eeriness of the beach, how empty it is, and how quiet. The camera moves in an arc from a fixed point, that is why the picture has a curved effect. CAMERA ANGLE - ZOOM • The camera moves in to a close up, often used to focus attention on a relevant detail or emphasise a character’s reaction. • The infamous ‘Dolly-Zoom’ it combines both, Track and Zoom. This was to show that Martin Brody’s worst fear came true. The shot mirrors Brody’s feelings. It is as if you can actually see his stomach drop in panic. CAMERA ANGLE - TRACK • The camera moves as if on a track following a person or subject. • As Chrissie runs, you can see the camera moving along with her, like it is too on a track. This is to show the audience that she is extremely excited. • Using the knowledge you now have about camera angles write down which angle best describes the following shots. GUESS THE CAMERA ANGLE WHICH CAMERA ANGLE IS BEING USED? WHICH CAMERA ANGLE IS BEING USED? WHICH CAMERA ANGLE IS BEING USED? WAT C H T H I S FA M O U S S C E N E A G A I N AND TRY TO RECOGNIZE THE CAMERA ANGLES. • https://youtu.be/rW23RsUTb2Y How does the camera angles used in this clip help you understand events in the scene? • You might want to mention how the long shot establishes the setting. • How does the tracking shot help you establish a relationship with the boy? • What does the point of view shot tell you about how Brody is feeling? • How does the famous dolly-zoom shot make Brody’s panic very clear? SOUND Diegetic – can see where the sound is coming from on screen (for example: conversations, a radio playing) Nondiegetic – there is no source for the sound on screen, the sound has been added. Parallel sound – the sound compliments what we see on screen (for example: children on the beach laughing.) Contrapuntal sound – When the sound goes against your expectations. W H O L E C L A S S M AT C H U P Diegetic - can see where the sound is coming A woman screams as a burglar breaks into her from on screen (for example: conversations, a house. radio playing) Nondiegetic – there is no source for the sound A man laughs when he finds a dead body in an alleyway. on screen, the sound has been added. Parallel sound – the sound compliments what A narrator describes what the animals are doing during a documentary. we see on screen (for example: children on the beach laughing.) Contrapuntal sound – when the sound goes against your expectations. A couple having a conversation in a restaurant. WAT C H T H E SHORT FILM ‘LIFTED’ https://youtu.be/LVLoc6FrLi0 Complete the following task with a partner. Sound Diegetic Nondiegetic Parallel Sound Contrapuntal Sound Example D E S C R I P T I O N A N D A N A LY S I S Link to CfE – I can identify and comment on aspects of a director’s style and other features appropriate to the genre using relevant evidence. (ENG 3-19a) Description is when you explain the action that is happening in the scene. Analysis is when you think about the effect the action has on the audience and why the director chooses to show the action in a certain way. D E S C R I P T I O N O R A N A LY S I S ? 1. A young boy walks towards his mother and asks if he can go back into the water for another ten minutes? 2. The lion roars and chases after the group of tourists. 3. The camera follows the young boy, suggesting that he is going to be important. 4. The camera focuses on the lion’s sharp teeth, showing that he is dangerous and suggesting that something bad might happen to the tourists. 5. As the young girl turned on the light her friends leapt out to yell surprise. A N A LY S I N G A N IMAGE • We will analyse the image as a class. • We must decide what we can see (description) and what effect the image has (analysis) A N A LY S E T H I S I M A G E W I T H Y O U R PA R T N E R A N A LY S I N G THE PROMOTIONAL POSTER. Description There are large red letters that spell out the name of the film. Analysis The colour red has connotations of blood which suggests that the shark in dangerous. Description Analysis Description Analysis Description Analysis A N A LY S I S O F T H E O P E N I N G SCENE Link to CfE – I can identify and comment on aspects of the director’s style and other features appropriate to the genre using relevant evidence (ENG 3-19a) Task one – Music You are going to listen to the opening scene with your eyes closed. You are going to listen to the music of the opening sequence. You should then write down what you think is happening in this scene. You should think about why the music might seem scary to an audience. https://youtu.be/b-3q0DOXb74 This time you are going to watch the opening sequence and complete the analysis grid. You will see the sequence more than once but you need to concentrate. https://youtu.be/b-3q0DOXb74 A N A LY S I N G T H E O P E N I N G S E Q U E N C E . T. E . E . • Technique - camera angle/shot or type of sound • Explain – what is happening on screen • Effect – how does the camera angle/shot or sound make you feel scared or tense? T. E . E . TA B L E S Technique What camera shot/angle is being used and/or what sound technique is being used. Explain Describe what is happening in the scene. (denotation) Effect Analyse how the camera and sound help build up tension and suspense for the audience. (connotation) 1. Point of view. This is the title sequence, which is filmed showing what the shark can see. The audience is shown weeds as the shark swims through them. The music gets louder and faster as the scene goes on. By playing the scary music at the same time as showing the point of view of the shark the director makes the audience identify the music with the shark. This creates tension because the audience knows there is something dangerous in the water. 1. Nondiegetic sound. THE SECOND AT TA C K • What signals are there to the audience about who is going to be attacked? • Why are the lilo, the dog owner’s shirt and the boy’s lilo all yellow? • Why are the first two attacks close together at the start of the film? • Why don’t we see the shark at this stage?