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Jaws film opening analysis.

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  • 1. Jaws Film Opening Analysis.
  • 2. Sound.
    Music/ Sound bridge in the beginning which is iconographic.
    The audience are introduced to a sound motif, which is alarming and ominous to the audience as it is only played when the shark is nearby or on scene.
    It is a crescendo/ staccato sound which is iconic to Jaws.
  • 3. Characters.
    The characters in the beginning are established around a fire situated on the beach. Drinking, smoking and playing music. The characters actions are one of a hippy nature, which indicates their young and carefree personalities. Usually in a film, these kind of teenagers are the ones to be targeted on as victims in the film and happen to be disposed of one by one. So the audience are already bracing themselves for an act of violence, especially when the girl and boy are running away together far from the safety of the group. The audience will initially question the need for safety towards the young teenagers, as one they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol and two the girl is running away naked therefore she is asking for some sort of confrontation.
  • 4. Edits.
    • There is a cross cut between the lady being killed and the man who is drunk on the beach.
    • 5. The film also consists of jump cuts, Graphic match and Fades.
  • Shot types / Camera angles.
    Shot types: at the beginning the camera pans along the characters. This creates a great establishing scene amongst the youngsters. The director is trying to create an atmosphere one of a predator picking its prey.
    The shots consist of various close ups, great for the audience to analyze and establish the surroundings and characters.
    The film contains a shot reverse shot, which engages the audience into the film as they feel that they are involved through the use of psychological camera positioning.
    The most effective shot of that scene is the worms eye view which is established as if it’s the point of view of the shark. The female character is positioned as a venerable object therefore the audience knows that something is going to happen between the binary oppositions.
    The opening sequence also consists of a few long shots.
  • 6. Titles and Credits.
    Jaws opens with a black screen.
    There's a studio logo – which is a sense of institution.
    Typography of Jaws/Credits.
    Red – connotes danger and blood which foreshadows what is going to happen later on in the film.
  • 7. Narrative Theory's.
    The Jaws opening sequence underlines two types of narrative theory's which is an important element of a successful film opening :
    One of the elements is Barthes's five codes theory- Enigma code. The musical motif at the beginning makes the audience feel threatened and also curious, as to what is going to happen next as the audience already are feeling in suspense.
    The second element of the narrative theory is the popular and vastly used, Binary Oppositions. This theory is founded by Levi-Strauss. In this case, Jaws, have the binary oppositions of good vs.. evil and human vs. sharks.