The movie JAWS directed by Steven Spielberg is a classic horror film that falls into the category of the most rewatchable movies of all time. The effectiveness of the movie is developed through a mix of camera angles, types of shots, and through montages. In this paper I am going to attempt to analyze Spielberg's amazing camera work in relation to the effect it had on the movie.
This movie keeps the vieweron the edge of their seat? while not even introducing the true star of the movie until it's half way over. The viewer knows that the shark is there and due to several point of view shots, is given the opportunity to see through its eyes. Spielberg uses a lot of camera movement throughout the movie, this adds to the success of its suspense. In the scene where Chrissie gets eaten by the shark, the camera goes under water and a low-angle view is used to look up at her body. The camera then switches to an eye-level view on top of the water. This is where the viewer see's Chrissie get pulled around and then finally dragged under. An interesting shot is the one of Chief Brody on the beach when he witnesses Alex Kintner's death. The camera does a close-up shot of Chief Brody's face while the background is being pulled away from him. By using the technique selective focusing the viewer is able to get inside the movie and feel what the Chief is feeling upon watching the attack. .
A combination of cutting to continuity, and parallel editing were presented by Spielberg in JAWS. In the scene where Hooper, Quint, and Brody put together the shark cage, cutting to continuity was used to give the viewer the idea of what they were doing without showing every boring detail of assembling the cage. Parallel editing is the alternating of shots between two sequences, usually in different locals, suggesting that they take place at the same time. This technique was used in the scene where the two fishermen throw a roast, as bait, off a pier to catch the infamous shark.