The Visual Language of JAWS – JAWS Shot by Shot

Jaws. The defining film in my life. The first film I remember seeing as a child remains my favorite film of all time. Steven Spielberg was a Wellesian 26 years old when he directed this masterpiece and it forever changed the landscape of the Worldwide Box Office, the film formula and Hollywood’s marketing machines.

alt text

Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, Jaws tells the simple story of a small New England town terrorized by a great white shark but it’s in the 2nd act with what starts as a simple horror story turns into a Moby Dick tale at sea fueled by the 3 archetypes of Chief Brody, Matt Hooper, and Quint, our salty Ahab.

As much as it’s been compared to Melville’s Moby Dick, I don’t recall Dick giving people true fear. What Hitch did with Psycho and shower curtains, Spielberg to this day makes me think of what’s underneath me whenever I step foot into the ocean.

The film is perfect and I chose a very simple sequence too look at. A sequence which on the page was 3 sentences long. Keep this is mind all of you ‘page a minute’ sticklers. How would you have shot this? How many cuts? You know the drill. Read the quick passage from the script and then let’s have a look at it, shot by shot:

See the shot by shot analysis at Cineobscure …

Leave a Comment


*

NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD