Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Jaws by Steven Speilberg 1975 - film review 18 cutting edge

 Figure 1

Steven Spielberg is arguably one of the most crowd-pleasing directors known in the filming industry, for his films have a feeling of whimsy to them that makes audiences become engaged with his work. In 1975 Spielberg, would direct an adaptation about a killer shark simply known as “Jaws”.

The narrative is a very simple one to follow, the film starts off with a shark attack killing a woman and her remains found by the town's sheriff Brody. In response to this attack, Brody tries to close the beach in fear of more attacks, however, the mayor of the town refuses to let him close it down, even after a boy is killed he is still adamant to keep the beach open. To stop the attacks on the people of Amity, Brody gets the help of shark expert, Matt and fishing man, Quint to finally get rid of this killing menace.

Jaws is a 1974 novel by American writer Peter Benchley and a year after its publication, Spielberg decided to make the book into a film. Rumour has it that the mechanical shark would continuously break on set and it was a nightmare to fix, hence why the shark is not in the film as much as Spielberg wanted. It is also rumoured that the shark’s name is Bruce, named after Spielberg’s lawyer, due to how many problems were happening throughout the film. It is thanks to “Jaws” that audiences have summer blockbusters today as this reviewer states “Jaws is still a presence greatly felt in other summer blockbusters today. Piece-by-piece, the audience started to put together just how massive and dangerous the monster was, just like in Jaws.” (Winkler, 2015) what this means is that Spielberg has made a revolution in filming by making every summer filled with enjoyment and excitement for the new films in the summer as well as creating a great genre for monster films.

There are many themes that can be linked to this film, however, some members of the audience might think that the main theme of “Jaws” is consumerism and how it affects the main characters. The whole point of the film is to stop the shark, but the whole reason behind the need to keep Amity open, despite the risk, is for money and customers to come onto the beach. There is a quote from the film by the shark expert Matt where he states “what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine an eating machine”. (Dreyfuss, Jaws 1975) what this means is that the show is a metaphor for consumerism for it shows that consumerism will go to the full extent and extreme actions to get what it wants. For example, the mayor is only interested in getting money and business onto the beach and he is being consumed in this thought process.

In the film, audiences will notice that there are two villains or, there is only one, and it is not the shark. There is one character that stands out the most who is a portrayed as a villain and that is the Mayor, for he always tells the sheriff Brody that no matter what, the beach must stay open and he is willing to risk the lives of the people who live in Amity, for he states I'm only trying to say that Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars. Now, if the people can't swim here, they'll be glad to swim at the beaches of Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Long Island... “(Hamilton, 1975) making him come across as a single-minded person, that he has one goal in mind – profit.

The important thing about this film to note is its use of the camera. Spielberg cleverly uses the camera from two angles: the shark’s viewpoint and the poor victim it is about to attack. From the shark’s point of view what the audience sees is a slow creeping shot underneath the water towards the victim as demonstrated in figure 2. Whilst in the other shots, all the main characters and the victims are looking happy at first, enjoying the water until suddenly grabbed and shaken about by the shark shown in figures 3. What this clever use of camera does is give the audience a strong sense of being vulnerable. For watching this makes the audience member feel like there is nothing they can do to stop the impending doom that is about to occur on the screen, making the horror of this spectacular film very real to the audience. It works its advantage of the shark slowly coming towards a victim and the victim being completely stripped to pieces making the film interesting and scary for most shots and yet we never see the shark fully until the end. 

 Figure 2

 Figure 3 

Spielberg knows how to indulge audiences with not only a great story but through his themes of consumerism, the idea of who the main villain is arguably the subtle villain rather than the shark. Spielberg’s cleverly planned camera shots create a sense of being vulnerable. This film is truly open to the ideas of shark attacks and a great setup for horror for its clever use of these three elements making it more exciting for the viewer, making them want to watch more as the story continues.  “Jaws” is a delight yet terrifying experience to watch.


  • ·         Jaws (1975) Directed by Steven Spielberg USA: R. Dreyfuss

  • ·         Jaws (1975) Directed by Steven Spielberg USA: M. Hamilton

  • ·         Winkler, J., Hymas, T., Rice, M., Espino, J., Gioino, C. and Stoetzel, K. (2015) The film canon: Jaws (1975). Available at: http://theyoungfolks.com/featured/the-film-canon-jaws-1975/58289 (Accessed: 25 February 2017).
Illustration list:

  • Farzana, a (2012) The 10 most famous movie posters of all time. Available at: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/502010689695730879/ (Accessed: 28 February 2017). Figure 1

  • Mortimer, C. and profile, V. my complete (1980) 24 frames: Jaws (1975, Steven Spielberg). Available at: http://colonelmortimer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/24-frames-jaws-1975-steven-spielberg.html (Accessed: 28 February 2017). Figure 2

  • Celluloid, S. (2012) The shark never worked better! JAWS (1975). Available at: http://www.sinfulcelluloid.com/2012/08/the-shark-never-worked-better-jaws-1975/ (Accessed: 28 February 2017). Figure 3


Sunday, 26 February 2017

reflective statement

During this project, i have seen that I have improved in my method of working but, I still need to take the time to into how to plan out my art of's and be more design driven as Phil has said. I have enjoyed  From script to screen and I am proud and the  artwork I have created, the only thing I would change is my pre -vis for I feel that it needed to be a bit more smooth and fluent in the animation & pacing for I felt that in some parts of the animation it looked rushed. From script to screen has given me a good look at how I can be more professional and I have enjoyed it.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Character Orthograph


Supporting research for character/environment/props

For this story, I would like to set it in the 1950's for my Environments, meaning I would make the houses like identical yet different colours to be historically accurate of the time, for the show they're personality and individuality through pastel colours yet make them stylised like the animations of the time. like the pictures below:

The characters


The Props:



Friday, 17 February 2017

Production art Airport


Props Concept art and Production art


Duel by Steven Speilberg 1971 - film review 17 cutting edge

 Figure 1

Members of audiences viewing Steven Spielberg’s films would consider him as a great director of fantasy, reality, suspense, thriller, epic and horror films. Whereas other audiences may view his films with a great deal of whimsy and delight, for all to enjoy. In 1971 Spielberg directed a thriller film about masculinity, simply known as “Duel”(1971).

The narrative of “Duel”(1971) is about masculinity, and the many ways this was demonstrated through the story, characters, vehicles and camera shots. It begins with the main character, David Mann, an everyday man who is thought of as a little unmanly by his wife, for not defending her. When on a long business trip through California’s dusty highway, he come into contact with a huge truck, the driver of the truck tormented and taunted David, by overtaking and getting in the way of his driving. Things take a dramatic turn however when the truck driver tries to kill David, by any means necessary, forcing David to make a stand and ram into the truck, which brought out his manliness, once and for all and ended up with him looking at what he did to the truck.

“Duel” is based on a Richard Matheson short story published in Playboy. Spielberg wanted the audiences to focus on the main theme of the film, masculinity. Some viewers say that the masculinity was shown through the characters of the film, by having them face challenges that prove their manliness. As reviewer Howard (2011) would agree when stating “it's obvious that it was a failure of masculinity for Mann, a failure to protect his wife and defend her honour, a failure to assert his strength and dominance as a man. (His name is even Mann: get it)?” (Howard, 2011). This would infer that Mann did not show his strength and dominance, which would then lead to the belief that he was less manly, in this way it makes him seem weak and powerless to audiences, and throughout the film he is put to the test to prove he is a man by having to kill a truck, and its driver, like an animal hunting its prey.

In the main “Duel” is about the vehicles, and how they are used throughout the film. For during the film the truck, as the dominating archetype by size, shown figure 2, is trying to kill/crush David, and his small red car, which symbolises weakness and being fragile, as shown in its size, demonstrated in figure 3. One reviewer (Muir, 2010) states on their view of these cars as ‘“ a clash" between two dedicated combatants -a man driving a car and an unseen person manning the evil truck, with Spielberg's splendid sense of visual metaphor carrying the day.’ (Muir, 2010). This gives the viewer a strong sense that the truck is the challenging alpha male in the way it acts toward the smaller car, by chasing David and his car, bringing them both to a near death experience. This represents the theme of masculinity, and how it is important in the character development of David, from being a weak everyman to a dominating and strong man.

 Figure 2

 Figure 3

The theme of masculinity is demonstrated to audiences, by Spielberg using sets to bring David from civilisation, shown in Figure 4, to the open desert of a California highway, shown in Figure 5. This makes David feel he is entering into a jungle, where he must embrace masculinity, and force him to feel as if he is a weak animal in the wild, with a need fight to survive. A quote from the film by the actor, Dennis Weaver, who played David, states that ''Twenty, twenty-five minutes out of your whole life and then all the ropes that kept you hangin' in there are cut loose. And there you are, back in the jungle again.'' (Weaver, 1971). Spielberg wanted to make the characters and the environment feel more like the wild, by how they present their actions, for example in the final scene of the film, the truck prepares itself, like a lion ready to pounce, showing off his masculinity through dominance. Whilst David may be seen as a small runt of a lion, trying to be brave whilst deep down inside wishing to get away from the inevitable fight with the truck proving its dominance.

 Figure 4

 Figure 5

The camera acts to show the differences between the small little car and the big blocky truck. Comparing the two Vehicles is simple, for the big truck has been shot showing the inner workings of it, the front and length of the truck, as shown in figures 6 and 7. This works by having the viewers get a Visual understanding that the truck is this big, a physical thing that seems unstoppable, until the ending when the truck is taken down, by David. Whilst the small car, with David, the camera shots are mostly of the wheels, and David driving demonstrated in figures 8 and 9. This gives a sense of frailness, which plays into David’s archetype, with him being a weak individual unable to prove himself of his masculinity.

 Figure 6

 Figure 7

 Figure 8

 Figure 9

In conclusion, Spielberg has shown masculinity through his characters in the way they act and present themselves. The environment is portrayed as a city man being thrown into a jungle type situation, by having the main character fight for his life. The size of vehicles representing masculinity, and camera angles/shots to show how the vehicles are clearly trying to symbolise their characters. For some viewers, this is a great start to Spielberg’s career and would suggest, that with these skills, he will continue to create great films.

Illustration list

  • Johnson, A., design, O. and Viklund, A. (2010) Gjoseph’s blog. Available at: http://blogs.micds.org/gjoseph/2013/10/29/duel-1971/ (Accessed: 17 February 2017) Figure 1 

  • Duel (1971) Directed by Steven Spielberg [Film]. USA:. Figures 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9