WORTH WATCHING

Watch: The Discarded Image's Video Essay on 'Jaws' Beach Scene

by
April 17, 2015
Source: Vimeo

Jaws Beach Scene

Think you know everything about Steven Spielberg's style? Think again. We've already seen and posted a shot-by-shot analysis of Jaws before (view that one here), but this latest one breaks down and analyzes the filmmaking techniques Spielberg used in one particular scene in his shark thriller classic Jaws (released in 1975). Specifically, Julian Palmer takes a look at the early beach attack scene in Jaws, where the young boy gets eaten. It's a detailed analysis (perhaps over-analysis) but includes very intelligent references that will allow anyone to understand how beautifully this scene is crafted, and just how talented Spielberg really is. There's always more to learn about filmmaking techniques from films old and new, so always keep watching.

Narrated & directed by Julian Palmer, for 1848 Media (@1848Media), found via FSR. The introduction: "Welcome to The Discarded Image. A new online video series that analyses and deconstructs well known pieces of cinema. In this episode we look at the beach scene from Steven Spielberg's pop classic Jaws." The credits in the video and on Vimeo feature the list of films referenced, however it's quite self-explanatory and easily understandable just by watching. You can see another look at the making of Spielberg's Jaws in the Inside Jaws filmumentary, or catch another shot-by-shot analysis of the entire film here. Hopefully we'll see more from The Discarded Image soon, as I like his intense focus on breaking down just one particular scene.

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  • Bo
    Ummmm...well, Alex, I think you are probably right with the 'over-anaylsis' perception you stated. I thought that part of this whole thing was funny, actually. I wonder if Spielberg had all this running through his head as he was mapping out and then shooting the sequence. Whadda ya think? Eh?
    • TheOct8pus
      Good question. I think Spielberg is extremely conscious about everything he does, whether it be a one-shot, a jump, a zoom, or a pan. Before his first movie came out, he was a very well-educated film student.
      • Bo
        Thanks, Oct8, you're correct about Spielberg's film education. I will mention that I was being a little ironic with my question as the narration was really over the top breaking down and analyzing the shots. Of course, Spielberg knows exactly what he is doing. I'm not a fan of his crowd pleasing movies, but he is for sure a cinematic genius in his use of all the tools of cinema. Shot selection, camera placement, camera movement, editing, lighting, etc. My favorite film of his is Munich. Excellent film and very dark and heavy. It's pretty amazing him being Jewish and all, that he had the courage to make a film about that subject and Israel's involvement in that violent and bloody and merciless revenge and the effect it had on the men who carried out the deed. I know Israel gave him a hard time when the film came out. The last sequence/shot with Bana and G. Rush and Bana expressing his fear of Israel was pretty bold.
  • DAVIDPD
    I found this interesting. JAWS is always relevant.

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