Filmmakers have the burden of ensuring that they have created high-quality content to hold the audience’s interest. Steven Spielberg, a well-known screenwriter, author, and director, is widely regarded as one of the most important pioneers of the Hollywood period, having made significant contributions to the industry. Surprisingly, the specialist has directed several films in the United States, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, and Empire of the Sun. Creating motion pictures has enabled the professional to achieve his goals, effectively communicating with the intended audience (Mascelli 12). Filmmakers must ensure that they have managed to incorporate the real life situations into their productions, thus making it possible for them to guarantee high levels of professionalism. An extensive analysis of Steven Spielberg’s films Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Jaws, and the Empire of The Sun reveals the use of cinematography, thus exposing consistency in his works, basing one of the main reason as to why the professional has become dominant in the film industry.
The film, Empire of The Sun, is one of the best examples of the necessity to employ filmmakers techniques, specifically cinematography. At the beginning of the movie, the audience is exposed to some of the standard features of film making, cinematography. Basically, the director introduces some of the characters and immediately focuses on the surrounding environment in which the film is cast. In fact, the scenery is natural but the viewer can see static objects in motion. For instance, the trees have been positioned strategically to show movements and thus increasing the aesthetic beauty of the movie as well as the habitat in which the film is cast. The movie features the struggles of the Second World War, depicting that even if the war had come to an end, the survivors could not be able to lead a normal life (Spielberg, 2016). By the use of cinematography, it can be revealed that Steven Spielberg’s popularity in the film industry has been high, thus ensuring the levels of consistency is high. In any profession, it is important to adopt a particular style of performing duties. Consequently, Steven Spielberg can be considered as a professional who has made wise use of the available skills and expertise in cinematography to guarantee consistency in his works.
Steven Spielberg has employed the use of cinematography in his works in different ways. For instance, the audience is made aware of the developments that will take place during the elaboration of the plot by the use of cinematography. Such technique has been efficient and even applied by other film producers such as Roger Deakins, meaning that even if it’s a standard feature in the field of film making, it is necessary to be applied in real life situations. The movie primarily features the developments and problems that people used to face before the age of maturity (May and Barnard 27). Spielberg’s problems have been depicted by the use of cinematic features, making it possible for the audience to understand how difficult life was as a young boy. The use of cinematography expresses the setbacks that the young boy had, an individual who had the potential to develop but was not able due to the life challenges. In fact, at the time of directing the Empire of The Sun, the artist had already turned forty, meaning that he had to apply cinematography in his production for the audience to understand the life challenges that he had faced at the age of twenty.
Cinematography has also been used in the film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film is one of the funniest productions that Spielberg has directed and features the elements of cinematography, thus making it unique to watch. Just like other movie directors such as Gordon Willis, the film is one of the best American films of the 20th century (Vincent). While Steven Spielberg has used cinematography to express his point of view, the movement of the characters is not only done professionally but also to arouse the attention of the viewers. For instance, the film producer and director have made it possible for the characters to have a better relationship with one another and in some cases, unite to perform a particular task. The concept could not be achieved if the director has little expertise in cinematography, thus highlighting Spielberg’s main strengths in the film industry.
The collaboration between George Lucas, the executive producer, and Spielberg, the director, with other professionals such as Philip Kaufman, was made possible due to the introduction of the elements of cinematography. In some parts of the movie, the audience is made to reflect on the past practices, thus making it necessary to use cinematography in some sections which require the incorporation of recent events. Nevertheless, most of these events had not been captured, thus the necessity of using motion pictures. In fact, some of the motion pictures that have been utilized in the film involve non-living things, thus highlighting the need to use different film skills and expertise in plot development. Otherwise, the director could have been compelled to use living organisms, human beings, in this case, thus posing a challenge to plot development given that people may not be able to perform different roles as is the case with the motion pictures, the use of non-living things.
Steven Spielberg’s film The Jaws is used to depict how cinematography can be used to influence plot development. The concept has been exhibited in some occasions where the director makes the audience to belief that the water mass was in motion and not the boats. The film features a young girl who is killed at the beach in New England. In fact, from the introductory part, the audience is introduced to different scenes by the application of cinematography, thus increasing the eagerness and momentum to watch the movie to the end (The Guardian). In most cases, the characters are introduced strategically and then the audience is drawn back to the issues of cinematography, an explicit representation of the stylistic feature throughout the movie. It should, however, be noted that cinematography has been used not only for the purposes of plot development but also to express the director’s point of view, thus enabling the audience to have a comprehensive understanding of the message being conveyed.
Notably, the second part of the film features three men in a boat fighting against a white killer. One of the characters, Robert Shaw, who uses personification and cinematography, takes the role of a captain, thus controlling their movements. Given that the characters are representing at the act that had taken place, it becomes vital for them to use the elements of cinematography (Roack 411). In fact, the movie features various elements of filmmaking including the behaviors that the public at the beach had on receiving the news that the young lady had died. In addition, the title, The Jaws, is uniquely chosen to express what exactly had conspired. Therefore, there is a high possibility of using different stylistic features in relation to the making of films in the bid to pass the necessary message to the audience.
Mascelli, Joseph V. The five C’s of cinematography. Hollywood, CA: Cine/Graphic Publications, 2015.
May, Jon, and Phil Barnard. “Cinematography and interface design.” Human—Computer Interaction. Springer US, 2015. 26-31.
Roack, R. C. “Historiography as cinematography: A prolegomenon to film work for historians.” Journal of Contemporary History 18.3 (2013): 411-438.
Spielberg, S. (2016). Spielberg Questions #4: Did Christian Bale sing in… | From Director Steven Spielberg. Retrieved from http://fromdirectorstevenspielberg.tumblr.com/post/140508311575/steven-spielberg-questions-4-did-christian-bale-sing-in
The Guardian “Jaws – the Original Guardian Review: Archive, 22 Dec 1975 | Film |.” The Guardian, 22 Dec. 1975, www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/22/jaws-steven-spielberg-1975-review-derek-malcolm. Accessed 12 Aug. 2017.
Vincent, Canby. “Movie Review – – Raiders Of The Lost Ark – NYTimes.com.” The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia, 12 June 1981, www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=EE05E7DF173AA42CA1494CC6B6799D836896. Accessed 12 Aug. 2017.