Week 5: Sound and meaning; an analysis – Unit 4


In this task I will be analysing some scenes from movies that have sound in them that convey meaning and what kind of techniques they have used.

The first scene I chose was from Jurassic Park (1993)

It takes place in the kitchen with raptors. The scene contains only some background music that is in some action sequences. This is because the scene is trying to build tension as the kids are hiding from the threat of the raptors. Whenever they touch or hit anything its very loud compared to the silence of the room, and you hear the raptors reacting to it.

When there is music in the scene it is tension building and slowly gets faster and louder as the scene comes to an end. When the kids are hiding from the raptors and not moving then there is a silence so that you can hear the sounds of the raptors feet and the loud breathing of the kids.

The 2 characters in the scene are clearly very scared and so the lack of sound puts the viewer into their mind-set that they have to stay silent or die.

The next scene i have chosen is from Jaws (1975)

At the start of the clip we hear a girl screaming and it looks as if she is drowning. As this movie is a thriller this puts the audience on edge as it looks as if a girls life is in danger, however it turns out it is just her boyfriend picking her up and the audience is fooled.

Next when Brody is talking to his wife there is romantic music playing on the radio in the background; this is unusual for a thriller and you wouldn’t expect that kind of music. This could have been done to contrast the rest of the scene as Brody looks very awkward and uptight the rest of the time.

After that comes one of the most recognizable portions of a soundtrack of all time. It is so effective that even today, 40 years after release, it’s still known for an incoming shark attack. The sound increases in pace and volume as jaws gets closer to they boy in the water. This is one of the best tension building moments in the entire film. The tension builds up to the bloody climax of the death of the boy and screams all around him.

Lastly once everyone is out of the water and the mother is screaming for her son it cuts to a shot of a yellow board covered in blood and ripped up with the sound of calm waves crashing. This is a common effect used in thriller movies to confuse the audience.


I struggled a lot in this task to find good scenes that I felt conveyed meaning, but I did find some in the end that I could talk about. The sound in these scenes do a very good job of making the scenes better and more immersive. This work has helped me for my future projects as I now understand just how important the sound is in making a great movie.


Week 5: Sound and meaning; an analysis – Unit 4

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