This sample paper on How To Create Tension In Film offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.
In the film “The Others”, there are three scenes, which are particularly good because they show different types of shots, how the director controls the audience and various other features. Also featuring in these scenes is how music along with shots creates tension in a scene. The director Alejando Ameriabar also has techniques where he is in control of the audience this is very powerful in a film like this as it can bring up the rating of the film. The three scenes, which contain these qualities, are:
The scene where Grace the mother hears a child crying, The scene where Grace hears the piano playing and The scene where Nicholas the son and Anne the daughter climb out of the bedroom window and reveal the gravestone.
In this scene where Grace the mother hears a child crying Mrs Mills talks to Grace about Lydia the dumb house girl, and about her history of being dumb, Mrs Mills stops minutes into the conversation and leaves to check on Mr Tuttle. This makes the audience want to know what actually happened to her. A short while after Grace hears a child whining / crying, she assumes it’s Nicholas (her son). So she runs through the hall and unlocks the first door, when this is happening the camera zooms into the door. Then shows the inside this makes the audience feel as if they are actually there. Then she runs to the second door, and as she unlocks it, the long shot of the camera zooms in again but to reveal Nicholas.
How To Create Suspense In Film
The only sounds, which are in this scene, are voices and footsteps. When Grace sees Nicholas she asked, ” Why he was crying,” Nicholas then said, “I wasn’t crying, I was reading”. Grace then realises it must have been Anne (her daughter), Grace rushes through the corridor shouting, “Anne I’m coming”, in a worried voice; she unlocks the door leading into the room with Anne in. Anne hears her mother and says I’m not finished yet, Grace then asks are you all right? Anne says “yes” when Grace first entered the room with Anne there is a low angle on Anne but at the same time Grace is in the shot, This shows the audience both Grace and Anne’s actions. At this point the audience feels tense because even they are waiting to see who and why there are was mysterious crying.
Grace asks Anne why she was crying? Anne said, “I’m not”. Grace then said there was a reason to be ashamed. Anne said, “If I was crying I’d tell you”. Grace then said “oh so I was imagining it then”. Anne said, “No it was that boy”. Grace sits on a stool “what boy?” The camera uses a high angle on both Anne and Grace when Grace sits on the stool. Anne replied “Victor” Anne then explained how the boy was just there a minute ago. Grace said, “Where is he now then?” Anne said “he must have been upstairs viewing the house with his parents.”
Then Grace explains how can a boy get in and out of a room if it is locked, she turned to the door the director used a mid shot of the door which was a little bit open! Then there is a mid shot of grace whose breath was taken away as she had closed that door. In this scene the director uses long shots when grace is opening doors, this is so that we can see how eager she is to get in. then the camera zooms into the door when she opens it and as soon as she opens it the camera shows the inside of the room as if you had just come in the room. So this makes the director control the audience as he makes them feel as if they are there.
When Grace first comes in the room with Anne there is a low angle shot, and this shows both Anne and Grace in the same shot. And shows that grace is bigger and more in control than Anne, but at the same time they both don’t know what is going on. Then the director chose to have a high angle on both of them when grace sits next to Anne on the stool. This is to show that they are both talking to each other, but at the same time it shows how they are both vulnerable and confused about the question “who was crying.”
Then when Grace talks about the closed door, the camera doesn’t move from a mid-shot of the Grace to a mid-shot of the door, it kind of moves round on the same spot to the door, so that again the director has been clever and made the audience feel as if they were there. And they had turned their head and neck and checked if the door was open.
When Grace hears the ‘others’ go into the piano room and play on the piano, Mrs. Mills and Grace were talking about Lydia who is mute, around the fire at night. Then Mrs. Mills goes to bed. And Grace comforts children in the bedroom. Nicholas asks, “When will daddy be back?” Grace says, “When the war is over.” Then the scene cuts out to Grace kneeling next to the great grandfather clock in a low angle, that makes her vulnerable. The director is clever to do this, as she is crying and upset. Then it zooms into a close up at her face, when she hears the piano being played. She walks downstairs, she picks up a shot gun (mid shot) walks to the door. There is then a close up of her hand and the door handle. This really makes the audience undergo some anxiety because they don’t know what is going to happen next, in the back of their minds they perhaps know something freaky but they won’t be prepared for it.
She opens the door; the camera goes in and shows the piano in darkness. Then shows Grace who comes in with the gun looking for the “intruder”. Then there is a mid-shot of her watching the door close by itself. Then the intense music starts quietly when she shuts the piano and locks the cover. Then the music gets loud and stops. She leaves the room mid-shot of Grace ; door. Then the door shuts by itself again. She opens the door again and fiddles with it confused why it keeps shutting. She pushes the door, (close up of face while doing this). Then the camera comes behind her and you see the door whacked into her face and you see her fall.
The shotgun falls out of her hand, (close-up of shotgun on the floor). Scary intense music played moderately loudly. Close up door handle moving by itself, Mid-shot of Grace frantically trying to open the door. Then you see Grace call loudly for Mr. Mills. And low angle of Mrs. Mills running down the stairs. Then Grace gets room key from her and opens the door. When they get in there is a close up of the piano opened up even though Grace had locked it. (Music is still playing)
The director used a lot of close ups and mid shots of people and objects in this scene to show feeling and point of views to the audience. So for example it would make the audience feel scared combined with the music and the sudden movement when Grace is knocked to the floor.
This is when the children climb out of the window and un-cover the Gravestones, the children are arguing over if their mum is mad or not. Nicholas says not, and Anne says she is. Then Anne decided to climb out of the window and look for ‘dad’. Nicholas asked, ” Where are you going?” Anne ” to go to the woods and look for daddy.” Nicholas “are you going to run away?” (Close up of Nicholas). Anne “if I hold on to the pole I can climb down, it’s easy”. (Mid shot of Anne) wind howling in the background, creates tension. Nicholas whispers from window “wait I want to come and look for daddy too.”
Anne whispers back “liar you just don’t want to be left on your own.” In this part the audience aren’t really at the edge of their seats but they know that something is going to happen. Personally because there are two children climbing out of a window, searching for a father who they just lost again. Which is a bit too extreme for two youngsters to be doing in the middle of the night.
Nicholas climbs down (mysterious music gradually getting louder). Mid shot of Anne on looking her brother proudly. Long shot of children walking outside on grass in pyjamas, intense/mysterious music still playing. Nicholas “I’m scared” Anne “you shouldn’t have come then.” Mid shots of Nicholas holding Anne’s hand (shot being taken from the back) through out this whole scene short clips of Grace are show, walking through whole house searching for “intruders.” Children come across gravestones, Nicholas “what’s that over there”? Points at gravestones (close mid-shot of children) Anne “I think they are graves” Anne runs over to them. “Don’t go near” said Nicholas. Anne said “why not” Nicholas then said, ” a ghost might jump out.” “Anne” no it won’t there are only skeletons in the graves. Now the audience are drawn back in as the ‘kids’ have exposed a couple of fascinating gravestones. This makes the audience want to know what is next.
Anne leans over to read grave. Just after it cuts out to Grace leaning over to pick up a picture, she reads in the corner “December 1891” (this is all in a close up of the photo and Grace’s hands.) She turns it over to reveal a picture from the “death book” of the 3 new house servants (she breathes heavily and intense) scary music kicks in. She gasps. Cuts out to close-up of Anne’s face and then mid-shot of Nicholas asking Anne what it says. (The music is still being played) then there is a close up of the gravestone which has the name Bertha Mills written on it. Then there is a mid shot of Anne pausing and pointing at something, mid shot of Nicholas turning his head.
This is then followed by a long shot of the housekeepers and there is a mid shot of Nicholas in the same shot. “Must be strong now children said Bertha,” Anne said Nicholas come here (then there is a mid shot of Nicholas and Anne in the background.) Nicholas said, “Mrs Mills don’t tell mummy we ran away” Anne shouted, “they’re dead” Nicholas said “what?” Anne continued to say “they’re ghosts please come here” this then cut out to grace holding shot gun in children’s room. (Close up of mobile hanging) then back to children and servants Nicholas in reply to his sister said, “If they are ghosts why aren’t they wearing sheets and chains?” At this instant moment the audience are dying to know what Anne is pointing at and they know it is something frightening.
Interrupted by Anne “I don’t care what I said get away from them” the children ran frantically screaming. The music is very loud at this point. Grace runs outside she screams ” children” with her shot gun in hand she walks a couple of steps and she see the children and says “run” the children scream. Grace says, “Quickly go, go, run” grace then fires rounds at the servants. Who then explain that it is a waste of time as tuberculosis finished them off, and there’s no point of shooting. The director has used a lot of music in this section probably as it has the dense part of the film in it. The audience are now completely terrified because of this outcome. This music, which is being played, really gets the tension flowing and scares the audience, the director has also used split scenes from the children outside to grace in the house. This is effective as it shows the same thing happening but in different places, like it is showing the truth but showing it one by one. The audience have now come to the peak of the films story; they have been twisted by the end effect, they never knew that that was going to be the outcome and know realises why other actions have taken place.