The first aspect of the film that needs to be covered is the opening credits, unlike most old films where the credits are shown at the start, in this particular Steven Spielberg’s film at the start of the film, all the audience see is the logo for the film company which is a mountain. This mountain continues to stay on screen, which then becomes the establishing shot when the writing fades away. This seems to bring the audience into the film making it much more personal and direct.
The opening shot is dull and symmetrical as the hero (Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones) walks on. Harrison Ford is shown to be really big compared to the mountain which looks small. Harrison Ford fills up the whole screen. This makes the opening shot seem mysterious, dark, chilly and cold. As the mountain and hero are as big as each other it creates mystery about the character.
The film continues to use a large range of camera angles. It uses low angle shots to show that the hero is superior, and has greatest authority.The audience can also sense omniscient points of view as the producers’ uses many high angles on the characters which create secrecy. The camera also does many close up’s as it shows reactions shots and focuses on emotions when the characters are scared, e.g.
When the characters are scared on the spiders on their backs. Long shots have been included to show many characters at one time, along with the background, which allows the audience to put the actors into context.Most of the scenes have been shot using tracking; this is so the movement of the characters is conveyed as smooth to the audience.
Tracking makes out as though the viewers are following the hero. The shots are also quite quick and fast paced so it’s difficult to see any of the characters properly. Many different shots have been used including, Long shots, close ups, mid shots, this just enables the audience to see parts of the characters rather than the whole persons clearly. It makes the audience think that they are spying on the characters.
It makes the audience feel as though they are lying in the undergrowth making it very uncomfortable and mysterious to watch.The camera also uses selective focusing e.g. when the actors find a blowpipe in a tree; it focuses from the actors in the back to the tree at the front. This makes the audience look at what the director wants them to look at. Most of the shots have been filmed using the steadicam, because the moves are smooth. However sometimes the hand held camera has been used to make out like you are looking through someone’s eyes. Wide shots have been used to show the size of the jungle and mountains, its makes the people looks very small compared to it, so its shows the audience that the characters are quite vulnerable.
At the beginning of the film, the logo dissolves which makes the film more involving for the audience. The film starts with the music being slow; this enables to build tension within the viewer’s minds. As the music speeds up so does the pace of the film, which shows the audience that a dramatic scene is about to take place. The editing is done so that the hero and the other character are very different. It makes Harrison Ford look brave and daring. Harrison Ford’s face is not shown throughout most of the scene as it creates mystery and shows that he is the leader because he doesn’t carry anything for himself.
As the shots speed up so does the pace of the film making it more dramatic when the action takes place.The music throughout the film is spooky because it co- ordinates well with the setting and action. The director has added wildlife sounds which make it more believable that the action is taking place in a jungle. When the animals go mad at one point in the film, it makes the audience know that something bad is going to happen. There is an awkward soundtrack in the back using stringed instruments such as violins and double bass’; this signifies discomfort to the audience.Brass instruments such as trombones have also been used which gives the film a slight military style and builds volume, which builds tension within the audience. The characters speak in Spanish first and then English which indicates to the audience that they are in a different country.
None of the characters actually speak for the first two minutes which shows the film is more based on actions rather than words.While the main action takes place there is a dramatic track of music being played, which adds intensity and a dramatic feeling, this particular style of music does seem tame but at the time the film was released the audience were apparently captivated by the feeling this music was giving off. Like the music the visual effects were erratic which together put the audience in a frame of mind to be curious.
There are very few special effects used in the film. However the title “raiders of the Lost Ark” show how the film is an action film about a quest, the characters are hunting for something. The font used is old fashioned, which shows it is not a modern day film.
The time and location has also been displayed showing the year is 1936 and the location is South Africa. This gives the audience an idea of where and when the action is taking place.The location of the film is a mountain with jungles and caves and a large amount of forestry area, it indicates that the actors are looking for something. The set includes spiders and spider webs which gives the audience a sense of terror. The costumes worn by the actors make the viewers think that this is quite a western film, which it is, as they wear the typical hero outfit including hats and guns.
The colours through the film are dull where nothing stands out which also creates mystery for the viewers along with the dark lighting the film looks rather deadly. There have been many props used which show the audience that this is definitely a an action/ adventure film such as, a map shows this is a quest, the whip and gun show they hero has power.The torch shows how dark it is in the cave and the skeleton is used to indicates scariness.
The donkey indicates that the characters have been on a long journey which sets the date to be around 1930’s when donkeys were used for long distant travelling. The colours right through the film have been toned down into grey colour tones which show the audience that this is not a fairly recent film. At the start of the film the mountain is a silhouette whish establishes the jungle to the audience and lets them know how there is no civilisation in that area and no one can help when the actors are in trouble.