The role of editing in the success of Steven Spielberg's "Jaws"


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Editing presents a great opportunity for filmmakers to construct their films in a variety of ways. According to David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, the decisions made during the editing period help to “build the film’s overall form.” In the case of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster, _Jaws_, the editing serves as an integral part of its success. The precision of the cuts created by Spielberg and Editor Verna Fields have been studied and imitated many times over, but what cannot be replicated is the manner in which the editing guides the film’s narrative. Upon examining the iconic opening sequence of a lone skinny dipper being attack by a great white shark, it becomes apparent how the editing shapes every facet of the film. From its relationship with the music and actor performances to the suggested themes, the editing is the success of _Jaws_.