An Analysis of Film Techniques in Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg

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The film Schindlers List was directed by Steven Spielberg, who unquestionably was an amazing film director. In the film, he used many product features that helped show us contrast, emotion, and the list goes on. Some of the production features he used in the film were black and white, color in a couple of scenes, subtitles, camera angles, and music.

Throughout the majority of the film, Spielberg produced films in black and white. I feel the reason he has done this is so that we, as the viewers, can get a feel for just how horrible the whole ordeal actually was and the significance of the holocaust. The film is also set way back in the time of World War II when films would have been produced in black and white. Black and white really was an effect that Spielberg used well in the film.

Even though the film was predominantly black and white, there were a couple of occasions where Spielberg used color. We see an example of this in the movie when Oscar Schindler (the main character) rides his horse to the top of the hill with his mistress while the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto is taking place. There is a little girl brought to our attention by the fact that she has a red coat on, which obviously stands out from the black and white. Schindler stays and makes sure that the little girl is in a safe place and away from danger. Little did he know it wasn't exactly the safest hiding place, as we see the girl die later on in the film.

From the example above, Spielberg has connected another film technique to it later on in the film. Spielberg used a close-up, up tilt on Schindler as he watched the little girl be taken away under a pile of dead bodies to be burnt. Schindlers face us a true picture of the shock and horror. Also, when Goeth(the owner of a concentration camp) is looking around his camp, there is an up tilt looking at Goeth, and when his workers are looking at Goeth, there is a down tilt. The up tilt on Goeth is to show his superiority, and the down tilt on the workers is to show their vulnerability.

Finally, one of the features that Spielberg used well was that of subtitles. He used subtitles at many a point throughout the film. A couple of examples of this are in the first scene of the Krakow ghetto, and the subtitle gives us a lot of background information about the scene that is approaching and the basics that that we need to know to properly understand it. Another example of this is at the end of the film when five or so subtitles are given to us in a row displaying the factual information about the film and the disaster that it has caused.

In conclusion, above, I have shown many methods that Spielberg uses to add impact to the film and to give the viewer a better understanding. They were the effect of black and white to highlight the time in which the film was trying to portray, camera angles to show the rank of people, and text to enlighten the viewer of background information. In this essay, I have shown many film techniques used by Spielberg and given examples of where they have occurred and the reasons why Spielberg opted to put certain techniques where and when they occur.

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An Analysis of Film Techniques in Schindler's List by Steven Spielberg. (2023, Mar 06). Retrieved May 29, 2024 , from

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