Saving Private Ryan is directed by Steven Spielberg. He was also the director of Jaws, E. T. the extra-Terrestrial, and Schindler’s list and that’s just to mention a few. This film won five academy awards including best director in 1999. Saving Private Ryan was released on September 11th 1998. A production from Paramount and DreamWorks pictures.
Saving Private Ryan is 2 hours and 50 minutes long. The first mail battle scene alone is 24 minutes long.Some of the main characters are Tom Hanks as captain miller, tom Sizemore as sergeant Horvath, Edward burns as private Reuben, Barry pepper as private Jackson, Jeremy Davies as private Upham and matt Damon as private Ryan.
The film starts with a single trumpet as private Ryan years later in the present year, walking at a fast pace to the memorial ground of the WW2 soldiers. The camera shot used as Ryan walks down the path is a tracker shot. As he walks into the graveyard the music synchronises to the movement.
Ryan stops falls to the ground and cries. The camera zooms in on his eyes in transition from present to past.Sounds of waves crashing gradually increase and you get a shot of the waves crashing on the beach. Then a long shot of the boats as the approach the beach and then cuts to captain millers face. All is silent accept the sound of the waves and the boat engines. Then there are sounds of men vomiting followed by a cut shot of captain millers hands shaking. Captain Miller then starts shouting instructions. The camera cuts from one scared face to another.
The effect on the audience is that they know something is going to happen and creates the mood of tension and fear. A short introduction of a few main characters happens in the first 5 minuets.The boat Lands on the beach.
At that moment the boat doors open and the solders are shot and killed quickly. Many solders were killed before getting a chance to move. At the same moment as the doors are about to open there is a silence. The doors open machine gun fire opens and it’s all you can hear apart from blood splatter. There are close ups of the solders being shot. The camera cuts to a German perspective firing at solders.
As solders jump of the boat inter the water and sink the camera follows as the bobble out the camera bobbles in and out of the water giving the audience a sense of struggle.In this scene handheld cameras are also used to represent what the solders see. During this there is loud dominating sound of gun fire. You can also here solders shooting for help and sending instructions. The distinctive camera work in this scene brings the audience closer to the action. Captain Miller craws out of the bloody red sea.
He falls to the ground. We witness his shell shock through his eyes. The camera moves in rough slow motion shots of millers shocked face. The sound mutes with the slow motion, explosions can still be heard.A solder can be heard shouting for millers instructions. Sound the returns we now hear the solders voice over the explosions.
Miller looks over the solders shoulder. The over the solder’s shoulder shot gives the audience millers perspective of this scene. The camera cut to a mid shot of miller at he pours the bloody water out of his helmet and the puts it on and sees the blood water trickle down his face. This scene gives us a true insight to the horrors of the d-day landings. At the end of the battle millers sits and rests. The camera close ups on millers shaking hand.Sergeant Horvath comments “that’s quite a view” the camera zooms in to a big close up of millers eyes then cuts to show us the view of the beach with numbers of dead solders and the red sea washing over the dead. Gentle music quietly fades in.
the waves sound peaceful. Chaos and destruction have stopped. The camera pans over the beach slowly the zooms slowly on to a backpack of one solder. Who was solder Ryan.
The peace relieves the audience from the prolonged tension and horror of the battle. The final shot of Ryan’s backpack establishes a link the title and the plot.