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    Filming Techniques in the Movie Cool Runnings Essay

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    In the film “Cool Runnings” directed by Jon Turteltaub, in the second to last scene Turteltaub uses four key techniques to show how the Jamaican bobsled team have learnt to be proud of themselves and their country. In this scene we see the teammates arguing about how they are changing into something they’re not, and are copying other peoples styles. We see them overcome this and start remembering who they are and why they have come to the Olympics. The next day they are seen coming into the race track singing their Jamaican song and we notice that they have all changed their mood and are now very positive about who they are.

    Their race goes extremely well and are very quickly moved up the leaderboard. The scene ends with a voice over of the commentator saying, “Watch out world, the Jamaicans is coming! ”. This scene reinforces how the team is proud of who they are and their country (which they battled with throughout the film) by using the following four techniques, music, symbols, cross cutting and motif. The director, Jon Turteltaub, uses the technique of music. Numerous songs are played throughout the film, but in this scene there is only one that is obvious to us. Countryly” by Hans Zimmer, is played after the team resolves their problem of changing and then again after they finish the race. The music comes in very soft and all you can hear is the slow piano in the background, this sets a mood of happiness and hope, it gives us the feeling that something good is about to happen. While the team is arguing the mood is tense and uncomfortable, but when the music is played it all changes the gentle tempo of the music coming in reflects the lifting of the mood in the scene and leaves the audience feeling relieved.

    The music is later played after they finish their race in record time, Turteltaub uses the music to emphasize the heroic moment and how the boys have become champions for their country. When the music is played after they finish the race it makes the team look more heroic and more champion like. Seeing themselves as champions make them realise they work better as a team when they keep in mind who they are and where they’re from. This brings in the theme of being proud of yourself and your country.

    Turteltaub was deliberately trying to show us that in our lives, copying other peoples style is not the way to go, if we are proud of ourselves and our country then we can too become champions like the Jamaican team. Jon Turteltaub uses various symbols in this scene. The one that stood out was the team’s clothing choice. The symbol of the teams clothing has been used to symbolize how the team is now proud of themselves and their country. When Blitzer, their coach, gets the team their uniforms it makes them realise how important this opportunity of competing in the Olympics is to them and how badly they want to win.

    The uniforms are the colours of the Jamaican flag, and the material fits close to the body. The style of the uniforms are just like the rest of the contestants. It makes the team members feel like they’re finally apart of something, with the colours supporting their country, the uniform not only unites the team as one, but the team with the supporters in Jamaica. Before they had these uniforms their clothing consisted of mostly bright colours, this made them stick out like a sore thumb.

    When they arrive in Canada they are quite embarrassed by their bright, colourful assortment of clothes, but now, when they walk in to the track grounds you can tell how proud they are of themselves and how far they have come as the first Jamaican bobsled team. Having the uniforms not only shows everyone who they are but also helps them feel comfortable. The director is trying to show us that the team are no longer outcasts, they are there for the same reason as the other countries, to represent their countries and being a team.

    Another technique, Jon Turteltaub, used was cross cutting. This was used when you saw the teams friends and family cheering and supporting them in Jamaica. The way that the director used this was through a television, he did this to show that all the teams family have been supporting them all the way throughout the film to the end. In the beginning of the film you see them supporting Derice in his running trial and again cheering for Sanka at his push cart darbie. It shows how proud their friends are of the team.

    When the friends and family watch the Jamaican team humiliate themselves in the first race, the supporters can tell that the team is trying to be something they’re not. Even so, they still cheer for them but are a little embarrassed themselves. As soon as the team changes their attitude and go back to their Jamaican style, their friends and family go wild with encouragement. The effect of this cross cutting is used to make the viewers involved, when we see that the team’s supporters are so happy and proud of them, it makes us feel the same way, it also relates to us as they are also watching the team race on television.

    This gives us a stronger emotional attraction to the film. I think the director was deliberately trying to make us feel this way, he wants his viewers to start believing in themselves and to know that we, ourselves also have supporters back home. If we stand proud and show confidence those people will always be there for us, but only if we stay true to them as well, just like the team was true to their Jamaican country. It seems as if Turteltaub was trying to leave the audience feeling proud and positive about the film and ourselves.

    Jon Turteltaub also uses the technique of motif, an example of this is the mantra “feel the rhythm, feel the ride, get on up, it’s bobsled time; cool runnings! “. In the beginning of the film, Sanka says that same chant, only a little different when he is about to start his push cart darbie. He then repeats this mantra in the scene when the team pushes off at the start of their bobsled race. By Sanka saying this, he psyches up the team and gives them that extra boost of confidence in themselves. I think this motif was effective because it has it’s own Jamaican twist on it, to show that the team is proud to be Jamaican.

    I think Turteltaub deliberately uses Sanka to say the mantra because it helps the audience understand that he is reminding himself who he is by using the same line from the beginning of the film. This also shows us that the team is not afraid to be different, as they are shouting this chant for the world to hear. Using a motif like this is very effective as the director has really made the audience think about themselves. It makes me think about who I used to be and what I have grown into. This is a very powerful message that Jon Turteltaub has left us with, ‘that anyone and everyone should be proud of themselves and their country’.

    In conclusion, Jon Turteltaub uses a combination of these techniques, music, symbols, cross cutting and motif in this scene to show how the team is proud of who they are and their country. Together, all four of these techniques demonstrate to the viewer how important it is to be yourselves and never to change into something that you’re not, a perfect quote by Sanka is, ‘we can’t be coping nobody elses style, we have our own style’. This theme relates to the modern day because all around us people are changing and some of us need a small reminder to stay true to ourselves.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Filming Techniques in the Movie Cool Runnings Essay. (2018, Jul 23). Retrieved from

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