Tim Burton Response Post (2.14.17 due)

TIM BURTON response post (due Feb. 14 –noon) : Read Tim Burton: Legend of Darkness (linked here) and watch the BAFTA documentary Tim Burton: A Life in Pictures.

Assignment: List three-four items that you found interesting or unique about Tim Burton, his style, his history, or his approach to filmmaking. Why did it interest you? Make sure that you post something original and are not rehashing what another student has already posted (unless you can approach your response in a different manner).

tim-burton-styleQuestions and thoughts to consider when examining Tim Burton: the influence of family background on his storytelling, the Disney opportunity, why darkness can be a friend, why understanding the importance of being an outsider matters, when art –set design- character costume and make up become fluid and serve as a singular thing, when to walk away from a project and when to stay, how dark is too dark.

Respond to the post on the reply/response section at the bottom of the page.

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20 thoughts on “Tim Burton Response Post (2.14.17 due)

  1. Mallory Moore
    Tim Burton brought this point up in the interview, but when I was reading the biography, I found it really ironic that Disney thought that Burton’s style would be too dark/ frightening/ inappropriate for children. Even the early Disney films had frightening things. When I was little, I was terrified of the scene in Snow White where the Queen drinks the potion that turns her into the old hag. Several Disney films contain drunk characters (“Sleeping Beauty” and “Dumbo), and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is just full of adult material. Maybe Disney told Burton that his ideas were too dark because his entire style is dark; it’s not just awkwardly scary moments in an overall lighthearted film.
    I also thought it was interesting that Tim Burton was influenced by Mexico City and their celebration of The Day of the Dead. I definitely can see that artistic influence in “Corpse Bride” with the dancing Skeletons. And I agree that in North American culture, death can often be a taboo subject. People really just don’t know how to talk about it.
    I really liked Burton’s point that monster stories are just versions of Fairy Tales. I really like the fact that he makes his heroes awkward and physically flawed, rather than beautiful princesses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel Gann
    I have always loved Tim Burton. I never knew much about him but I love his films. It doesn’t surprise me that he was an outsider but what did was how his love for filmmaking kind of started. He hadn’t read a book about Harry Houdini for a class so instead he drew a little super-8 movie about Houdini and he got an A. That contributed to his love for filmmaking and I think that was very interesting because there aren’t alot of stories like that. I also love that the teacher gave him an A. Something that I didn’t know about Burton was that he worked for Disney. His work is definitely not Disney and I was surprised when I found out he worked for them for a time. It also kind of made me laugh when he said that Disney was afraid that his work would be too dark because a good amount of Disney movies come from very dark origins. The original stories for “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Little Mermaid”, etc. all come from The Grimm Brothers and their stories don’t have the same happy ending that the Disney stories do. So it surprised me how they were afraid of his work being too dark considering the origins of some of their princess stories. One other thing that surprised me was that Burton was the creative director for “Peewee Herman”. While I don’t believe I have ever seen that movie it doesn’t come off as a Tim Burton film. I know it is weird and unusual but it doesn’t scream Tim Burton to me. Burton’s stuff is dark and “PeeWee Herman” doesn’t seem dark. Now again I have not seen it but a story about a man looking for his lost bike seems about as light and “non-dark” as one could get.
    Tim Burton is a wonderful filmmaker and definitely one of my favorites. He makes stories that push the envelope and are daring. As someone who also is considered an outsider, I am turly inspired by him.

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    1. Rachel – I encourage you to visit “Pee Wee” – you’ll probably see some dark (and maybe twisted) elements in the film. You should also be able to see surreal settings and set designs. – NTMII

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  3. Kate Lamar:
    Tim Burton:
    Through his types of movies, they are so different, but sometimes interesting to me! One thing that I found interesting was how he stated, “Duality and hidden nature”, from this, I think he meant when there is something about somebody but you have no idea what it is, so it is hidden, until you find out their true personalities. Another thing, when he tries to make movies, he likes to do them in black and white, instead of color if he is able too; He likes to do black and white, because, “taking away one sense, and the others get heightened”. I think with him stating this, I think it means people can truly understand the movie, and it will sometimes get them to actually pay attention and watch not just the color of the movies. Another interesting fact about Tim Burton, is even the weirdest of his movies, he watched horror movies as a young child, and never got scared. Now, that he is older, he has done some of the weirdest movies, but he has never done a horror. I think that is really interesting because with him being the creepy filmmaker, I thought his films would be a little horror with the movie. The last interesting fact that I found while he was talking, was when he was talking about how he made his movies. He would rather be on a set, so the characters can feel like they are that person, instead of doing the movie on a computer, or with a green screen. With being on set, I think It helps the actors learn about the set, and get into the movie.
    From learning about Tim Burton, he is an interesting Film maker. With hearing of the movies he has made, I have not seen that many of his, but just a couple. I think it takes a special person to make the movies that he makes, and with an imagination that is indescribable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haley Walker*
    Tim Burton:
    I think what interested me the most about Burton was his acceptance of being an “outsider” and turning it into amazing art that generations would learn to love. Burton started out as an apprentice for Walt Disney, whose work is the complete opposite of Burton’s. I like that Walt Disney saw the talent that Burton had and kept him for as long as Disney’s reputational guidelines could stand. I didn’t even realize he worked for Disney, and it is still hard to picture. I did not know that Stephen King was a fan of Tim Burton, and this fascinates me because both of these men have brilliant, twisted minds. Before I took this class, I didn’t pay much mind to who directed or created films; I just watched them. Now that I realize Burton directed “Beetlejuice”, “Batman”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Alice Through The Looking Glass”, etc., I can see obvious Burton trademarks that I didn’t notice before, such as his use for dark characters and his exploration of inner-humanity captured by society’s expectations. I love that Tim Burton explores the idea of death as a celebratory occasion, instead of one of mourning. He was inspired by Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations. I love that Tim Burton continued on with his childhood passion for art and created animated movies such as “The Corpse Bride”, “James and the Giant Peach”, and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Tim Burton is a fascinating filmmaker and he uses darkness to create magic.

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  5. One thing that interested me is how Disney thought Burton was too dark yet Disney had some very dark films especially in the days of Walt Disney like for example Dumbo had it’s very dark moments. Another thing was how he compared monster movies are like fairy tales which is the first time I have ever heard that. One more thing I found interesting was his use of Johnny Depp, and how he loved Depp’s creepy style to acting.

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  6. Although Tim Burton often delves in dark-looking characters, it is interesting to note that he says in the interview that he has never really made a scary movie. His drawing style just is what he is used to and he said it would be quite difficult to change it. Although it is true that his unusual characters and designs can look intimidating at first, after more familiarity with them it is clear that they for the most part mean no harm or are simply misunderstood. I found it funny that he said he didn’t really have nightmares after viewing scary movies when he was young rather, his nightmares involved going to school or having dinner with his parents. I thought it was also funny that he said that Disney was always nervous around him when he was in charge of a project. I remember watching Frankenwenie when i was younger and I didn’t mind it too much but what I had nightmares about was the organ from Beauty and the Beast in the Christmas special. Disney has plenty of dark characters and themes, they just simply dress it up in bright colors and sparkles while Burton uses his dark palate and his honest drawing style. He also brought to my attention the fact that projects are not always well-thought-out. They can be like being shoved in a train and it just develops around you. There are also the restrictions on casting, and half-finished scripts, along with the studios that want to use random settings (like swamps) just because they have the budget for the setting.
    – Sthefany Flores

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  7. Will Braunlich:

    What interested me of Tim Burton, was how he wanted to take something that seemed light-hearted, and make it a little darker. For example, he said in the interview that he watched the 60’s Batman show. However, he said that he wanted to make it darker, which he ended up doing and it ended up being a big hit with both adults and kids alike. What also got my attention, was how he said he thinks green screens are too much work. That kind of confused me, because if you think about it, a green screen probably would’ve been cheaper for the budget. If you take a look at one of the production designs of a Tim Burton movie, you would think that the production design would be the most expensive since there’s no use of green screen. But, in a way, Burton actually makes it work. Next was his work with Disney. You would wonder what kind of dark and twisted live action film Burton would bring to the big screen. When it turns out, he has a talent for animated movies as well. His biggest animated hits were The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Frankenweenie. Both of which, he made with the help of Disney. So, it turns out Burton can come up with some brilliant ideas and can get the support of a lot of people to help him out in his projects.

    -Will Braunlich

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  8. Tim Burton
    The one thing that really stood out to me after watching the video and reading more about Tim Burton was his approach to the movie “Ed Wood.” Burton takes on capturing the actual director Ed Wood in a film staring Johnny Depp (no surprise here as Burton uses Depp repeatedly in his movies). He was talking about this movie in his interview and it was so interesting to me because when asked why he did the film in black and white, he replied and said just because “he wanted to.” He felt as if the black and white element of the film allows another sense of the audience to be heightened by eliminating the addition of color to a film. This is was interesting to me in his stylistic ways because I felt as if watching some of his animated movies; he used a broad range of colors to portray the craziness of his films. He also was so inspired by the actual Ed Wood because he was deemed one of the worst filmmakers but was also one of the most memorable to Tim Burton. I think Burton sees a lot of himself in this because he has such a fine line between a success and failure in his movies. Either people really love them or really hate them but they are always memorable.

    A small thing that interested me about his childhood was his love for Dr. Seuss books. Most people in their discussion tied in the fact that older Disney movies had the same element of fear in them and I think he saw this in Dr. Seuss books as well. The uniqueness of Dr. Seuss books and the creativity was out of the norm and I think this helped inspire him.

    Finally, I was interested in the fact that he opted out of writing a 20 page paper about Houdini and instead shot a film on Houdini and even laid on a train tracks in the film, and the professor accepted the project and gave him an A. I love this because it showed him that someone admired his creativity and although it is different, it is appreciated.
    -Kacy O’Connor

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kacy – Tim is all about exploring the “art” of filmmaking. taking on the art of black and white in one film and then diving into a sea of colors in movies like “Alice” really shows that he’s willing to take on any form of artistic viewpoints. When I think about the Dr. Seuss love -you can see that influences in costumes and make up for many of his projects.

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  9. Something that I can relate to with Tim Burton was drive in movies. I really enjoyed going to drive in movies when I was kid and watching all the different screens. Even if I was able to hear the other screen I still enjoyed watching the film from afar. This is one of the areas where Burton found his love for movies. He also was strongly attached to hi at home TV and his parents saw it more as a babysitter. Burton enjoyed animation, I can understand why he wanted the chance with Disney because they’re animation based. Since I am doing my final project on Walt Disney, I thought it was interesting that they called Burton’s movies dark. Disney has made plenty of dark movies before Burton’s time, such as Sleeping Beauty, The Black Cauldron and The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Since parents thought his movies were dark and didn’t want their kids watching, Disney shied away from him. Burton stated in the A Life in Pictures, “Parents forgot how dark films were when they were younger”. Which is true movies were a lot darker back in the day but people just don’t want to remember that. I really like the connection the Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have together because it is strange but amazing. They can sit together and say very little words but know what the other is trying to say and mean. Burton loves how Depp is very open to any role and will play that role to almost perfection. Burton loves how you always tell how Depp is feeling even with out saying anything. Another thing I found interesting about Burton is he doesn’t like to use green screen. He likes to use costumes and prompts for all his work. He feels that the actors need to have the actual feel instead and adding the feel later on.

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  10. Tyra Long
    To begin with, the reason I fell in love with Tim Burton was because of Johnny Depp. I think the one thing I found most intresting about Tim Burton is his how he does not change who is he is becasue other people do not agree with it. He never let that stop his work. When Disney decided that his films were too dark for their audience he could have easily changed his films to please the Disney audience but he did not. He knew that what people considered to be dark and scary he considered it to be his art. In the reading there was a quote that Burton said that stuck to me,“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality. Movies are like an expensive form of therapy for me.” Tim Burton is a perfect example of someone who does not care what other people think. He will continue to do what he loves and what he knows. He tells his story and who he is through these characters. I love his movies because they are not your typical happy colorful fairytales. As I mentioned before Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors, with his style of acting and Tim Burton’s style of movie they both go hand in hand!

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