Tim Burton was born August 25, 1958. He began as an artist at an early age, he attended California Institute of the Arts. His drawings got him a job at Disney as an animator. After a few small projects Tim Burton was given his first major project ‘Pee- Wee’s big Adventure’ which was a box office hit and got him the job on ‘Beatle Juice’ and then the highly expensive but successful ‘Batman’ which made him a name in Hollywood.
Burton has directed 14 films and produced 10, he is famous for his dark themed movies such as Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy hollows, Batman, Sweeney Todd, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland his most recent film which was the second most highest grossing film of 2010 and sixth highest grossing film of all time. My favourite Tim Burton film would have to be Edward Scissorhand, this is because the story and the character Edward Scissorhand is Burton’s most original and most creative.
It was this film that was released in 1990, that Burton first worked with Johnny Depp and it was this film that really started Johnny Depp’s acting career and started a very successful working relationship, along with Burton’s partner Helena Bonham Carter, they have created something special to the point where it could be said that Depp and Carter have become part of Burton’s dark, gothic film style and it makes senses because Johnny Depp and Carter’s acting styles fits Burtons style perfectly as if Burton writes his scripts with both in mind.
I will be looking at Burton’s film style in two of his film, the first is one of is earlier films ‘Edward Scissorhand’ and the other one more recent is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005, these two films show how his filming style has developed over the years. In Edward Scissorhand, Burton tries to portray human nature and the darkness within but he shows that darkness is not always bad. He shows that through the character Edward Scissorhand because on the surface he looks like this dark, unfinished weird creature with sharp weapons instead of hands but yet he is portrayed as this innocent, misunderstood man.
This is done in many ways firstly the camera shot used in the film are mainly POV shots, I believe Burton does this to put the audience in the shoes of certain characters to give the audience a first hand point of view of Edward Scissorhand and when Edward is shot its always from an slightly high angle showing that he is child like and he means no harm. All the shot are beautifully done to show that Edward is this beautiful creature despite how he looks. Looking at Burton’s film it seems that he spends a lot of time on set design and light because all of his film have a some what similar look, e. . In this film there are a lot of use of shadows this is done to give that gothic effect to show that there is something quite not right in the perfect place, the uses of different colour and odd shaped objects to give the film an abnormal feel effect and shows uneasiness, for example the castle where Edward lives is not a normal castle but its weirdly shaped and looks all twisted again to give that weird, dark look. On the other hand in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a remake of the classic film.
Which is again typical of Burton as he takes these classic popular films and makes them his own, changing the story and adding some dark humour and his trademark dark gothic style on to it. He even completely changes the look and behaviour of these well-known characters like Willy Wonker in his remake played again by Johnny Depp, is a complete different character to the original. Willy Wonker is portrayed as this weird, crazy dark character but not in a bad way he seems more troubled than evil, he is portrayed some like a child just like Edward in Edward Scissorhand and Depp as usual does a great job as Wonker.
In terms of set design and lighting again it’s similar to Edward Scissorhand as the same weird, dark imagery are used to give it a gothic feel. Also Wonker’s factory is really dark from the outside but from the inside its really bright and colourful suggesting that there is something not quite right. Moving on to the camera shots again all the scenes are beautifully shot, Burton uses a mixture shots mainly long and wide shots to show Wonker’s factory and also there are a lot of POV shots giving us a first person point of view from the characters on the beauty of Wonker’s Chocolate Factory.
Finally looking at both films, you can see the similarities in terms of style but it’s clear that over time he has become a better filmmaker, his later films seem more sophisticated than his earlier ones. To conclude, looking at Tim Burton films it’s pretty clear that he has a particular style and from his style he clearly has a message that everything is not what it seems from the outside. He seems to take popular children’s stories and adds a bit of nightmare to them making them dark and this makes it appeal to a bigger audience, children and adults.