C&TCF Tidbit #24: Meet Tim Burton

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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C&TCF Tidbit #24: Meet Tim Burton

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:13 am

Source: http://www.timburtoncollective.com/bio.html


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Tim Burton is one of the last people you'd imagine would become one of the most acclaimed directors in the world. He is an introverted, unassuming person. His career got underway at the most famous animation studio in Hollywood, he landed his first directing gig because of a bootleg tape of a short film that was never released, and (for a while, at least) he had a movie in the top-ten grossers of all time.

Timothy William Burton was born August 25, 1958 in Burbank, California. Burbank may not ring as many bells as Hollywood, but it is the home to many film and television studios -- NBC, Warner Brothers, Disney, and others. Burbank was quintessential 1950s American suburbia, a world in which the shy, artistic Tim was not quite in step with the shiny happy people surrounding him. He was not particularly good in school, and was not a bookworm. Instead, he found his pleasure in painting, drawing, and movies. He loved monster movies: Godzilla, the Hammer horror films from Great Britain, the work of Ray Harryhausen. One of his heroes was actor Vincent Price.
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After high school in 1976, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts. Cal Arts had been founded by Disney as a "breeding ground" for new animators, though they did offer other courses of study. Burton entered the Disney animation program in his second year, thinking it would be a good way to make a living. In 1979, he was drafted to join the Disney animation ranks.

Burton did not enjoy being an animator, not one little bit. Imagine, if you will, what it's like to be an animator. Films are projected at 24 frames per second. For a 90-minute film, that's over 129,000 individual frames. Characters are drawn separately and then put together, and placed over painted backgrounds. The work requires talented artists, but they cannot deviate from the structured manner of drawing the characters. Burton had been brought in to work on The Fox And The Hound. It bored him silly.

The studio recognized that Burton's talent was not being utilized. They made him a conceptual artist, the people who design the characters that appear in the films. He did early work on The Black Cauldron, the adaptation of the second volume of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain (a seven-volume fantasy series). If you're familiar with Burton's artwork, you can imagine that his concept drawings were nothing like your standard Disney fare. It didn't go over too well, and it was not used. However, he was set loose on his own projects. These included a poem and artwork that years later would become The Nightmare Before Christmas, the animated short Vincent, and the live-action short Frankenweenie. The latter two received little or no outside exposure, but Burton did get to work with his idol, Vincent Price, for the first time and they remained friends until Price's death in 1993. Frankenweenie was awarded a PG rating, which precluded its release with their G-rated animated features. It only saw theatrical release overseas, and a short release on VHS. However, it would be the film that landed him his first feature directing job.

Horror writer Stephen King (you have heard of him, right?) had seen Frankenweenie, and strongly recommended it to Bonni Lee, an executive at Warner Brothers. Lee then showed the film to Paul Reubens. Reubens was the man behind Pee-Wee Herman, and was in the process of bringing his alter ego to the big screen. He knew right away that Tim Burton was the perfect choice for the job, and indeed they were a perfect match. As they say, the rest is history.

Following the surprise success of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Burton didn't make another film for almost three years. It wasn't until he was offered the anarchic screenplay for Beetlejuice that he finally found another project suited to his unique vision. The film was an even bigger hit, and led to Warner Bros. offering Burton the job directing an eagerly awaited comic book adaptation that had been years in the planning.
Batman was less a movie, more of an event. It sparked controversy with the casting of Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight, and generated a merchandising blitz that is now standard for blockbusters. However, despite all the hype and studio interference, Burton still managed to put his own stamp on the film and it remains one of the most influential Hollywood movies of the last few decades. It's box office gross of over $250 million is also one of the highest in the studio's history.

Rather than jump into making another blockbuster, Burton used his new clout to get an extremely personal project greenlit by 20th Century Fox. Edward Scissorhands was the first time Burton had full creative control over a feature film, having written the story and also produced the movie. The film was a hit with moviegoers and critics, and marked the beginning of Burton being taken seriously as an artist.

He followed it up in 1992 with the sequel Batman Returns. It was not as big a hit as the first film, and suffered a backlash from parents who considered it too dark and twisted for younger Bat fans. Although the film was an artistic triumph, the perceived disappointment led to Joel Schumacher taking over the franchise (although Burton did have a producer credit on Batman Forever). The same year Burton also found time to play a small cameo role in Cameron Crowe's grunge film, Singles.

After finally seeing his dream project realised with the feature length stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas, Burton returned to smaller filmmaking with his next project, Ed Wood. An affectionate tribute to the supposed worst filmmaker of all time, it was not a hit at the box office, but won Burton the best reviews of his career, as well as two Oscars. It was followed by an indirect homage to Wood's films, Mars Attacks! The film was a disappointment at the box office, and scorned by many critics, but has gained a cult status over the years. Burton made something of a comeback three years later with his first real horror film, Sleepy Hollow.

As for Burton's personal life, he married German artist Lena Gieseke in 1989 (while in the middle of production on Batman). They separated shortly after filming of Batman Returns. He began dating Lisa Marie shortly after. She appeared in four of his films: Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow and Planet of the Apes.

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Between Mars Attacks! and Sleepy Hollow, Tim Burton spent over a year working on a new Superman film. A preliminary script draft was written by independent filmmaker and comic geek extraordinaire Kevin Smith. Nicolas Cage was attached to the project to play the Man Of Steel. However, Burton was not particularly happy with the script, and a spiraling budget caused Warner Brothers to pull the plug on the project.

His next project was a reworking of the classic sci-fi film Planet Of The Apes. The film was rushed into production after a long gestation period, and may have suffered as a result. The film was visually stunning, and featured several strong performances by the actors in Rick Baker's astonishing ape makeup, but it was regarded as a disappointment by many.

At the same time Burton's personal life was in a state of upheaval. Both of his parents died within a short space of time, and his relationship with Lisa Marie ended. Shortly after the release of Planet of the Apes, Burton began dating one of the stars of the film, Helena Bonham Carter. Their son, Billy, was born in October, 2003.

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Burton's next project couldn't have been more different, even though it shared the same producer (Richard D. Zanuck). Big Fish was an adaptation of the novel by Daniel Wallace. Perhaps the theme of a man trying to reconnect with his dying father resulted in this being Burton's most personal and emotional film in years, and it earned respectable reviews and box office.

As for his next project, Burton is directing another movie based on a novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Johnny Depp has already been cast in the role of Willy Wonka, and the film promises to be one of the most interesting blockbusters of 2005. He is also working on another stop motion animated film, Corpse Bride, due for release later the same year.

Johnny DEPP
BY
TIM BURTON

from the book DOUBLE EXPOSURE-Take Three


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there was a young man
everyone thought was quite handsome.
so he tied up his face
and he held it for ransom.
he made everybody
back up 20 feet,
then he ran off
with his head
down a darkly
lit street.
the whole town
wondered why he'd
threatened his face,
they couldn't understand,
...it was that kind of place.


Depp on Burton: (from johnnydeppfan.com)

Excerpt written by Johnny Depp from the forward to the book Burton on Burton

When I was asked to write the foreword to this book, I chose to tell it from the perspective of what I honestly felt at the time he rescued me: a loser, an outcast, just another piece of expendable Hollywood meat.

It's very hard to write about someone you care for and respect on such a high level of friendship. It's equally difficult to explain the working relationship between actor and director. I can only say that, for me, Tim need do nothing more than say a few disconnected words, tilt his head, squint his eyes or look at me a certain way and I know exactly what he wants from the scene. And I have always done my best to deliver that to him. So, for me to say what I feel about Tim, it would have to be on paper, because if I said it to his face he would probably cackle like a banshee and then punch me in the eye.

He is an artist, a genius, and oddball, an insane, brilliant, brave, hysterically funny, loyal, nonconformist, honest friend. I owe him a tremendous debt and respect him more than I could ever express on paper. He is him and that is all. And he is, without a doubt, the finest Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator on the planet.

I have never seen someone so obviously out of place fit right in. His way.

Johnny Depp
New York City
September 1994 - Burton on Burton



Tim Burton Flimography: (from imdb)
Director - Filmography
1. Corpse Bride (2005) (filming)
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) (post-production)
3. Big Fish (2003)
4. Planet of the Apes (2001)
5. The World of Stainboy (2000)
6. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
7. Mars Attacks! (1996)
8. Ed Wood (1994)
9. Batman Returns (1992)
10. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
11. Batman (1989)
12. Beetle Juice (1988)
13. "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1985) TV Series (episode "The Jar")
14. Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
15. Frankenweenie (1984)
16. Hansel and Gretel (1982/II) (TV)
17. Luau (1982)
18. Vincent (1982)
19. "Faerie Tale Theatre" (1982) TV Series (episode "Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp")
... aka Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre (USA)
20. Stalk of the Celery (1979)
... aka Stalk of the Celery Monster (USA)
21. The Island of Doctor Agor (1971)
Producer - filmography
(In Production) (2000s) (1990s) (1980s) (1970s)
1. Corpse Bride (2005) (filming) (producer)
... aka Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (USA: complete title)
2. Lost in Oz (2000) (TV) (executive producer)
... aka Tim Burton's Lost in Oz (USA)
3. The World of Stainboy (2000) (producer)
... aka Stainboy (USA)
4. Mars Attacks! (1996) (producer)
5. James and the Giant Peach (1996) (producer)
6. Batman Forever (1995) (producer)
... aka Forever (USA: title without logo)
7. Ed Wood (1994) (producer)
8. Cabin Boy (1994) (producer)
9. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (producer)
... aka Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (USA: complete title)
10. "Family Dog" (1993) TV Series (executive producer)
11. Batman Returns (1992) (producer)
12. Edward Scissorhands (1990) (producer)
13. "Beetlejuice" (1989) TV Series (executive producer)
14. Luau (1982) (producer)
15. Stalk of the Celery (1979) (producer)
... aka Stalk of the Celery Monster (USA)
Writer - filmography
(2000s) (1990s) (1980s) (1970s)
1. Lost in Oz (2000) (TV) (story) (pilot)
... aka Tim Burton's Lost in Oz (USA)
2. The World of Stainboy (2000)
... aka Stainboy (USA)
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (story and characters)
... aka Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (USA: complete title)
4. Edward Scissorhands (1990) (story)
5. "Beetlejuice" (1989) TV Series (creator)
6. Beetle Juice (1988) (story) (uncredited)
7. Frankenweenie (1984) (idea)
8. Hansel and Gretel (1982/II) (TV) (idea)
9. Luau (1982)
10. Vincent (1982)
11. Stalk of the Celery (1979)
... aka Stalk of the Celery Monster (USA)
12. The Island of Doctor Agor (1971)
Filmography as: Director, Producer, Writer, Miscellaneous Crew, Actor, Art Department, Production Designer, Himself, Archive Footage, Notable TV Guest Appearances
Miscellaneous Crew - filmography
(1990s) (1980s) (1970s)
1. "Family Dog" (1993) TV Series (character designer) (uncredited) (design consultant)
2. "Beetlejuice" (1989) TV Series (developed by)
3. "Amazing Stories" (1985) TV Series (character designer) (episode "Family Dog")
... aka Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories (USA: complete title)
4. Tron (1982) (animator) (uncredited)
5. The Fox and the Hound (1981) (animator) (uncredited)
6. Stalk of the Celery (1979) (animator)
... aka Stalk of the Celery Monster (USA)
7. The Lord of the Rings (1978) (inbetween artist) (uncredited)
... aka J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (USA: complete title)
8. The Island of Doctor Agor (1971) (animator) (uncredited)
Actor - filmography
(1990s) (1980s)
1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Special Edition (1994) (TV) .... Interview
2. Singles (1992) .... Brian
3. Luau (1982) .... The Supreme Being/Mortie
Art Department - filmography
1. The Black Cauldron (1985) (conceptual artist) (uncredited)
... aka Taran and the Magic Cauldron
2. Frankenweenie (1984) (storyboard artist) (uncredited)
Production Designer - filmography
1. Vincent (1982)
Himself - filmography
(2000s) (1990s)
1. Super Secret Movie Rules: Disaster Movies (2004) (TV) .... Himself (Director)
2. Mario Bava: Operazione paura (2004) (TV) .... Himself
3. Super Secret Movie Rules: Superheroes (2003) (TV) .... Himself
4. De Superman à Spider-Man: L'aventure des super-héros (2002) (V) .... Himself
5. The Making of 'Planet of the Apes' (2001) (TV) .... Himself
6. Mario Bava: Maestro of the Macabre (2000) (TV) .... Himself
7. Sleepy Hollow: Behind the Legend (2000) (V) .... Himself
8. "A-Z of Horror" (1997) (mini) TV Series .... Himself
... aka Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror (UK: complete title)
9. A Century of Cinema (1994) .... Himself
10. Masters of Illusion: The Wizards of Special Effects (1994) (TV) .... Himself

Archive Footage
1. Pie Plates Over Hollywood (2004) (V) .... Himself
Notable TV Guest Appearances
1. "4Pop" playing "Himself" in episode: "Syntinen mainosmaailma" (episode # 2.28) 14 March 2004
2. "Film '72" playing "Himself" 20 January 2004
3. "Exposure" playing "Himself" (episode # 1.9) 28 June 2000
4. "Exposure" playing "Himself" (episode # 1.1) 5 April 2000
5. "The Howard Stern Radio Show" playing "Himself" 11 December 1999
6. "The Martin Short Show" playing "Himself" (episode # 1.54) 29 November 1999
7. "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" playing "Himself" 19 November 1999
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Vivi Sparrow
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Unread postby Vivi Sparrow » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:29 am

Tim Burton rocks my socks :cool: :cloud9: :disco: :angel:

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es
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Unread postby es » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:44 am

ah dear tim,i always gigle when i see intervieuws with this man the way he talks is so funny.
and his movies to me are love or hate them,i love allot of his movies but i truely hate for example marsattacks,somehow it isnt my humor and i find that strange because in big fish its just precisly my humor,very strange.
i am so curious about what he made of catcf i think its gonna be a lovemovie,this one.
greetings,
es

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:53 am

es wrote: ah dear tim,i always gigle when i see intervieuws with this man the way he talks is so funny.
and his movies to me are love or hate them,i love allot of his movies but i truely hate for example marsattacks,somehow it isnt my humor and i find that strange because in big fish its just precisly my humor,very strange.
i am so curious about what he made of catcf i think its gonna be a lovemovie,this one.
greetings,
es


I know what you mean, es. I love most of his work. :cool: Nightmare Before Christmas and Big Fish are two of my absolute favorites (and Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow, of course :cloud9: ). I wasn't as fond of Mars Attacks or Planet of the Apes. I think Charlie is going to be a winner though!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Veronica
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Unread postby Veronica » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:26 pm

who did Lisa Marie play in Ed Wood? :-?
Everything is always okay in the end,
if it's not, then it's not the end.

Today is a gift....Have Fun!

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:32 pm

veronica wrote: who did Lisa Marie play in Ed Wood?


She was Vampira.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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lumineuse
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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:32 pm

Veronica wrote:who did Lisa Marie play in Ed Wood? :-?


She played Vampira.
"Oh, good!........ No worries, then."

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Veronica
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Unread postby Veronica » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:33 pm

I just answered my own question

I had no idea this was her. Lisa Marie is so short.

http://www.imdb.com/gallery/ss/0109707/Ss/0109707/fcstil_01602.jpg?path=gallery&path_key=0109707
Everything is always okay in the end,

if it's not, then it's not the end.



Today is a gift....Have Fun!

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lumineuse
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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:39 pm

I didn't realize Tim directed The Planet of the Apes! :-|
"Oh, good!........ No worries, then."


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