Tim Burton

“One of the greatest directors of our age” – Christopher Lee, BAFTA awards, 2011

I couldn’t possibly agree more.

Tim Burton is more than just a director;  he is an artist, poet, producer, script writer, occasional actor and animator. He is the king of Gothic cinema of the late 20th and early 21st century. He doesn’t just appeal to “Emo goths”, he appeals to everybody. He is a master of expanding the dark elements of his films to suit even to children. Within his films, there is a unique combination of black, dark and slap-stick humour. His work is also not a film, it’s an expansion of himself – and in doing so, the viewers of his films can relate to everybody. As once in everyone’s life, they have been an outcast, whether it is because of their eccentric personality, how they dress, how they talk.

1989’s Batman Returns was the last of the 1980s-1990s Batman installments that Tim Burton directed, due to Warner Brother’s considering this film too dark, and too violent for children, being replaced by Joel Schumacher to continue the franchise for a mainstream audience.

His usage of pastel and watercolour in his paintings, and drawings is clever, cartoonist but at the same time distinct. Sure, amateur artists can emulate his style, but nothing can completely be compared. The closest comparison to Tim Burton’s work is the character designers of Henry Selick’s “Coraline” (Shane Prigmore and Shannon Tindle) . Burton’s robotic dolls are slender, large eyed and eerily beautiful in design, rarely painted in bright colours. His most brightest work to date would be Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. Yet, there is still that…misty mystique, a creepiness about that colour. It makes the viewer uneasy, yet drawn to it.

Personally, I would consider his masterpieces in film Gothic-avant garde, the genres continuously showing the lives of troubled protagonists, Ed Wood being an biography of the real Ed Wood, considered the worst director in cinema history. Surrounding the scripts that have an inkling essence of Burton behind the character’s facade, the atmosphere of the scenery changes, whether it is the personality of the character that emphasises this, or the actual scenery itself. A blend of modern day and Victorian era. A chameleon.

You have no idea how badly I want to go on about this artist, and he is an artist of film, art, story, poetry. He is my inspiration, not in style perhaps, but what I draw. I base my Illustration projects on how he thinks. This is why I love Tim Burton, he is open minded to things that no other director would consider.


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