|Born August 25, 1958||Died N/A|
|Tim Burton is an American film director, producer, artist, writer, and animator. He is known for his dark, gothic, and eccentric horror and fantasy films.
Burton has worked repeatedly with actor Johnny Depp and with musician Danny Elfman, who has composed scores for all but three of the films Burton has directed. Actress Helena Bonham Carter, Burton’s former domestic partner, has appeared in many of his films.
As a student, Burton made the shorts Stalk of the Celery Monster and King & Octopus. The former attracted the attention of Walt Disney Productions‘ animation division, which offered Burton an animator’s apprenticeship at the studio. He worked as an animator and storyboard artist on films such as The Fox and the Hound (1981), The Black Cauldron (1985) and Tron (1982).
While at Disney in 1982, Burton made his first short, Vincent, a six-minute black-and-white stop motion film based on a poem written by the filmmaker, and depicting a young boy who fantasies that he is his hero Vincent Price, with Price himself providing narration. Actor Paul Reubens saw Vincent and chose Burton to direct the cinematic spin-off of his popular character Pee-wee Herman, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985).
Burton directed his next big project, Beetlejuice (1988), for a relatively low budget. Burton’s ability to produce hits with low budgets impressed studio executives, and he received his first big budget film, Batman (1989).
In 1990, Burton co-wrote and directed Edward Scissorhands (1990). Due to schedule constraints on Batman Returns (1992), Burton produced, but did not direct, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) for Disney.
Ed Wood (1994), was of a much smaller scale, depicting the life of Ed Wood, a filmmaker sometimes called “the worst director of all time”. Starring Johnny Depp in the title role, the film is an homage to the low-budget science fiction and horror films of Burton’s childhood.
Elfman and Burton reunited for Mars Attacks! (1996) with an all-star cast. Based on a popular science fiction trading card series, the film was a hybrid of 1950s science fiction and 1970s all-star disaster films. Coincidence made it an inadvertent spoof of the blockbuster Independence Day (1996), which had been released five months earlier.
Sleepy Hollow (1999), had a supernatural setting and contained another offbeat performance by Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, a detective with an interest in forensic science rather than the schoolteacher of Washington Irving’s original tale. Burton paid homage to the horror films of the English company Hammer Films, with Christopher Lee given a cameo role.
Going into the 21st Century, Burton changed radically in style for his next project, leaving the haunted forests and colourful outcasts behind to go on to directing Planet of the Apes (2001) which, as Burton had repeatedly noted, was “not a remake” of the earlier film.
|20th Century Highlights|
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