Tim Burton Essay

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From the creepy ghoul-filled streets of Halloween Town to the candy crowded rooms of Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory, Tim Burton is a master of suspense and directing. His use of cinematic techniques created incredible worlds beyond imagination. People from all over find themselves pulled into the originality of his stories and the depth of his characters. His ingenious use of sound, lighting, and shots and framing create diverse and colorful masterpieces.

First off, sound makes up a large part of film making, especially a Tim Burton film. For example, in The Nightmare Before Christmas the infamous theme song is loud and booming which causes a sense of suspense since it usually takes place in the dark streets of Halloween Town. In Edward Scissorhands when Edward sees Kim’s picture for the first time, the non-diegetic music is slow and soft to imply that he likes her. In Sleepy Hollow, the music is shrill and eerie as Icabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is riding his horse in the woods to try to lure the Headless Horseman out. An unearthly horse-like shrill is heard sending chills up my spine. The music quickly turns deafening and without noticing I’m leaning so close to the TV I’m about to fall out of my seat. Sound plays an indispensable role in many of Tim Burton’s films.

Secondly, his lighting is essential to comprehending key moments to his movies. His use of lighting is very dramatic. From bright and cheerful to dark and ominous the director uses lighting to set the mood of his scenes. This is the case in Big Fish during a scene where some kids are shown at a haunted house. Everything is in black and gray, even the kids’ clothes are a dark shade of usually bright colors. In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween Town is low key and looks sinister and menacing. Even the sky is pitch black and there are shadows everywhere. However, Christmas Town is just the opposite. With very bright red and green Christmas lights and white glistening snow, it’s very high key....
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