Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Danny Elfman Stops By Disneyland to Read Nightmare Before Christmas

Danny Elfman stopped by Disneyland to read the opening to Burton-classic The Nightmare Before Christmas and to talk about his music being used on the ride Haunted Mansion Holiday.

In the clip below, Elfman reads the opening to The Nightmare Before Christmas as previously read by Patrick Stewart. Elfman die-hards will know that he has recorded the opening before on the The Jack 2 Pack (The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack) back in 2006. Following Elfman's reading is a clip promoting the upcoming concert series Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton taking place in Los Angeles on Halloween. 

Elfman was also interviewed after the reading to discuss how excited he is to have his music featured on the Haunted Holiday Mansion ride found in Disneyland. "I remember the whole thing as one big favorite moment," Elfman says about the ride. Elfman goes on the say that having his music in the ride is "such a dream come true." 

Will you be heading out to any of the Elfman/Burton shows or heading over to Disneyland to check out Haunted Mansion Holiday? Let us know in the comments below!   (T. Starr)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Trailer for Big Eyes released!

Today, we saw the first trailer released for Tim's much-anticipated drama, "Big Eyes" starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. The 2 minute and 30 second trailer gives us a little taste of what we can expect, not only in terms of direction from Burton, but even the score by long-time friend of Tim's, Danny Elfman. If the trailer is anything to go by, the film will be going down a path more of Burton's 2003 drama, "Big Fish" and not one of Gothic fantasy that we have grown accustomed to. Check out the trailer on Yahoo! Movies and let us know in the comments below your thoughts on the upcoming film and if you will be seeing it this coming Christmas?  (T. Starr)

Friday, May 02, 2014

"Big Eyes" Release Date Announced

The release date for Tim Burton's next feature film, Big Eyes, has been announced: Christmas Day 2014.

Here is ComingSoon.net's synopsis of the film:

"Big Eyes, starring Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman and Terence Stamp, is a biopic of artist Margaret Keane, the painter whose distinctive creations featuring big-eyed children became one of art's first mass-market success stories in the 1950s. The drama covers Keane's personal awakening at the onset of the feminist movement, leading to a lawsuit she filed against her husband, Walter, who claimed credit for her works. He lived the high life while she toiled in relative anonymity in the Bay Area."

The screenplay is written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (who wrote the script for Ed Wood), and will be released by the Weinstein Company.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Casting Call for Lead Role in Burton's "Miss Peregrine's"

Want to star in a Tim Burton movie? A casting notice for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has been released. The film has Tim Burton attached as director with Jane Goldman writing the script based on original book by Ransom Riggs. The project description is: "The book tells the tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island."

They are seeking a role for the lead character of Jacob, to be played by an 18-year-old male of any ethnicity. Here is a description of the role: "Jacob is an outsider in his Florida town. Wears odd vintage clothes, as if from another era. After the traumatic & mysterious death of his beloved grandfather leaves him troubled, he sets off in search for answers to the story of his eastern European grandfather. Seeking 18, to play 17."

Shooting begins in August 2014, and the casting notice expires on May 19th, so if you're in the UK and interested, check it out! Here is the article from Backstage.com: http://www.backstage.com/casting/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-30880/

Tim Burton Art Exhibit Opens in Prague

Original article from PraguePost.com by Raymond Johnson: http://www.praguepost.com/night-day/38024-exhibition-the-world-of-tim-burton-opens-in-prague

The famous director was in Prague to introduce a show of his props and drawings
In what is surely to be the most popular exhibition of the year, 500 items from film director Tim Burton’s archives of more than 10,000 film-related pieces are going on display in Prague. Some 150 of them have never been shown to the public before.

The World of Tim Burton
When: March 28–Aug. 3; Tues–Sun 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Where: House of the Stone Bell
Tickets: 190 Kč, purchased in advance from Ticketpro (recommended)

The show includes not only props and sketches relating to his famous hit movies, but also drawings for unrealized projects ranging from another Batman sequel to Little Dead Riding Hood. Parts of comics he drew before he was famous, travel sketches and large-format Polaroid pictures round out the sections of the show.

Many of the items were never meant to be seen publicly, but were just part of the creative process. “It’s a strange thing to have things that are sort of private and personal showing in public. For me, drawings have always been a way of thinking, a form of communicating. … I was never a very good speaker, talker, so I always found it was easier for me to communicate through drawing,” Burton said at a press conference. “When I worked at Disney as an animator, I used to hide in the closet for most of the day.”

All of the items have his trademark dark sense of humor, or “carnivalesque interplay between comedy and the grotesque,” as curator Jenny He told the press.

The main theme of the exhibition is the well-meaning but misunderstood outcast who rebels against conformity by creativity, Jenny He said. “We invite visitors into Tim Burton’s world and hope they discover their own personal viewpoint of Tim’s unique and singular output,” she added.

Concept art for Planet of the Apes (2001)

Burton gave Jenny He and her team free access to his archives and let them “go through everything” to pick the items for the show. He helped to identify what pieces related to what films or unrealized projects.

A different version of the show was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009 and drew 800,000 visitors, making it that museum’s third-most popular show. “It is smaller than the other show. But … this is a unique city, so we tried to put pieces in that we felt were part of the spirit of what we feel about Prague,” Burton said. He also praised the work of the Czech designers that created the space for the show.

Concept art of Emily for Corpse Bride (2005)

He likes that the previous version of the show was popular. “Growing up in the culture I did, I didn’t go to museums a lot. The culture of art and museums was different, and not inviting. The thing that this show did was it got people that usually wouldn’t go to a museum to go to a museum and see stuff that they wouldn’t usually see in a museum,” he said.
Jenny He said that it was fitting to have the exhibition in Prague because of the city’s rich history with stop-motion animation. Burton used this technique in films like his production of Nightmare Before Christmas, which has many items in the exhibit. “At a time when we are going to infinity and beyond with CGI, Tim brought animation back to its roots,” she said.

Stop-motion puppet for Mars Attacks! (1996), which was eventually scrapped for CG creatures in the final film.

Burton cited Czech animator Karel Zeman as an influence. “[I saw] his films like [The Fabulous] Baron Munchausen, and I remember some dinosaur series. … And where I grew up in Burbank there was a documentary on Karel Zeman that showed his process. That was extremely inspirational to me. He and Ray Harryhausen were probably two inspirations in terms of wanting to remain true to doing stop-motion and [having] a handmade quality. They did that amazingly. You saw this process, and I’ll never forget that. It was very inspirational,” Burton said.

He also had praise for Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer. “He does amazing work. The history here in terms of animation, this is again why I am so happy to be here. There are so many amazing animators throughout the history of this country. As computers have taken over the world, this place still — as you walk around the city — this place has the feeling of art and handmade. It continues here; it’s incredible,” he said.

He also noted the mixture of darkness and humor in Czech art. “Without really thinking of it, I was very influenced by this place.”

Even further back in time, he was excited by children’s books. “Some of my earliest influences were [books by] Dr. Seuss. I loved his artwork and stories and his imagination. My influences came from lots of things, monster movies. Not so much art, but films were definitely an inspiration.”

The dark nature of Burton’s work is a form of therapy, he said. “For me it is getting feelings out that are sometimes trapped inside. … It’s always kept me alive,” he said. He began drawing as a child and just kept going with it, despite not being particularly good at it, in his own estimation. “It was a form of expression.” He also dabbled in filmmaking in his youth.

Stop-motion puppet of Victor from Frankenweenie (2012)

“I went to Cal Arts and worked at Disney because of the combination of film and drawing [in animation]. It made the most sense to pursue that,” he said, adding that it was a great way to learn about the entire filmmaking process.
He likes working with Johnny Depp because that actor takes risks. “He doesn’t mind looking ridiculous. It helps when an actor is willing to try to do things in different ways. He’s always been that way for me,” he said. But Burton isn’t concerned with wanting to work with particular actors. “For me it is all about the part. It really stems from what the piece is and who is the best person to play it. I always try to remain open minded. I do like people like Johnny who don’t mind looking ridiculous.”

Burton thinks all of his films are special in some way but says he likes Edward Scissorhands and Nightmare Before Christmas in particular. “Those are slightly more personal,” he said. But he likes all of his films, even though he seldom goes back to rewatch them. “They are all special in some way. Even if they are horrible films, there is something for me that in terms of making it or whatever is special,” he said.

Costumes for Deep Roy as the Oompa Loompa's in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

While Prague is known for filmmaking, Burton only filmed here once. In 2000 he made two commercials for watch company Timex. “It was fun to shoot in Prague. It was a strange experience, it was great. Our production office was in brothel. I kept walking in, going in and out doing something, and I was going, ‘Who are these girls, and what do they do sitting here?’ and I found out. This was our production office,” he said.

“Because I knew of some of the artists like Karel Zeman, I was aware of the vibe of the city, and I always wanted to visit, so working here, it is always better to do something like that than to be a tourist because you can really get to know people, you can work with them, with the artists. … So that was very special. In some ways it is a better way to get a sense of the place and the city and people, working rather than touring,” he said.

Margaret Keane's "Big Eyes" Lisa Marie Portrait for Burton

A little throwback from the past: a photo of the painting Tim Burton had commissioned for artist Margaret Keane to do a portrait of his then-girlfriend, model and actress Lisa Marie (Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow) with their chihuahua.

Margaret Keane is the subject of Burton's forthcoming feature film, Big Eyes.

Photo courtesy of Swide.com.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

VIDEO: Tim Burton Receives BAF Award

Check out this recently uploaded video of Tim Burton receiving the 2013 BAF award from the Bradford Animation Festival.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Burton & "The Kids from CalArts" in Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair has written a thorough article on the leaders in American animation who studied at CalArts in the 1970s and 1980s, including Tim Burton. Click here for the online article written by Sam Kashner.

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz. From left: Steve Hillenburg, Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Mark Andrews (in ape suit), Jerry Rees, Chris Buck (with Viking helmet), John Musker, Genndy Tartakovsky, Leslie Gorin, Mike Giaimo, Brenda Chapman, Glen Keane, Kirk Wise (in beige sweater), Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter (with Lei), Rob Minkoff, Rich Moore, John Lasseter, and Henry Selick, in the famed CalArts classroom A113.

Elfman/Burton Concert Returns to Royal Albert Hall

After a hugely successful sell-out World Premiere performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013, Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton will return to the Hall in December 2014, reports Stereoboard.com.

The concert features Danny Elfman's famous Tim Burton film scores brought to life on stage by a live orchestra, with visuals projected on the big screen of Burton's original sketches, drawings and storyboards. Concert goers will also experience a special guest performance by Danny Elfman himself, singing onstage.

The concert will return to London's Royal Albert Hall on Friday, 12 December, 2014.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New eBook: "The Animated Films of Tim Burton"

A new eBook has been published, Direct Conversations: The Animated Films of Tim Burton. Written by Tim Lammers, the 48-page book comes with a foreword by Tim Burton.

Description: Throughout his career, movie journalist Tim Lammers has talked with director Tim Burton and the key players who helped bring the stop-motion films The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie to life.

Now for the first time, Lammers has assembled the stories from Burton and his band of creatives all in one place. In Direct Conversations: The Animated Films of Tim Burton, you will not only hear from Burton, but Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Allison Abbate, Martin Landau, Elijah Wood, Atticus Shaffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, the late Ray Harryhausen, and more. The release of Direct Conversations: The Animated Films of Tim Burton comes as the 1993 classic The Nightmare Before Christmas celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Direct Conversations: The Animated Films of Tim Burton examines such films as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, 9, and Frankenweenie. Physical copies are unavailable, but you can purchase the eBook for $4.99 USD.