Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Harvey Weinstein and Tim Burton at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival (FNN).
Article originally by Chris Kensler at Fox News:
Cannes, France – “Everyone thinks I’m about death!”
That was Tim Burton’s (“Corpse Bride,” “Frankenweenie,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” etc .,etc.) exasperated answer to why he was involved in the “Life Is Amazing” short film series presented by Lexus at the Cannes Film Festival.
Burton , Harvey Weinstein, and newcomer Ryan Coogler, whose movie ‘Fruitvale Station’ played at Cannes after winning the two biggest prizes at Sundance, sat down to talk about why short films are so, well, awesome.
“A short film, when you get it right, there’s nothing like it,” Burton said. “It’s like a song.”
“One of the first short films I ever saw was a movie by the name of ‘Vincent’ by this dude right here,” Coogler chimed in, pointing at Burton.
Weinstein said he was also a big fan of Burton’s early work.
“When Disney bought Miramax the first time they said, ‘What is the first movie you’d like to see or borrow from the company,” Weinstein said. “And I said ‘I want to see the original ‘Frankenweenie’.”
“I think they showed it at 2 a.m. on the Disney Channel,” Burton joked about one of his earliest films, which he remade into a big budget feature last year.
The “Batman” director told the six short film directors, chosen by Lexus for the series, to buckle down because their careers will never get any easier, even if they flourish.
“I’ve done a couple successful movies, so I thought, well, it will be easy to get this one done, but it never is,” Burton said. “Each film is a real challenge to get mounted no matter who you are or how much success you’ve had. It feels like the first time each time, no kidding.”
Weinstein encouraged young filmmakers to stick to their guns “and never give up.”
“Or call Harvey,” Burton laughed.
The Province reports that Tim Burton is heading to Vancouver to shoot his next film, Big Eyes, with Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams. The low-budget film (at $20 million) is about the true story of artist Margaret Keane and her husband, Walter, who claimed credit for her popular sad-eyed paintings of little children in the 1960s.
Burton is a collector of Mrs. Keane's paintings, and even once had a specially commissioned painting done by Keane in her style of his former girlfriend, Lisa Marie.
Big Eyes will be filming in Canada for seven weeks starting in July.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Ray Harryhausen, special effects artist, died today at age 92. It is no overstatement to call Mr. Harryhausen one of the most important and influential artists in the history of cinema. Tim Burton and countless others have credited him as one of their biggest heroes. Check out this excellent video tribute to the legendary stop-motion animator: http://youtu.be/16skb8LMhFU
Monday, May 06, 2013
According to Deadline, Tim Burton is no longer attached to direct a live-action adaptation of Pinocchio starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Geppetto. This is likely because Burton's next directorial project will be Big Eyes, starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz.
Downey has said that he might be interested in having Ben Stiller direct the film. Dan Jinks is still attached to produce, and Jane Goldman has written the most recent draft of the script.
Downey has said that he might be interested in having Ben Stiller direct the film. Dan Jinks is still attached to produce, and Jane Goldman has written the most recent draft of the script.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Deadline has the exclusive new information on Tim Burton's next film: Big Eyes.
EXCLUSIVE: Tim Burton will direct Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in Big Eyes, the film that Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski scripted. At the same time, The Weinstein Company is closing a deal to fund and distribute. This is a major development on a project that has followed a long development track. Of all the development projects I’ve written about over the years, this is my favorite that has not yet gotten made. And the casting seems so promising. The film will be produced by Alexander and Karaszewski and Burton, with Electric City Entertainment’s Lynette Howell. This will be Burton’s next film, and production will begin this summer.
Waltz, who’s coming off another Oscar turn in Django Unchained, and Adams, nominated for The Master, will play Margaret and Walter Keane, whose paintings of large eyed children became one of the first mass marketed art sensations in the 50s and 60s. Those prints sold in gas stations and every five and dime store across the country. While Walter was the marketing genius, he also took the bows for doing the brush work. He was a full fledged celebrity, a regular on the TV talk show circuit. His shy wife was the actual artist in the family. When they split and she tried to get her due, he painted her as being eccentric, and they ended up in court. There, a judge finally provided them with two easels and ordered them to prove it. Walter’s art reputation went down on the canvas when he begged off because of what he said was pain in his arm. She whipped up one of her trademark big-eyed works.
The screenwriters, Alexander and Karaszewski, worked with Burton previously on Ed Wood, and they wrote many other films including The People Vs. Larry Flynt. They’ve been pushing this one up the hill for years, with various filmmakers and casts. Most recently, they had intended to direct the film, and had Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds lined up as the leads. At that time, Burton was lined up as a producer, but now he has taken the directing reins.
TWC’s Harvey Weinstein and his team led by David Glasser are closing up on the deal as we speak. Burton’s repped by WME, Waltz by ICM Partners, Adams by WME and Brillstein, Alexander and Karaszewski by CAA.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Conceptual artist Tim Flattery (Batman Returns, Batman Forever) released some amusing artwork he made for Tim Burton's Batman Returns, involving penguins armed with buzz saws, boxing gloves, and other comic weaponry.
Frankenweenie might not have won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature last night, but that doesn't mean Tim Burton fans were entirely disappointed on Sunday evening. In case you missed it, here's the Samsung Mobile commercial that aired during the Oscars broadcast, featuring the man himself who is in talks to direct a feature film based on an app, "Unicorn Apocalypse."
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tickets are now on sale for "Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton," a concert that will take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday, 7th of October, 2013, and will feature Danny Elfman in person!
Read the official press release below:
On Monday 7 October 2013, the Royal Albert Hall will be hosting an exclusive World Premiere of Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton, celebrating the extraordinary collaboration between the acclaimed composer and visionary filmmaker.
The concert will see Danny Elfman‘s famous Tim Burton film scores brought to life on stage by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by John Mauceri, whilst visuals from Burton’s original production artwork, sketches and drawings are displayed on the big screen. There will also be an exclusive special guest performance by four-time Oscar-nominated Danny Elfman himself, making his first public singing performance in 18 years.
With a range of films from a fascinating back-catalogue of classics including Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Alice in Wonderland, this concert will explore the collaborative relationship between music and storytelling and the process and importance that this has in filmmaking.
“I’ve always heard Danny’s scores performed live during our recording sessions for the films we’ve collaborated on… for others to finally be able to hear his music live, at such a historic venue as the Royal Albert Hall, is really something special.”
“I really look forward to revisiting this body of work which has been such a huge part of my life and bringing it to the concert stage. And the idea of performing some of Jack Skellington’s songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas live for the very first time is immensely exciting.”
Tickets for Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton go on sale at 9am on Thursday 14 February and start at £20 (booking fees may apply).
Buy online at www.royalalberthall.com or phone the Box Office on 020 7589 8212
We have a new poll for you to vote in! Our question: "Which 2012 Tim Burton Movie Was Your Favorite?"
Vote for either:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Feel free to tell us more in the comments section below! We look forward to the results.
Also, here are the results from our previous poll, which asked: "Which 2012 Tim Burton Movies Did You See" We received 252 votes.
104 people (41%) saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
228 people (90%) saw Dark Shadows
199 people (78%) saw Frankenweenie
Filmmaker Jon Schnepp is raising funds to make a documentary about Superman Lives, a never-made feature film that had Tim Burton attached to direct, Nicolas Cage to star as the Man of Steel, and, at one point, had Kevin Smith hired to write the screenplay. Christopher Campbell at Film School Rejects has the whole story (and you can donate to the project here):
Thanks to Kickstarter, there continues to be an increase in documentaries being made about movies. On top of that, there also seems to be a trend lately for filmmakers to look at failed movie projects, as if inspired by the heartbreaking 2002 release Lost in La Mancha. Currently on the festival circuit is the must-see doc Persistence of Vision, which is about the decades-long disaster of The Thief and the Cobbler (see my thoughts on that and some clips here), and recently funded and now in the works is Science Fiction Land about the canceled movie that wound up at the center of Argo. Now, we may get to learn the full story on another collapsed production, Tim Burton‘s Superman Lives, via the proposed new project of director Jon Schnepp (The ABCs of Death; Cartoon Network’s Metalocalypse). It’s another “unmaking of” doc titled The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?
And yes, Schnepp is attempting to finance this movie through Kickstarter, where he formerly had a hand in one of the most successful crowd-funding campaigns for film ever (for the animated Grimm Fairy Tales series, which he’s directing). He’s already amassed a lot of background material and concept art for the failed Superman movie, since he’s been collecting the stuff passionately over the years, and now he just needs to conduct interviews and put it all together to tell the story of what went wrong. He hopes to talk to attached stars Nicolas Cage and Sandra Bullock, as well as Kevin Smith, who wrote a draft of the script, and Burton, who was all set to direct when Warner Bros. put the thing on hold in April 1998.
Schnepp hopes this will be a quick endeavor in order to premiere the doc at the San Diego Comic-Con this summer and then put it out on video. I could see it taking longer, however, if he manages to raise more than his minimum production goal of $98,000. On top of that amount necessary for just the documentary, he’d like to get another $50,000 for his “stretch goal,” which would go to sequences where he films scenes based on Smith’s script and Burton’s notes. Whether Warner Bros. would even allow that to happen seems iffy to me, but it’s certainly something a lot of movie and comic geeks would love to see.
Watch the campaign video and let Schnepp passionately explain it all to you: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1270411036/the-death-of-superman-lives-what-happened
Of course, there are some great incentives to donors here, including original production artwork (by Schnepp, not Burton) and model props (for the doc, not Superman Lives). For $1,000 you can even appear on the DVD/Blu-ray giving an interview about your personal opinions of Superman Lives and the Superman character in general. I don’t have that kind of money, but I will share my own short, first-hand anecdote:
In December ’96 (or it might have been in January ’97), I was working in the box office of the Angelika Film Center in NYC when Smith (and I think Scott Mosier) came in to see Citizen Ruth. The teenage fanboy that I was at the time went up and met him and quickly asked about Superman Lives. He told me that it was a lot of fun, because he didn’t have to worry about any of the directorial execution. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically he said, “I can write ‘Superman moves a mountain,’ and say, ‘Okay, now you figure that out.’” Jokes aside, though, he did seem really excited about the gig.
Yeah, it’s not a very interesting story, but it’s one that I’ll never forget because the film never happened and neither Smith nor I got to see how Burton or anyone else might have shown Superman moving a mountain. While I doubt that idea is even in the script, I’d like to now see Schnepp make it a reality. Hopefully he reaches his goal and then some in the next 43 days, and we get to see The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?
Monday, January 28, 2013
A new book, Frankenweenie: The Visual Companion, will be released on February 5th, 2013. The 256-page art and making-of book has been written by Mark Salisbury, edited by Leah Gallo and Holly Kempf, and features a foreword by Tim Burton.
You can pre-order the book today at Amazon.com.
Vulture spoke with Tim Burton to learn about Frankenweenie and its chances at winning an Oscar this year, his balance between films that are critical successes and box office hits, his broken arm, and more:
Do all the nominations and awards help make up for the film's less-than-blockbuster box -office performance?
It's really nice, especially for a film like that. Everybody works really hard for something like this, especially the people who work in a dark room for a couple of years. The thing about stop-motion is that it's such a slow, painful process — one frame at a time. The positive side is that it helps keep the medium alive. It's not high on to-do lists for studio execs to make stop-motion, let alone black-and-white stop-motion. There's still a bit of a stigma, so any sort of positive response is meaningful.
You would think after The Artist there would be less opposition to black-and-white — especially when it comes to films about Hollywood. Argo also got a lot of awards love partly because it's about Hollywood helping to save the world. And Frankenweenie celebrates classic horror films. Hollywood loves nothing more than celebrating itself.
That's true, now that you mention that. Even last year, films like Hugo did that. But I never really thought of that. It's certainly not my perception of the world. For me, it's just what inspires me, and those monster movies stay with you on some kind of level. Those early things are still inside of me. It was just fun to play around with words and themes and memories, because you don't get to do that on every project.
Loved the shout-out to Mary Shelley with the turtle's name, by the way.
[Chuckles.] My son's turtle was named Shelley. When you have a pet as a child, that's the first pure relationship you have. It's unconditional love. And it's your first experience with death as well, so it was an easy emotional connection to make to Frankenstein and monster movies. Those first relationships are very important. And to me, the Frankenstein story is about creating things, not the business of creating things.
But you still want it to be successful.
No one wants to feel like they weren't, unless they're doing some kind of weird art-house thing: "I hope nobody sees this film! And if they see the film, I'm selling out!" You hope for success, but it's a strange phenomenon. You have a movie that gets shitty, crappy, horrible reviews but makes a lot of money; you have a movie that gets good, decent reviews, but then no one goes to see it. I've been lucky, even if a film didn't do that well [at the box office], I end up meeting people who connected with it, and that evens the score.
How do you feel about the critics who say you should stop using Johnny Depp so much?
I'm in a no-win situation. Some say I use him too often, and then others say, "How come he's not in this one?" Whatever. I'm strangely used to that from the beginning.
I don't decide to make a film because of the actors first, even though there are a lot of people I love. I don't think I've ever gone, "Oh, I want to work with that person," and then specifically found a part with that person just to work with them. For Frankenweenie, I hadn't worked with Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, or Martin Landau in a long time, so that was great. But the project drew me to them because they're all so talented.
With Catherine, not since Beetlejuice. People want a sequel for that one.
Those were fun characters, but I'd have to see what the script was like and if it was worth doing — I can't just make it because it's one of the worst ten movies of the year! The first two films I did, Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice, made the ten-worst-movies-of-the-year lists. Then, years later, people said they were my best movies. What? So if those were my best, I'm in real trouble. [Laughs.] The point is, even if I wanted to analyze it, I'm not going to make everyone happy. It's easier when you're starting out and people don't really know what you are. But then you become a thing, and that's not really what you want. I never really targeted my films for kids. It's just what I like to make. But then people were saying The Nightmare Before Christmas was too scary for kids — too much singing, too scary. And then the kids loved it. So I've had conflicting information from the beginning.
How is The Nightmare Before Christmas too scary? It's no scarier than any fairy tale ...
Exactly. When you were a child, did you ever see Disney movies? There's some scary stuff in there. That's what made Disney movies to a large degree, but as people get older, they kind of forget that. There's a new generation looking at fairy tales now, and that's what monster movies were for me. I've always been interested in those kinds of stories, the ones that have been around for ages. When I go back and reread "Red Riding Hood," it's so bizarre, so weird, so fascinating, and we forget how strange they were, even if they've stayed in our consciousness for ages. Fairy tales are amazing, intense, psychological horror stories. But if you ask most adults, they immediately think it's all princesses and happy endings, and it's so not. Obviously.
Are you still thinking about doing Pinocchio next?
It's really hard to think about doing anything when I've got a throbbing pain in my shoulder! The painkillers are not that good here. The doctors are like, "Take two aspirin."
You're in London. Codeine is over-the-counter there!
Yeah, but it's a pretty weak form of codeine, probably. But you're right. I should do that. [Laughs.] I'm hoping the pain subsides soon, but it's like when you have a toothache, and it's hard to think, hard to do things, hard to focus on what's going on when it's throbbing away.
Once the pain subsides, then you can consider Pinocchio, or perhaps a Walt Disney biopic starring Ryan Gosling. Have you seen that poster?
The story at Cal Arts was that Walt was cryogenically frozen and somewhere in the basement. We used to spend Friday nights looking for him. So that's the story. Listen, I'm open to ideas at the moment!