Tim Burton: Watching movies is a cheap baby-sitter

grant_g_burtondepp_64011„I always liked the duality, the split personality and the hidden nature. I love monster movies and I am a fan of the opera.” (Tim Burton)

There is at least one movie you have seen with Johnny Depp directed by Tim Burton. Here is the complete list, which is to be filled in soon: Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows. I have watched these movies except for the animated one at least twice in different stages of my life and I think that johnny’s talent is at its highest rate, especially in Sweeney Todd, in which he actually sings. So, let us have more Tim and Johnny movies. Until then, I invite you to read the transcript I was delighted to do from the video-interview aired on BAFTA Guru, called – Tim Burton: A life in pictures.

You obviously started to watch movies early on. In movie theaters or at home on television?

Tim Burton: Both. Back when I was growing up they still had drive-ins. There was a theater which was amazing because it was kind a of run-down theater, but  they would show triple features, you could see three movies for 50 cents. There was always a strange mixture of things. There were Godzilla movies, Japanese science fiction. They just mixed up the weirdest groupings of films, but that is the main theater I went to, because it was cheap and I could see three movies in one night.  On television they just started to show music videos. They showed movies that they probably wouldn’t show now, because some of them were like Mexican horror movies to English and Italian films and Universal films.  As soon as the music videos came to play, they stopped showing them.

Was there any limit on the amount of movies on television you were allowed to watch?

Tim Burton: My parents did not mind. They liked the television to deal with me, I suppose. Movies were a cheap babysitter.

When did you start to make your own home movies?

Tim Burton: Well, early on, like most kids. They were like science projects. You are playing around you are making small films. I remember turning to reading big books while in my studenship. I regret not reading enough during highschool as I was a television generation. I never thought I would become a director. I was interested in animation, that is where I’d put my focus early on.

Edward Scissorhands was a movie that showed a particular aesthetics.

Tim Burton: You try to put everything personal to every movie. It was the first one that was based on my own kind of story. It was not just a movie, but a feeling.

Johnny Depp was known for doing only mainstream movies.

Tim Burton: I met him and I thought he was a character. He was looked upon as a teen idol and you could tell immediately that that image it was not who he was in his heart. So, here’s a guy who is perceived as something in real life, but is something else inside. It just felt like he got that character completely, because that is how that character was. He was like a silent movie character, very expressive. I like people when you just look at them and get a feeling from them, without them having to speak. He had all of those elements. I was really based on meeting him that he is so bright.

In terms of the begining of your long collaborative relationship, did he have ideas, too?

Tim Burton: We are both normally non-verbal people.  There were people that would come and ask us – what you guys talking about? Which is helpful in my case. There was definetly a connection in that way. I always felt like he was more like a character actor. He is not vain. He likes to explore different kinds of characters. And he does not like to watch himself, which saves time at the monitor.

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One thought on “Tim Burton: Watching movies is a cheap baby-sitter

  1. Nice interview how a big director choose a bright actor as Johnny Depp in his mainstream movies.Specially feelings between them, considered normally non-verbal person but so deep and free in sights and mentality!

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