Director and producer Tim Burton, known for films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, was born on August 25, 1958, in Burbank, California.
Famous for his dark, eccentric fantasy films, it did not come as a surprise to find out that he was obsessed with watching classic horror movies growing up, one of his heroes being quintessential screen villain Vincent Price. Developing a passion for painting and drawing films, he attended the California Institute of the Arts. As a student he made shorts, one of which is Stalk of the Celery Monster and would later attract the attention of Disney, scoring him an offer of being an animator’s apprentice.
There, he worked on his first short, Vincent, an award-winning, six minute black and white film paying homage to Burton’s childhood idol, and was narrated by none other than Vincent Price himself.
He made a few other short films, including his first live-action film, Frankenweenie. However, Disney fired him soon after, under the pretext that his films were too dark for children.
Not long after, Paul Reubens, having seen Frankenweenie, believed that Burton would be the right director for his first full-length feature film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. A surprise success, it shot Burton to instant popularity. His next big project, a supernatural comedy horror Beetlejuice, was a huge success, solidifying his name in Hollywood.
Warner Bros then entrusted him with Batman, but the production was plagued with problems, as he clashed with the film’s producers multiple times. However, the film went on to be the one of the biggest box office hits of all time.
Later on, he would later countless other films, some of which he would later be known for, such as Edward Scissorhands, casting Johnny Depp and Vincent Price, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, a box office success that brought back stop motion.
Although his dark, striking style was what separated him from the rest, it also caused him many problems in his careers and the companies he worked with. Despite that, he continued with what he wanted to do, becoming who he is today.
Chen Yu Yang