Should Tim Burton be given the title 'auteur'?
The essays below were written by Year 8 students in Mrs Hewes' class at Davidson High School.
By Matt, Ben and Rhys
An auteur is a director who usually makes a certain type of film or gives their own type of spin on a film they are given. When a director is an auteur you can usually tell if they have directed a film because their style is so distinctive. Tim Burton has a very strong outlook on life and being brought up on B grade horror movies, he has ended up incorporating those styles into many of his movies with a slight twist. Some of the films that Tim Burton has used his creative outlook on are Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands, Vincent and a Nightmare Before Christmas these films definitely reveal him worthy of the title auteur because they all feature distinctive lighting, characters and music.
Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because most of his films feature distinctive music and sound that display his weird and quirky style. Tim Burton uses string instruments to unfold the idea of a creepy and eerie setting in which something bad might happen, this also contributes to the idea that a build up is occurring and a suspenseful moment is about to reach its peak. In Edward Scissorhands, when Peggy is approaching the dark and dreary castle there is that type of music playing giving us a sense of what the character is feeling and what may come next. In addition to this idea Tim Burton also uses mysterious music to portray a new character being introduced or a feeling of uncertainty. In the introduction of Vincent there is a recorder playing a tune that adds to that feeling of uncertainty you get from many of Tim Burton’s films. As well as this Tim Burton also uses a selection of upbeat music that consists of an orchestral band this contributes to the idea of something happy or romantic going on and is generally played before the main downfall and climax of the film. This idea is proven in A Nightmare Before Christmas where Halloween Town is preparing for Christmas and everyone is happy to explore the idea of Christmas and is having a good time this helps us to feel the joy of the characters as if it were our own. To sum it all up because of his use of distinctive music and sound, Tim Burton should be given the title auteur.
Furthermore, Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because his films frequently feature distinctive characters typically an outsider and a romantic. Burton uses costuming and makeup to reveal an outsider and that the central character usually thinks differently to people on the wider society. In Edward Scissorhands Edward’s costume is completely black and untidy which suggests that he is different. This is similar to Emily from Corpse Bride who wears a tattered wedding dress, separating her from the living. In addition Burton uses close up shots and happy music to imply that two characters have feelings for each other. In the Corpse Bride Emily and Victor are playing the piano and the close ups portray their happy faces and the happy and calm music indicates that they are enjoying each other’s company. In addition when Edward from Edward Scissorhands first sees Kim there is happy music and close ups, this shows that he has feelings for her. Due to his distinctive characters evident in all of his films, Tim Burton should be given the title auteur.
Finally, Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his distinctive lighting style that is used frequently in his films. He usually uses a mixture of low key lighting and high key lighting to create the illusion of two worlds. Tim Burton uses low key lighting to produce a dark and eerie feel. In Corpse Bride the world of the living is dark to show that everyone is serious. Also, in Edward Scissorhands, Edward’s castle is dark, gloomy and has dark shaded bricks, hedges and ornaments. Everyone is scared of Edward’s house because they don’t understand it. Tim Burton also uses high key lighting to reveal that a place, world or setting is happy and joyful and that no one has a worry. In Corpse Bride the world of the dead is really happy and full of joy and the dead can run around and sing in bars without a care. In Edward Scissorhands the main street is really colourful and the people don’t have a worry. Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his distinctive lighting style that is consistent throughout all of his films.
Tim Burton should definitely be given the title of auteur because of his distinctive style of film making that is very unique to him. Tim Burton uses distinctive dark characters, a mixture of high and low key lighting to create the illusion of two worlds in one and creepy and spooky music to represent his style in whole.
By Bec and Katie
Director, Tim Burton should be given the title auteur. Burton’s films feature distinctive characters including outsiders, villans and the romantic characters. Also Burton’s films convey a similar message to the audience often based on his own experiences. Finally Burton’s films have a very distinctive visual style that makes his films easily identifiable. Therefore, due to his characters, themes and visual style, Burton should be given the title of auteur.
Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his distinctive characters. Tim Burton creates characters that have a romantic attitude and this portrays the happiness and sadness in his movies. An example of this character is in A Nightmare Before Christmas with Sally who changed Jack. Also in Edward Scissorhands with Kim, Kim falls in love with Edward. Burton also uses a villain in his films. This illustrates the adventure in his movies. An example of this is in Edward Scissorhands with Jim. Jim makes the movie dramatic by sending Edward to rob his house. Another example is in A Nightmare Before Christmas with Oogey Bogey. Burton introduces an outsider in all of his movies. This represents a contrast in the good and bad. This is evident in Corpse Bride with Emily. She doesn’t fit in with everyone else. Also in Edward Scissorhands with Edward, Edward is different from everyone else in the community. In conclusion, Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because his characters have a distinctive style.
Another reason Burton should be given the title auteur is because of his original themes. Characterisation of the quirky yet loveable Edward in the gothic Romance, Edward Scissorhands reminds the viewers to value their individuality. This is evident in the scenes where Edward is expressing his artistic abilities such as cutting hedges or hair. Furthermore, the romantic ending of A Nightmare Before Christmas where Sally and Jack fall in love, despite their eccentricities, informs the viewer that being an individual will be rewarded in the end.
Director Burton should also be given the title auteur because of his distinctive visual style. Burton uses checker board floors to show the good and the bad in situations and characters. In the film Corpse Bride in Victoria’s house that she shares with her mother and father, the floors are covered in checker boards all though their house. Burton also uses dogs in many of his films. Burton’s beloved pet dog died when he was a child, resulting in them becoming a recurring motif in his films. In the film A Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington has a dead ghost dog called Zero and he acts like Jack’s conscience. Another feature of his distinctive visual style is the us of two worlds in many of his films. In many of the characters that Burton creates they usually have two worlds going on in their life, this affects the audience in a confusion or a mysterious emotion. In Edward Sissorhands Edward isn’t like other people, he has two very different worlds – the castle where he was made and the normal world of Peg’s house. Burton uses these specific techniques that makes us think hard about what’s happening in the particular films. His visual style reflects on his life in many of his films.
Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his distinctive quirky visual style, characters and themes. Reflecting on how Burton’s movies look alike and are easily identifiable but he creates his own characters and decides their personality. Burton himself admits to his own unique style, saying, “One person's craziness is another person's reality.”
By Susie and Zoey
An auteur is an artist or director who has created his or her own ranger of distinctive styles and design. Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because his movies feature distinctive characters, including romantics, bad guys, and outsiders. Also all of his movies display a similar message to the audience often based on his own personal experiences. Finally his films and art also feature very distinctive visual styles that make them easily identified as Tim Burton’s work. For these reasons, Burton deserves the title auteur.
Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his easily identifiable characters. Burton uses an array of different characters, for example, he almost always uses a romantic character to create a sense of romance. In Corpse Bride he uses Emily, because she took her second chance at love as soon as it came along, making Victor marry her so she could be free of the loneliness of a failed eloping. Burton uses a bad guy to make his films all different, and to make them more interesting, by using dark and scary music and low angle shots to make the bad guy more intimidating. This illustrates adventure, making movies interesting and mysterious. An example of this technique is Jim, in Edward Scissorhands, when he was lying to Kim because he didn’t want Edward being that close to Kim. He also uses an outsider to create a difference between characters, the main character is usually the outsider. This represents a difference between characters, something Burton felt very strongly as he was an outside while growing up. For example, In Edward Scissorhands, Edward was not accepted in the community at first, because he looked a little different to everyone else, but once people saw how nice and gentle he was, they started accepting him, but he was always misunderstood.
Tim Burton includes very distinctive visual styles, including using repetition to show similarity between scenes. In Edward Scissorhands, he uses checkerboards to show the time period, for example, inside the hairdressers, the floor is black and white checkerboards. In Corpse Bride, he uses darkness for the living world, London, because it is almost always dark and foggy. He then uses light for the dead world, to show that everyone is happy and cheerful, everyone is singing and dancing. In Edward Scissorhands, the contrast between worlds, the castle Edward spent his life in, and the neighbourhood.
Tim Burton should also be given the title auteur because he has created films and art that include very distinctive themes. Burton has shown themes and hidden messages all throughout his movies. His first theme that is represented throughout his films is “love conquers all” it creates a sense of romance and adventure, as shown in Edward Scissorhands Edward and Kim fall in love despite what everyone else says and thinks, they love each other even though they don’t have a single thing in common. Another theme that is continually exposed is “It is okay to be different” it tells us that people shouldn’t worry about anyone else’s opinion if your happy that’s all that matters. When Edward first arrived in the neighbourhood everyone immediately started judging him without a second thought because of the way he appeared, just because he didn’t dress or act the way everyone was so used to. Burtons final theme is “change is definitely good” suggesting that it is okay to change if it feels right. We change all throughout our life, to please people and to fit it. As displayed in Corpse Bride Victor was getting forced to get married to a girl he hadn’t met, the first time Victor met Victoria he knew from that moment on he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Tim Burton should be given the auteur because his themes in the movies he has produced have all displayed similar unique themes, all of his movies have a message that needs to be spread across the audience.
Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because his movies feature distinctive characters including, romantics, bad guys and outsiders. Also, all his movies display a similar message and theme often based on his own personal experiences. Finally his films and artwork also feature very distinctive visual style that has become easily identified to be Tim Burton’s work. As Tim Burton once said about his style “don’t worry about the way you should draw, just draw it the way you see it”.
By Elise and Emma
The definition of an auteur is a filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp. Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his creepy characters, similar plot-lines and unique visual styles and costumes.
Firstly in many of Tim Burton’s films there are characters that are outsiders and freaks. These characters wear unusual costuming and possess strange personalities, evidence in Edward Scissorhands is where Edward is shown to be different through his leather black suit and scissors for hands. This reveals him as different from the people that have normal colourful clothes. In A Nightmare before Christmas the shy and loving character named Sally who is known as the outsider seems normal to us but in the Halloween world of A Nightmare before Christmas she is really quite different. Her kind and happy personality is what makes her an outsider.
Secondly, the plots in a few of Tim Burton’s films are very similar. Typically his narratives involve an outsider who fails to be accepted but ultimately falls in love with someone who accepts him/her. An example of this is in A Nightmare before Christmas where Sally is different to everyone in Halloween Town because she doesn’t find enjoyment in scaring people but when Jack wants to do something different than scaring people she thinks that he might be able to accept her for who she is. In Edward Scissorhands, Edward finds himself different in the neighbourhood because of his scissor hands and his black suit and can’t be accepted by anyone but when he gets to know Kim she accepts him when everyone else can’t. Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of the plot and how they expose similar storylines that show that everyone will find someone who accepts them.
Finally, the visual styles and costumes of the movie characters and where the movie takes place in all movies by Tim Burton are extremely alike. This indicates Burton’s style and the dark colours and gloomy characters stand out from everything else. Some evidence for Burton’s visual styles and costumes is that in the two worlds in Edward Scissorhands, Edward’s dark and gloomy mansion is actually safer than in suburbia with people judging him. In addition, in A Nightmare before Christmas Jack is used to the scary, dark world of Halloween Town and when he visits Christmas Town it is covered in snow, lights and bright colours. This links back to how Tim Burton should be an auteur because his visual style in movies illustrates completely different worlds that you compare to each other.
In conclusion, Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of the way his characters, plot and visual styles in A Nightmare before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands are unique to his style and he has put his quirky stamp on all of his movies. As Burton says, “One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.”
By Reece, Henry and Alex
An auteur is a filmmaker who stamps their personal elements of film into each of their movies. Tim Burton is an American film director with a weird style of film, these styles are creepy, sub-romantic and gothic. The main distinctive elements are visual style, characters and themes. The characters of Burton include scary, spooky individuals that feature the outsider and the romantic, well known across his movies. In all his movies, a message is conveyed in a similar style often involving Tim’s personal experiences. Finally, Burton’s films have a well known visual style that is easily identifiable. Due to this Tim Burton should be known as auteur and his visual style, characters and themes are undeniably distinctive.
There are sections of dark and there are sections where there is happiness and joy in Burton’s movies. For example when Santa escapes out of Oogie Boogie’s hole in A Nightmare Before Christmas and begins delivering presents to the children everything lights up and it feels like everything is good again. Bad things happen in all of Tim Burton’s movies and that’s just his style. He had a dark childhood so he reflects that through his movies. In most of his movies there is a dead dog representing that a dog that he loved and cared about died when he was young. The dark colours represent that he was an outsider and that he was the unpopular or the one with not many friends. All of these similarities relate back to his other movies such as Edward Scissorhands when Edward in know as the outsider and the person that everybody looks at in a strange way.
Charactersiation of the outsider often drives the plot of Burton’s films, evident in the quirky, romantic film Edward Scissorhands. Typically the outsider creates friction at the climax, such as when Edward is chased from the town because people fear him. Setting of a graveyard reveals Jack to be an outsider in A Nightmare Before Christmas as he is isolated and singing about being misunderstood. Another character type is ‘the romantic.’ The romantic is evident with Sally from A Nightmare Before Christmas is watching Jack, she also does romantic things for Jack throughout the movie. In comparison with this is Joyce from Edward Scissorhands as she tries to win Edward, the outsider over with small romantic things.
Many people would agree that Tim Burton should definitely be given the title of an auteur because of all of the movies and short movies he has created that are all very similar. They all have the same characteristics and most of them are in that weird and strange animation that makes them easily recognised that it is a Tim Burton movie. He has a wide variety of movies but they all convey the same message about his childhood and that’s why Tim Burton should be hold the title Auteur.
By Barr, Josh and Nathan
Director Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of the various movies he has made that are very similar in style, like Edward Scissorhands and A Nightmare Before Christmas. An auteur is a director who influences the whole film in their own personal style. In his films he uses techniques such as his dark characters, spooky themes and his unusual visual style. The techniques he uses all have the same effect on the films he has made.
Burton’s technique, characters, is used in all his movies, he has many such as, the outsider, the feared and the romantic. The effects of the characters are very different to one another, like the outsider’s effect creates a sad emotion, a feeling of helping, or the feared effect, it tells us we cannot trust him/her, unlike the romantic we feel that they will never have true love but in the end they may. An example of an outsider is Jack in The Nightmare Before Christmas he has a dream and has different ideas than the rest of the people in Halloween Town or Edward from Edward Scissorhands he is very different from the rest of the people in his town. A feared character in A Nightmare Before Christmas is Oogy Boogy (Bogey man) he hides in captivity from the rest of the town. A romantic type in Edward Scissorhands is Kim she is surprised about Edward but in the end falls in love with him.
Tim Burton also uses the techniques themes. His themes are different from the rest of the artists and he has a collection of films with the same characteristics. Some of his characteristics involve dark and light worlds. These are different from the other artists because he is the only director who uses this particular style. These themes effect how we look at the film, an example of this would be in A Nightmare Before Christmas there are two worlds Halloween Town and Christmas Town. Another example is in Edward Scissorhands with the dark gloomy tower and the plain dull town. The message of the films is that you should accept people from anywhere no matter who they are.
Finally Burton’s films have a distinctive visual style. Tim Burton’s visual style is weird. His films tend to have dark, sad and lonely looks for example in a Nightmare Before Christmas the Oogy Boogy man has a lot of these features. You can tell that it is Burton’s work because of his drawing style and his character design. For example Jack Skellington is similar to Edward Scissorhands. They both feel like they don’t fit in and they both look weird. The visual style of the backgrounds in Burton’s films changes depending on what is happening in the film at the time. For example in Halloween Town it’s all dark and gloomy but in Christmas Town it’s very light and happy. This effect controls what we feel at the time. Usually the visual styles for the characters are weird and they don’t fit in with everyone else like Edward Scissorhands and Jack Skellington. In Edward Scissorhands at the start of the film he is all alone up in his house then he gets found by Peggy. Peggy makes him feel like he fits in but then he is hated again towards the end of the film. In conclusion to his visual style Burton’s work is distinctive due to his character design, his backgrounds and his theme.
Therefore, due to the individuality of his characters, themes and visual style Burton should be given the title auteur.
By Andrea and Tim
An auteur is a film maker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp. Director Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because his films are distinctive and portray a similar message on each film, usually from his childhood experiences. His visual style also never changes, such as the inclusion of chequered floors. Finally, Tim Burton also has his very own distinctive types of characters that are featured in most of his films. Hence, given his characters, themes and visual style, Burton should be given the title auteur.
Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his distinctive range of characters. Burton uses characters in scary clothing, with pale skin and frizzy hair for his main collection of artworks to reveal the inner fear of the character. An example of this is Edward Scissorhands Edward is an automaton, discovered by a very friendly Avon lady. He wears very dark clothing, has pale skin and black frizzy hair. Similarly, in Vincent the protagonist Vincent is a small boy, at the age of seven. He is very dark and is much tormented in his mind. Burton also often categorises his characters into, the outsider (Edward Scissorhands), the romantic (Sally in A Nightmare Before Christmas) and the bad guy (Jim in Edward Scissorhands). It makes the audience feel sorry for the characters and wish that it would all be better at the end. None of Tim Burton’s artworks are seen elsewhere, each is distinctive like Edward Scissorhands, and he never fit in.
Tim Burton should also be given the title auteur for his unique themes. Burton’s themes make his films very sad, scary, dark and gloomy. Burton makes his costuming dark and weird; his costumes are contrasting to make his costuming in his unique style. He uses the contrast between high and low key lighting. Burton tends to represent two worlds in his films to separate the good and bad. In Nightmare Before Christmas he designs two worlds one for Halloween and one for Christmas, this shows the good and bad. In Corpse Bride he shows sadness, fear and darkness when Emily lets Victor marry the one he loves, he shows darkness and fear when Victor is walking in the dark and gloomy forest and then he gets pulled under the ground and witnesses skeletons and zombies. Therefore, Burton’s films show that he uses sadness, fear and darkness. He uses his lighting, costumes and characters to fit in with his unique themes.
Tim Burton should be given the title auteur because of his own styles of characters, visual techniques and themes in the films of Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas and Vincent.
By Heather and Maya
An auteur is a film director who influences their films so much that they rank as their author. Director Tim Burton should be given the title of auteur. Burton has a visual style which is identifiable by the use of two worlds, dogs and chequerboard. In Burton’s film he has distinctive characters which include outsiders, bad guys and strange characters. Also Burton's plot is usually about an outsider trying to fit in. Therefore due to his distinctive visual style, characters and plot, Tim Burton should be given the title of auteur.
Director Tim Burton should be given the name ‘auteur’ because of his use of distinctive Visual styles which include the use of two worlds, dogs and chequerboards. In a Nightmare before Christmas, Burton uses colours that are bright and cheerful to represent Christmas Town. On the other hand he uses dark and gloomy colours to portray Halloween Town. Also in Edward Scissorhands Edward’s home is dark and gloomy and the town bright and cheerful. This reveals they are significantly different towns. Also another recurring visual element is the inclusion of dogs. In A Nightmare before Christmas Jack Skelington has a dead dog called Zero but in Edward Scissorhands the dogs are not dead, Edward just cuts the town’s dogs hair. This represents that Tim was lonely as a child and he only had a dog as a companion. Finally, chequerboard floors are used in all of Burton’s films to represent that some of the characters don’t fit in to the real world so they live in their own world. In A Nightmare Before Christmas Sally lives in an insecure world with a mad scientist and the floors of the lab are chequered. Also seen in Edward Scissorhands there are chequerboard floors in Edward’s mansion. It has been shown that Burton’s films are united by a very distinctive visual style.
Furthermore, Tim Burton should be given the tile of auteur because of his use of distinctive characters across all of his films which contain outsiders, bad guys and strange characters. Burton uses an outsider as his main character which is seen in Edward Scissorhands, where Edward is the outsider having scissors as hands and wearing a black, leather suit which creates the contrast between the town and with that, it makes the viewer think that Edward is an outsider and is different from everybody. Also a bad guy is evident in A Nightmare before Christmas which is the boogie man because of the way he treats Santa Claus by hanging him up on a hook and tying his hands together. This makes the viewer think that the boogie man is evil. Another character that Burton uses is the strange character which is shown in Edward Scissorhands where Esmeralda tells the other women in the town to beware of Edward and that he is dangerous. This makes the viewer think that Esmeralda is weird and creepy.
Finally, the plot is very similar in Tim Burton’s film, Edward Scissorhands and A Nightmare before Christmas where there is an outsider who finds it hard to fit in society but eventually falls in love. Also another similarity is that all of the films have used different sounds to represent different actions of the characters such as the snipping sounds to represent that Edward has scissors on his hands because he has no real hands and in A Nightmare before Christmas whenever Jack Skelington came on there was always a song.
Tim Burton should be given the name ‘auteur’ because of his techniques that he uses to represent different things. All these features represent a Burton film and his films are the same in a different way.