• Tim Burton

Timothy William “Tim” Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an American film director, producer, writer and artist. Since directing his first feature, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, in 1985, he has gone on to direct and produce numerous films, many of which have won Academy Awards. He is famed for his dark and quirky-themed films, such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and for his blockbusters, including Batman, Batman Returns, Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He frequently works with close friend Johnny Depp, musician Danny Elfman and partner Helena Bonham Carter.

Burton’s most recent film was 2007’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. His most recent production is the Shane Acker animated sci-fi fantasy 9, a co-production with Timur Bekmambetov. His next film Alice in Wonderland is due for release March 5, 2010.

Burton grew up in Burbank, California, the son of Jean, a shop manager, and Bill Burton, a parks department sports coordinator and minor league baseball player.[1] Burton attended Burbank High School. After graduating he attended the California Institute of the Arts.

Early career (1980s)

In 1982, Burton made his first short, Vincent, a 5:52 black and white stop motion film based around a poem written by Burton, and depicting a young boy who fantasizes that he is his (and Burton’s) screen idol Vincent Price, with Price himself providing narration. The film was produced by Burton’s girlfriend at the time, who was an executive at Disney. During production, Burton maintained an office at The Disney Studios. The two co-authored a screenplay titled “True Love”. The film was shown at the Chicago Film Festival and released, alongside the teen drama Tex, for two weeks in one Los Angeles cinema. Burton later abruptly ended his relationship with his producer-partner-girlfriend. This was followed by Burton’s first live-action production Hansel and Gretel, a Japanese themed adaptation of Grimm‘s tale for The Disney Channel, which climaxes in a kung-fu fight between Hansel and Gretel and the witch. Having aired once at 10:30pm on Halloween 1983 and promptly shelved, prints of the film are extremely difficult to locate, which contributes to the rumor that this project does not exist. Next was the live-action short Frankenweenie, starring Barret Oliver, Daniel Stern and Shelley Duvall (an early supporter of Burton’s work).

Although Burton’s work had yet to see wide release, he began to attract the attention of the film industry. Producer Griffin Dunne approached Burton to direct After Hours (1985), a comedy about a bored word processor who survives a crazy night in SoHo, which had been passed over by Martin Scorsese. However, when financing for The Last Temptation of Christ fell through, Burton bowed out of the project out of respect for Scorsese.



Main article: Beetlejuice

After directing episodes for the revitalized TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Shelley Duvall‘s Faerie Tale Theatre, Burton received his next big project: Beetlejuice (1988), a supernatural comedy horror about a young couple forced to cope with life after death, as well as a family of pretentious yuppies invading their treasured New England home including their teenage daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) whose obsession with death allows her to see them. Starring Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, and featuring Michael Keaton as the obnoxious bio-exorcist “Betelgeuse”, the film grossed $80 million on a relatively low budget and won a Best Makeup Design Oscar. It would be converted into a cartoon of the same name, with Burton playing a role as executive producer, that would run for four seasons on ABC and later Fox