Tim Burton

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Tim Burton

Tim Burton (born August 25, 1958 in Burbank, California) is an eccentric film director known for his off-beat and quirky style. He started his career as a Disney animator and all his films portray a very stylized reality. Many of his films draw on gothic themes.

He was born Timothy William Burton, the first of two sons to Bill and Jean Burton. As a child, Burton described himself as quirky, self-absorbed and highly imaginative. He found home life and school difficult and he escaped the reality of everyday life by watching horror films. He was obsessed with the films of Vincent Price, especially the films based on Edgar Allan Poe tales.

Following high school, he won a Disney fellowship to attend the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. He studied animation for three years and was then hired by the Walt Disney Studios as an animator apprentice. He shared a cubicle with Andreas Deja In 1982, Burton made his first short film, Vincent, a six-minute film about a young boy who wants to be Vincent Price. This was followed by the live-action short Frankenweenie,which was deemed unsuitable for children for some reason and attracted the attention of actor Paul Reubens (better known as Pee-Wee Herman) who was looking for a director for his project Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985). The film was made on a budget of $7 million but made more than $40 million at the box office.

Burton's second major film was Beetlejuice (1988) which made $80 million and won an Academy Award for makeup. Burton's ability to produce hits with low budgets impressed studio executives and he received his first big budget film Batman (1989). He has gone on to direct such imaginative films as Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999) and Big Fish (2003).

He also co-wrote and produced, but did not actually direct, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), while working solely as producer for Batman Forever (1995).

He has worked with composer Danny Elfman on every one of his films since Pee-wee's Big Adventure, except Ed Wood, which featured the noted composer Howard Shore.

In addition to his film work, he has also written a book titled The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy: and Other Stories.



He was married to German artist Lena Gieseke from 1989 to 1991.

He was engaged to actress Lisa Marie from 1992 to 2001.

He has been engaged to the British actress Helena Bonham Carter since 2001, with whom he has a son, Billy-Ray (born October 4 2003).


A few of his trademarks:

  • Frequently shows dead dogs, clowns and scarecrows in his films.
  • Personalizes the production logo in the beginning of his films.
  • Opening credits usually utilize a tracking shot.
  • Often casts Johnny Depp.
  • The first film he worked on was Ralph Bakshi's adaption of the Lord of the Rings, though he was uncredited for unknown reasons.


His directorial credits include:

External links

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