Tim Burton Discusses Death In Children's Movies And The Value Of Restrictions

By Eric Eisenberg 2012-10-03 20:35:39discussion comments
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It is interesting, because the film does deal with the ideal of misunderstandings based on superficially based judgments…

And it’s always been happening that way. Superficial judgments are the most boring, but they’ve been around since I was a child and they’re around today and, like I said, it seems to get stronger that way and everything else kind of spins out of control. So it is a weird dynamic for sure.

I wanted to ask you about your career also, because at the start of your career you were met with your fair share of rejection and we’re now two years removed from what is not only the biggest hit of your career in terms of box office numbers, but one of the few films to make more than a billion dollars internationally. I’m curious from your point of view, if the way you make films has changed as you’ve seen more success, and if you think there’s still value in limitations and people saying no.

Well, if you ask anybody if they have $200 million to make a film it’s not quite enough. If you have $1 million it’s not enough. Everyone from the full spectrum…because there are limitations and you’d be making a huge budget movie and still feel like you’re screwed, that you don’t have enough money. But I was lucky in a way because early on in my career I had a couple of successes, and I thought, “Ooh, this is going to be easier now. I can do whatever I want,” from Pee Wee to Beetlejuice to Batman and I thought, “Well, I’ve been lucky! So now I’m going to do Edward Scissorhands.” And it was like the hardest movie to get made, and it was lower budget. And it created its own weird dynamic because people thought all I did was create big Hollywood movies. I couldn’t get locations because they were too expensive and this and that because they thought you were doing a big Hollywood movie.

So I found that, actually, each project…and there have been projects even lately where I’ve worked for six months on it and they cancelled them. It does still happen and it actually made me feel more evened out to realize that you know what, each project…and I feel bad for people that think, that come up to me and they go, “You can do anything you want.” You can’t really, and that’s okay. You should have those kind of challenges and restrictions. That’s the nature of film and I think that that’s actually not a negative thing.
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