Tim Burton's Unique Style: Special Effects, Sound, Lighting, Camera

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Tim Burton is renowned for his renditions of classic tales and new, original pieces. Throughout all these award-winning films, Burton utilizes techniques such as lighting, special effects, sound, and camera angles to entice his viewers. Although the techniques’ purposes are to entice the audience, they are also what molds his distinctive, gothic esque style, which can be seen in his all of his films, ranging from Edward Scissorhands, a melancholic and thought provoking film, to Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure, a light hearted and comedic film.

To put it simply, the techniques used by Burton are what makes his works truly his, whether it be through special effects, sound, lighting, or camera angles, he ensures that he expresses himself and provides depth to his films, thus allowing the viewer to recognize his unique, gothic esque style. Burton utilizes special effects, an editing technique done post filming to illustrate a designated effect, in his films, but they are not as obvious as those seen in films directed by people who use flashy effects, such as Steven Spielberg.

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In contrast to Spielberg’s flashy effects, Burton focuses on highly impactful effects. For example, in Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure, a film he directed in the 1990s, a fading effect connotes when the main character, Pee-Wee, awakes from a dream. This fading effect was blatantly obvious so that viewers could clearly understand what is going on. Although it helps viewers understand the circumstances of the film, the main reason he uses a bold special effect is Or, in almost all of his films, flashbacks have a tendency to be hazy, or blurred a little, such as those in Big Fish and portions of his other works.

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The use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound is used by many directors, these directors often use non-diegetic sounds to notify the audience of danger for the character or of a triumphant victory, both of which are used in Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure; the sounds of triumph during his dream of winning a race and the horror film esque music when he discovers his bike has been stolen. In Edward Scissorhands, there is mysterious angelic playing during the establishing shot, then as it cuts to the scene with the grandmother the music sounds more like an angelic choir. For diegetic sound, Burton uses alarms, birds chirping, the sound of a car revving, and other more natural sounds.

Another director’s tool to give life to his film is lighting, this affects how the audience views a certain character. An ideal example would be Charlie’s house in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Due to their status, Charlie’s family cannot afford many things that aren’t entirely necessary, so their house is mainly lit by a fireplace, which leaves the effect of a natural, low key lighting. In addition, many shots at night, specifically of the factory, are shot with low key lighting to make the factory appear foreboding, even dangerous in a sense. In one of his most famous works, Edward Scissorhands, both low key and high key lighting are used frequently. For high key lighting, you simply must look around the neighborhood, which was made to be obnoxiously bright to illustrate its false perfection. Low key lighting could be seen when Peg, the mother of Kim, first meets Edward, whom had been hiding in a corner of the building.

Whether it be a high angle shot of Edward from Edward Scissorhands to make him appear meek and gentle, or a low angle of the mansion he lives in that makes it seem imposing. Whether it be highlighting to make Pee-Wee’s neighborhood from Pee-Wee’ Herman’s Big Adventure to make it seem perky and happy, or of low lighting on a deserted road to make it appear dangerous. In conclusion, Tim Burton uses a wide range of techniques including camera angles, special effects, and sound to connect the audience to his film.

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Tim Burton's Unique Style: Special Effects, Sound, Lighting, Camera. (2023, Feb 22). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/tim-burton-s-distinctive-use-of-special-effects-sound-lighting-and-camera-angles-essay

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