Essay Sample on Tim Burton: Cinematic Auteur of Visual & Audio Elements

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  969 Words
Date:  2022-12-28


Auteur theory of cinematography views the director the production has the significant creator of force in a film. The auteur theory was derived majorly from the notion of the camera -pen grips that the director who superintends all the visual and audio features of pictures is more taken as the author of the movie rather than the writer of the screenplay (Andrew, 15).The paper will tackle Tim Burton as the director of films. The paper will discuss the critical visual elements such as blocking, lighting, the length of a scene, placement of camera somewhat line of plot and bear of the message of the movie.

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Tim Burton is exceptionally talented as a writer, director, animator, and artist. His skills have enabled him to produce famous and remarkable films like Edward Scissorhands, Charlie, and the Chocolate Factory and many more (Alison). Burton is mostly quoted as impermeable evidence of the principle of auteur which suggests that one being is the driving force behind the content, treatment, and style of a movie. Although some critics may deny the existence of the auteur theory, Burton's overwhelming use of the persistent stylistic subjects in the mise-en-scene features character quirks, clearity of cinematography and credibility to the approach on the auteur.

The most prominent literary theme in Burton's movies is the usage of mise-en-scene. Tim uses different colors which contrast in his films. This is evident in the following films. First, in Edward Scissorhands, he portrays the mansion of Edward using unspectacular lighting and colors which are grayscale whereas the town of Suburban town is showed using vibrant pastels. In Charlie film and Chocolate Factory, the director shows the Charlie bucket household in same colors which are grayscale hitherto the factory of Wonka is full of imaginative and cheerful colors.

The costumes that burton used are also portrayed using similar themes which are goth-styled .in many costumes Tim use black and white dresses. Edward Scissorhands chief clothing was a boiler suit which was black, and it differed with his pale face. Charlie and Chocolate Factory films also have a particular pattern in socks and sheaths of Oompa Loompa and even the Wonka's staff topper.

The above mentioned costumes worked together to bring out the themes of occult, religion and gothic (Edwin,15 ).In Edward Scissorhands the character, Esmeralda is shown as very religious and this evident in the kind of decorations which are found in her house together with the accusation she made on Edward after he arrived that which she said was satanic. Chocolate Factory and Charlie, the director, uses his gothic stripes made of black and white, and they appear in the wardrobe.

The black and white costumes also portray wealth and poverty as a theme. Veruca Salt in Chocolate Factory and Charlie had a lot of wealth which spoilt him, but the family of Charlie Bucket lived in extreme poverty. Similarly, Edward in Edward Scissorhands movie stayed in a big mansion while the people who were below him lived in suburbia. This difference in classes is very evident in Burton's films. The films of Burton are mostly opened with a spectacular way which is accompanied by blazes of acts of machinery (Dickinson, 220). Burtons also uses imaginative devices as a story's background, and they include mechanical apparatus and gadgets which are involved. Shots which are long are also used in the starting of the films to create the town's context.

Another evidence of the auteur theory in the films by Burtons is that he mostly partners with similar film professionals and actors he does not change every other time. For instance, Johnny Depp is the main actor in the most renowned three movies. Burton's technique of recycling actors is very prominent in other films. He is known to partner with actors like Michael Keaton, Helena Carter, Vincent Prince, and Winona Ryder. Through forming a continuous relationship with his actors, he has the potential to integrate and communicate his dreams and exclusive styles in every movie.

The principal character of the three films has something familiar; he is a genius and has a quirky personality. For instance, Edward Scissorhands cuts his hair like a professor who is seasoned and carves implausible landscapes, yet he does not sit properly in his society. Another example is when Wonka socially uncooperative and speaks to a crowd using directory cards, and yet in his chocolate empire, he is a genius when it comes to manufacturing and in business. In coming up with the background of the characters he uses the same technique of editing.

The director uses the technique to show parental disasters which results in a quirky personality. Edward in Edward Scissorhands observed the passing away of his creator, and this led to his quirky personality. In Charlie and Chocolate Factory the editing of flashback shows that Wonka had a haughty father who did not entertain the use of junky foods and was very strict on that.


To conclude Tim Burton's unique talent as a director of films has brought out the issue of unmistakable and irresistible influence. Burtons has intensively used elements of stylistics like gothic appeal and colors which are contrasting and they can be easily noticed by the fans. His style is marked by the use of themes like wealth and religion. The characters in the films by Burton have a unique character of being brilliant and quirk, and they depend on family actors. All these styles combine to make the films of Burtons apply auteur theory.

Work Cited

Dickinson, Greg. "The Pleasantville effect: Nostalgia and the visual framing of (white) suburbia." Western Journal of Communication 70.3 (2006): 212-233.

McMahan, Alison. The films of Tim Burton: animating live action in contemporary Hollywood. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2005.

Page, Edwin. Gothic Fantasy: The Films of Tim Burton. Marion Boyars, 2007.

Sarris, Andrew. "Notes on the'Auteur'Theory in 1962." Kwartalnik Filmowy 59 (2007): 6-17.

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