Friday, 23 January 2009

Influences part 8: Tim Burton

Tim Burton could have been included in yesterday's post, but his drawing style is, for me, the least influential component of his work.

I am not fond of The Nightmare Before Christmas as a film, but I really like the texture in the concept art and posters. Images like this particularly influenced the rough style in my graduation film. The DVD bonus features also introduced me to Burton's early works: Frankenweenie and Vincent.

Above is a Frankenweenie illustration in an interesting style similar to the other influential illustration work that I mentioned yesterday.

Vincent has a nice simple aesthetic, and I think the poem that narrates the short film is wonderful. I originally began writing the story for my graduation film as a poem (greatly influenced by Vincent), but my graduation film slowly developed away from the poem, and is now a completely different story.

Corpse Bride is one of my favourite 3D stopmotion films, and I greatly admire the perfectionism that the production strives for. I think it is a really beautiful piece of animation, and it is one of the few animations capable of contradicting my prejudices against CGI-style slickness in modern animation.
I greatly desired to produce my graduation film with 3D stopmotion because it is a technique that I am really interested in but have not had the chance to use. I would jump at the chance to work on a 3D stopmotion film: either to animate or to build the sets and props. Jess' graduation film, The Owl House, looked so-damn cool and I enjoyed watching her set coming together this time last year.
I wanted to try emulating Jess' achievements with my own film this year, but I was not going to use stopmotion if it was not best suited to the story of my film - as has now happened... So stopmotion will have to wait for another day.

I was really disappointed with Sweeney Todd, but I found a lot of really interesting stuff in the extensive DVD bonus features: most notably the etchings and vintage illustration-style animations used to visualize historical accounts of Sweeney Todd. The animation movements were lame AfterEffects kind of stuff, but the characters and backgrounds looked great, and would make a wonderful-looking film if they had better animation (it is reminiscent of Alison Cross' graduation film Tale Soup about book character illustrations coming to life - which I thought looked fantastic).

I've written this much without even mentioning Tim Burton's trademark Expressionist style... So I won't elaborate much more than to say that this gives all his films a stimulating and original visual environment - something that I would like to achieve with my own work.

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