"Tim has this uncanny sense of what is right and what isn’t. The film lives or dies through him. He sees the scene with a painter’s eye. Everything he does, including directing the performance, is for him like an artist painting a picture. The only difference being that his picture is moving."
"An art historian by education, and an art collector since childhood, my father’s particular passion was for drawings, because he felt they captured the process of the artist, the heart and soul of an artist, in a way that paintings never can. My father absolutely loved Tim’s expressionistic and quirky line drawings. He felt that Tim harkened back to some of his favourite artists, such as Goya, Max Beckmann, Heinrich Kley, William Brice and Howard Warshaw. He loved seeing the drawings for each of Tim’s projects, and discussing them with him. he took immense pleasure and pride in Tim’s success as a filmmaker, but respected him most for being a true artist."
I will never forget the first time I met Tim Burton. It was in what seemed like a wating room, in one of those great big buildings that loom over Hollywood sound stages. I walked in and I saw this guy standing in the corner, his hands shoved deep in his pockets, as if digging for something that wasn’t there. He and I were dressed the same - black, of course - both of us with black, tangled hair strategically placed to hide behind. We nodded, said “Hello,” and instatly struck up a conversation. I figured he was someone from the art department, maybe there to show the director a sketch or cool model he’d done. I was very comfortable talking with him, which was rare for me at 14. I was shy and quiet then, and even more nervous on auditions. It began to feel more like I was at someone’s apartment, and I was just hanging out with this really interesting guy. The kind of guy I’d want to hang out with and listen to music with and talk to about Edward Gorey and obscure old movies. It didn’t register that he could be a ‘movie person’ with the way I pictured them at that age. He looked as out of place as I did, and he was, well… just too cool. So when I finally realised I’m probably in the wrong building, and that I probably missed my ‘Beetlejuice’ audition, I asked if he knew where this ‘Tim Burton guy’s office’ was.’ He looked at me, shrugged, and said, ‘Yeah, hey, how ya doin?’ I spent the next five minutes wondering if he either was putting me on or maybe just misunderstood the question. Then it dawned on me that the last 45 minutes WAS the meeting. It may have been a blessing in disguise. He asked me if I wanted to be in the movie, and I asked if he wanted me to read, and he just shrugged and said, “Nah. It’s cool,’ and that was that.
I often think about that day, and why I remember it with such clarity. When you come from a place of feeling alienated and misunderstood, weather at school or just in life, you have to kind of make a decision. You can delve into it and have a deep sense of lonliness or you can try and embrace it, and even celebrate it. You’re special!! Unique!! Let the outsiders unite!! I was certainly in the throes of all that teen angst. In meeting and becomine friends with Tim, I felt that rare, unspoken bond that you feel when you connect with a fellow misfit. He makes you feel as if you have an ally, a kindred spirit. The rest of the world is the rule and it’s the misfits who are the exception, and there’s nothing wrong in being the exception.
I had the privelage to work with him on ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ and he remains a cherished friend. He still possesses the same character and spirit that first endeared me to him some 20-odd years ago. Although Tim is a quiet, soft-spoken guy, there is this excited, wondrous little boy who still roams around inside him. I like to call him ‘Dill’ because he used to joke that he looked just like the Finch’s neighbour ‘Dill’ in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ He showed me a picture once, and it’s uncanny. For me, that boy is like so many of the characters that he has created and brought to life: Vincent, Pee-Wee Herman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Batman, Edward Bloom, The Headless Horseman, and so on. I am both confident and grateful that ‘Dill’ will remain free to rove around that glorious kingdom that is the heart of Tim Burton. - Winona Ryder
— -Victoria Price
Author, ‘Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography
Mars Attacks! Concept Art, 1995-1996
“Tim’s world is an eclectic one. In ‘Mars Attacks!’ shapely femme fatales sit side by side with the darker martian villains. During his daily visits to our workshop, Tim would do his crazy little sketches of these alien invaders. The broad sweeps are more important than fussy detail. The real strength in Tim’s artwork is his appreciation of form with strong shapes and exaggerated proportions. Within a few seemingly simple pen lines, he creates bold silhouettes like the traingular outline of the Ambassador’s sweeping cape with its iconic collar or the hourglass outline of the Martian Girl. You would be mistaken for thinking that some of Tim’s rough sketches are rudimentary, loose or naive, for they hold vital information, demonstrate a great delicacy, sensitivity, consisten keen eye, and a stunning vision.” - Ian MacKinnon, MacKinnon & Saunders
Puppet Creator & Designer, ‘Mars Attacks!’
"Billy and Tim are completely on par with their sense of humor because it’s all poo-poo jokes. Billy is four, so it’s perfect. Tim is 49, Johnny Depp is 44, and all three share the same sense of humor. Billy may soon mature past them. Not may, will."
Hands Reaching Out, 1982
Pen & ink, marker, acrylic.
“Ancient summers ago when I was 12, I was attracted to the tales of macabre and the fantastic. I tried with all my might to read the delirious ramblings of Poe. Horror and suspense and the works of artists that promoted otherwordly events were intellectually fascinating and somehow often overlooked. Early in my career I saw Tim’s short film ‘Vincent’ and completely fell back to those early influential days of loving the genre. Vincent Price was someone unnatainable and larger than life, and here was a story about a bored young boy who wanted to be him. it is a genius piece of animation and storytelling. It was a secret gem of mine. I watched it on my old VHS player often. Then I worked with Tim on several projects, one of them ‘Edward Scissorhands.’ Vincent Price was in it, at 79 years of age, still larger than life and suddenly attainable.” - Shane Mahan, Art Department Coordinator, Stan Winston Studios, ‘Edward Scissorhands’
—Helena Bonham Carter
on Billy, Tim and Johnny sense of humor (via bellatrix-swag
"The short film was one of the first films I ever did at Disney so it has a special place. And the opportunity to do it in stop motion, black and white. It’s a personal project for me, so it makes it that much more special … When I had this art show in New York, I pulled out a lot of the old drawings and there was something about the drawings that made me want to try to revisit and capture the spirit of what the drawings were. And I just love stop-motion animation, so the combination of the things made it seem fresh and new to me and want to explore that medium."
“He obviously thinks my head’s too small in real life and he’s been dying to make it bigger for a long time” — Helena Bonham Carter [about Tim Burton making her the red queen]
"They’re all out of Tim’s imagination. He’s personally created them. He did the character designs, and they’ve been transferred directly from his drawings to sculpted puppets. Not since Nightmare Before Christmas has there been something which has spun so purely from the mind of Tim as this one."
—Tim talks at CinemaCon about why he decided to turn Frankenweenie
into a feature-length film (via burtonphile