Burton's Use Of Cinematic Techniques In Edward Scissorhands

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Well-respected, director Tim Burton has always been credited for the uniqueness of his many films. He has directed, produced, and written many classic films in his life, and there is no doubt he will make any more. Often influenced by Edgar Allen Poe, Dr. Seuss, and Vincent Price, Burton’s films are regularly remakes of well-known tales, reimagined as twisted with dark spins. His films Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Edward Scissorhands all demonstrate how one of a kind his screenplays are. Though Burton uses many meaningful cinematic techniques across these films, his use of lighting stands out. Within his films Tim Burton regularly incorporates the use of lighting in order to manipulate the audience 's perspective…show more content…
Though it may not seem pertinent to the plot at first, the opening scene of elderly Kim talking to her grandchild gives those watching the film a feeling that Kim is very sad about the story she is about to tell. The low-key lighting in the house makes the scene feel dismal, hinting to the audience that the story will be disheartening as well. In the town in which Kim, Peg, and many other characters reside, the high-key lighting looks welcoming compared to the low-key mansion on the hill above it. Burton makes a statement by using this lighting as so. By juxtaposing the low-key and high-key lighting, Burton is saying it is going to be hard for Edward to find his place within the harmony and uniformity of the suburbs. Giving the audience the sense that it is foreshadowing that later on we find him perceived as a dangerous outsider. As the camera glides across the trail up to the mansion grounds the lighting goes from low-key to high-key. Burton does this to symbolize the mansion as the town’s impression of Edward. The mansion from a distance looks loathsome, while up close it is not as damnable as it is depicted. This gives the audience a sense of compassion for Edward. The people in the town believe he is something he is not, because of his complexion, even though his intentions may be innocent. Some people may have been put in…show more content…
The film has many lighting techniques to create moods for a variety of different scenes. For instance, Tim Burton uses clashing of high and low-key lighting in the mad hatter’s flashback. In the time before the Red Queen ruled, everything was high-key leading to the audience believing it was happy and joyous. Then while the White Queen is being overthrown there is a confrontation of low-key and high-key lighting, leading the viewers to believe that the optimism was disappearing for the Mad Hatter and all the other creatures in Wonderland. Alice was trapped in the courtyard with nowhere to run until The Bandersnatch rescued her and whisked her away. The Bandersnatch, which before had bottom and side lighting around it when Alice was first attacked by it, but in this scene it appears to have front and back lighting surrounding it. The change of lighting prompts the idea that the Bandersnatch has shifted into his inner good nature that had been previously been taken by the Red Queen. The scene directly after, Alice hops onto the Bandersnatch’s back and rides off through the gates. As the camera follows them out of the gates the audience witnesses that on one side of the gates there is low-key lighting and on the side they are heading to there is prominently high-key lighting. Burton tries to send a message to the spectator that the high-key
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