13th August 2018

Tim Burton Film Essay Notes

Produce an essay of fluent and coherent writing which develops, sustains and structures ideas and commands attention.

Tim Burton has a very defined style as a director. Analyse how he uses visual and/or verbal features across two or more of his films to fulfil the common conventions of Gothic fiction.

Gothic conventions/ elements  are represented by film techniques

Gothic Conventions/ elementsFilm techniques
ForeshadowingMusic
Gothic Protagonist/ AntagonistLighting (chiaroscuro)
Tone/ Mood – (negative, uneasy and dark)Hair, makeup and costume
Elements of the supernatural –
( Sweeney’s barber abilities and the headless horseman)
The scene, props (mise en scene)
Gothic SettingCamera Shots

Sound, colour and symbolism

Three techniques, Music, lighting and colour

Read it aloud multiple times “us readers” – for the reader (don’t use ‘us’ EVER) poorly executed but good ideas established, need to proofread. Easily fixable errors could’ve been prevented by reading the work over, grammar and syntax. Don’t try to sound overly intelligent, be precise, concise, simple, personal and ensure to use the right terminology

Hamburger Essay

Introduction: Quote: Director, name general awards/ accolades and plot of both films, general desc. of 3 techniques and how they’re used in the two films

Body 1: Discuss 3 techniques used in Sweeney Todd, analyse Burton’s intentions of using that technique (detailed exp. why) and discuss how the audience feels as a result (impact)

Body 2: Repeat but with Sleepy Hollow

Body 3: Consider how the genre of gothic fiction is developed by the 3 techniques across both films in detail (music = foreshadowing, gothic protagonist = colour, lighting = setting)

Conclusion: Summarize essay and end with something thought provoking. At the end of Sweeney’s journey he lies on the train tracks and allows death to collect his 

“There’s a hole in the world like a great black pit, and it’s filled with people who are filled with shit and the vermin of the world inhabit it…but not for long.” 

TechniqueSweeney Todd
MusicSuspense
Foreshadowing
The juxtaposition of visuals + emotion & music
Suspense
Foreshadowing
The juxtaposition of visuals + emotion & music
LightingLow key lighting
Chiaroscuro (Sweeney’s barber shop and his face)
High key lighting flashback + fantasy
Low key lighting
Chiaroscuro (Killian family murders and Forest)
High key lighting in dreams + ending 
ColourMonochromatic colour palette
Flashbacks, bright colourful and contrasts with the rest of the film.
Monochromatic colour palette
Dreams and ending, bright colourful and contrasts with the rest of the film.

Respond now!

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