Tim Burton

Televisual interview: Playing The Title Role

Televisual

We are delighted to be featured in this months (September) issue of Televisual.

For those of you that cannot get a copy of the magazine, here below is the full interview given by Editor Jon Creamer:

Q: At what stage of the film’s life do you get involved in a project?

A:The lead times we have can vary immensely, sometimes we have to turn projects around very quickly and sometimes we are involved very early on. Since we've been in this business more than 30 years, our clients know we can offer more than opening and closing sequences, for example - sometimes we are called upon to offer consultancy for clients to make recommendations about the structure of their films and series before they are finalized, to help them with keeping the momentum and engagement of the audience throughout the feature.

Q: How are you briefed? And who are you briefed by?

A: That has two answers firstly we have repeat clients like Tim Burton and Stephen Frears who come straight to us on a non-competitive basis. Then there is the first time directors or producers, who we like to chat and share our joint passions in film, TV and life in general. This gives us all a good start and helps build trust from the outset, and luckily we are all still in a people driven business. Also on both cases we like to read the script. Second meetings and briefings could well involve the executives from the studio like Warner Bros. or TV Channel etc.

Q: Are you able to see the finished film before you begin?

A: Yes we would see rough-cut scenes and then followed by a first assembly of the entire movie, which normally is over length and these days with large patches of ‘green screen’, sometimes along with temp music as well.

Q: What informs the concept you come up with?

A: Looking at the under belly of the movie firstly. By which I mean not the visual scenes but more the rhythm, pace, emotions and tone etc. Then it is possible to project a symbolic foretaste of what is to come, and create a receptive atmosphere that will enable the movie to begin hopefully on a higher level of audience engagement, right from the first frame.

Q: Do you have music to work with?

A: No that collaboration comes later down the creative process, once we have all agreed on the chosen visual concept and tone. This can now be formed into a rough animatic timeline to length. Then the composer can score directly on what he or she sees.

Q: Do you come up with a variety of routes and then the producer or director chooses one?

A: It depends, sometimes one idea becomes very clear in the thinking. Sometimes it needs a selection of thoughts.

Q: Can you often create bespoke sequences, are you able to shoot things yourself, use animation?

A: Starting from a blank piece of paper and an open mind. The passion and joy is to see the life come into the sequence by each member of our team adding to the overall communication of the sequence. I will always direct my own scenes that are needed, and we create our own animation and special effects.

Q: How much time do you get to produce the titles?

A: On average, around 3 to 4 months, depending on what is involved. We have been known to work on sequences for more than 8 months, such as Jupiter Ascending.

Q: Is there a good budget for the titles, or are you at the end of the financial chain?

A: Budgets work in accordance to the size scale of the movie at hand. We work across the board, large and small each has its own rewards and problems to win over. We also bear in mind small first time director or production companies today could turn out to be the biggest in time.

Q: Do you work on your own or is a team involved? Who else is involved?

A: The Morrison Studio is a collective. We build individual teams for each project, whether it is a studio motion picture, independent production, interstitial or branding project. It is essential that our team has the highest calibre of creatives, VFX artists, and technicians involved relative to the skill sets required.

Q: What is the secret to great title design?

A: Lots of factors, but essentially I would say a good script. Then It can be pushed creatively.

Halloweenie with Tim Burton

Halloweenie with TIm Burton 'All Hallows' Eve' is nearly upon us and it is that time again when we prepare to be 'Trick or Treated', attend costume parties, carve pumpkins and traditionally celebrate Halloween.

It has now also become custom to take in the latest horror at the cinema. or getting a handful of spooky DVDs, popping some corn and hiding behind the cushions at home to scare ourselves senseless!

For those of you that love the lighter fun touch of dark, gothic and macabre fantasy films. American film director Tim Burton, has given us plenty that are a 'must-have' to take us through the bewitching hour - with this year being no exception.

Released on DVD at the start of the year, 'Frankenweenie' is going to be a big hit for families. Special screenings have already started playing at selected cinemas and shops are busy selling costumes of Sparky and many of Burton's amazing characters we have all come to love.

Tim Burton Halloween

Over the years, I have been fortunate to work on many of Tim's films. Creating the title sequences for classics such as 'Batman', and in recent years - 'Sweeney Todd', 'Dark Shadows' and of-course 'Frankenweenie'. So here's a selection of our favorite Burton films to help you go bump through the night:

BEETLEJUICE A recently deceased young couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who become ghosts haunting their former home and an obnoxious, devious "bio-exorcist" named Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) from the underworld who tries to scare away the new inhabitants (Catherine O'HaraJeffrey Jones, and Winona Ryder) permanently.

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS The story of Jack Skellington, a being from "Halloween Town" who opens a portal to "Christmas Town" and decides to celebrate the holiday, with some dastardly consequences. Stars Chris SarandonCatherine O'HaraWilliam HickeyKen Page and Glenn Shadix.

SLEEPY HOLLOW A film adaptation loosely inspired by the 1820 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving and stars Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, with Miranda RichardsonMichael GambonCasper Van Dien, and Jeffrey Jones. The plot follows police constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village of Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman.

CORPSE BRIDE When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her. An all-star cast including Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

Halloweenie

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, a.k.a Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Also stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

DARK SHADOWS An imprisoned 200 year old vampire, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection from his jealous ex-lover, Angelique Bouchard, played by Eva Green.

FRANKENWEENIE Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. 'Frankenweenie' is a black and white 3D stop motion animated comedy-horror family film and is a parody of and an homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley's book of the same name . It is the perfect way to put a spark into the dead of night.

Note: All images are licensed to their respective owners. Copyright laws apply.

Frankenweenie Main Title Sequence

With Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie' out to own on DVD and Blu-ray this coming Monday 25th February. We have the pleasure in finally sharing with you our main title sequence for the film. Starring Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short, the film tells the story of young Victor who conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.

Here's our monster titles for your viewing pleasure:

http://youtu.be/HqzeG_OWhe8

My Higher Learning Master Class at TIFF

TIFF Higher Learning Back in November last year, I was invited to join a select group of previous guests including Tim Burton, David Cronenberg and Douglas Trumbull, to give a Master Class in Toronto to an audience of university and college students and faculty at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Bell Lightbox, as part of their Higher Learning event.

Tim Burton David Cronenberg Douglas Trumbull

TIFF (Toronto's equivalent to the BFI - British Film Institute) is a charitable cultural organization with a mission to transform the way people see the world through film. Higher Learning is their free ongoing programme that provides Canadian students and faculty a forum in which to examine film, television, video, new media and gaming from a wide range of cultural, social, historical, political and technological approaches and disciplines.

Rae Ann Fera

As part of TIFF's launch of their Higher Learning website, my Master Class has been featured and we are really pleased to be able to share with you via this link: http://tiff.net/higherlearning/events/morrison.

Here is the video from the event for you all to see and enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYmyGnqfJYU&feature=youtu.be

Frankenweenie screens tonight

Frankenweenie Logo The 56th BFI London Film Festival gets underway today with 'Frankenweenie' screening at the Odeon Leicester Square and Imax cinema, as part of tonight's Opening Night Gala.

The film is officially being released nationwide in the UK next Wednesday 17th October. But for those that were lucky enough to get ticket's for tonight's special screenings as part of the festival, will get the chance to see Tim Burton's latest creation.

Frankenweenie Frames

We are very pleased to see our titles we created for the film to finally get their first UK showing. For those that are attending, we hope you enjoy.