Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  January 11, 2010 6:00am-7:00am EST

6:00 am
>> charlie: welcome to the broadcast. tonight an encore presentation with our conversation with filmmaker tim burton. we begin with the three organizers who put his work into context. they are rajendra roy, ron magliozzi and jenny had he. >> speaking about the entrance to the show much this idea you walk through a creature's mouth. it's immediately putting people in the sense that they're walking into another world, some kind of creative, you know, carnival. >> i believe he belongs with a group of pop artists with a generation of pop artists who were inspired by popular culture in the mid 20th century on, newspaper comics, greeting cards. he collected the comics and greeting cards. he studied humor. i originally thought of him as a
6:01 am
guy dedicated to or he but he spent as much time studying 450ur78 as he did oror. >> we had no idea this existed until the moment we walked into the room. >> charlie: and? >> and i remember thinking bonanza. this is a revelation. >> charlie: and then the artist himself, tim burton. >> most kids draw. i mean the fascinating thing to me is by the time, you know, a lot of kids are ten years old. a lot can't draw. that to me was always a very interesting signal about what society does to people, you know. >> charlie: that's right. >> and i fought that all of the ti because i'm not a great draftsman or illustrator. there are many many great artists, but i just always resisted and thought i'm just going to at one point i said i'm just going to draw. i can't draw this the way they want me to so i'm just going to do it. and it was kind of a mind blowing experience for me.
6:02 am
>> charlie: tim burton for the hour. next. if you've had a coke in the last 20 years, ( screams ) you've had a hand in giving college scholarships... and support to thousands of our nation's... most promising students. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-note mnemonic ) captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
6:03 am
>> charlie: tim burton is one of hollywood's imaginative film makers. he mixes the macabre with the traumatic. he is known for his frequent collaborations with the actor johnny depp and the composer danny elfman. together they have created a style that's recognizable. tim burton has 14 fees including several smash hits. here is a look at some of his work. >> beetlejuice. eek. beetlejuice. >> by the authority invested in me. the ring. >> the ring.
6:04 am
>> this is the last warning. drop your weapons. if you fail to do so ... don't make us do it, buddy. >> please, we know him.
6:05 am
>> this is a special occasion, of course. they haven't had a fresh audience. >> the winner is ... chance. [applause] >> charlie: his films have earned several billion dollars worldwide. in addition to directing he's an
6:06 am
accomplished cartoonist painter and sculpture which brings me to a new exhibition at the museum of modern art. it's devoted solely to his personal cretions. this is the largest exhibition organized by the film's department. before we talk to tim burton here are the three organizers. rajendra roy is at moma, ron magliozzi is the museum's assistant curator and jenny had he worked expensively to this project and i'm glad to have them here. where can this start. >> we did the pixar division. i happened to be in astoria, the screening of charlie and the chocolate factory in july over 2005. wonka opens the tore to that pop
6:07 am
art psych killic world when it occurred to me. i said out loud, we should be doing tim burton. i brought it back to the museum and the rest has brought us here today. >> charlie: you come back and say what about this and everybody says wow what a good idea? >> well, we first proposed it to the film department. then we proposed it to the exhibition's committee and then finally of course we sought tim out and we proposedit to tim. and i still remember that first meeting in london in tim's office. here he was sitting at his desk in the middle of this huge room, and he's surrounded, literally surrounded by canvas and works paper and polaroid photographs. here tim is speaking to us, talking about the museum and we are proposing this exhibition to him. i found myself distracted by all his art around us that we had no idea existed until that moment when we walked into the room.
6:08 am
>> charlie: and? >> and i remember thinking bonanza. this is a revelation. >> charlie: we have an idea. >> yeah. >> it's a great image of you guys in one room sorting through all of his archives and his files and him in the other room working on alice. in wonder land which is coming out next year which is kind of an amazing generosity that turns out through the whole process. >> charlie: we now know we have a multitalented person who not only makes movies but sketches and is a artist and a sculpture. how do we decide what we want to do in this exhibition? >> when we came up with the idea, we knew tim's films very well and we spent a lot of time watching them over and over agn. our premise was we would trace the current of tim's visual imagination from childhood to his mature work. at this point not knowing there was so much work available to us. we started with the studios. with that in mind, having analyzed what his themes and motives were, we went to disney,
6:09 am
warner brothers, we want to fox and began to choose props and costumes that seemed like they would be appropriate for the exhibition. that's how we started. when we finally got to tim's archives, started opening box after box, it was like discovering the lost city atlantis or something like that. >> charlie: what's his genius as a filmmaker. >> i think it's interesting how it comes through in the show. it's his ability to anticipate the direction that his, his kind of moment of genius will manifest for audiences. so as we're speaking about the entrance to the show, this idea that you walk through a creature's mouth. it's immediately putting people in this sense that they're walking into another world, into the belly of some kind of creative, you know, carnival. with his films, he's always been able to do that. the zeitgeist was always there.
6:10 am
who would have known there was interest in batman and comic books in 199 when they relaunched that franchise. i have very specific memories 20 years ago being 18 years old and going to see edward scissorhands and sitting there with my goth friend hoping beyond hope that tim burton had made it through this movie making process without making a slasher film. we were surrounded of course by kids coming to see the next friday the 13th movie. by the end of the movie you had all of these really tough kids weeping at the beauty of this story. so it's his ability to get under people's skin with this idea on may must sound insane, you know. >> charlie: what's the response so far? >> it has been overwhelmingly positive. >> charlie: because they recognize this is a unique character? >> well, i see them walking into the gallery and they're absolutely mesmerized by the tim burton that they didn't know existed before. and we're allowed into tim's private world and being able to
6:11 am
put all of his personal feelings that's on paper on canvas, pat it on the wall and let people look at it. you see that first connection that visitors have with his work just as the audience members have with his films when he directed pee wee's big adventure and then course beetlejce and scissorhands. each film kind of generates this personal connection have you to tim burton. >> charlie: does he think he's exposing himself in a way that he never had before. that he's vulnerable and open in a way that he hasn't been before? >> i mean, i think again a moment of genuous for tim and i think specifically now that the show's open for criticism which you know is part of what happens when you have a retrospective at moma. he anticipated that. we didn't know what he was suggesting when -- i mean part of the miracle of the show is that he in looking at his material again for the first time in many many years was inspired to create new work.
6:12 am
there's seven brand new pieces that were made just for the show. >> charlie: what did you learn about his process of making art? >> i think tim is somebody who just creates. i don't think he has a process in which he thinks i'm going to go from, you know, a to b. i'm going to storyoard everything and i'm going to have, you know, all these steps. i think that he revisits his characters, he revisits these themes and motifs. he's still drawing jack skellington years over the night before christmas. i can go to one of the new pieces that he created for the show, the stain boy diorama which is this house. the character stain boy from the mel concally poster boy. it's changing color in the house at the base of the christmas tree.
6:13 am
i recently realized this exact scene occurs in the nightmare before christmas. tim is not constantly thinking i'm going to pinwheel there because it was in nightmare before christmas. but tim's imagination and t's creatively kind of doesn't really have a structure that he adheres to. >> charlie: ron, does he remind you of anybody, any other artist? >> he reminds me of a lot of artists. i went into the burden show with a notion that he was a goth, a gothic notion that many people have. and when i looked at, when we looked at all of the work that existed, i then saw i believe he belongs in, with a group of pop artists with a generation of pop artists who were inspired by popular culture, newspapers comics, greeting cards. he collected comics and greeting
6:14 am
cards. he study humor. i thought of him as a guy dedicated to horror but he spent as many time studying humor as he did horror. there's a paper in the show called humor in america that i think he did in high school which you see that he's collected pages from mad magazine, angelo torres who was a mad magazine cartoonist. >> charlie: how much involvement did he have in making the show. >> as much as we wanted but not more. every time we asked him for input with the design of the show, he was happy to offer it but he also wanted it to be in the moma show. visitors will find when they walk through the monster mouth although it's inside tim's brain it's still on the show. we had a designer who worked on the show. basically any time we wanted inpufrom him do you feel this
6:15 am
way, either he would defer to us and say you guys know best or he would come up with a new work that would help us understand what he was trying to do. >> charlie: thank you very much. this is an extraordinary film with lots of attention. it is open in the museum of modern art. it runs through april. when we come back, tim burton. >> charlie: tell be about this. you were almost a pack rather but not a guy who says i'm going to put this away because some day they're going to do a big collection of my art. >> that's absolutely correct. that's somewhat of a misunderstanding. an image of me with my white gloves in the sixth grade putting it in a hermetically sealed package which is absolutely not the case, you know. this stuff was in drawers and closets. in it weren't for the curators,
6:16 am
i just allowed them to go digging. >> charlie: they came to your house. >> yes, they came to my house, looked at everything, crawled under every rock opened over closet. that's stuff i haven't seen for years and years. i don't do something and then look at it. i kind of do it and it just sort of lays on a desk or sits in a drawer or whatever. this really helped reconnect me in a way. i got very excited about it. kind of made me liking to reconnect where you come from and who you are. >> charlie: you started this early. >> like every kid. i think most kids draw. the fascinating thing to me is by the time a lot of kids are ten years old, they had a lot of can't draw. that to me was always a very interesting signal about what society does to people, you know. and i fought that all of the time because i'm not a great draftsman or illustrator, you know. there are many many great
6:17 am
artists but i always reticed and thought i'm going to draw. i can't draw the way they wanted me to so i'm just going too it. it was kind of a mind blowing thing for me. >> charlie: you were foremost what, a filmmaker? a what? >> i again feel lucky. when i got to make movies, that was the biggest surprise of my life. i made super 8 films like every other kid, i like movies and stuff but i never thought at a young age oh i'm going to be a filmmaker. or i'm going to be an artist. i think it was just more my pattern was i like making things. that was the cool thing, whether it be a drawing or a movie or and the writing. there was something about making things that's important to me. >> charlie: is it different today than when you were a child. >> i still love it. it's a very private process for
6:18 am
me. that's the strange thing about this show. it was a process for me. would you like to come see my dirty underwear and sock collection here. i feel quite exposed when i make a movie but this is even more. >> charlie: when do you draw? you do it all the time, you got a pad there. >> i got my little things. i mean, i don't have anything with me but i always carry a little something. >> charlie: may i see that? may i? >> yes, sure. there's not much in there. >> charlie: well i just want to show them. you did this. this is what. tell me what this is. >> that's me at the opening of the show. [laughter] >> charlie: thank you. >> my cry for help. [laughter] >> charlie: this is psychological too. >> yeah yeah. >> charlie: shall i continue here. >> no, there's nothing more. >> charlie: what's this. >> that's just a pig. >> charlie: you don't know,
6:19 am
you just did it. is that as much about the doing of the drawing as it is about whatever comes out. >> a lot of the characters, i remember like a long time ago, i would just be sitting here just drawing and i drew, you know, i had a whole sketch pad of this character, you know. and then it just ... >> charlie: i like these. this was just in your pocket. >> because i don't have, i don't use a blackberry, i don't use a computer, i hate the phone. >> charlie: at all. >> no. >> charlie: you have someone that walks around with you that has them all. >> i drew everything. >> charlie: go ahead. >> and then i would have a whole thing just like what the hell is this, you know. and then i start to kind of go well is there something this character that means something to me, you know. so it comes much more from the subconscious than it does sort of like, you know. i get worried about my intellectual mind because i find i'm thinking a thought, i tend
6:20 am
to play tricks on myself. >> charlie: i'm going to keep this in a frame. you'll never see this again. >> isn't that a beaut. >> charlie: this is what i really like. tell me what this means. it says 11:05 and 11:35. >> with an exclamation point. kept this once because i write down people's known numbers but i don't write down their names so i have this whole collection of phone numbers. >> charlie: one thing you can do is put it in your computer and it will trace it. if it dials the number for you, you can find out what it is. that's a godsend. >> i hate the phone too. >> charlie: are you expressing anything here other than just contemporaneous impulses. >> like i said, to me it's so fastest specially in the movie, you are always reacting to things. the time was spent to sort of spacing out or dreaming or just
6:21 am
looking, to methat's the most valuable time there is because that's where you do for me the real work. that's where things sort of, you know, mutate or bubble up or ideas come to you. that's why i like fairy tales, they're fantasy but we know all great fairy tale fantasy are based on reality. those to me are very very important those moments of that just sort of space. >> charlie: when do they come? >> that's the thing. you never know and that's the beautiful thing. i mean, that's why that whole thing about, you know, recently having kids, that's that beautiful thing of seeing the world new and that's i think as an artist you always want to try to see things in, you know, a new way. you never want to lose that and that's why i remember seeing a
6:22 am
matisse retrospective and i saw that -- >> charlie: if you're going to be a great artist somehow you have to revert to the same child like wonder about how things are. take yourself back to a blank canvas. >> yes. the i think people, it has a negative connotation. some people say oh he just wants to remain child kind of infantile which is not the case. it's just the thing of maintaining that spirit of seeing things, you know, and being surprised by life in an amazing way. it's like people that lose it, they're really, they're losing parted of their life really. >> charlie: can you express things here that you can't trust in film or film always give you more tools so therefore it's easier. >> well it's a bigger place. and the other thing i like about the moma shows the way they
6:23 am
presented it is that it kind of just shows the process and film is a collaborative medium so therefore the part of the joy is working with great artists and other designers and actors. i mean, that's what feeds you and that to me is what's, that's the thing i enjoy the most. >> charlie: this exhibition at moma has a collection of films you've identified. >> i don't know what closet they pulled the that out. >> charlie: vincent price has always been your hero. when you met him, that was the moment. >> that was the first, that was the moment that no matter how bad things get, it was a moment i will never forget which is, you know, read some something you grow up admiring. you don't know what you're goig to come across when you meet them. it's a bit scary. you say don't be careful meeting your idols. he was just such a wonderful
6:24 am
brilliant and i sent him to school story. i did vincent and he responded to me, i love it. and he was a great art collector. >> charlie: he was a collector, huge. >> what i really admired about him is he gave this amazing collection to like this east l.a. college that would never in a million years get something like that. and just really, it was amazing gift of art and stuff. so it made me realize there are great people. you know it's not all bad. it's great people that really inspire you and keep inspiring you. >> charlie: is there a distinction that can be made between people who are really creative and artistic and not rather than the differences in how creativity is expressed? >> well, i don't know. i mean, i don't know if this answers your question. i've always been fascinated. again i go back to the children's drawings where everybody draws, i feel, i was
6:25 am
in a couple classrooms recently looking at kids drawing at a certain age. they're all brilliant. they're all brilliant. then it gets up to a certain thing and you see a shift in it. i'm fast need by this question does everybody have it and then does it somehow get beaten out of the people. and it's an interesting question. >> charlie: when you see a bunch of kids they all seem to have it. the way they look and the wonderful ways they react to each other and to the environment. >> absolutely. and then you talk to certain kids and there are a lot of them will say i can't draw. and that is, it just doesn't seem right to me. >> charlie: they shook take out can't from the vocabulary. you said you considered yourself strange. >> well, didn't. >> charlie: other people did. >> after many years of that, then of course it starts to be
6:26 am
like well okay, i guess i am. >> charlie: how did it work out? you had any sense of it that people thought you were strange when you were kid therefore you developed a certain way. >> well i don't know. i always felt like a normal kid, you know. i like monster movies, other kids like monster movies. i like drawing. i mean, i played in the local cemetery because it was like a park. it was not like i was obsessed by anything. but you know, you get this way of putting people in categories, that just gets my blood going. i've always relisted it. it's people, by putting them into these boxes and categories, it's kind of like well, they're trying to diminish you in a certain way. so after years, i just kind of accepted it d actually gave me the freedom in a sense i was weird. it didn't matter how i dressed
6:27 am
or if i said something or screamed or hang up side down from a closet or sat under my desk at disney. >> charlie: all things you did probably. >> all the things i did. i spent more time under my desk than at my desk. >> charlie: doing what? >> hiding. [laughter] >> that was in my bad, you know, animation days of not being able to draw cute foxes. so, yeah. >> charlie: when you didn't produce cute foxes you went into hiding. >> i went into hiding. those days of disney were kind of dark days. we spent more time figuring out how not to work and doctor our time cards wit the animation peg stuff or hiding under the desk. i was at my desk and i would be asleep with a pencil and if somebody came if i would just
6:28 am
wake up and start writing. when they left, i would fall asleep. i learned how to sleep. >> charlie:am i not surprised by any of this. >> i'm surprised they didn't fire me. >> charlie: let me take a look at some of the things that are in this exhibition before we get too far. number one, these are images, crushed litter. >> i won a check from the city of burbank. that's one of the first things i kind of did on garbage trucks in the city of burbank. >> charlie: that's amazing. you were 15. >> 14, 15, whatever >> charlie: how did it get into the hands of the people who were going to use it. >> it was a contest. >> charlie: the next one is untitled. take a look at this. this is vin sent. >> 1981. >> charlie: the next one is untitled.
6:29 am
in or office or house or where were they. >> they were in drawers. i'm not very organized. when they pulled this stuff out i was surprised. >> charlie: the next one is untitled dinosaur. >> pee wee's big adventure. the image for a dream in that. >> charlie: you like color. is red your color? >> well, it was something, we did something in the movie, we shot it out at this place with a giant dinosaurs and we kind of lit them up and there was a dream sequence that we had a big red dinosaur. >> charlie: all right the next is the joker, 1989. there he is. >> well, this is before anything. you know -- >> charlie: this is before anything. >> well this is before i started doing the movie or anything. i was just kind of playing around. the drawings for me, it's not even, it helps, because my mind goes all over the place, it just helps focus me and actually
6:30 am
helps me think, focus my thinking a bit more. >> charlie: to do the drawing. >> yes. >> charlie: today are you planning a new movie. do you think first in terms of drawings? >> it depends. movies can come different ways. if something comes to me. sometimes a project disney or so, alice in wonderland or so. that's something that's a known thing. so that comes slightly differently. there are things like a scissorhands, nightmare before christmas. there are tngs that come from no where than are more drawing initiated, initiated by drawings. >> charlie: speaking of scissorhands, like at this. >> there are a lot of different versions of him. >> charlie: did johnny denture show up for this or something. somebody told me he might have been around for your exhibition. >> yeah yeah. that's what i heard. >> that was nice. i saw a lot of people and
6:31 am
friends from disney, and johnny and helen. >> charlie: someone told me to ask you this. are you edward scissorhands. >> luckily i picked johnny. i can't, nobody's going to accuse us of looking ali, do you know what i mean. that was very autobiographical. that came from a very, you know, there's teenage years for me were quite traumatic in a sense that ... by that point, the moniker being weird was so stuck on me that people i think were freaked out by mean. so i didn't seem to have many many, of course i didn't have many girlfriends who think at that time. >> charlie: maybe lonely. >> i felt very lonely and i just felt like there was something wrong, i felt like i had all of this emotion but i can't touch anybody. and i was the kind of person that, you know, had trouble with physical contact. so if somebody were to hug me, i would, i had ts like flinch
6:32 am
mentality. the character, it was like a representation of all those feelings i had as a teenager and fortunately into my, well into my 20's that same feeling. and so yeah, it's probably the most autiographical of any purely. >> charlie: was this in part the way you were raised with your parents. >> yes, i think so. that sort of late 50's, early 60's sort of nuclear family suburban, it's like a hermetically sealed world. there's not a lot of showing of emotions and a lot of showing of, you know, not -- that's why i had italian friends because i was amazed by this. >> charlie: i love it. >> you know. >> charlie: you overcome this so that -- >> it depends on who is hugging me. you know but yes i've gotten better and i've gotten better. i was completely non-verbal as well so i mean that's making
6:33 am
movies idefinitely helped me to try to communicate better. >> charlie: you were non-verbal. >> very non-verbal. i mean, i remember people -- i can still see david geffen looking at me saying what the hell are you talking about. he actually said it correctly. i would speak in every fifth word. i would kind of say a word and then i would skip the next three or four words. it was a weird, i mean that's when i was feeling better. >> charlie: i brook ... brooklyn ... enter. >> yes, that makes more sense. >> charlie: it had a linear quality. >> i get that one. [laughter] >> making movies has definitely helped me come out of my shell. but yes. >> charlie: thank god for that. i mean coming out of your shell makes it more fun or not.
6:34 am
>> i feel it's nice to communicate. it's nice to finally be able to like hug people and, you know and feel good. >> charlie: all of this stances me -- stuns me because you've been on this show before. you are a perfect guest. you don't get better than you are simply because you can take every question and massage it and give it, lift it up and turn it around and give it color, you know, flip it up side down. >> the problem is you don't realize is halfway, if i -- halfway through my answer i forget what i'm talking about and it's like okay i hope i'm remembering. >> charlie: well. all right. take a look at this. this is also a page from your notebook which is undated. look at these. my god. that's the one i should have stolen. >> that looks like somebody with too much free time on their hands, i think. but hey, that's what i love.
6:35 am
>> charlie: you they had you can have -- god, read this to me. >> there's phone numbers on there. >> charlie: this is ronald reagan. >> wel it's just sort of, i was thinking about him one day and i don't know. well, i was always fascinated by him saying that he never, that he didn't die his hair and he's like 90 years old and he didn't die his hair. he's the president. he's lying. so if he's talking about his hair, what else at the like about. i mean this just doesn't seem right. >> charlie: the next one is entitled clown series, 1993. >> we all have a good healthy fear. personally, i don't know. i have yet to meet the person who finds clowns funny. >> charlie: is that right? is that just simple stuff. >> they're always terrified. >> charlie: you go to a circus don't you see kids laughing all the time. >> i don't. maybe because i'm so freaked out i don't see anything but a scary clown. >> charlie: but are they
6:36 am
scary becae ... why? >> i think it's just because there's something about the mask and the facade. that's why i've always loved doing that in movies with characters and masks. >> charlie: like the joker. >> yes. i remember jack nicholson, he said, and it was really fascinating, and true, is that like when you do put on some kind of mask things come out that you wouldn't do if you were, you know, just you >> charlie: it's a liberating thing. >> i love seeing that in people. they go places they wouldn't go, changing their thing. but clowns have that and i dont know, it's something very disturbing about them. i don't know, i might have been traumatized because i remember having a birthday party with chucko the clown. i might have something i blocked -- >> charlie: maybe the clown
6:37 am
tried to hug you and that was it. >> yes, or looked at me or whatever and i think that was it. >> charlie: no more clowns for you. blue girl with wine. >> i've always been stitching things, has always been symbolic for me again a feeling to sort of, the kind of -- this is the way i feel, a kind of chaotic sort of, you feel kind of sectioned off, kind of conflicted or sometimes you feel like you're stitched together just to kind of keep yourself together. you could fall apart at any moment. >> charlie: the next one is untitled sketch of a pedestrian. >> i used to be to malls all the time. >> charlie: yes, i know. >> it was great because since i didn't have any girlfriends or anything, i would just go sit at malls and draw people. >> charlie: didn't that attract attention. >> no. not really. >> charlie: didn't anybody come up to you.
6:38 am
>> no. i was pretty discrete about it. >> charlie: you were an observer. >> yes. >> charlie: i love to go to stores, watch people and that sort of thing. >> learn more. >> charlie: you fall in love with every face because there's something wonderful about every one of thing. >> that's the way you want to keep seeing things absolutely. >> charlie: micky mouse stretched out a portion of it. >> those are my days at disney. >> charlie: you were taking it out on mic, weren't you. this is an alien on mars attack 1986. >> these things are just -- >> charlie: they're what. >> they just kind of help me. >> charlie: stay sane. >> yes. >> charlie: is that what it is? >> like i said, it's because i fly over the place.
6:39 am
this keeps me, i feel like helium sometimes and i'm just going to float away. the next one is alien from mars. and then the corpse bride. >> that was a project. early sketches of that. >> charlie: this is a big book isn't it. >> yes. it's also good exercise, you know. this is great, you know. >> charlie: have you ever thought, suppose you had not found film making as an art as well and just stayed with this. do you know where this would all have gun or -- gone or been the same as it is. >> i never had this one goal in mind and that was it. when i did pee wee's big adventure, it was the biggest surprise of my life and i loved that. >> charlie: did you know you were good at it then. >> i know i really enjoyed doing it. the first time i really clicked on maybe this would be way for me is because i was such a bad
6:40 am
student, i had a book report due and i didn't read the book so i made a little super 8 film about houdini and i got the best grade. i was looking for something to do besides getting a real job. i really, i felt like oh, this is -- and i loved doing it. it was exciting because you get to use everything. when you make a film, there's a bit of drawing involved, there's a bit of composition. there's people, you know. it's creating something. so you get everything with doing a film which is the best. >> charlie: it says to me be need to find different ways to measure talent, creativity and everything else. because they didn't do well on some test. >> absolutely. you know, i remember in school, there was this whole classroom that was devoted, they called it
6:41 am
special kids. the fact is, it did them more harm than good. they were great. they were no different than really, you know. >> charlie: beginning to think it was something else. >> and then they start to bheaf -- believe there's something wrong with them too. it can have a self fulfilling thing. yes, there are some problems, people do have problems. it's good to recognize and good to sort of recognize those things but just also like you say, see people -- let people be who they are too. >> charlie: how do you do that with your children? >> well, i'm not forcing my movies on them, you know. i don't think -- their friends go, aryou going to watch this and that. i don't know what they're talking about. >> charlie: what about beetlejuice. >> but it's nice to see, i got very excited and got a good healthy interest in dinosaurs and things. so you know, i kind of quietly clock that stuff.
6:42 am
that's so great, i'm glad, okay g good, he's on the right track. i don't try -- any parent you try to do maybe what, you certainly remember what earlier relationship with your own parents and what you did or didn't get. so i think often times if you didn't get something, you try to compensate, you know. you are more tactile, you know, hug them, tell them you love occasionally. thing that are simple. >> charlie: that happens with every generation almost. >> i think so. >> charlie: if you true i to compensate for what you didn't have as a child and the way your parents didn't treat you. >> it kind of scars you in a way. it's not because they're bad, it's just the circumstances that happen. and so you know, it's very much in your mind when you have children. >> charlie: this has been said about you about movies they've been therapeutics and cathartic. it seems like that's in
6:43 am
everything you do, like the art. >> yes, i think it is. because whatever, whatever makes me up as a personality, it's been very positive, you know. i haven't committed any crimes, you know. i'm the type of person that i feel like i'm glad i have this as a release. this is a catharsis and it is a release and it probably kept me out of jail or other places. >> charlie: where do you factor in commercial success? >> well, i mean, you know, it helps you to get the movies made. that's really it. i mean, i've always -- i felt always quite lucky, you know. i felt like the first films i made, you know, they made enough moy to get the next one made kind of a thing. and i also felt quite grounded because, you know, it was a good mixture of, you know, pretty most bad reviews, a a couple of
6:44 am
good ones. there was a glowing academy reviews and i was like boy you're in trouble on your next one. because it ain't going to go. it's nice, i always felt quite grounded about the reality. you know, i treat it seriously, you know, the studio's giving you money, you try to be responsible. >> charlie: you're okay with studios aren't you? >> well, look it, yes. there's a lot of great people, there's a lot of supportive people at studios. i'm not a fan of bureaucracy. but at the same time it's the same dynamic that followed my whole life and it happened early at disney where they just let me draw in a room for a year. it's like oh we love you but we're afraid of you. we think you're great, but something's wrong with you. and that continues, you know what i mean. i think i have a very successful movie but the next one is like, mm-mm. in fact, i remember after batman, you know, it was a
6:45 am
successful movie, i wanted to do edward scissorhands. well, i reserve a little, you know, it's not a big budget movie, it's a low budget movie but i had real trouble. in fact, i had a deal at warren warner brothers at the ti and i knew they didn't want to do edward scissorhands, we had just done batman and everything was wonderful. i knew they didn't want to do edward scissorhands and i didn't want to get into this development that happened. so i got into another project and i said okay which project do you want. do you want me to do hollywood on parade or edward scissorhands. oh i think we love hollywood in parade. so i got to take it away, you know, and then do it i. >> charlie: where did you take it. >> 20th century fox. >> charlie: because you knew they were receptive. >> what we ended up doing, we developed a script.
6:46 am
that's where i paid the writer, myself just to write the script and then went to edward scissorhands and said this is the movie this is the script this is the budget, yes or no. much which is always the best way, the quickest way to kind of get a real answer. >> charlie: what happened to the hollywood on parade. >> it never made it. they didn't want to do that either but it's just more like whatever, you know. take the lesser of the evils. >> charlie: they didn't want to do batman again. >> yes, they wanted me to do that. yes, it took a while. i'll never forget this. they did not want me -- i think i pissed off mcdonald's. >> charlie: you can't have -- >> you can't have that with our happy meals. what's that black stuff coming out. i actually thought i was going in, well i've got some idea. and he goes, well, tim, you don't want to do another one of
6:47 am
these do you? [laughter] >> you don't want me to do another one do you. you don't want me. so it was over. >> charlie: did they ever acknowledge it. >> i knew what -- i did -- it was the fast food people. >> charlie: they made money. >> who the fast food peoe. >> charlie: no, the movie. take some interesting acting idea, different script, same character. the joke on the one hand, nicholson. on the other hand heath ledger. >> the thing about those characters, when i did the first batman, it was great because few, there d been superman. but this is the first time we were able to kind of take a comic and you know try to put some of the, a little bit of the
6:48 am
psychology, a bit of the darkness that were in those original comics. so it felt quite new at the time, you know. it was great. it was really exciting and you know, it sort of feels like it's kind of become the form in terms of dark, you know, comics and things. but -- >> charlie: but how much of those performances are simply actor created, how much is sort inspired by the character. >> jack -- again i think they both got probably in there different ways get into that, the mask you know. and it just lets out -- that's a great thing because each actor -- >> charlie: the idea of the mask is yours. >> that's who the character is. it is a mask so therefore, yeah. but i like doing that, you know, the same thing with michael keaton, you know.
6:49 am
him in beetlejuice, you put that make up on and he just became that character and it just, he wouldn't have become that character exactly if he didn't have that get up, you know. and so that is really -- and also pee wee's big adventure. that's when you start to learn when you see people take on different personas, it's really interesting. >> charlie: is there a common link among these movies. is there any common denominator? >> well, just that i directed them. i got some problems and that's about there you go. >> charlie: yes, there you go. it's the director finding his release, one film after another. >> yes. you never got what you're going to theymatically. that's why i don't like to plan too far in advances. you like to have an emotional grounding you know and things, you know, it's like i couldn't have done big fish until, you
6:50 am
know, i couldn't have done it before my father died, you know. it was only a film because the feelings were also strong, i could have only done that after his death. so you have the right timing. >> charlie: is there anything inside of you that's longing to jump out. >> yes, one of those things from alien. >> charlie: no, not that. >> i like to be as spontaneous as i can. you know, film is not a real spontaneous medium but i like to do as much as i can. the closer you can do something when you are really feeling it, the better off the project's going to end up, i think. >> charlie: when somebody makes something like chicago, or nine which i haven't seen, would you say gee i'd love to do that? >> i -- >> charlie: because it's
6:51 am
different. >> no, i feel i've been very lucky. those kind of things change. you have those deep rooted things, but you know, there's i guess maybe i'm wrong. i all wanted to do ice capades. >> charlie: what director has informed you the most in terms of who has most influence on you. was it five or 10 or 20. >> it's many many many. there's one that always comes to my mind because it was one of the first films, the guy that did jason. i think his, him, he just went right in there in terms of, you know, in terms of the art and the animation and the design and
6:52 am
the emotion in those characters. that kind of really hit me strongly. but you know, lots of people, the larger -- >> charlie: think somewhere i saw roger getting some big award. >> he's a great guy. i was a bit sad he didn't keep directing in a i with a because some of those are pretty good. >> charlie: jack did a bunch of those. >> yes. he did the raven and terror. >> charlie: how is johnny depp unique? >> well, he's like -- the reason i love him, he's like -- he's not like a leading man. he's more like boris karloff. he's like kind of got that. again he's the prime example of somebody who really loves
6:53 am
becoming other things, you know. and that's excite -- he loves putting on the mask and weird clothes and doing it. you know. find something that they wouldn't find otherwise. so that's exciting to see that happen. there's no vanity that way, you know. often times, you know, the worst thing on the set is having to deal with -- they think they don't look good or they think -- for whatever reason, it takes away from doing the movie. >> charlie: and johnny doesn't have that problem. >> no. >> charlie: the art of tim burton which is this book, they have heavy book here. the exhibition opens on november 22nd at the museum of modern art. what are you going to do with poor alice. [laughter] >> we're putting her in 3-d. >> charlie: are we really. >> yes. >> charlie: have you seen cameron's -- >> no. i've got my own -- i've got a lot. >> charlie: they're telling me that 3-d now is, it's different. >> it's not a gimmick anymore.
6:54 am
it doesn't give you that splitting headache that it used to, you know. there's that thing where it's quite unpleasant you know, to watch in a way. so it's much more -- to me, actually for me, alice in 3-d was a good mix of material and medium. it felt right to me for that particular property to do in 3-d. >> charlie: thank you for williaming. >> thank you. >> charlie: a pleasure. tim burton at moma like i said, november 22nd, museum of modern art here in new york running through april 2010. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
6:55 am
6:56 am
if you've had a coke in the last 20 years, ( screams ) you've had a hand in giving college scholarships... and support to thousands of our nation's... most promising students. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-note mnemonic )
6:57 am
6:58 am
6:59 am