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Rough Draft of Burton Analysis Essay

It is time to begin working on our final assignment for our film unit, an essay that closely analyzes the techniques that Tim Burton uses that define his style. Your assignment is - from Springboard - to “[t]hink about the Tim Burton films that you have viewed and analyzed. Choose three or four stylistic devices (cinematic techniques) that are common to these films. Write an essay analyzing the cinematic style of director Tim Burton. Your essay should focus on the ways in which the director uses stylistic techniques across films to achieve a desired effect.”



Your draft should do the following:

  • Clearly identify 3-4 techniques that define Burton’s style. These should be techniques he uses frequently to achieve the same effect. You may note where he uses them in different ways, but primarily focus on techniques that achieve a consistent effect.

  • Consider the use of these techniques in multiple films. At a minimum you should discuss two of his films, but an exemplary analysis shows that these techniques would appear in nearly any Burton work, so evidence from 3 or even more films is encouraged.

  • Demonstrate clear understanding of the techniques being discussed. Remember that someone that has never heard of these techniques should understand what you are talking about, so you should describe how the technique is used. You must also clearly explain how they create any given effect (reflective commentary!).

  • Logically organize your ideas in paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on a single focus; when the focus changes, create a new paragraph. What this means is that you might choose to create paragraphs that focus on specific effects (one paragraph on creating a mood of horror, another on creating a sympathetic tone, etc) or on specific techniques (one paragraph for low key lighting, another on non-diegetic sound, etc.)