Friday brings the second weekend of the summer movie season and Tim Burton’s latest, “Dark Shadows.” The film is…unfortunate. My thoughts line up a bit with Drew McWeeny’s: it almost gets by on laughs but the whole time all I could wonder was, “Why?” It starts with the script, folks. And this film could use one.
Anyway, we’re not talking about scripts today. We’re bringing the focus, as we like to do, back around to the below-the-line talent in the film industry, and a rather specific installment of The Lists this week: production design in Tim Burton films. “Dark Shadows” keeps the filmmaker’s dark and decadent tradition alive, yet another reminder of his penchant for design elements.
This has been his trademark, and across a wide spectrum of collaborators, one ought to add. Burton typically grows his art department heads from within, so there’s a natural consistency at work, but he’s brought Oscars for Best Art Direction to four different production designers in his time. That’s impressive.
So what better way to dedicate a collective to his work than an overview of the best design jobs of his filmography? There are 15 films to pull from (with a 16th in the animated “Frankenweenie” still to come this fall), so narrowing it down might be simple for some. But it’s all in the order, I suppose.
Here’s my order. Feel free to rate the selections throughout and, as always, offer up your thoughts and/or your own list in the comments section below.