ALICE IN WONDERLAND Press Conference with Tim Burton

     July 23, 2009

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The surreal world of Alice In Wonderland and the creative vision of Tim Burton are such a natural fit that I am almost shocked it has taken this long to come about. If the fan reaction from the first look at Disney and Burton’s latest venture is any indication, the combination is yielding even better results that could be imagined. Fortunately, Mr. Burton took time from his production schedule to show off his latest project, and to answer a few of our questions. Find out what Tim had to say about other Wonderland movies, his take on the stories, and if there’s something fishy going on between Alice and the Mad Hatter after the break.

alice_in_wonderland_character_poster_mad_hatter_johnny_depp_01.jpgTim Burton first read Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10. “I felt a weird connection to it and life,” he said as he spoke of how the characters in Wonderland “represent aspects of the human psyche.” Indeed, it seems that these characters and their “strong, dreamlike imagery” is what really attracted Burton to the project. “The real attempt,” he continued, “was to try and make Alice a story, and not a series of events.” He pointed out that he had never seen a version of the Wonderland stories he had really liked, stating that the events always seem somewhat disjointed and that Alice just seems to flit her way from one situation to the next. “I wanted an Alice with gravity to her.” He said. It seems that this idea of mixing deeper characters with visual style is really at the heart of Alice In Wonderland. When asked about Johnny Depp’s role as the Mad Hatter in the film, Burton had this to say: “Johnny tries to find a grounding to the character. It’s not just madness. His goal is to find a humanness to the strangeness.”

More juice bits from Tim Burton:

-When asked about rumors that there was a relationship plotline between Alice and the Mad Hatter, Burton replied with a very emphatic “No!”

-He doesn’t see his version as either a sequel to any existing Alice movie. He also doesn’t see it as a re-imagining. He says there are so many stories in Wonderland, and he just wants them to make sense together.

-A lot of this film is based around the Jabberwocky stories.

-He says they are using many different visual effect techniques in the movie, but avoiding doing motion capture. He describes the visuals as a “new mixture of live action and pure animation.”

-The film was not shot in native 3D. “It’s a mixture of things,” says Burton. “The techniques we are using gave us much more freedom to get depth and layers.” He does believe, however, that 3D will add an exciting element to the film. “In Alice, with all the growing and shrinking and space, (3D) can really help enhance the experience.”

-Mr. Burton is still planning on doing Dark Shadows as his next film. He also says he has several of his own original story ideas on the back burner, though nothing is in the works now.

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