Originally Posted by Pfeiffer-Pfan
Still my favourite director and I suspect he is more intelligent than people give him credit for.
Oh, just to be clear I wasn't calling Burton unintelligent. People can be simultaneously brilliant and scatter-brained. I mean just listen to his Batman commentaries...the guy struggles to put together a coherent sentence and seems far more involved with the more abstract aspects of his films than the nuts and bolts, basic narrative type of stuff that more "normal" directors are dialed into. And that's what makes Burton, Burton.
Originally Posted by milost
But Batman 1989 isn't "his". I think that's the misconception with the role of a director where they're overvalued. They're more or less the guy that helps make sure the thing doesn't fall apart while also letting some (or most) of their vision spill into it. They're the general, but they shouldn't get all the credit.
There was a LOT of creative input with the first Batman. Studio had a say, Burton had a say, Nicholson had a say, Keaton was free to find his own character (his recent interview for Robocop, the persona of his Batman was all his from the movement to the voice), the writers were a mishmash. If it was all Sam Hamm, it might have been pretty bad (sure, his scripts were more comic accurate, but they were strange). If it was all Tim Burton, it would have been a straight freak show. If it was all the Studio, we'd have nothing but Prince (no way would they have let Elfman collaborate). Etc. etc.
Collaboration is good. Having second or third film crew units are good. Batman 1989 was like a marathon (I think one of the producers mention this), where it was like guerrilla shooting. There's no way Burton shot some of those great action sequences, or that Axis Chemicals shoot out. Like with Aliens and Star Wars, there was also this tension between the English and American crews. So you have everyone pouring their hearts into this thing.
It's like LOTR or Breaking Bad, which are great examples of collaboration. One of my favorite scenes in LOTR is the ending of the Fellowship with the Amon Hen battle and Boromir vs. the Uruk Hai. You know who filmed that whole thing? Who brought in his own personal touch? The New Line producer. He directed that while other crews were filming all over New Zealand. The only thing Jackson touched was the editing.
If you have one mind controlling all that, I'm not convinced it will be as good. That's why I feel Batman 1989, as studio controlled as it had been, has great moments that shine threw the "Prince music" or script decisions. With all those different things, it creates something that ends up being it's own thing. So with like, the Vicki stuff. I'm sure Burton couldn't come up with clear reasoning for it, but at the time, someone involved did, or else those scenes wouldn't be in there.
I agree with all of that.
That said, there are obvious downsides too if you have too many cooks in the kitchen, and I also think there's something to be said for the unity of vision you get when you have a talented writer/director involved. But I definitely agree that Batman 89 was a perfect storm of sorts and it is
certainly to Burton's credit for such a young guy to not a let a production that huge get away from him completely. While he shouldn't get all the credit, I'm quite certain that it wouldn't have been the Batman 89 we know and love without him.