The idea for recording a show about the works of Tim Burton came from wanting originally to do a horror show for Halloween. When NG Digital wanted to air the Hour Of Power at 11am on a Saturday morning the thought of a horror show became redundant. We felt that at such an early hour children potentially could be listening and as responsible adults (mostly!) we didn’t want to expose them to anything too scary or graphic.
As a fan of early Burton films I thought that his work had enough spooky or supernatural elements to fit in with Halloween but also enough family friendly elements to make it acceptable for a pre-watershed show.
It also gave me an excuse to reacquaint myself with the early films that had originally attracted me to Burton’s work and to reassess them as an adult. I had somehow lost track of his films somewhere around the time of Big Fish and it meant I would make an effort to catch up with his later and more recent movies.
I have to admit I approached this with some trepidation. Would I actually enjoy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice In Wonderland and Dark Shadows? I hadn’t felt the need to see them at the cinema on release and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to see them now. I had loved those early films as a teenager and into my twenties and thought Burton was a genius. Why had I lost interest? I don’t really know in all honesty.
I am pleased to say that my fears were unfounded. In actual fact re-watching the early films and watching the later films for the first time for this show has reignited my love of Burton’s films. I found that I couldn’t wait to watch the next.
I should mention that I watched the movies in chronological order as I wanted to see if any themes or stylistic choices developed throughout his works. Some of these we discuss in the radio show. I found that I enjoyed his movies more now as an adult and could appreciate their themes with a new perspective. I love the imagery that pervades many of the films; the suburbia that lends heavily from the 50s/60s, black and white contrasting against the pastel colours, the pathetic fallacy and foreshadowing that is in so many of the films.
Particularly appealing to me is the quirky outsider theme that is in each one of the movies.
Moreover I love the returning actors, the ensemble casts and the addition of new faces in the mix. In my opinion, Burton really does allow them to show off their acting skills and adaptability when taking on each new role.
Watching Johnny Depp in these movies really made me re-evaluate him as an actor. It also made me wonder what he would be like in the films he is absent in. Would Planet Of The Apes have been better with Depp as the astronaut? Could he have played The Joker better than Nicholson? Or even played Batman for that matter?
Recording this second episode of Hour Of Power was easier in some ways than the first as we had the benefit of knowing the production pit falls and had a better idea of the format that just required tweaks (although we will continue to learn and to tweak with each new show I am sure).
Things like the theme music and backing music for features we now had so that was one less job. We knew that we wanted the music from the films to figure in the show as we had had good feedback about the mix of discussion and songs in the Back To The Future programme. As I was re-watching the films I made notes about which would create a good balance, I hope people like my choices!
Myself and Andy recorded some of the features in a single day and were pleased with the results. The only downside for me was that I had managed to get a sore throat before we recorded and so my Simon Bates impression is probably a bit below standard!
We invited Adam Nightingale to join us for this particular programme and we are pleased that he said yes. His knowledge on so many subjects is vast and although he claims not to be a massive Burton fan he could’ve certainly fooled us. He had been up at three in the morning watching Dark Shadows, if that isn’t commitment to our show then I don’t know what is! We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening that was over all too soon.
The recording of the discussion was more focussed this time as we knew with more clarity what we wanted to touch on. We had listed the topics for discussion and tried to keep on these as recording progressed. We also made a video recording of this and we intend to put some clips onto the website.
The only unfortunate thing was that both Phil and Kev couldn’t make the recording as last minute family matters made it impossible. Nevetheless they were there in spirit if not in body.
After the sound issues with the Mr Toy Polloi, aka David Moss, interview on last month’s show (I had an app that recorded phone conversations that was not as clear as we had hoped) I asked David if he wouldn’t mind recording something for us about a toy line based on a Burton movie. He happily agreed to do so. We are looking into ways to interview David so the sound is up to the quality for broadcast so this can only get better. I am proud to say that David has become a good friend through our shared hobby of restoring toys and a valued member of our Geek Force gang. We are hoping that we can eventually meet up face to face and record some things for future items.
Andy has edited and mixed the show and has recorded linking narration. If we didn’t have him on board then producing the show would be almost impossible. Whilst making this episode we have actually been putting together an extra show all about Nottingham Comic Con. So although we are getting more adept at recording and producing the hour, this month we have made life slightly more difficult for ourselves by having so much material to deal with.
Still, this has kept us busy and therefore out of trouble; which ultimately can only be a good thing.
Thanks for reading