Compare the ways media techniques are used to create the fairytale genre in “Edward Scissorhands” and “Hook.”
A famous director once said;
“I remember growing up and feeling there is not a lot of room for acceptance. You are taught at a very early age to conform to certain things. It is a situation that is very prevalent and starts from day one at school: this person’s smart, this person’s not smart, this persons good at sport, this ones not, this person’s weird, this ones normal. From day one you are categorized.”
This is the vital and strongest impulse that Tim Burton used to create, “Edward Scissorhands.” “Edward Scissorhands,” is a story about a character who wants to touch, but can not a character that is creative but destructive.
“Edward Scissorhands,” was produced, directed and written in 1990 by Tim Burton, and marked the point in his career where he had earned the influence to be able to make the projects he wanted. On its release, however, “Edward Scissorhands” was an instant box office smash hit everywhere, much to joy of Tim Burton and to the surprise of Warner Brothers.
The promotional angle, so to speak, was the technique of contrast, the contrast between good and evil, the creative and destructive. This contrast is strongly apparent on the VHS cover. The consumer is presented with an image of Edward’s “scissorhands,” with a beautiful butterfly perched upon them. The “scissorhands” are black and associated with evil, in opposition to the butterfly which is associated with all that is good, right and wonderful in the world. The consumer is automatically given the settings, themes and potential atmosphere of the play simple by looking at the cover.
As always there is a vast cast of actors but the actors, worth noticing in “Edward Scissorhands,” are Johnny Depp and Wynona Rider. It has to be said; throughout the play they held their roles immaculately.
The fairy tale genre is represented by the significant contrast between good and evil, which is so often associated with fairy tales. And, as always, the good side comes out victorious, in one way or another. In addition to this, throughout the film, Tim Burton, uses other techniques and themes connected to the fairy tale genre. For example, Tim Burton portrays the small girl to be in a big bed, this shows exaggeration which is, incidentally, strongly linked with the fairy tale genre and more obscuringly “Little Red Riding Hood.”
“Peter Pan-the hero who never grows old-has grown up! And he’s forgotten how to fly!”
Hook is an update of the magically mystical story of “Peter Pan” from the original stage play and books of James M. Barrie. Imagine if you please, the heroic Peter Pan has returned to Never Land, to rescue his lost children, easy you say except there is a minor problem, he does not believe anymore.
“Hook” was produced by Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, but directed by the notorious and arguably the most creative figure to emerge from Hollywood in the 1970s, Steven Spielberg. “Hook,” was Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited return to fantasy material. Like “Edward Scissorhands,” an instant box office smash hit.
“Hook” did not really have a promotional technique, and it did not exactly need one either. A ‘sequel’ to the legendary “Peter Pan” and directed by the amazing Steven Spielberg, it was a hit before it appeared on the big screen. The VHS cover is filled with a picture of the characters associated with “Peter Pan”: Smee, Tinkerbell, the pirates, Captain James Hook and, of course, Peter Pan himself, the reason for many an hour spent in front of the television. It could, possibly, be described as the ‘bright lights theory,’ so to speak, cloud the consumer with all the characters and actors the film has got and not what it has not got.
The names worth noting from the huge cast are the award winning, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Dustin Hoffman and the not so famous, but British at least, Bob Hoskins.
The fairytale genre is carried by the sheer fantasy adventure linked with “Peter Pan.” What child, or adult for that matter, has never dreamt that they could fly? The exhilaration, that for 135 minutes, a dream becomes some what of a reality. You are in the TV flying alongside them, fighting Hook alongside Peter Pan, in battle with the lost boys. Let’s face it, a fairytale is a story about something out of the ordinary; something that if seen in “real life” would so unbelievable you would pinch yourself for a week. And, of course, it does actually have fairies in it!
The opening credits of a film are, arguably, the most significant factor of the film itself. It sets the scene, atmosphere and mood, whilst introducing the main themes of the film ahead. Attributes as small as the typography and music can have a great effect on the audience.
The first thing noticed by the audience upon the opening of the film is the darkness, the intense cocktail of gloom and cold. How everything seems so lifeless. The film opens on high angle shot facing the roof of a dark room before panning down to a door, which is magically opened and the camera tracks through. At this point the audience is getting increasingly interested in the film ahead but wary at the same time, of what may happen. The typography now and all the way through the opening credits, incidentally, is very jagged but tall and thin; scissor like. The audience is presented to a contrast of white on black, a bright white on a dark blackness; perhaps to create that ghostly, gothic effect and plant that thought of mystery in the audiences mind. The audience is presented with a ghostly, spooky but somehow childlike, non-diagetic, tune which greatly resembles a child’s jewellery box and sets a mysterious atmosphere for the audience.