Letters to Juliet Movie - Amanda Seyfried, Gael Da Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave

In point of fact whether Romeo and Juliet is real and from Verona, Italy has become irrelevant since Verona is known as the location on which Shakespeare based his play. Half a million tourists descend upon the northern Italian city (90 minutes west of Venice) specifically to visit the courtyard where notes of love lost and won are affixed to the stone wall; to stand on balcony of Juliet and pose next to the bronze statue of Juliet (with her right breast polished to a sheen from the tradition of touching it for good luck).

The production also traveled to scenic Lake Garda (one of the famous three northern Italian lakes) before moving the production south to Siena. From there shooting was done all over Tuscany, and for 10 days the Argiano vineyards (one hour south of Siena) where the world-famous Brunello wine is produced. Two days were spent in the historic ancient city of Siena amidst the steep narrow streets that all feed down to the his historic Piazza del Campo where the production stole a shot of Sophie and Charlie crossing the vast public square while thousands of tourists were too taken with the historic surroundings to notice the movie camera.

The Borgo Scopeto Hotel, formerly a family estate for centuries, was the location for the interior and exterior hotel scenes where Sophie, Claire and Charlie based out of for the Tuscany excursion. Nestled amidst vineyards and olive groves about 20 minutes from Siena, the hotel was where the Italian portion of the movie wrapped on August 13, 2009. The day after the actors and key crew flew to New York City for four days of filming. Bryant Park and Times Square were the two key exterior locations and Victors restaurant was located in an empty building in SoHo.

Russell Crowe in Robin Hood - Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Matthew Macfadyen, Mark Strong

The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood

27 in. x 40 in.

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Robin Hood Movie

Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Matthew Macfadyen, Oscar Isaac, Lea Seydoux, Mark Strong
Director: Ridley Scott
Studio: Universal Pictures
Screenplay: Brian Helgeland, Paul Webb, Tom Stoppard
Release Date: May 14th, 2010
MPAA Rating: None.

The untitled Robin Hood adventure chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in army of King Richard against the French. Upon death of Richard, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest.

With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin Hood and his men heed a call to ever greater adventure. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more.

Wolfman Movie: His Lonesome Howl: Cry of the Wolf

The Wolfman

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VFX, SFX, makeup, locations and schedules were nothing when compared to the biggest challenge of the production for director Johnston. The Wolfman's toughest obstacle was one the reader might think would be minor: perfecting the haunting howl of the title creature. Johnston explains his conundrum: When it came time to lay in the sound of the wolf howl, we tried everything from animal impersonators to a crying baby and artificial sounds. We took those sounds and digitally processed them…looking for just the right combination of things to give us the perfect howl. But we just could not find it. We wanted it to be iconic, but something audiences had never heard before.

A breakthrough would come when one of the productions sound designers came up with a unique idea. According to Johnston, Howell Gibbens said, What is the purest and most controllable vocal sound that you can find? It's arguably an opera singer. So we auditioned a number of opera singers in Los Angeles and picked the perfect guy: a bass baritone opera singer.

After Johnston and his sound team recorded about a dozen howls, they knew theyd found their perfect wolf howls. The director notes: His howls go through a range of emotions…from angry and victorious to mourning. We pitched them down about 40 percent so they became truly terrifying.  When we pitched them down, we had these haunting, visceral animal sounds. They sent chills up our spines and gave us exactly what we were looking for.

Victorian Costumes: Milena Canonero Design

Triple Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero, whose previous work includes her stunning costume work for Marie Antoinette, has an extensive background working on period films. Johnston asked Canonero to make the costumes for The Wolfman very gothic, which, in 1890, included strikingly angular shapes.  She used dark, rich colors, which were unlike the light, frothy look that could be seen at the end of the 19th century in England.

A perfectionist in detail, Canonero wanted to make the division between the upper- and working-class characters in The Wolfman very apparent. The upper echelons costumes were comprised of sharp silhouettes and long elegant lines, with materials including silks, velvets and furs that were indicative of the characters social status. The working-class characters she designed for wore outfits that were bundled up; she dressed them in fabrics including wool, linen and cotton. The upper-class men were put in top hats and bowler hats, while the working-class men hats were given a more rough-and-ready, beaten-up look.

Most of the costumes for the principal cast were handmade and, due to the transformation and action scenes, some of the costumes were recrafted up to 20 times. Having multiple copies of many of the pieces proved very helpful, especially for scenes that included blood and fire (in which case the fabric was fire-guarded to protect the stunt double). For the larger crowd scenes, Canoneros team dressed the background actors in clothing found in costume houses from France and Italy to throughout England.

Gwen Conliffe is in mourning throughout most of the film and, therefore, was dressed primarily in black. As a member of the upper crust, she was dressed in corsets mixed in different textures and shades of black. To add a bit of color, Canonero had her team find teal velvet fabric to mix in with the mourning fiancees dark sleeves and skirt. As Gwen eases out of her grief and finds unexpected romance with Lawrence, the team dressed Emily Blunt in lilacs and dark purples. Of the corsets, Blunt laughs: It was all about the waist in that period, which means that my internal organs now hate me.

Though Sir John Talbot is very much aristocracy, he has rarely left his decaying home in the past several decades and no longer takes care of his image. Inspired by an Edward Gorey illustration, Canonero's team created Talbot Sr.s clothing by using pieces that were once beautiful but now heavily worn; the result was the creation of decayed elegance. A former hunter who made dangerous excursions to placecountry-regionIndia, Sir John had numerous trophies and other eclectic souvenirs as part of his wardrobe, including furs that he wears with his dressing gown and overcoat.

Lawrence has returned to England from America; when he is reintroduced to the audience, he is the star of Shakespeares Hamlet. Because his character has traveled back and forth across the Atlantic, Canoneros team gave his costumes a look that is more expansive than a regular upper-class English gentlemans.

For the transformation scenes in which the beast emerged, the team prepped Del Toros costumes so that his seams would expand and rip as his muscles grew. They used stretchy fabric and thread that could literally appear to burst and tear apart. As Del Toro often was dressed in costumes made of tweed, the team found stretchy nylon that matched that fabric on camera. The final piece of Lawrence Talbots wardrobe created for the film was the productions favorite: an actual replica of the wolf-head cane grasped by Lon Chaney, Jr. in the 1941 film.

Hayden Panettiere Biography

Hayden Panettiere

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Hayden Leslie Panettiere has an impressive résumé of feature film, television, animation and commercial credits that have made her name synonymous with rising star. Most recently she was seen as the rebellious teen in the Disney comedy Raising Helen, opposite Kate Hudson, directed by Gary Marshall, and in the family drama The Dust Factory. She stars as an ambitious jockey in the adventure Racing Stripes and also recently was seen in the Disney Channel movie, Tiger Cruise, a dramatic story based on the events of September 11. She will next be seen in Lies My Mother Told Me, based on a true story, for the Lifetime Network.

Previously, Hayden impressed audiences as the daughter in HBOs highly praised Normal, which won a Sundance Film Festival award, with Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson as her parents. She also surprised and delighted audiences as the fiery and precocious daughter of Ally McBeal in the final season of the celebrated television series. Her spitfire characters in both Joe Somebody as Tim Allens daughter, and Remember the Titans, in which she co-starred with Denzel Washington, established her as a unique talent. Her portrayal of a young Jeanne, played as an adult by Hilary Swank, in The Affair of the Necklace is a cameo performance of depth beyond her years. Panettieres other film credits include Message in a Bottle with Kevin Costner and Object of My Affection with Jennifer Aniston.

Full Biography

Hayden Panettiere

Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt - Columbia Pictures

Angelina Jolie stars as Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian spy, in Columbia Pictures movie Salt. When she is accused by a defector of being a Russian sleeper spy, Salt goes on the run to clear her name and  becomes a federal fugitive. Using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative, she must elude capture and protect her husband or most powerful forces of the world will erase any trace of her existence. Efforts of Salt to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: Who Is Salt?
Liev Schreiber stars as Winter, her ally and supervisor in the CIA's Russia office. Winter is her boss and friend on the Russian desk at the CIA, and Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Peabody, a CIA counter-intelligence officer.

Angelina Jolie

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Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Photo
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Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Photo
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Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight Saga

ROBERT PATTINSON (Edward Cullen) gained industry notice at 19 years of age when he joined the Harry Potter franchise in Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, playing Cedric Diggory, Hogwarts’ official representative in the Triwizard Tournament. Pattinson went on to appear in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, reprising his role in a flashback.

Pattinson began his professional career with a role in Uli Edel’s Sword of Xanten, opposite Sam West and Benno Furmann. He also appeared in director Oliver Irving’s How to Be, winner of the Slamdance Film Festival’s Special Honorable Mention for Narrative Feature. Pattinson played the lead role of Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, directed by Paul Morrison. His television credits include “The Haunted Airman” for the BBC.

As a member of the Barnes Theatre Group, Pattinson played the lead role in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Other stage credits include Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” “Tess of the D’Urbevilles” and “Macbeth” at the OSO Arts Centre.

The Half-Blood Prince - Professor Snape

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Trailer / New Theatrical Trailer

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Trailer

Twilight, the first film based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling Twilight book series, was released in November 2008 to an eagerly awaiting audience. It was an instant success, no small feat for a project that was being carefully scrutinized by the novels’ millions of dedicated fans who were anxious to see how their heroes and heroines were depicted.

Twilight - New Moon

Twilight - New Moon Poster
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The film adaptation of the unlikely romance between a sensitive high school girl and a more than a century-old vampire brought in over $70 million on its opening weekend, eventually grossing more than $350 million worldwide. The success paved the way for the movie version of the next installment in the bestselling series, The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

Twilight - New Moon

Twilight - New Moon Poster
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Twilight - New Moon

Twilight - New Moon Poster
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Twilight Saga: Eclipse Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The Twilight Saga: New Moon began shooting in March 2009 in Vancouver and ended in Montepulciano, an ancient walled city in Italy. The two cities provided a strong contrast—the dark nights and mysterious, deep green forests of British Columbia, and the organic, burnished tones of Tuscany inform the film’s look equally. Twilight was shot primarily on location in Portland, Oregon, but for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the filmmakers moved further north to Vancouver, British Columbia. “I think it was important for the studio and important for the fans that this stage of Bella’s life have a good correspondence to the first stage of Bella’s life as they know it,” says production designer Brisbin. “For Bella’s house, that meant we had to build the interior and the exterior to match the first part of the movie. We looked obsessively at the original location and studied the footage from the first film very, very carefully.”
All the actors playing wolf pack members are of Native American descent. Spencer is Lakota (Sioux); Bronson Pelletier, who plays Jared, is Cree-Metis; Kiowa Gordon, who plays Embry Call, is Hualapai; Tyson Houseman, who plays Quill Ateara, is Cree; and Alex Meraz, who plays Paul, is Purepecha (Tarasco).

Twilight - New Moon

Twilight - New Moon Poster
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New Moon - Jacob

New Moon - Jacob Stand Up
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Iron Man 2 Character Movie Poster: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Mickey Rourke

Iron Man 2

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Iron Man 2 Movie Poster - Iron Man / Marvel Action Character, the armor clad tragic hero Tony Stark.

Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson

In the mid-90s there was a string of cartoons based on Marvel comics, from the wildly successful Spider-Man and X-Men to the lesser ones such as The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four. Following the success of 1992's "X-men" animated series, Iron Man series was shown in 1994 and Iron Man was joined by other superheroes which meant much more action and excitement.

Interview with Rodrigo Garcia - Mother and Child, Naomi Watts, Julie Lynn, Kerry Washington

Q & A with Rodrigo Garcia (Writer / Director)

Rodrigo Garcia was born in Bogota, the son of Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mercedes Pardo. He attended the 2nd annual Hatch audiovisual festival in Bozeman, MT in October 2005 and his film, Nine Lives, was honored with a award.

He has directed a variety of independent films and some episodes of the series of HBO, Big Love, Six Feet Under, and Carnivale. Rodrigo Garcia lives in US.

Garcia has also worked as a camera operator and a cinematographer for several films such as Gia, The Birdcage, Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Ten Tiny Love Stories, Fathers and Sons and Great Expectations.

His film Nine Lives was nominated for the William Shatner Golden Groundhog Award for Best Underground Movie, the other nominated films were Green Street Hooligans, MirrorMask, Up for Grabs and Opie Gets Laid.


Q: You both wrote and directed this film. Which process do you enjoy more?

Writing is harder for me. More riddled with insecurity. Is this good enough, different enough, suspenseful enough, human enough, real enough? Do I even like it? Will good actors be interested? The many versions of the real monster, who cares? Of course when it's going well, there's nothing like it. It makes me feels refined and good. Most of the time it's a slog that fuels self contempt.

Directing is more physically demanding. My problem then is not isolation, but the opposite, constant interaction. Overdosing on people. Having to pretend that you're the director. But to see what you imagined in the loneliness of your desk late at night live and breathe in front of you is intoxicating.

Q: How did the film get off the ground? What was the process in getting the film made?

It was a many-pronged approach. (Or is that a many-prayer approach?) Alejandro González Iñárritu sent the script to Naomi Watts and encouraged her to do it while Julie Lynn began the search for funding, other cast members and a first rate crew. An initial offer to Annette Bening did not pan out because of other commitments and that was a big disappointment. We had flirtations with studios, but the threats of strikes compromised that. We got Kerry Washington on board at this point, but then Naomi became pregnant and we decided to postpone and wait for her. (That we postponed because she was pregnant we all thought would bring us good luck, given the nature of the material). Waiting for her contributed to Annette becoming available again, and then Sam and Jimmy signed on. That was a great high, the cast that lined up. Cherry Jones! Finally, when we had everything in the world but financing, Lisa Maria Falcone and Tom Heller of Everest Entertainment stepped in and made it possible. WestEnd in London also was very supportive with foreign pre-sales.

Q: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

I went into most of them scared and was at ease right after the first rehearsal. So all of them, then none. I suppose the scene with young Karen and young Tom filled me with apprehension more than others. Fourteen-year-olds making out. Really? I have to direct that? Their seriousness and professionalism saved my behind.

Q: What is your favorite scene in the film?

I've never worked on anything that has so many scenes that I'm happy with. Here are three:
-- When Karen finds out what her mother really thought about her.

-- When Paul offers the world to Elizabeth.-- When Lucy introduces herself and her husband and their dreams to Sister Joanne at the adoption agency.

Q: Where did you shoot the film and how long was the shoot?

We shot in locations in and around Los Angeles for 29 days.

Q: Many of your films are centered on women, with men playing second fiddle. What is it about women that you find so fascinating?

Ever since I began to write, my women characters have been more complex than the men, but I don't know why. Since my movies are not essentially about women but about subjects that interest me, the sex of the characters is not always that important to me. Like any filmmaker I use the strongest tools that I have, and female characters are it. Jason Isaacs said to me that I write about women because it frees me to write about emotional subjects more emotionally.

I like women and feminine things. Anything from the gregarious nature of women to pregnancy to a woman's face trying to pick out clothing or seeing a handsome man. How they love their loved ones and how they drive each other crazy. The ways they pursue the things they want. Of course I don't really know what they're thinking-but what fun to imagine it.

Naomi Watts

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Mother and Child; Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey

Naomi Watts

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Three women's lives share a common core: they have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) had a baby at 14, gave her up at birth, and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) grew up as an adopted child; she's a bright and ambitious lawyer, but a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy (Kerry Washington) is just embarking with her husband on the adoption odyssey, looking for a baby to become their own.

Karen lives with her elderly mother Nora (Eileen Ryan), works as a physical therapist in a rehabilitation clinic, and relies on Sofia (Elpidia Carrillo) to look after Nora and their home while she is working. While Karen and Nora barely speak, Karen keeps up a silent monologue addressed to her absent daughter, writing journal entries and letters never to be sent. Nora's caregiver Sofia brings her little daughter Cristi (Simone Lopez) to work with her, and they enjoy a warmer relationship with Nora than does Karen. Karen resents Sofia and is uncomfortable around little Cristi. In fact, she's uncomfortable around just about everybody-she's a prickly, demanding, and unsociable woman at home and at work, where she coldly and rudely rebuffs the friendly gestures of a new therapist, Paco (Jimmy Smits).

Elizabeth has been newly hired at a tony law firm presided over by Paul (Samuel L. Jackson). Elizabeth impresses Paul with her sharp legal skills and blunt straight-talking style-but also with her take-charge attitude towards seduction. Before long, the sexy associate is having an affair with her much-older, widowed boss. Paul is a big-hearted family man with an expansive view of life, while Elizabeth is emotionally chilly; she describes herself as remote from her adopted family, with no close attachments. Their opposites-attract affair is curious enough to keep them both interested. Elizabeth, though, enjoys sex as sport-and roping in her neighbor Steven (Marc Blucas) is her latest casual conquest. Steven is married to the very-pregnant Tracy (Carla Gallo), and Elizabeth seems to take pleasure, cruelly and deliberately, in undermining the happy-family-to-be.

Starring: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey

Solitary Man: Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny Devito, Mary-Louis Parker, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots, Ben Shenkman

Michael Douglas

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Michael Douglas (A car magnate) watches his professional and personal life hit the skids because of his romantic and business indiscretions.

Michael Douglas plays as a car magnate with a runaway libido, a former owner of a car dealership chain whose marriage and career were destroyed by his romantic and business indiscretions.

Solitary Man: Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny Devito, Mary-Louis Parker, Imogen Poots, Ben Shenkman, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg

Michael Douglas

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Iron Man 2 - Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson

Iron Man - Costume Tee

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Iron Man - Starker Head

Iron Man - Starker Head T-Shirt
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Iron Man - Stark Industries

Iron Man - Stark Industries T-Shirt
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After 2008, the Iron Man rocket started to over 318 million U.S. dollars at the box office, a sequel was obvious. Exactly what the result would be about, however, has not been. After a story of origin, some people tend to think that the best part of the world's character has already been blown and washed down,says Robert Downey Jr., who plays again as the billionaire playboy-turned superhero Tony Stark. "I thought, no, it can not be. There is so much left unresolved."

The canon cartoon character did not offer a clear way forward, then the Iron Man team has found a new story. Stark is grappling with its glory and found to encounter two new enemies: Russian inventor who creates his own deadly combination (Mickey Rourke) and a wealthy arms manufacturer (Sam Rockwell), who joins with him. "We do not want to be just another armored suit for Tony to bounce back, because we had already done," says director Jon Favreau. Secret Identities are pretty much taken over, we went the other way: What happens to a guy who is already larger than life that becomes exponentially more famous? This was our starting point.

Tim Burton Interview about Edward Scissorhands, 3-D, anthropomorphic coffee pots

Tim Burton Pauses Between Projects for a Q&A

At the end of November, the Museum of Modern Art in New York mounted an exhibit of the sketches, paintings, storyboards, props, cartoons, and puppets created by director Tim Burton. We chatted with Burton about the birth of Edward Scissorhands, the rise of 3-D, and anthropomorphic coffee pots.

How did you find a life’s worth of work to give to the MoMA?

Tim Burton: I'm not a very organized person. Luckily I had a bunch of stuff that had just been moved to England from a warehouse in America. I don’t really go through things very much, so it was interesting for me to go back through it all.
It was an interesting process. It helps ground you and gets you to remember what interested you to begin with. It’s you, but a different you. You can look at yourself objectively.

Not many directors have retrospectives of their artwork and illustrations. How did having a fine arts background influence your directorial visions?

The films I grew up loving were very visual. They were the kinds of things that get etched in your memory. To me, film is a very visual thing, so I’m very grateful for my animation background. It’s kind of everything. It’s art, it’s design, it’s film. At that time all I wanted to be was an animator, but through the backdoor you learn how to do everything else. When you make an animated film you have to act it out, design the layouts, shoot it, and edit it. It was a great overall experience.

What’s your creative process? Do you find yourself doodling and suddenly you’ve got a character for a movie?

The whole sketching and drawing process to me is the equivalent to how some people write notes. I’ve never really felt like a writer. It was always a visual thing for me. With Jack Skellington, for example, that was just a doodle I kept drawing over and over and over for no apparent reason.

Things can grow from an image that keeps coming up, like the Scissorhands image. They just come as ideas or thoughts, and sometimes they go on to something.

Edward Scissorhands came from a feeling that became a sketch of different forms over the years. It was an idea from when I was a teenager, so it had been in my mind for a long time.

A lot of your films are original ideas, but you have dabbled with remakes, such as Planet of the Apes and now Alice. Is it easier to get support from Hollywood to remake a film than to start something from scratch?

There’s a trend right now, where every TV show is remade, and there’s a certain idea of safety in certain properties. At the same time, they can be equally as dangerous. Something like Alice in Wonderland, with the opportunity to do it in 3-D and to experiment, it actually feels like a completely new property.

Is it more intimidating to take a story people are familiar with and make it your own?

The reason Alice in Wonderland isn’t as daunting as past productions is that every version I ever saw of Alice in Wonderland was of a girl walking around passively with a bunch of weird characters. It never really had any feeling or grounding to it. It felt like a new challenge to me. There isn’t a great version that I have to live up to.

Did you feel like Alice was the perfect story for you to debut a live-action movie in 3-D?

The element that intrigued me was Alice in Wonderland in 3-D. Nightmare Before Christmas was converted to 3-D, and it was really good. I was really amazed. It showed me that this was exactly the way Nightmare was meant to be seen. Now, 3-D just seems to really lend itself to the Alice story. The thing about Alice for me was not so much the literalness of the story, but the trippy nature of it and still trying to make that compelling.

How hard is it to continue working in more traditional special effects, like stop motion animation, when the rest of Hollywood is drinking the CG Kool-Aid?

I think stop motion has proven itself as a valuable art form, as has animation. A few years ago it was a dead medium, and while there’s still a lot of uncertainty, there’s enough diversity now. If people like the movie, it doesn’t matter what medium it’s in. It’s actually better now than it was a few years ago, when CG was really kicking in.

You love stop motion. What’s your fear of CG?
Take Nightmare Before Christmas, for example. I was offered to do it in drawing animation and I held out for stop motion, because that was the right medium for that project. It’s up to each project and what you’re technically trying to achieve that decides what medium should be used, whether it’s stop motion, animation, or CG.
From Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to Beetlejuice, furniture, inanimate objects tend to come to life in your films. Do you anthropomorphize objects on a daily basis?
Well, I’m lying in bed here with my coffee pot… That’s where you need free time to space out. People don’t do that enough in life. Those are the moments where a tree turns into a little character.
Are you excited about the retrospective?
It’s such a strange and surreal event to me. I haven’t quite grasped it. I might as well put my dirty laundry basket in there as well.

Johnny Depp, The Mad Hatter - Alice in Wonderland 3D

Johnny Depp, The Mad Hatter

``ALICE IN WONDERLAND marks the seventh collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp since they first worked together on ``Edward Scissorhands.

``It's amazing, says Depp, ``having worked with Tim coming up on 20 years, I've had the opportunity to see him grow. He's so unique and so special and such a brilliant filmmaker. Anything Tim wants me to do is a real honor.

``The combination of being able to play the Mad Hatter and take what Lewis Carroll has done and what Tim's vision is, and then throw your own stuff in there...it's a dream come true.

The Hatter offered Depp the opportunity to create yet another unique character. ``It was a real challenge to find something different, to define the Mad Hatter in terms of cinema, he says. ``One of the things Tim and I talked about early on, is the idea that he would be so pure, in the sense that you see, instantly, what he's feeling-so much so that his clothes, his skin, his hair, everything, reflects his emotion. So when he's beaming, you get this kind of bright effect and everything comes to life, like a flower blooming, very, very quickly. He's like a mood ring. His emotions are very close to the surface.

``He has an ability for transformation that is fabulous, says producer Richard Zanuck of Depp. ``There's no one who can do these crazy, offbeat, eccentric characters like Johnny can. He has a way of being funny and crazy, yet poignant. He's one of the world's great actors; he takes bigger chances than any other male star.

As the actor developed the character, Depp discovered that the hatters of the period often suffered from mercury poisoning. ``The term 'mad as a hatter' actually came from real hatters when they were making these sort of beautiful beaver-pelt top hats, he says. ``The glue they used had very high mercury content. It would stain their hands; they'd go goofy from the mercury and go nuts.

Depp felt his character's entire body, not just his mind, would be affected by the mercury poisoning, and painted a watercolor of the Hatter with orange hair, a clown-like face, and green eyes of different size. ``I just knew what he looked like for some reason, he says of the Hatter's final look. ``When I went into the makeup trailer the process just sort of happened. It's very rare that everything works so quickly. The only time I'd ever had that happen on that level was with Captain Jack.

Depp also thought the Hatter would have several distinct personalities and accents. ``It seemed to me also that because he would be so hyper-sensitive, he would need to travel into another state, another personality, to be able to survive, which kicks in when he is threatened or when he's in danger. I thought it would be like experiencing a kinder form of personality disorder in a way.

Alice in Wonderland Voices: Alan Rickman, Caterpillar, Michael Sheen, White Rabbit

The Voices of Wonderland: Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar, Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Timothy Spall as Bayard the Bloodhound, Barbara Windsor as the Dormouse, Christopher Lee as the Jabberwocky, Michael Gough as the Dodo, and Paul Whitehouse as the March Hare

``It was important to me to have a real, heavy British flavor, says Burton of the ``ALICE IN WONDERLAND voice cast which includes Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar, Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Timothy Spall as Bayard the Bloodhound, Barbara Windsor as the Dormouse, Christopher Lee as the Jabberwocky, Michael Gough as the Dodo, and Paul Whitehouse as the March Hare. ``There are lots of people I've always admired.

``I wanted to try and make the animated voices not overly animated, so they all felt like they were in the same world, Burton continues. ``I didn't want them to feel like live-action characters in a completely animated world, so I tried to make the live-action a bit more extreme, and then with the animation, I tried to bring it back. I was lucky enough to get really great actors who-if they had done it as humans would have been great-brought the animated characters up to the level of the live-action.

``I wished I could have put the suit on and run around with the ears and the tail, laughs Michael Sheen, who provided the voice of the White Rabbit. ``Unfortunately, I just got to be in a sound studio doing the voice. Tim very much wanted the characters not to be too cartoonish, so it was just a question of getting the tone right. Most of the characters in 'Alice' are quite posh. Upper-middle-class characters.

Alice in Wonderland 3D Box-Office Results

Alice in Wonderland 3D Box-Office Results

Domestic: $275,827,077 (47.9%)

Foreign: $300,000,000 (52.17%)

Total: $575,827,077 (Worldwide)

The Voices of Wonderland

To create his vision of Underland, filmmakers first returned to the source material- Carroll's books. ``We gathered all the artwork from all of the various artists who'd drawn 'Alice in Wonderland' and put it up on the wall, to get a mood, a flavor going, recalls production designer Rob Stromberg. ``Then we started talking about how we could keep it true to the book, but take it to a place that hadn't been seen before.

``The illustrations for the original printing of the book became a pretty decent roadmap for us, adds art director Todd Cherniawsky. ``Those became our imprint for Alice's flashbacks in the movie, whereas what ends up happening in Underland is definitely a more Burtonesque version.

Burton's Underland is in decline, drained of color and vitality under the oppressive rule of the Red Queen, but, say filmmakers, that's not where they began. ``Early on, Underland was being explored as a very colorful place, says Cherniawsky. ``But the more those initial designs evolved, Tim's reaction was, 'This is visually really nice, but it's a better place to end up in.' So we had a bit of an aesthetic shift to ground it into Tim's world, and it became a tale, to a certain extent, of oppression and suppression.

The key to Underland's haunted look was a photograph taken during World War II of a British family having tea outside their estate. ``In the background you could see the skyline of London, quite dishevelled, Cherniawsky says. ``That started to fuel the arc of Underland starting out as a very suppressed, gloomy world with a crushed palette. Then, as the film unfolds and things become more positive, we had a place to go to with the sunlight and with the color.

``The thing about Underland, like any fairy-tale land, there's good and the bad, Burton says. ``The thing I liked about Underland is that everything is slightly off, even the good people. That to me is something different.