Making of Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Long known as a confectioner of imagined worlds both tender and fantastical, director Tim Burton now sets his sights on the most classic of fairy tales - Frank Baum's 'Alice in Wonderland'. It's a story plucked for Burton to be transformed into a visual journey. The movie sees 19-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.

Despite the fact that there have been many other Alice in Wonderland films, Tim Burton have said that he never felt a emotional connection to it and always thought it was a series of some girl wondering around
from one crazy character to another. So this is an attempt to give this a framework, an emotional grounding, which he felt he never really had seen in any version before. Tim said that was the challenge for him - to make Alice feel like a story as opposed to a series of events.

Casting auditions for 250 extras were held in the British city of Plymouth on 6th and 7th August 2008. Requirements were for people with a 'Victorian look' and for applicants to have no visible tattoos, piercings or dyed hair.

Actress Mia Wasikowska beat out several candidates for the role of Alice, including Amanda Seyfried and Lindsay Lohan, who lobbied for the role. Dakota Blue Richards was going to audition for the role of Alice,
which is her dream role, until she found out Tim Burton wanted a adult actress for the part. Ironically, Wasikowska who plays Alice, is only four years older than her. According to Tim Burton was it Mia Wasikowska's gravity that won her the role.

This film marks the 7th time Johnny Depp has worked under the direction of Tim Burton and the 6th time for Helena Bonham Carter. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp worked hard to give the Mad Hatter more
depth and presence than in past portrayals. In fact, the pair swapped sketches and themes for the character prior to creating this new version. Depp was excited to be cast as the Hatter, and has high regards towards the work of Tim Burton. He said "Alice in Wonderland I think is going to be very, very, very fun. It's outstanding ... Tim's work. I think he's outdone himself, you know. Brilliant. The Hatter was very fun to play."

Johnny Depp sat down with the Disney Movie Surfers', Kelsey, to briefly discuss his character, the “Wonderland” appeal, and The Mad Hatter’s relationship with Alice. When talking about playing the role
of The Mad Hatter, Depp “considers himself very lucky” to have had the opportunity to play the role, and dubs the role “a gift” for any actor.

When describing the relationship between Alice and the Hatter, Depp says, “They complete one another like a brother and sister do.” Depp went on to say of the character's relationship that “He’s very protective of her and she’s very protective of him.”

The film was originally set to be released in 2009, but was pushed to March 5, 2010. Filming was scheduled for May 2008, but did not begin until September and finished in December after only 40 days. Scenes set in the Victorian era were shot at Torpoint and Plymouth from September 1—October 14. Two hundred and fifty local extras were chosen in early-August. Locations included Antony House in Torpoint, Charlestown, Cornwall and the Barbican.

Motion capture filming began in early October, at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. Burton later said that he is using a combination of live action and animation, without motion capture. He also noted that this was the first time he had done green screen. Filming also took place at Culver Studios. Photography of this movie took 40 days and composer Danny Elfman scored the film to green screen footage.

Sony Pictures Imageworks designed the visual effects sequences. Burton felt 3D was appropriate to the story's environment. Burton and Zanuck chose to film with conventional cameras, and convert the footage into 3D later; Zanuck explained 3D cameras were too expensive and "clumsy" to use, and they felt that there was no difference between converted footage and those shot in the format. Director James Cameron, who released his 3D film Avatar on December 10, 2009, criticized the choice stating "It doesn't make any sense to shoot in 2D and convert to 3D."


Filmmaking, Hollywood, New Movies


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