Patrick chats with Director Tim Burton about his recent film “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”. Actor Ricou Browning (“The creature”) swims by to discuss his role in the classic Universal Studios film “Creature From the Black Lagoon”, and Butch Patrick explains what is what like on the set of The Munsters!
Tim Burton is widely regarded as one of cinema’s most imaginative and visual filmmakers. He has achieved both critical and financial success in the live-action and animation genres. Besides Burton’s dedication to filmmaking, he has an enthusiasm for drawing and painting. His most recent directorial work, Big Eyes, for which Amy Adams received a Golden Globe, is a confluence of his two passions—film and art.
Perhaps his greatest industry achievement is helping to reinvigorate the stop-motion industry, starting with his 1993 creation and cult classic The Nightmare Before Christmas; and followed by the 2005 Corpse Bride and 2012 Frankenweenie, both Academy Award and BAFTA nominated films. He has also produced James and the Giant Peach and 9.
Other film milestones include Alice in Wonderland, which won two Academy Awards, and earned more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Burton has won a National Board of Review award for his directing work on 2007’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which also won the Golden Globe for Best Film—Musical or Comedy, and best actor–Musical or Comedy for Johnny Depp.
He earlier received a BAFTA nomination for Best Director for the 2003 fantasy drama Big Fish. His most critically acclaimed film, the 1994 Ed Wood, won two Oscars, a Golden Globe, and two BAFTA nominations.
He has a dedicated following, notably for classic and unique features such as his 1985 directorial debut and unexpected comedic hit, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure; the 1988 wildly inventive Beetlejuice; the action blockbuster Batman; and its 1992 follow-up Batman Returns.
Arguably his most beloved film is the 1990 romantic fantasy Edward Scissorhands— directed, co-written and produced by Burton. The film also marked the start of his successful cinematic partnership with Johnny Depp, who delivered a poignant performance in the title role.
Other films of his include Dark Shadows, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Sleepy Hollow; Planet of the Apes; and Mars Attacks! He has produced several other films including Alice Through the Looking Glass, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Cabin Boy, Batman Forever, and directed two music videos for The Killers.
In 2009, his enthusiasm for art culminated in The Art of Tim Burton, a 430-page book comprising more than 40 years of his personal and project artwork. In November of that year, the Museum of Modern Art opened an extensive exhibit of his work in New York, which went on to tour in Melbourne, Toronto, Los Angeles, Paris, and Seoul. A new version of his exhibit, The World of Tim Burton, has been to Prague, Tokyo and Osaka, Brühl and São Paulo. In 1997, he published the beloved illustrated series of poetry called The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories. A collection of Burton’s napkin sketches, entitled Things You Think About in a Bar was released in 2016.
Burton grew up in Burbank, California and attended California Institute of the Arts, where he studied animation, before moving on to the animation department at Disney. While there, he directed the 1982 stop-motion animated short film Vincent, narrated by Vincent Price. He also directed the 1983 kung fu–inspired short film adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, and the 1984 live-action short film Frankenweenie.
Ricou Browning was born February 16, 1930 in Jensen Beach, Fla. While attending high school he worked for Newton Parry, operator of Wakulla Springs, as a lifeguard, swimmer and diver in water shows. Newt taught him, his brother, and others how to swim underwater using an air hose. This was before scuba was available. The brothers would go down to the bottom of the spring 80 feet and then would swim up under the glass bottom boats. The captain of the boat would ask for quarters to be thrown on the glass bottom to tip the boys for diving. They would then divide the tips up at the end of the day.
During this time he became involved in the Grant Land Rice films which were sports films shot at the Springs. These were very short subject films shown at the theaters prior to the feature film. Subjects as diverse as alligator wrestling, driving a model T underwater, and catching snakes were just a few of the films shot at the Springs.
It was while working at the Springs that Newt told Ricou that a movie company wanted to make a movie there. While visiting the Springs the production crew asked him to swim in front of the camera. Evidently, they were impressed because he was later called by Jack Arnold, the movie’s director, and invited to be the monster of the movie. He did all the underwater shots for the cult classic “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” He was also involved in all three of the sequels.
Butch Patrick was born on August 2, 1953 in Los Angeles California. He made his acting debut in 1961 at the age of eight opposite Eddie Albert in the film “The Two Bears”. While living in Illinois with his grandmother, Butch was flown to Los Angeles to test for the role ofEddie Munster at CBS Studios. “I went in and an hour later I came out with the job” he recalls.
Patrick doesn’t mind talking about being Eddie Munster anymore, but at one time he was bothered by it. He even boasts that he has saved the original Woof- Woof doll after all these years. Around Halloween Patrick is usually booked solid for events that toast the Munsters and proudly welcome little Eddie, now all grown up.