Filmmakers use cinematic techniques to communicate meaning, entertain or impart a certain emotional or psychological response to the audience. In this way, the aimed theme of the film is elaborated and thus a film is complete. Such methods include cinematography that encompasses the size of the shot and camera angle. Another method includes sound effects, lighting techniques, movement, expressions, and many others. Edward Scissorhands films happen to be of the horror genre. This means that the films do not have happy ending (Depp, Winona & Tim 211). This is because Edward stayed in the Gothic Castle because he could no longer fit in the society. It is a pitiful situation since he was created by an inventor who died before giving him a pair of human hands. He later was adopted by Avon woman. He was a temperate and weak being who never intended to hurt anybody. Despite the great effort by Avon woman to adopt him, he could not merge to the community.
Tim Burton in this film communicated the basis perception of forcing others to conform to the society. Many negative norms arose as Edward was adopted in Avon’s family. Considering that Edward was marginalized, he was also a victim of self-esteem. Although the intentions of those close to him were good, he could also feel marginalized. Burton brings a discussion that it is bad to discriminate people with physical challenges. He also cautioned about taking advantage of the challenged and presumption that they are always wrong.
The filmmaker’s intention was to make the film to be a horror genre. This horrible intention has also been manifested by Picart, Frank and Jayne (57). The use of characters has helped in enhancing development of symbolic codes, which out up the discussion. Methodological convention of camera angle and symbolic code of color emphasized the dominant discourse. The overriding dialogue of conformity was also constructed. Burton uses this for confronting the viewer with ironical features of adoption for Edward to fit in the society. In this, we come to realize that the society can conform to accept people when influenced. The use of scenes such as Christmas gave confidence to the audience with console and calmness of conformity. In a negative perspective, conformity with respect to stereotypical character of homemakers, wanting nothing and eventually pushing him out of town portrays conformity negatively.
The lighting techniques used in Edwards’s film influence greatly the meaning of the shot. Tim Burton used a dreary light, an expression to display the mood of the movie. Lightening made the characters’ setting and several things look mysterious. The first appearance of Edward happens to be a dark corner of an empty room. In a mare look up, Edward is clothed in stiff black fabric encaging his upper body. The dark character of the room makes the Avon woman stare and want to come closely to examine Edward features. In this way, the use of light draws the attention of the audience.
The use of light is also applied when Edward was leaving the house and comes in to contact with flashing red lights. He could see the police officers pointing guns at him. The flashing red light showed presence of police officers. Social satire comes into play in the scene where Edward encounters the police as he tried to rob a house. The purpose of this satire is to give you an idea about human flows in the community. In a much wider depiction of light, Burton brought the aspect of gothic field. For instance, the opening scene was in a very gloomy puzzling turret. This castle was encircled by the impression of vagueness because it was black, foggy and with snow falls. This revealed a horrible situation that enhanced the horror theme. Much use of light to show the fascinating colors of the castle gave the castle impressive looks. Contrary to this, Avon after entering the castle finds it to be gloomy and restful.
During the filming, as Edward cuts Joyce’s hair, we see an under shot where the position of camera is tilted on an angle below Joyce. This camera positioning brings forth a depiction to view Edward as “god” for he is taller than Joyce is. This meaning is enhanced by the use of a light blue-sky background. In this contest, we conclude that camera movement and angle are used to generate an imaginary image. In addition, the title Edward “Scissorhands” clearly implies that Edwards’s hands were harmful. However, Joyce’s hands were scrawl and spiky, particularly her nails that were long and curved. This makes an impression that Joyce is evil and treacherous for her hands resembled those of a witch.
The use of sound effects in this movie is used to enhance presentation. For example, when the Avon woman was discovering the existence of Edward, a ghost sound effect was applied. This sound is important in explaining the environment of a place as quoted by Turk (73). For instance, Edward was in a very dark room that gave an impression of ghost presence. In many instances like his encounter with the police, a deadly tone could dictate the approach of the evil. The audience uses this sound effect to guess or predict the approach of either a positive event or negative one. In this movie, much emphasis was laid to enhance the horror theme. Sound in the film enhances ambience and evokes the emotions of the characters. They also enhance the plot development of the play. In addition, such musical scores are incorporated to make up complete components of a film.
With the introduction of Kim, who was very jealous, the film brings a violent provoking environment that is symbolized by a gentle comedic tone. After Kim and Joyce turned against Edward, this marks the beginning of the havoc in the society. Edward Scissorhands also exposed fear among people to the new culture. This is where isolated people are viewed to be different with normal people (Han 208). For instance, in the scene where Edward eats with the family, the whole family was staring making him feel awkward.
This gives a clear observation that their action regardless of him being a stranger, they viewed him differently from a normal human perspective. The neighborhood does not completely regard Edward Scissorhands as one of them because he was quite different from them. This kind of rejection was because of his hands. Temporary acceptance by the neighborhood comes when Joyce’s uncontrolled passion towards Edward came into play. Nevertheless, as he is caught helping Kim in an attempt to steal Jim’s dad stereo equipment, it brings another portrait of him in the society. Thus, he becomes a reject of the society completely.
Color has also been used in different ways. The persistent use of black and grey color comes into play to emphasize the lifeless vicinity of the environment. When Edward ends up moving to town, he is welcomed to the world full of colors meaning a world of life. Burton not only used color to show setting and mood in this movie, he also used color to foretell when something is going to happen. A black dreary color could imply that the phenomenon is evil or involved danger. In the event where Edward is chased away from the town, agony erupted. This implies that his rejection brought a negative scene that changed everything. Therefore dark blush color is applied to symbolize agony.
On the other hand, bright colors were used to bring happiness in the scene. These colors are commonly seen in the events where peace and happiness occurred. For instance, when Edward is conformed to the society and everything is working well, white color is used to dictate the environment. Another instance of the color comes when Edward went to rob. We realize that the walls are white in color and all the furnishing in the house are either black or white. The mixture of the two colors in one room reflected the modern society we live. This is an implication that, in a society, there are good people and bad people.
Imagery portrayed in this film gives the audience a clear diction of how complex it is to try to transform an individual in the society. This leaves a question of whether one should or should not be conformed. Most probably, for a person like Edward, the answer is negative. An example can be seen when Kim’s mother tries to change Edwards’s appearance. She does this by giving him clothes and using makeup to hide his scars. The action of this woman is not justified because she keeps on giving Edward an impression that he is different from others. In this scene of conformity, there is a lively and happy music in the background. This showed that Edwards’s environment was being changed from the huge dark mansion to a more socially accepted home and change in the air.
Tin Burton has successfully managed to use cinematic techniques to enhance flow of the play. The sequential flow of events and plot development has enhanced the flow of the film. The lighting device has been used to bring fourth horrible scenes. When the film begins, we come to find that Edward was in a dark place. This gave an idea that the environment he was in was lifeless .Lighting has been used also to predict occurrences. Bright light was use to imply calm environment while dark was used to symbolize horror. The use of sound effects also has been successively used. In an instance where danger or havoc was happening, an evil or ghostly sound was used. In happy situations, a lively and happy musical tone was played to show satisfaction of life. Camera positioning was also used to bring the meaning of certain events. The camera adjustment also gave different characters different personalities.
Depp, Johnny, Winona Ryder, and Tim Burton. Edward Scissorhands. S.l.: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2006. Print.
Han, Lei. Pixel Noir: A Style for Cinematic Computer-Generated Lighting. College Station, Tex: Texas A&M University, 2006. Print.
Parentjuice.com. “Inside the Mind of a Teenage Perfectionist.” Articlesbase. Web. 21 October 2008.
Picart, Caroline, Frank Smoot, and Jayne Blodgett. The Frankenstein Film Sourcebook. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2001. Print.
Turk, Edward. Child of Paradise: Marcel Carné and the Golden Age of French Cinema. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1989. Print.