Entertainment Industry Story: Tim Burton
Posted by Kevin Hunter
Director Tim Burton was one of the guys I wanted to work with as I’m a huge lifelong fan. The opportunity presented itself twice during my Film Production days. Actor, Mark Wahlberg had recommended me to the Tim Burton people for “Planet of the Apes”. I had spent the previous year working 12 hour days with Mark on “The Perfect Storm” for Warner Bros.
I received a call from the Tim Burton people about the glowing recommendation and that they wanted to hire me. It was a Saturday and I was in Las Vegas and not in work mode. I said I would let them know Monday.
Come to find out they hired someone else before then. I more or less said, “Your loss.” I didn’t mean it unkindly. It’s your movie, but who you hired is a mistake. Cocky? Maybe. I don’t care.
Two weeks later I get another call from the Tim Burton people saying the person they hired was fired. Film Productions move way too fast and many can’t pull through. The producers more or less begged me this time and offered more money and whatever it would take to get me.
At this point I was prepping for “Original Sin” with Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas, a film that Michelle Pfeiffer produced and had originally been attached to star in, but opted out of starring in at the time as she was in temporary semi-retirement due to wanting to spend more time with her family.
The other movie the Tim Burton people offered me was “Big Fish” with Ewan McGregor and Jessica Lange, who I had also worked with years before on “A Thousand Acres”. The shoot was going to be six day weeks in Alabama, which means an obscene amount of money.
I never did movies for the money and would get offered quite a bit whenever I’d turn something down. They’d keep coming back and giving me a figure, “How’s this?” I’d explain, “Well it’s not about the money.” Of course I am aware of having the luxury of not having to take a job just for the money.
During that time one of my love relationships had ended tragically and I wasn’t in a position to do anything. I declined the offer to do “Big Fish” as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I need to be 110% present or I’m not doing it.
Over the course of several weeks, the Tim Burton people came back around two additional times asking me repeatedly if I would please consider. They offered me even more money to say yes. My answer was the same each time. “No, I’m sorry.”
Just goes to show you that no matter how much of a fan I might be, I know what I’m getting myself into. If I’m not mentally or emotionally prepared to give something my all, then I’m not going to do it. I need to feel whatever I’m doing in my life passionately, or it’s not going to happen.
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Posted on October 5, 2016, in Entertainment Industry Stories, Kevin Hunter, Kevin Hunter Author Writer and tagged Angelina Jolie, Big Fish, Ewan McGregor, Film Production, Jessica Lange, Kevin Hunter, Kevin Hunter author, Mark Wahlberg, michelle pfeiffer, Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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