Thursday, May 22, 2014

Land O' Scissorhands

Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands was filmed on location in Land O' Lakes, Lutz, and Lakeland, Florida, and though most of the settings were artifically altered on a grand Hollywood-style scale (homes in the Carpenter's Run neighborhood were repainted and fitted with false facades to get the look Burton wanted) there's one location he didn't have to change a bit.

The Southgate Shopping Center had the perfect crazy off-kilter retro look Burton adores, and I was surprised to learn it really exists, and wasn't just something his team temporarily constructed for the film. It still stands today, if you want to go have your picture taken where Johnny Depp stood.

The giant gothic mansion where Edward lived, however, doesn't really exist and was assembled for shooting and then taken down. Which is a pity - if they'd left it standing, imagine the tourist attraction that could have been subsequently made of it.

Burton, who had never shot a movie in Florida before, got more than he bargained for. Sometimes the clouds of insects in the air made the film appear grainy and spoiled much footage that had to be reshot. And though the beautiful surreal sky of Florida was part of what made him choose it as a location, he hadn't reckoned with just how quickly Florida skies change. The sky can look completely different here at any given moment than it did just half an hour ago, and it made it difficult to preserve a sense of continuity in scenes. (Not that continuity and cohesiveness have ever been Burton's strong suit.)

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