Tim Burton on AI recreations of his style: “It’s like a robot taking your humanity”
Tim Burton has described recreations of his work by artificial intelligence as “disturbing”.
The director, who is known for his macabre visual style across films like Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, recalled how he felt when seeing this style replicated by AI.
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“They had AI do my versions of Disney characters!” Burton said in mock horror to the Independent, in reference to a Buzzfeed article from July this year. “I can’t describe the feeling it gives you. It reminded me of when other cultures say, ‘Don’t take my picture because it is taking away your soul.’”
While Burton acknowledged that some of the recreations were “very good”, which included a gothic-looking Frozen, the director largely found looking at imitated art to be a soul-sucking experience.
“What it does is it sucks something from you,” Burton added. “It takes something from your soul or psyche; that is very disturbing, especially if it has to do with you. It’s like a robot taking your humanity, your soul.”
Earlier this year, Wes Anderson expressed how he rejects AI recreations of his work following a viral TikTok trend.
“I’m very good at protecting myself from seeing all that stuff,” Anderson told The Times. “If somebody sends me something like that I’ll immediately erase it and say, ‘Please, sorry, do not send me things of people doing me.’
“Because I do not want to look at it, thinking, ‘Is that what I do? Is that what I mean?’ I don’t want to see too much of someone else thinking about what I try to be because, God knows, I could then start doing it.”
Burton previously said his “days with Disney are done” following his experience on 2019’s Dumbo, describing working for the company as a “horrible big circus”.
The director’s next project is Beetlejuice 2, a sequel to his original 1988 film with Michael Keaton back in the lead role. Filming on the project was halted due to the Hollywood actors’ strike, two days before it was scheduled to wrap.