Directors Whose Trademarks Are As Popular As Their Films
Their names alone will bring particular images to your head
It takes a lot to be considered a good director, but it takes even more to stand out in the industry. It takes a certain eye and a unique style for audiences to really pick up on a particular film aesthetic and make it synonymous to a name. And yet, some directors have been nothing but successful in this regard.
Psycho, The Birds, Shadow Of A Doubt, Dial M For Murder
If you think Stan Lee’s cameos in Marvel films are brilliant, then you must have forgotten how Alfred Hitchcock appeared in 39 of his 52 films. But other than his quick appearances, Hitchcock’s movies are often clouded with suspense, thanks to his use of a character’s eye as the camera.
Twist endings, shadow play and psychological thrillers have also become trademarks to Hitchcock. Blonde actors and decoy plot points are also classics to the iconic director.
Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream, Pi, The Wrestler, Noah
Obsession is a hard theme to discuss, but Darren Aronofsky seems to get his own thrill from doing just that. His films are overflowing with fast-paced dread, arrogance and the darker side of unhealthy fascinations—whether it’s for drugs, love or a particular profession.
Aronofsky has a talent for illustrating a character’s descent into craziness in a way that surprises audiences. Just think the great tragedy that was the finale of Requiem for a Dream.
The Hateful Eight, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds
There are certain things we will always attribute to Quentin Tarantino, like his love for camera angles. Think the trunk shots in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and From Dusk Till Dawn. Think the corpse POV from Four Rooms, Pulp Fiction and both the Kill Bill volumes. Then there are those 360-degree shots from Jackie Brown, God’s Eye POV in Kill Bill and the tracking shots in Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino also has a penchant for long dialogues and mixing text (usually definitions) within the scenes. He also has this strange-but-quirky fetish with feet and lips.
Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow
We could joke that the Tim Burton trademark relies on two actors: Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. But the truth is that there is so much more to the director than his favoritism to two of Hollywood’s most familiar and eccentric actors.
Burton loves to use dark and light to contrast particular scenes. Consider how the dark interior of Edward’s mansion in Edward Scissorhands was a stark difference to the rest of the town’s brightness. This can also be attributed to Burton’s obvious preference for gothic visuals, like in Beetlejuice and even Alice and Wonderland. Then there is his talent for exploring misunderstood and outcasts, like Edward Bloom in Big Fish, Bruce Wayne in Batman and Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Royal Tenenbams, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom
If there’s one thing that’s constantly associated with Wes Anderson, it’s his use of a meticulous color palette that is eventually saturated in the editing room. This commitment to color create a story book-like quality to his films, as does his preference for the Futura font.
Anderson also likes his wide shots, slow-motion walks and fancy treatments. We also can’t help but mention his obvious love of shots with Bill Murray smoking a cigarette.
Trademarks can be applied anywhere, whether it be your profession or your aesthetic. What’s yours?