Scissorhands magic alive and well 25 years later

Mark Wilson reports

- Before they became superstars, actor Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton spent three months in the spring of 1990 living and working in the Tampa Bay area -- specifically, the Carpenter's Run subdivision in eastern Pasco County.

Back then, Carpenter's Run was a new community of single-family homes, and Burton transformed it into a fantasyland for his movie 'Edward Scissorhands,' which has gone on to become a Hollywood cult classic, grossing more than $86 million.

Petra and Sam Nelle still live in the same house Tim Burton selected to shoot several scenes.

"All the houses were painted different bright colors," Petra recalled as she pointed out different areas of their living room, which were in the movie. 

"The lady who didn't like Edward Scissorhands would play the piano that was right there, and that's the window where she yelled at everyone."

Carpenter's Run was buzzing with excitement as residents auditioned as movie extras. The subdivision's club house became a gathering spot for the crew and local actors who were tapped for small roles.

Kathy Lockwood of Tampa became an extra, and remembers the eccentric wardrobe and scenery that are now mainstays in Burton movies. "I was one of the hair ladies. Our makeup sometimes took two hours to put on," Lockwood said.

Why Carpenter's Run was chosen as the quirky, eccentric neighborhood home of Edward Scissorhands is largely a mystery.

Rose Rosen, the Tampa-based casting director for the movie, believes you'd have to get inside the director's head for the answer. Good luck with that.

"Tim Burton was really kind of quiet, but he had a vision and knew what he wanted," Rosen said as she strolled through the neighborhood 25 years later.

The big difference between the neighborhood today and the one in the movie is age. Trees that were small or didn't exist in the movie are now large and shade most yards and streets, but Carpenter's Run will always remain young and alive on the movie screen.
 

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