His long-time friend and frequent collaborator, Johnny Depp, said as he presented the award: "Tim is a rare breed in today's cinema: he is a true original, a true artist, a true auteur. He's my favorite director and friend. So ... let's give him the thing, man."
Burton accepted the honor and offered an eight-minute preview of his upcoming film "Sweeney Todd," which stars Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter, the mother of Burton’s 4-year-old son, Billy Ray, and a child due this year.
The clip of Burton’s adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical featured Carter and Depp singing "My Friends."
"It's quite uncharted territory. I don't think there are that many horror movie musicals out there these days. It will be interesting to see what happens with it."
"Sweeney Todd" is Burton and Depp's sixth collaboration.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]