What's up with Danny Elfman?

All the dirt. All the top secret stuff. Anything that has to do with the process of getting us to sit and watch something projected on the big screen.

Postby Shane on Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:22 am

He's done awesome stuff, Spidey was not his best.

I want to see the Oingo Boingo reunion.
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Postby King Psyz on Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:24 am

Maybe I'm alone here but I always find that his scores always sound very much like a "Danny Elfman Scoreâ„¢". For instance, listen to the Simpsons theme, then listen to... well any Danny Elfman soundtrack and tell me you don't find an odd sensation of Deja Vu.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:32 am

I don't have an issue with his "signature" scores, but he is flexible. His The Hulk score is great, nothing really like he's done before.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:39 am

King Psyz wrote:Maybe I'm alone here but I always find that his scores always sound very much like a "Danny Elfman Scoreâ„¢". For instance, listen to the Simpsons theme, then listen to... well any Danny Elfman soundtrack and tell me you don't find an odd sensation of Deja Vu.


I agree - but you could say that about Mozart too, so I don't know if it's a bad thing. And AH - I frickin love the Hulk score also!
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Postby King Psyz on Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:45 am

While I agree there's something to be said for having a "sound", I still stand by the notion that that doesn't belong in a film score. I find it distracting, esspecially when it sounds so similar to something well known and ingrained, like the Simpsons, or original Batman theme.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:56 am

ThisIsTheGirl wrote:
King Psyz wrote:Maybe I'm alone here but I always find that his scores always sound very much like a "Danny Elfman Scoreâ„¢". For instance, listen to the Simpsons theme, then listen to... well any Danny Elfman soundtrack and tell me you don't find an odd sensation of Deja Vu.


I agree - but you could say that about Mozart too, so I don't know if it's a bad thing. And AH - I frickin love the Hulk score also!


It's just so epic, coupled with the brilliantly queasy intro montage... it's easily the strongest Marvel score of the recent batch. I pray they don't lose it for the next one, although chances are they will.
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Postby Fievel on Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:30 pm

If I wrote some music for a film and found out it was replaced, I'd want my name taken off too. I'm sure some effective communication between all parties could have solved the Nacho Libre problem.

Elfman has a pretty respectable list of works to his name going back to the Oingo Boingo days. He is what he is. If you hire Elfman, you're going to get Elfman. Don't expect anything else. That would be like hiring John Williams and asking him to make it sound more like Kanye West.

I'm still waiting for the release of Elfman's symphony that he debuted in a performance quite some time ago now.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:37 pm

AtomicHyperbole wrote:It's just so epic, coupled with the brilliantly queasy intro montage... it's easily the strongest Marvel score of the recent batch. I pray they don't lose it for the next one, although chances are they will.


Definitely. I think he took a couple of musical cues from the Vertigo theme, but that just makes me like it even more. Cool film, cool intro, very cool score. What is the next Marvel movie anyway? I know they wanted to self-finance Iron Man. Is that next up, or something else?
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:29 pm

I love Elfman solely for Nightmare Before Christmas which is THE holiday CD around my house. Those songs pack more punch than anything off Broadway in the last ten years.

The Edward Scissorhand soundtrack is also quite lovely, even if it has become a Goth tearjerker.

I wouldn't be surprised if he clashed alot. Both he and Burton are on a different wavelength than most people. I imagine when he comes up against more conventional directors or blank studio heads, he doesn't react well. It's like the odd, but talented kid at school...just doesn't play well with others?
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:47 pm

It's weird, what sets Elfman off. Ang Lee threw out hole scoring sessions and made him rewrite the music because it was 'too Danny Elfman' and he didn't want Elfman doing the kind of music he does in all the other movies. And Elfman LOVED that shit. He said it made him really stretch his talent and grow as an artist, yada yada.. So maybe he's just hormonal, I dunno...
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Postby DennisMM on Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:55 pm

Re: Elfman always sounding like "Elfman," some of the more-respected scorers do that as well. My wife can spot John Williams a mile off, frequently by his swipes from the great composers. She's a classically trained violist, which helps.
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:07 pm

Yeah, I wasn't knocking anyone for having their own personal style. But I'm having trouble pinpointing what interference and micromanagement from directors that he likes, and what kind makes him declare kanly upon your house...
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Postby MasterWhedon on Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:09 pm

It must be one of those things where he falls in love with a specific cue or just feels really strongly about a particular issue. All of these big flare-ups I've read about with him seem to start over very small things.
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Postby RogueScribner on Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:15 pm

It's just weird that you never hear all this drama with other composers (for the most part). I mean, there was the whole Lucas cutting up Williams' score in AOTC, but I don't recall if Williams' had a public reaction to that, and I know Peter Jackson wasn't happy with Howard Shore on Kong for some reason, but again, no real drama, he was just replaced. With Elfman it seems that whenever something doesn't work out there's DRAMA OHNOES!!!

Or maybe it's just me. :P
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Postby DennisMM on Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:21 pm

RogueScribner wrote:It's just weird that you never hear all this drama with other composers (for the most part). I mean, there was the whole Lucas cutting up Williams' score in AOTC, but I don't recall if Williams' had a public reaction to that, and I know Peter Jackson wasn't happy with Howard Shore on Kong for some reason, but again, no real drama, he was just replaced. With Elfman it seems that whenever something doesn't work out there's DRAMA OHNOES!!!

Or maybe it's just me. :P


Shore's departure from Kong was pretty public. Though scenes were not made on either side, what I read made it clear that Shore felt he was not being treated well. Word was he was ordered to make substancial changes far too late for his liking. I think Jackson's relationship with Shore through LOTR led up to this break.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:43 pm

It was pretty public when they replaced Gabriel Yared's score with James Horner for "Troy." I don't remember it being a scandal, but it raised an eyebrow...I think it's one of those red flags about a film--if they couldn't keep a handle on the soundtrack, what else might be crap?

With Danny Elfman, I think it gets alot of press because he's one of the few "popular" composers out there. He's like a rock star of soundtracks, thanks to Oingo Boingo and Johnny Depp/Tim Burton mania. He's also willing to go to the press, whereas John Williams or Howard Shore seem content staying in their studio.

As for recognizable composers, James Horner is another one you can spot a mile off. He started out promising--he had a knack for themes, and I still think his score for Braveheart is beautiful. But after he won for Titanic, he just fell back on using Irish pipes and that "bad guy" thump of notes that he used in Willow.
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Postby RogueScribner on Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:57 am

James Horner has to be the most cannibalizing composer EVER.
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Postby King Psyz on Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:55 pm

well it seems this was just some shit disturbing done by an individual when in fact all he did was not take full credit for the score since Beck did a good portion of the final score.
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Terminator Salvation

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:21 pm

From MTV: EXCLUSIVE: Danny Elfman To Score ‘Terminator Salvation’
Brian Warmoth wrote:Cast your expectations aside for the score to May’s “Terminator Salvation.” Danny Elfman has confirmed exclusively for MTV News that he will be composing the music for McG’s new post-nuclear-holocaust Terminator installment of the blockbuster franchise.

“I just started yesterday,” Elfman told MTV News from the red carpet of the Critics’ Choice Awards. The Academy Award nominated composer from films like “Good Will Hunting,” “The Corpse Bride” and “Batman” indicated that the original “Terminator” theme by composer Brad Fiedel was not in use yet; nor is there mandate to incorporate the classic symphonic hook. He did, however, leave the door open for its appearance.

“I think if it comes up and it seems appropriate, we will [use it],” Elman said. “And if it doesn’t, we [won't]. I never really know what to expect when I begin other than just kind of get into it and have fun. Especially a movie like “T4” – just have fun. So that’s what I intend to do.”

Last month we brought you exclusive word that the “Salvation” soundtrack will also include a track by the film’s star, hip-hop artist Common. The rapper plays the role of Barnes, a freedom fighter who battles Skynet alongside John Connors.

Elfman has the magic touch when it comes showcasing the monumentally bizarre and violently solemn moments on screen in his music. Right now, it’s obvious “Terminator: Salvation” will be breaking out the big sound guns for its score. And the sentiment was definitely echoed in Elfman’s response to the screening he recently saw.

The composer for all three “Spider-Man” films had one word for it: “Exciting.”
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:43 pm

From Variety: Danny Elfman kicks off Comic-Con
Erin Maxwell wrote:Kicking off the morning’s activities at the 2010 Comic-Con, music maestro Danny Elfman was on hand at the Con to greet the +1000 folks the stood in the light rain to see him. His popularity among the nerd herd is no surprise since the former Oingo Boingo frontman has spent the better part of the last 25 years scoring comicbook themed pics such as "Batman," "Darkman," "Men in Black" and "Dick Tracey."

Yet despite his strong alliance with the comicbook community, this is Elfman's first time at Comic-Con.

"This is very embarrassing for me," admitted Elfman. "I'm terrified of public speaking...and tidal waves. Those are my two biggest fears."

His dark, brooding compositions also provided the perfect tone for Tim Burton's pics. Their collaboration began in 1985 when Elfman provided the frantic tunes needed to set the pace for "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure."

Since then, Elfman has been Burton's go-to guy for scoring everything from the offbeat cult hit "Beetlejuice" to emo favorite "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to the recent 3D spectacle "Alice in Wonderland."

"When we first met, I was in a rock band at the time. I hadn't even considered scoring films. I got a call that this young kid was going a Pee-Wee Herman movie," said Elfman. "We met and we had a lot in common. We were both raised in Los Angeles, we both were raised on horror films. We hit it off."

To celebrate the 25 year collaboration, Warner Bros. Records will release "The 25th Anniversary Music Box," featuring 14 CDs, a DVD and a book of interviews between Elfman and Burton.

That bond began a team that was to create some the most memorable movie music in the modern age of cinema.'

"Having done 13 films with Tim, I've had many opportunities to express myself," said Elfman. "At first, I was known as the comedy guy, then I did 'Beetlejuice,' and I was known as the quirky guy. . .Tim has allowed me to move around quite a bit because his movies move around quite a bit. He allowed me access to write in a way that opened many doors for me. He's allowed me to grow in a way where I can score any type of film."

Of this partnership, Elfman has his standouts.

“For me, ‘Nightmare’ was the most fun because we had no script. For a month, Tim would come over and tell me part of a scene and show sketches, then I would get an idea for some music and kick him out by saying, ‘Come back in three days,” remember Elfman. “No other film was that easy, seamless or organic.”

And the most difficult?

“’Batman.’ I never worked with an orchestra, the studio didn’t want me, the producer didn’t want me, only this young director,” said Elfman. “Originally, the studio wanted Prince to score the Joker, Michael Jackson to score Batman and George Michael to write the love theme,” Elfman confessed. “When I played the title music for producer Jon Peters, he jumped up and began conducting. Tim and I looked at each other and we knew we were home free.”

“The best thing about working with Tim is that he gives me a long enough leash for me to have my fun,” said Elfman.

The WB music set release will be available before Christmas 2010.
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:53 am

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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:11 am

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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:13 am

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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:14 am

The Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:21 pm

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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:30 pm

THE HERO COMPLEX INTERVIEW: DANNY ELFMAN (PART 1)
Danny Elfman knows the score: Tim Burton ‘opened every door for me’

THE HERO COMPLEX INTERVIEW: DANNY ELFMAN (PART 2)
Danny Elfman: ‘I always saw myself as an alien as a child’
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:52 pm

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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:50 am

Composer Danny Elfman's year: 6 film scores, 6 different styles
He didn't mean to work on so many scores, but 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Hitchcock,' 'Promised Land,' 'Dark Shadows,' 'Frankenweenie' and 'Men in Black 3' each had something that drew him.
Todd Martens wrote:Composer Danny Elfman was deep into completing his work on David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" when the director called an audible. Perhaps, the musician remembers Russell telling him, there should be no original music.

Elfman said he tried to stay calm. "Maybe we should sit on that thought for a bit," Elfman said he told Russell.

If Elfman was frustrated, forgive him, as his time in 2012 was rather limited. "Silver Linings Playbook" is one of six full-length films released this year featuring an Elfman score, and one of three, including "Hitchcock" and "Promised Land," to be in theaters during awards season. (He also scored Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" and "Frankenweenie," as well as "Men in Black 3.")

"This was by far a record for me," Elfman said in mid-November, just as he was completing work on Disney's 2013 film "Oz: The Great and Powerful." "There was a point where I didn't think I could pull this off. I wouldn't want to do this again."

And he certainly didn't want a completed score to go to waste. Yet Elfman said Russell challenged him to think about the role music should play in a film — or if it should even be there at all.

"With another director," Elfman said, "I may have tossed up my hands and just said, 'I can't handle this.' I like him personally, though, so I was able to kick back and relax and just let him go where he goes. If there ends up being music, there's music, if there ends up being no music, then that was my job. My job was to show him that he doesn't want any music."

In the end, there was music. "Silver Linings Playbook" was an anomaly among Elfman's scores. Largely centered on a jangly guitar, a cresting piano and fragile vocal harmonies, it was pop-focused and full of odd little melodies.

And though the composer does not like comedies ("It is a genre that is clearly off my list. I do not do them"), "Silver Linings" hooked him, and that's because it reminded Elfman of films that no longer exist. "I felt like this was Frank Capra and Billy Wilder. This film connected with a period when I actually did like romantic comedies."

It was when Elfman began laying down vocal harmonies that Russell fell for the score. "I just did an experiment, and he said, 'Do more of that.' Next thing I knew I was laying down all these Beach Boy harmonies. That's not the best way to describe it. The Beatles? The Beach Boys? It's a male harmony vocal something."

References to Capra, Wilder and '60s pop aside, Elfman acknowledges an affinity for the past. It's partly what drew him to "Hitchcock," a film he wasn't going to score. He visited the set knowing he didn't really have the time to take on another project, but having worked on Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake of "Psycho," he was ultimately seduced by the prospect of working on a film about "Psycho's" behind-the-scenes drama.

"To me, the story of how 'Psycho' got made is a nail-biting thriller of monumental proportions," Elfman said. "There isn't a more thrilling subject matter for me, but I don't know if I'm the only person on the planet who will feel that way."

Elfman had already revisited the work of famed composer and Alfred Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann, so he instead used a small orchestra and actually played it not too unlike that of an old-fashioned romantic comedy. Violins carry the score, but they're in a constant give-and-take with French horns and a piano.

"The music is in many elements a comedy, and Sacha [Gervasi] wanted to make it clear that it's OK to have fun with sections of this movie," Elfman said. "The heartfelt part needed to be very heartfelt. I tried to create an old-fashioned romantic theme, not from any particular era but in the mold of how a classic romantic theme might be."

Going forward, Elfman plans to limit his yearly output to three or four films, tops. The saving grace, he said, was the wildly different styles for each score. His compositions, for instance, for Van Sant's late December release, "Promised Land," were initially going to be all percussion. They're not.

"No composer can ever say, 'I haven't lost my talent,'" Elfman said. "Maybe I have. But I at least can say I haven't lost my energy. Others can dictate the talent level."
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:46 am

Composing wizard Danny Elfman talks sweeping, gigantic ‘Oz’ score
Gina McIntyre wrote:“The Wizard of Oz” features some of the most beloved songs in movie musical history: “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead.”

But with Disney’s March 8 release, “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” director Sam Raimi and composer Danny Elfman were quite conscious of putting a wholly unique stamp on a project inspired by author L. Frank Baum’s original books, not the Oscar-winning 1939 movie.

In one instance, though, that directive proved especially tricky — when writing a song for a sequence in which a group of happy Munchkins welcome James Franco’s Oz to the Emerald City, Elfman found himself in something of a predicament.

“These Munchkins are little people in a joyous town of fantasy singing an up-tempo welcoming song. There really aren’t that many ways to apply that,” Elfman said during a recent interview in his home studio in Los Angeles.

It was one of the few hiccups Elfman (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “Alice in Wonderland”) encountered in penning the roughly 75 minutes of music featured in the movie, which recounts the tale of just how Oz journeyed from dusty Kansas to the glorious Technicolor world beyond the rainbow.

In the screenplay, credited to Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire, the strong storm blows Franco’s magician con-man into the distant land where he encounters talking China dolls, flying monkeys and several witches, including Mila Kunis’ Theodora, Rachel Weisz’s Evanora and Michelle Williams’ sunny Glinda.

The movie’s fantastical CGI imagery hadn’t quite been completed, though, as snippets from the film flashed across a trio of monitors inside the Barbra Streisand scoring stage on the Sony lot in Culver City on a Saturday afternoon in mid-December.

A full orchestra played along to the sequences while Elfman, nursing a cold with a mug of green tea, sat beside his orchestrator Steve Bartek at a massive sound board, offering various suggestions to the musicians. “I need a little more of the bassoon”; “Let’s try playing the trombone — oh, what’s the word — a little straighter?”

“Danny has a grand arsenal of musical abilities,” Raimi said in a separate interview. “He’s able to create a sweeping gigantic sound that can really describe a tremendous scale and help us create this very unique world that Frank Baum wrote about, the land of Oz.”

Elfman hadn’t worked on one of Raimi’s film since 2004’s “Spider-Man 2,” but in his studio, the composer said the score came “lightning fast” — he wrote the bulk of the music in only about six weeks.

“‘Oz’ was very clear, what the tone was,” he said. “We’re going to take an approach that’s old school but not self-consciously old fashioned. Let the melodrama be melodrama, let everything be what it is. I also think there’s the advantage that I’m able to write narratively, and when I’m able to write narratively I can also move quicker because that’s my natural instincts, I can tell a story in the music.”

As for that Munchkin song? Elfman said in the end, he opted to sing that number himself — and he did not alter his voice to give it any kind of familiar ring. No Lollipop Guild retreads here, but maybe not a radical departure from the past either.

“They’re still singing, and they’re still merry,” Elfman said.
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:51 am

From The Playlist June 20, 2011:
Danny Elfman Makes Peace With Sam Raimi To Score 'Oz The Great and Powerful'
Oliver Lyttelton wrote:It's always sad when creative collaborators with years of history and solid work behind them, fall out. It's not always as explosive as, say, Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, but it always stings a bit. One of the more notable public fall-outs in recent years came between Oingo Boingo member turned film-score heavyweight Danny Elfman, and director Sam Raimi, who'd worked on four films together over two decades, including the first two "Spider-Man" entries.

After the superhero sequel, things went very sour, with Elfman telling CHUD back in 2005 (an interview that seems to have been struck from their archives, but survives thanks to Total Film) that "'Spider-Man 2' was a miserable experience. "It's like my connection with Sam got completely severed. As far as I'm concerned, he went to sleep, somebody put a pod next to him and when he awoke, he wasn't the same person I'd known for a decade. He went from right there number two on my list of favourite directors to the exact opposite of what I look for in a film experience. Everything I could do on 'Spider-Man 1,' I couldn't do on 'Spider-Man 2.'He got so intensely attached to the music that I couldn't even adapt my own music close enough...It's the first time I've ever walked from a director in 20 years. I'd rather go back to waiting tables than to do 'Spider-Man 2' again, to have to have the same experience.” Burn!

But of course, time heals all wounds, and it seems that the two have kissed and made up: Film Music Reporter has dug up an interview with Elfman from the Grammy Museum in L.A, where Elfman revealed that he's signed on to score Raimi's upcoming tentpole "Oz The Great and Powerful." It's unclear when the two made peace (Christopher Young scored "Spider-Man 3" and "Drag Me To Hell" for the director), but considering how firmly 'Oz,' which will star James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Zach Braff, is in Elfman's wheelhouse, we're not surprised that he's on board, and it seems that they're close again: Elfman says "I'm not going to say no to ... Sam."
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:10 pm

Composer Danny Elfman To Rework THE AVENGERS Original Theme Into AGE OF ULTRON Score
If you were hoping the Age of Ultron score wouldn't stray too far from Alan Silvestri's Avengers theme, you won't be disappointed according to composer Danny Elfman.
Elfman recently spoke with 891 ABC Adelaide about re-imagining other people's scores which led to him discussing Age of Ultron. "I was doing the same thing actually just last week because I've contributed music to the new Avengers movie," revealed the composer. "I took part of Alan Silvestri's theme on the original [movie], which I really liked, and I pulled it into it new theme, which became kind of a hybrid. I really enjoyed that."
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:03 am

Danny Elfman: "Jack Skellington Is a Fun Guy To Be" (Q&A)
The celebrated composer dicusses returning to Halloween Town for a live performance of 'The Nightmare Before Christmas’ at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 31.
Jeff Bond wrote:It’s been over two decades since composer Danny Elfman last served up one of the raucous annual Halloween concerts with Oingo Boingo, the eclectic rock band that Elfman fronted for years before he turned his talents to movie music. Elfman has no plans to reunite the band, but fans can still see him in concert in a performance of the entire score and songs to the Tim Burton-produced, Henry Selick-directed 1994 stop motion fantasy The Nightmare Before Christmas — which will be synchronized to the film — at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 31. The composer says he was skeptical at first, but was relieved when tickets for the Halloween performance sold out the day they were put on sale. A second show was quickly added for the following night. Elfman, who will sing in character as “Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about why he decided to return to Halloween Town 22 years later.
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby TheButcher on Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:27 pm

Danny Elfman Hates When Reboots Scrap Classic Themes
"It’s only for the ego of the director," says the 'Justice League' maestro, who revived his 'Batman' score for the new film.
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby Ribbons on Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:17 pm

TheButcher wrote:Danny Elfman Hates When Reboots Scrap Classic Themes
"It’s only for the ego of the director," says the 'Justice League' maestro, who revived his 'Batman' score for the new film.


As opposed to the ego of a composer who expects the music he wrote for a specific movie to be used in every movie featuring that character for the rest of time? Danny Elfman is getting crotchety in his old age.
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Re: What's up with Danny Elfman?

Postby Wolfpack on Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:03 am

that's some weird science right there
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