Danny Elfman Exclusive Video Interview
Earlier tonight I attended the Hollywood Awards in Beverly Hills
and managed to do a number of interviews on the red carpet. Over the next 24
hours you can expect all of them to be online. Anyhow, the interview below is
with Danny Elfman.
[TRANSCRIPTION BY BLUNTINSTRUMENT]
SW: First of all it's an honour to meet you. I've been a fan of yours
for a very long time.
DE: Thank you very much.
SW: So, I just wanted to start with, uh... Nightmare Before Christmas
seems to be getting so much love from Disney nowadays, and back in the day when
you guys first, you know, released it, it was a different story.
DE: Oh yeah, very different story. It was like, um, before there was
a cloud hanging over that movie before it was released, and after working on
it for two years, over two years, it was really sad because kind of felt this
evacuation from everybody running from it and nobody understood what it was,
and they cancelled all the merchandising, like, weeks before it opened, and
the general vibe was [thumb-down] dead in the water, dead on arrival rather.
And so or it over a number of years toactually gain a following, that's insane.
Of all the movies I've worked on, if I could have picked one thing to grow over
the years that I'd be proud of, it was going to be that, so it's really a dream.
SW: Have you been to Disney Land and seen the haunted mansion when they've
DE: I haven't yet but I intend to.
SW: And I know you've done the music for Milk, I believe?
SW: So, what was that process like and was that a challenge compared
to the others. Could you talk a little bit about it?
DE: Milk was just a pleasure. First off, working with Gus Van Sant is
a pleasure - I love working with Gus. And also, the story's a great story, and
so it was really easy to fall into the story. Sean Penn is so good as Milk that
just watching him and following the story - it actually was easy because it
was easy to follow him and to follow the story, and it was very clear what to
do, which was really to treat Milk as an American hero.
SW: You've obviously reached a point in your composing career when you've
done pretty much everything. Is there a genre or a certain kind of film that
you still itching to do?
DE: Well, I would have a said a hip-hop or rap film, but I'm doing one
right now, so I can't say that any more. I'm in the middle of Notorious,
Biggie Smalls' story. So... I'll think of a genre. I'm sure there's a couple
out there that I haven't tackled yet.
SW: I was going to ask you: what else are you working on besides Notorious?
DE: Well, I mean, I'm working on Notorious and I'm working on
a broadway musical version of [the] life of Houdini right now. Yeah.
SW: That's.. Can you tell me more about that? [interviewer's voice breaks
DE: Not much to tell... It's the beginning of a long process, and like
with any Broadway musical, it will either happen or not happen.
SW: It's sort of in pre-production right now?
DE: Yeah. I'm working on my fifth or sixth song right now. Yeah.
SW: Okay, I'm speaking for all your fans in saying this is really good
[?]. Is it.. dark? Is it a true story? Could you talk a little bit more about
what kind of songs they are?
DE: You know, I'm still finding the tone of it, but.. energised. Most
of the stuff I've written up to now are kindof a bit manic because i think he
had a really kindof intense personality. But there's also going to be a sad,
and it's also going to be a little bit dark, and we're still developing the
conflict in the story right now.
SW: And I guess my last question for you is: obviously you've done music
with Oingo Boingo and everything like that. Are you doing music like that or
are you putting all your stuff into Broadway and into film?
DE: Um, you know, I've been pouring into so many different genres cause,
you know, I had a ballet happen this year, and so between the ballet and films
and Broadway and I'm potentially working on a Cirque du Soleil show for right
here in Hollywood at the Kodak theatre for 2010. So there's all these maybes
(like) floating around, but no (like) doing a rock show, if that's what you
SW: I know you have to go, and I really want to thank you so [clip was