[Audio commentary with isolated score]
Edward Scissorhands DVD, 2000 (film released 1990)
Here follows a transcript by Bluntinstrument. Be prepared for
something a little less than a concise essay, with Danny Elfman's trademark
gushing unending sentences assisted by "and" and "kindof".
For the most part these have been left in. Highlights include an omission of
close emotional connection with his scores while writing, mention of Edward-the-gypsy,
and a great deal said of his approach to scoring at this time, with emphasis
on the melodic-thematic approach...
My name's Danny Elfman, and I am the composer of the score. I'll
be doing a little bit of commentary. This is where the two primary themes for
Edward Scissorhands play, back-to-back: the story theme and Edward's
- two themes really - the first one you've just heard and the one coming up
at the end of this cue.
Here's the next theme, beginning right now.
Edward Scissorhands, after doing, at this point, as I
speak, I believe, 37-38 scores, still is either one of my favourites or perhaps
even my favourite - on so many levels, and I'll get into that, I suppose, as
we go on this commentary. What we just finished was an extended title sequence,
and titles are really important to me, especially in a movie like this - a fantasy
film - because they really have to tell us what we're going to see, what we're
going to feel, what we're getting into. And this was an interesting one because
it was divided into three completely different sections: the opening over the
credits was really what I'd call Edward's first theme, and it's more the playful
storybook side of Edward, the fact that he is in a fairytale, and this is a
fairytale, and that's what it's saying. Then when we go to the grandmother Winona
Rider talking to a child it goes into a piece that I don't consider a primary
theme, but it's basically carrying on a different version of "it's a story
and this story is really beginning here". And very critical to Tim [Burton]
and I was at the end of that scene we are going to catch a glimpse of Edward
for the first time, and that was going to be the very first time that we would
hear Edward's, for lack of a better description, his emotional theme, his second
theme, which is really the theme that represents the heart of the character.
And I remember Tim and I talked about whether that should play full-out the
beginning over the credits but decided to just save it and play a bit of it
like a premonition of what's to come, and it felt like the correct thing to
do. So, it's kindof odd, because in a way it's the main theme of the movie,
but we just play it for a few moments at the very end of the scene.
When I first start a score, I play around for quite a bit with the thematic
ideas and I really have to really know that they're going to play all the beats
that I want them to play, and so there was a number of weeks when I was just
coming up with a number of these ideas and playing them for Tim, and not really
necessarily putting them against individual scenes in the picture, but it was
just knowing that there were these different sides of Edward. One would play
over the inventor because that's one part of the story, the other would play
over the ice scene - that was Edward's emotional centre. And in fact Edward's
music would even play over Kim as a character, that she wasn't even going to
get her own theme. And I suppose classically speaking that's kindof odd too,
but I like following the emotions, not the characters, and I've always felt
that way, and that I carry into the score as well.
As you can hear, we're playing the entire opening theme, very darkly this time.
Well, that cue had a lot of jobs to do, and it was so much fun to write. I
had to cover everything that we were seeing, and I think that taps into my love
of the really really old fashioned movie scoring, back to the 30's and 40's,
which is the stuff that kindof inspired me, because it's all about storytelling,
and you're telling the story in the music that you're seeing, so that even if
you're just watching the images and listening to the music you know what they're
feeling and thinking. It's taking that first frollicky theme and turining it
more ominous, and switching between ominous and wonderment, and wonderment to
menace, and menace to a bit of a light frollick.
And we're going to change pace totally in a few moments and go to our suburbia
theme. And suburban motif is a little bit kindof like muzak, and follows the
look and the feel of this neighbourhood that they live in, which is kindof a
The fun thing about that cue was turning the chairs around in the sense that
instead of the wonderment of everybody coming into Edward's existence, this
is the wonderment of Edward seeing suburbia, which of course looks absurd to
our standards, but to him it's this incredible new wonderland. [This thing?]
of his dreams. And the wonderful joy I had writing this score was that the themes
were so simple, and I got to do all these different variations on them. I'd
been doing so many chaotic, big, heavy scores, or kindof insane scores that
to have something that I could stay within the context of these very simple
melodies - and the variations would be very subtle - was something that meant
a lot to me.
Of all the variations on Edward's main theme, this next one coming up was really
my favourite. I didn't know it when I wrote it, but for some reason the way
it came out it was very simple and understated, and captured in many ways what
I was attempting to go for in this kindof innocent heart of Edward. And it's
funny - you never know those things beforehand, and i thought some of the bigger
statements would be my favourite, but this one always stayed with me.
I don't want to keep going on forever about how special Edward was for me.
I'm going to get all mooshy here. I think it was one of Tim's purest works.
It's so much of Tim in Edward, and Johnny Depp pulled it off so great. I remember
being skeptical at first because I thought of him as a television actor, and
from the scene we just saw on I was just so sold. The way he was playing it
and the way he looked and everything about it. There were many other elements
too, everything about it: the writer Carolyne Thompson was my girlfriend, and
had the pleasure of having the opening night and being able to sit together.
It was an amazing experience for me. It was also right at the time in my composing
career where I was starting to feel a lot more confident. The first films I
did, I had no idea what to make of anything. I mean it was kindof like this
strange world, and I really didn't think I was doing a very good job. I thought
I was kindof just blundering through although I was having great fun - especially
with Tim's movies, with Beetlejuice and Pee-wee's big adventure. And by the
time I'd survived Batman I thought, well, I can handle just about anything now,
it doesn't get harder than this. And having got through that, I think I was
feeling for the first time, like, oh, I guess I'm a film composer now, and up
until that point I thought it was something I was dabbling in, on the side.
But finally I started feeling like maybe I knew what I was doing a little bit,
and I was learning a lot, every film I was learning more and more. And by the
time I got here - probably my 15th film or something like that - I was actually
feeling like, beginning to feel like I knew what I was doing. And I was getting
lost in it, and experiencing it on a completely different level. I guess for
no other reason I was not nervous any more. I was looking at films, and certainly
Edward was one, where I felt like I was the right person - I understood it completely.
I don't think - and I didn't think - that I was the best composer around, and
I still don't, but when when I'm in a movie that I'm really really engaged in,
I feel like I'm the best composer at that moment for that movie. And when I'm
writing the music I think I'm doing it the way it should be done. And I'm not
saying that in a conceited way, because I guess every actor has to feel that
about a part when they're really in it, and I think a composer does too. A movie
that really means a lot to them, they have to feel that they're right for, and
I really felt right for this one.
Well, there's that much to say about that cue. A little bit of fun, and then
one more statement of one of the secondary themes which happen a bit here and
there - usually at the beginning and the end of getting us into one of the primary
themes. I don't want to start going on about that too much because I'll trip
myself up ten different ways.
The suburban music was so much fun to write. That was one of the first things
I encountered on the project 'cause I came and visited the set in Florida when
they were shooting, and there was all this suburbia. I mean I couldn't believe
it, that they'd taken this whole neighbourhood and turned it into what they
did. But I didn't know how that was going to relate exactly to the rest of the
movie. In Tim's movies in particular I try not to second-guess where it's going
to go and what it's going to look like when it's done. I knew there was going
to be a lot of really fun music, and in Beetlejuice for example we got to do
bits of lounge-inspired music, when he's waiting in the waiting room at the
end, when Beetlejuice and the shrunken head.. that scene also. There are these
moments: I had a feeling that in Edward we were going to be able to tap into
this '60s-inspired lounge-infleunced element to suburbia. In the last scene
[we] got to use that clip-clop clip-clop of the wood blocks to kind of give
it this clock tempo. And the next one coming up, the 'ballet du suburbia' again
was... we called it a ballet because it looked so choreographed, and the first
scenes that Richard Halsey [editor] (when we went to Florida) showed me was
this stuff. This, by the way, was a scene which meant a lot, musically, to me.
And... that's because there is no music, and I was extremely grateful for that.
This is a moment, classically, where I would be asked to score, and I would
do it reluctantly, and I could write a cue for this scene, but it wouldn't make
it better, or probably make it worse. And the way Johhny played this it was
so dead-on perfect and I was so glad that we didn't have to put any music to
it because.. er.. because it worked! But as many times as I've said that in
the past, I'm usually ignored. [chuckles]
The craziness in that scene of course was that, for absolutely no reason, in
the middle of it, it gets dramatic. There's so many things that happen during
a film score that have no real rhyme or reason to me, but at the moment it seems
like "Why not?" - put a little drama in the middle of this car pulling
out of the drive-way. Tim, thank God, let's me get away with that stuff - in
fact whenever I'm playing a cue like that (I'm kindof dreading the moment when
something's going to happen; I'm expecting he's going to look at me and go "are
you crazy?"), and Tim's the opposite. Moments like that usually delight
him, and I guess we have the same sense of humour when it comes to certain oddities
like that. Most directors would have simply would have gone, "yeah, alright
Danny, great, thanks, now play me what you really want to play there - you're
obviously just having a bit of fun here" and Tim is one of the few directors
who would listen to it and go "yeah, let's do it, great. It's interesting.
It does something, and whatever it is it's fun and we should do it." So
I'm very grateful to him for that.
Again this is a scene where there's going to be a major cutting piece of music
coming up soon. I was very glad we didn't have to play this. The lack of music
at certain moments makes other moments so much more special. It's hard to explain
other than when there's music all the time it ends up diminishing the entire
impact of the music that's there. And I generally think that most films have
too much music, but here we got to have some moments that I didn't have to play
in again - I was very grateful for it because it was perfect and it didn't need
The Esmerelda character was definitely one of the odd things in this movie.
She has her music, though. Not a theme that played a number of times, but you
can hear the religious element here.
I think we're about to come up on Vincent Price's entrance here, and I'm sure
that if you listen to Tim's commentary he'll talk about Vincent. A funny thing
between Tim and I is that when he grew up, Vincent Price was (I believe) his
idol, and Peter Laurie was mine. And of course Vincent Price and Peter Laurie
acted in so many films together: Vincent of course usually being the torturer
and Peter Laurie being the tormented. So, I don't know for sure if that comments
on Tim and I or not [chuckles], but I did get to meet (through Tim) Vincent
before he died and it was one of my great pleasures. He was a great, great idol.
[music - factory; naff background music which plays over following commentary]
Well again, that was getting back to that thing that I love doing, that musical
storytelling, in the very old fashioned sense. The incredibly difficult thing
about that scene - and I'd already gone through this earlier, in the first movie
I did with Tim, which was the breakfast machine in Pee-wee's big adventure -
but this one was much more difficult to score because there was such a rhythm
that you felt in all these walking devices. And I think I mentioned earlier,
I love playing footsteps walking (I wasn't supposed to but I played the mother
walking up the steps when she first discovers Edward) and here I was trying
to give a tempo to all the machinery - yet all the machinery wasn't going to
any particular tempo; they weren't following a click or a tempo, they were just
moreorless moving in rhythm. So you'd see the feet, you'd see the machine, and
then it would cut away and it would cut back. Well I'd have to make sure that
by the time we cut back we feel like we're back into a tempo. And there was
a long stretch with the machine walking but.. it looks easy but it's very very
tricky. That means a lot of very subtle manipulation of the tempos, and a scene
like that - as much fun as it was to write - took an enormous amount of time
to block out. It's hard to explain this: before writing a note of music to a
scene there's a tempo mapping, and it's creating a map of every beat in the
cue, and what's going to be caught exactly where. And in a scene like that -
as simple and short as the scene is - it can take a day to block the tempo out
before actually writing a note. And when you're on a film score, and you don't
have a lot of time to write the music, taking big chunks of time just to work
out your tempo mapping can get pretty scary, because all the time you're doing
that you're not writing the music and you're getting behind. Yet in the end,
to see it work is so gratifying. I guess it's like what an animator feels when
they're working on a very difficult segment, and the audience may not know afterwards
getting a certain peiece of animation in a certain way might be, but they all
know the sweat that goes into it. I love that last scene - I love that we were
able to end with Edward's theme again, Vincent Price thinking of turning this
machine into a boy.
That smile is so wonderful. I just love that scene. It's so simple and so sweet,
and once again that's the elemement that made this movie so special to me. I
was used to having to take my themes and always play them in fragments - except
for maybe a few scenes where I got to play it all the way through. It's something
you're used to as a composer, and very often you start a theme and something
happens in the middle: you have to switch gears, you're not allowed to play
it out, and here almost every time I started a theme [in Edward Scissorhand]
I got to play it all the way through. And it was so strange how so seldom did
I have to struggle to make a particular piece of music fit the scene, I would
look at it and it was very clear, in a scene like the etiquette lesson that
we just saw, what it was going to be. It was going to take that first fairytale
theme of Edward's and slow it down, play it a little more soloistically, give
it a little bit of playfulness to keep it very simple, to kindof attempt to
feel the delight that Vincent Price's character was having with Edward; and
the childlike quality of Edward. But I didn't have to force anything, and this
kept happening over and over in the movie. I would see it and "oh, yes,
perfect, that first theme, the opening theme, I bet it'll work here". And
without even looking at the picture I would come up with a variation that felt
like the right feel, the right mood. And when I was happy with it I would try
to see what I would have to do to adjust it, figuring, "well, I'm not going
to be able to play - it'll have to repeat that section and that section and
this section", and then I would put it up against the screen, because unlike
the machine type of scene, a very simple scene like the one we just saw doesn't
require the same attention to tempo because we're not really catching much of
the action on the screen. We're playing the mood, a vibe, not having to drive
the tempo of the scene. And so I would take that piece of music and put it up
against the picture and, now happy with the piece of music, it would work almost
perfectly, and I don't know why that was. It's the type of thing that happens
every now and then, and when it does it's such a lovely thing to see that a
piece of music you think is correct conceptually works almost perfectly with
the scene in its reality. It was part of the vibe of this whole score in this
whole film for me of not having to push. Being able to just float along with
the movie, to be able to pull a little here and push a little there and give
nudges here and there, but never to have to drag us along or push anybody musically.
It was more just a feeling of floating along with it and every scene would come
up and it would just say what exactly it wanted to be and needed to be and almost
every scene was such a pure pleasure and a joy. In fact I think this is one
of the very few films I worked on in the last 15 years that, when I was done,
I wanted to keep on variations on. I was sad that it was over. Usually I'm immensely
relieved, no matter how happy or not I am with my own achievements or lack thereof
- on finishing the score I'm always relieved just because of the physical effort.
And this was one where, when I finished, I wished it was longer, I wish there
was going to be an adendum or something more. I wanted to do more little variations,
I think I could have just kept doing it forever.
[silence; Tom Jones: 'It's not unusual']
Tim is really good at picking artists and picking songs for his movies. It's
funny how perfect I think Tom Jones was for Edward Scissorhands, as well as
Harry Belafonte for Beetlejuice, which was also really Tim's idea and Tim's
choice, and was just so perfect. I don't know where along his creative process
he gets the idea.
[music - inc solo violin, not on disc - Danny speaks through it]
This is really a premonition of a scene that's coming up soon. ...
So that was a precurser to the gypsy music that ... will be coming to Edward
The next cue is another one of my favourites. It's a kind of a crazy one with
three sections. It starts a little bit Pee-wee-like, in the boutique, and it's
going to evolve, for reasons I still don't know why, into a kind of Spanish
serenade, and then it bursts into gypsy music. And I've been asked many times
why I used the gypsy motif for the hair cutting... and I haven't a clue [chuckles].
It's not something Tim and I talked about - "oh, wouldn't it be great to
use gypsy music as one of those.." - another one of those spontaneous moments
that I did, that I was absolutely sure Tim was going to not let me do or hate
or not have a clue, and quite to the contrary it was "absolutely, let's
use it, let's do it, great". And so, for ever, Edward the barber is Edward
Ahh.. the final cut. Dianne Weist was such a wonderful character in this movie
and I love the way he prepares the seat for her there, how tenderly he does
that. I think composers often take their cues off of attitudes or looks of people
or things that throw them in a direction they weren't expected to go, and clearly
in that last scene it was the state of ecstasy that the women were in in the
chair. There was something about that. He was a conquistador artist warrior
and [in] his moment of glory he was Michelangelo. The women all now saw this
in him - he was oozing this quality. And the thing I think I was really responding
to which created that Spanish romanticism over his haircutting was this wondeful
state of ecstasy that they all seemed to be in. He was really making love to
them, wasn't he? In an odd way I think he was. At least that's how they seem
to be perceiving it.
And once again there's Edward's innocent theme, his theme-of-the-heart, and
as I mentioned before, often they get cut off or truncated, but there was a
case where it was truncated intentionally. Once again it seemed to play the
perfect [length?] just as it was, but we didn't want it to complete - the door
shutting. It felt like it should shut off the music, it's shutting off Kim to
Edward. So that was [an] intentional truncation there.
[music; silence; music]
That little statement of Edward's theme was designed to imply that Kim is for
the first time feeling some tenderness towards him, so this is kindof a turning
point for her. She begins defending Edward, and up to this point she's been
turned off by him.
My process of composing, I think, is a strange one. It's probably a little
strange just because it was all something I learned while doing, and noone ever
gave me any instruction about how to do any of this stuff really. I was a big
fan of film music and I paid attention. I had, as well as movie star idols -
Vincent Price and Peter Laurie and Boris Karloff - when I was a kid, along with
that was Bernard Herrmann. Bernard Herrmann was the composer who really made
me understand and appreciate film music, and Bernard Herrmann is still I think
my model, my idol, in terms of (I believe to me) the best film composer of the
twentieth century, although that (I'm sure) would be a hotly debated item and
a lot of people would disagree with me, to me he was the most consistently inventive
[Tom Jones starts singing 'With these hands'] But at any rate, the process
was really this kindof strange evolution and it started when, many years before
I did my first film score, I began writing music for a musical-theatrical troupe
called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. It was a kindof rag-tag ensemble
and started on the streets, and over the course of eight years got more and
more ambitious, and by the end of those eight years I was forced to write down
my musical ideas, and my musical ideas got more and more complex, and by the
end of that period I was writing the beginning of what would be my - what would
become orchestral music for me. It's very difficult to explain. It was not orchestral.
It was for eleven or twelve musicians instead of 80 or 90, but, oddly, the process
of writing for ten, eleven, twelve different solo musicians - which was what
a lot of the early compositions were - is not astounding different from writing
for 60, 70, 80, 90, because when you're writing for 90 musicians, you're not
writing 90 different parts. Very often, in fact, you may only be putting 12,
15, 17 parts down on a piece of paper, and so those parts are going to get broken
down into sections, so there's a number of first violins, a number of second
violins, playing each part. So the difference of writing for a dozen individual
instruments - you're still writing a dozen individual parts that are working
together as a single composition, and then taking each of those parts and having
anywhere from 3 to 25 players playing each piece of music - is not quite as
big a jump as it seems. Still it was terrifying beyond belief when I knew I
was writing that first score [Pee-wee's big adventure] for 60 pieces. I also
hadn't written in a few years and had to give myself a major, major crash course.
I was lucky to have the encouragement of the guitarist Steve Bartek, who was
playing with me in the band Oingo Boingo when I got Pee-wee's big adventure.
Steve had a little bit of experience. We both played in the Mystic Knights together
and so I hired him on Pee-wee's big adventure to work.. help me along, and he
did. That was a tremendous security at first time out 'cause I really had no
idea what was going to happen as these parts got translated into many players
instead of a single player playing them.
Between Pee-wee's big adventure coming out, I thought "okay, pretty good"
and, five films later, Beetlejuice, and five films later after that, Batman,
and roughly five films after that was Edward Scissorhands - it was kindof a
joke for a while that the first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth... In between each
of Tim's every-five-films being a Tim Burton film I was soaking up huge amounts
of information and knowledge, and trying to understand what worked and didn't
work, what was possible to play and what wasn't possible to play, for ideas.
Although I haven't learned as much as I should because I still consistently
come up with music that's semi-impossible to play, and I think maybe psychologically
I enjoy that. That strange feeling of putting a piece in front of an orchestra,
and the looks I get back from them [going] "my God, what is this".
But here on Edward - I'd mentioned earlier I was becoming more at ease and more
confident - there was this process of looking at things, and how to divide up
themes, lay them out, and look at them like a great puzzle, that it was becoming
*how* I looked at a movie. Each of these pieces of music began to become coloured
pieces of puzzles, they're either the blue piece, the red piece, the green piece,
but they're parts of different colour-coded pieces related to different themes,
and they all had to fit together. Now I know that sounds pretty insane - it's
incredibly difficult to describe - but it is rather like setting out all the
pieces in a huge jigsaw puzzle and understanding what each of the different
colour groups are going to do for the movie, and then breaking them down into
all these different shapes (just like a puzzle), knowing not quite how they're
going to fit together but knowing you've got all the pieces laid out in a way
that's going to make sense, so when you need to draw from one colour or the
other colour, you know exactly where to go, they're right there at my fingertips.
And what I'm going to do with them I don't know, but I know where I need to
find everything that I'm going to be looking for. Now, if you want to have me
committed, locked away, go head. [chuckles]
The fun here is taking earlier themes and twisting them around. You may have
noticed, as Edward was walking out of the door there, that we were taking the
storybook theme and kindof twisting it into a darker sense, and that sensibility
is going to kindof carry through much of the rest of the score, now that we're
in the third act, and when the tide is turning against Edward. The same themes
that were innocent and tender are now going to start appearing - as I'm grabbing
for these pieces as I started talking about earlier, and mixing them up, and
inverting them, sometimes twisting them around, and even turning them inside-out,
but always trying to keep a melodic thread through all the music, even though
it's going to start breaking down into more dramatic, sometimes melodramatic
type of elements, I still have to keep the same melodic threads going, even
if it's subliminal. I think that's part of carrying us through a story like
this - that it's going to change, the tone is going to change, the attitude's
going to change, but some way or another the melodic threads are going to keep
joining together. And in that way music in film becomes kindof a knitting element:
it knits together, ties together. I've often used that analogy actually because
film score is a little bit like a tapestry weaving process where you're gluing
things, you're weaving things, you're tying things together, and adding unity
where there wasn't, with a melody.
So now even suburbia is taking on a sadder, darker quality, as Edward's world
is turning upsidedown on him, and as I was explaining before, it's keeping that
thread always going in our minds, even if it's subliminal. Edward's story, Edward's
element, his part in it, always being alive. It's one of the areas that music
helps so much, or can help so much.
I guess if one ever had an idea, while they were doing a piece of work, whator
how it might carry into the future, it would probably be a terrible thing. I
certainly never had any idea, while I was writing the music to Edward Scissorhands
so many years ago, that it was going to be imitated and copied as it was. Of
all the works that I've done, this, more than practically all the rest of them
combined. And had I known that it probably would have scared me and affected
how I was doing it. It never occured to me that this little cult, funny thing
that I thoroughly enjoyed was going to keep re-appearing year after year, and
I guess there's one or two films per year since then (even last year and the
year before) where variations on Edward's themes keeps popping up in film scores.
And it kindof becomes a joke between me and certain friends - I'll get a call
and they'll say "hup, Edward's back", and I'll listen to the score
and there it is. And I guess that's a form of flattery, but it's a very weird
feeling. And worse than that (or odder than that, I should say) is television
commercials, which has been almost like a constant thing since Edward came out.
So if I'd only known I was going to influence television commercials in the
future I probably would have.. well, what would I have done? I don't know. Maybe
I would have moved to a country far away and taken a different name - I don't
know what I would have done, but it would have been a very disconcerting thought
for sure, and again, I'm not trying to say that in a way that implies that I
did such a good thing - it's just one of those things that startles me, and
always did in Tim's movies for some reason more than others. Pee-wee's big adventure
I heard reiterated many times, and then Beetlejuice again, but nothing like
Edward Scissorhands - that ten years after that fact would still be appearing
in such odd places that I would never have expected.
But I guess that's the funny thing about film music. You don't know what it's
going to do. You don't know if anybody's going to notice it or if it's going
to come and evaporate in the air as quickly as a blink of the eye, which happens
so many times, or if they're going to stick around and last for decades. It's
all so incredibly random, and especially because the ones that stick around
often aren't the ones that one would imagine. It's never what you think it is
at the time.
This next cue coimg up, the Ice Dance, is really always one of the major focuses
of the score. Early on I knew that it was going to define how I would play the
beginning of the movie and how I'd play the end of the movie. And it's also
a cue that for many people I think kindof epitomises the heart of the score.
It was a big challenge for me - I kindof felt that that was a big scene that
was very important, and I took quite a few passes at it actually.
Since I wrote the score sequentially, I know I was relieved that I had this
next cue coming up because I was starting to write these long drawn-out cues
that were very dark, and it was coming to a rampage. What's more fun than that?
[organ-n-beat music not on CD: Elfman speaks through it:]
That was n original composition by the actress by the way. It's a lovely piece
of music but I didn't write it.
Now I believe there's a number of cues that are going to kinda overlap. Much
of the score tends to do that around this section of the movie, which of course
presents its own challenges.
Often the quiet cues are the hardest ones to write, because they're under dialogue
and they have to stay out of the way, but they have to bring a tone to the scene,
and that's [actually a] more difficult scene to write than... a rampage! [chuckles]
That's definitely a favourite sequence of mine - the tenderness between Kim
and Edward, and the variations, what I was able to do with the theme around
the two of them and their tender moment was actually probably my greatest challenge
in the entire score: Keeping it sweet, keeping it light, the innocence and the
romanticism all mixed together, working into the death of Vincent Price's character.
These last few sequences were so, so tricky. The death of Vincent Price's character
and also when Edward saves Kim's little brother. The music had to take us in
a different direction than what we're seeing right on the screen because it
was too easy to interpret that he might be hurting Vincent Price when he cuts
his face or that he might be hurting the boy - which he's not doing. And the
music had to play away from that direction to help the audience understand that
he meant no harm, that when he touched Vincent's cheek it's out of affection,
even though he cuts him, and when he's over the little boy he's not trying to
hurt him - he's trying to help him. So we had very specific concerns that we
were addressing in the music, which hopefully I helped a little bit.
One of my shortcomings, I think, as a composer, is that I tend to almost relate
too much, get too involved in a weird way, when I'm scoring the music in the
movie, and my own mood tends to actually follow the diection of what I'm writing.
I know during the whole last act of this movie I got in a very weird dark mood
which I couldn't shake.
I used to get all emotional when I was writing this, that whole segment and
leading into this. I feel really silly saying it, but movies can make me really
mooshy when I'm working on them. And this one definitely mooshed me up...
I'll really be forever gratefull that I was able to write the score to this