[Video interview featurette]
Danny Elfman, Brett Ratner, Anthony Hopkins
Red Dragon OST, 2002
Elfman, Ratner and Hopkins speak about Elfman's music. The featurette interlinks
their interviews with footage of a scoring session for Red dragon, with
it playing in the background of the audio.
BRETT RATNER (director): The reason why I hired Danny is because I felt like he's never done this genre before. He's done darker movies, but they've always had a fantasy element to it, and this movie there's not really a fantasy, it's very real, it's as real as it gets, so it was very important he captures the tone and I thought that he would be great for this, not because of the movies that he's done in the past but because of his love of the dark side (one), and that he's such a big fan of Bernard Herrmann. Bernard Herrmann is one of his inspirations and I love the scores to Hitchcock movies; and this movie, the way I approach it is like a Hitchcock in approach. So I thought, you know, he would be amazing.
DANNY ELFMAN: He let me get really big and at moments almost
operatic and broad, which was really fun for me - I love that. In particular
around Dolarhyde's character, the killer, which is really.. it's funny because
I guess I love the villians, and here in Red dragon all my real pleasure
of the score was all based around Dolarhyde, because his character was so complex,
and all the major plot points were around him. He's a serial killer, he's falling
in love with a girl, he's obsessed with thinking he's becoming a dragon, I mean,
he's absolutely conflicted in every possible way. I really got into the character,
and he has two themes - one being a very aggressive, again an almost operatic
kind of dragon theme, but the other, which I love is a twisted child's theme
because in the heart of the serial killer is a pathetic little child. I loved
picking up and playing on that.
ANTHONY HOPKINS: I love music and I love watching it. I love watching orchestras. And I love watching Danny Elfman do his stuff.
ELFMAN: With luck, if I'm destined to do that movie, I will start right away hearing music in my head. when I see pictures I usually see music. I went and I watched The silence of the lambs because I wanted to be aware of what was there, what I wanted to avoid and what I wanted to do. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Howard Shore, and in fact in my opinion that's his best score - may favourite, my personal favourite. I neither wanted to duplicate it, nor did I want to put all of my energy into trying simply to stay clear of it and avoid it. So my challenge was really to find a voice that was correct for this movie and I felt was an original voice, but I wanted to be aware of what he had done because it was a very lovely piece of work.
RATNER: There's so much you could say with the music, and every instrument, every moment is so thought out. But I could tell him a general feeling and he just gets it. That's what's so great. I could tell him something I want to feel from the scene and he is doing a musical interpretation of the visuals. What I'm trying to say with the visuals, he's saying with the music, and he's even helping it alomng. He's pushing the audience in the direction I'm wanting them to go, which is a fascinating talent.
ELFMAN: I'm but a fleck of dandruff talent-wise next to Igor Stravinsky, but there's a quote he once said about feeling he was an antenna, had an antenna up towards the sky, waiting for transmissions for his musical ideas. I don't even know if it's a direct quote or a mis-quote, but I read that when I was very young - I was obsessed with Stravinsky. And many years later when I became a composer, which I didn't intend to do, I realise that that's moreorless exactly what I did. I mean I just wait for transmissions from somewhere.