Comic-Con Report: Danny Elfman


Burton / Elfman boxed setBurton / Elfman boxed set

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From the theme for The Simpsons to Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and The Nightmare Before Christmas, Danny Elfman’s music is instantly recognizable. Its quirky and energetic sound instantly is tied to the red-headed composer. Elfman sat down to talk to a crowd of a couple thousand during one of the first panels of Comic-Con this year.

The purpose of the panel was to talk about Elfman’s long career in film and in rock bands. The crowd was eager to talk about Elfman’s band Oingo Boingo, but also very interested in his movie composing. Elfman spoke for about an hour about everything from favorite scores to the possibility of an Oingo Boingo reunion.

A couple of quick exchanges follow: His favorite movie to work on was The Nightmare Before Christmas. There wasn’t really a script and Burton would stop by and describe a scene or the next part of the story and Elfman would tell Burton to go away. Three days later, he would be ready with a new song. “It was a really easy and fun process,” says Elfman.

On the other end of the spectrum, Burton’s Batman was his least favorite. The studio didn’t want Elfman, he had never done a big score before and he had to prove himself over and over. At one point, Elfman left the project, but returned later. He was redeemed when a producer listened to the main theme and leaped from his seat to begin composing.

Elfman’s also spoke about the possibility of a reunion with Oingo Boingo. Unfortunately, it’s not in the cards, due to the extreme hearing loss he suffered while playing with the band.

Elfman was also promoting a box set commemorating his 25 year partnership with Tim Burton. The set, which includes art from Burton, will also have 14 CDs, a DVD and a book with interviews and a conversation between the two men. Look for it in stores just before Christmas this year.

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