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.