Danny Elfman

Danny Elfman

Biography

Author Profession: US Musician
Born: May 29, 1953
Age: 63 years old
Birth Sign: Gemini

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Danny Elfman quotes

I think that's one of the things that has always put me in kind of an odd niche. It's that all of my understanding of orchestral music is via film, not via classical music like it's supposed to be. To me it's the same, it doesn't make any difference.

It sounds really stupid, I hate making cosmic comments like this but, I just let it do what it wants to do.

I don't see myself necessarily having a burning desire to write a symphony.

I'll just start laying out the melody exactly where I want it to fall. And then I'll go back and fill it out. Whereas, in other pieces I'm really just going a couple bars at a time.

I like creating these rhythmic patterns. These interlocking rhythmic things are really fun.

In some types of music I'm working out all the chords one bar at a time - the whole structure, because it's about that. And there are other pieces which are really about - okay, the melody is going to start here and play through to here.

Oh see, first off you gotta realize - everything for me is a reconstruction or deconstruction. I would actually say deconstruction. Mission: Impossible would be the exception. That would be a reconstruction- deconstruction.

So, it becomes an exercise in futility if you write something that does not express the film as the director wishes. It's still their ball game. It's their show. I think any successful composer learns how to dance around the director's impulses.

You're allowed to rip-off another score so close that it's ridiculous. In my opinion it's ridiculous, how closely one can just rip-off a score that happened a year or two earlier.

I'm trying to interpret the film through the director's head, but it all comes out through me. So, a composer is kind of like a psychic medium.

In Tim's films, more than most, if you miss the tone, you don't get the film.

I can't get that live and I don't have the time to take the tape, after I've finished recording it, into a little studio somewhere else where I can get a different kind of percussion sound.

I really liked doing a number of the projects and directors, and etc., etc., I knew about half-way through that I would never be doing that again. It's just not me. I really am happy as a part-time film composer, not a full-time film composer.

I'll look back and I'd be better to answer that in about three months from now. Or when the movie comes out and I see it. I don't even know what it is yet. I've still been in the middle of it.

It's hard to get a film, you know, you need a very special film to be able to get that experimental. But, I would love to see that happen. I would love the opportunity to be more experimental than I am.

Most often the music does end up in the movie, and sometimes there's a point where I wish that it wasn't, just because I think the score would be more effective if there was less of it. But, again, that's not my call.

Sometimes I like them artificial and sometimes I like them real. And the reason is because sometimes I like a real close sound. And I like a very specific snare sound and I can't get that in the big room.

The first thing I do is lay out that melody and figure out how it has to hold here and then finish to land here, because you know in advance you're going to want the melody to catch four things in the action.

You have to write a good score that you feel good about. At least, you're supposed to. But, if the director hates it, it ain't going to be in the movie!

Doing Tim's film is always going to be the most pleasure. Let me just put it that way. So, without drawing favorites one way or the other, getting back with him and doing Mars Attacks! was certainly a special treat.

My definition of a friend is somebody who adores you even though they know the things you're most ashamed of. Jodie Foster

If anybody wanted to photograph my life, they'd get bored in a day. Matt Damon

I grew up loving horses. I was relatively obsessed, starting with my rocking horse at age 2, all the way through my painting and drawing phase. Diane Lane

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