Happy Birthday: Danny Elfman

dannyelfmanHappy Birthday composer Danny Elfman

Born: Daniel Robert Elfman
May 29, 1953 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Nominated for 4 Oscars for Best Musical Score: Milk, Big Fish, Good Will Hunting, Men in Black.


I get drawn to things that don’t make any sense, and I learned early on not to resist that.

I’ve known Sam [Raimi] for almost 15 years. Spider-Man 2 was my fifth movie with him and all I can say is that the person who was there at the end of Spider-Man 2 was not Sam. I don’t know who it was, but it wasn’t Sam. It was as close to living out Invasion of the Body Snatchers as I’ve ever experienced. To see such a profound negative change in a human being was almost enough to make me feel like I didn’t want to make films anymore. It was really disheartening and sad to see the way it ended up.

It all depends on the directors. Working closely with a director is the main job of a film composer. Interpreting what he perceives as a color, an emotion or mood is very abstract. A director tells you something he wants and then you have to run back to your music and respond with, “I think he meant something like this.”

I don’t think there’s a trademark Danny Elfman element that has been consistent in my work. I don’t hear many similarities in what I do and I don’t think it’s necessary that I have a particular style. Having a particular style is not bad, but I prefer to push myself in the direction of being a composer who you never know what he’s doing next.