From The Simpsons theme to the soundtracks of Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and The Nightmare Before Christmas, Danny Elfman’s compositions are original, memorable, and exuberantly weird.
Now the Oingo Boingo founder and four-time Oscar nominee shares his unconventional (and uncensored) creative process. Step into Danny’s studio and learn his techniques for evoking emotion and elevating a story through music.
Meet your new instructor: four-time Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman. He gives an overview of the class and welcomes you to his surreal and macabre world.
Danny wasn’t a classically trained musician before becoming a film composer—and he doesn’t think you need to be, either. He shares his unexpected journey to film composition.
The first day on the job for a film composer is the spotting session, where it’s critical to listen to your director. Danny explains how to map out your score and determine length, budget, and how to overcome temporary music.
To be a film composer, you must first be a student of cinema and film scores. Danny highlights how various scores throughout film history have elevated the director’s vision as well as influenced his own work.
A theme or melody can be everything and nothing at all; it can come easily or take a long time. Using examples from some of his most well-known scores, Danny teaches you how to create and identify themes and melodies for your film’s score.
To map out a score, you need to figure out the tone and identify the moments that define the film. Using examples from films of different genres, Danny shows how he reverse-engineered the scores to reflect key moments and the tonal landscape.