On the occasion of director Tim Burton being honored at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, I revisited much of what composer Danny Elfman has told me over the years about their long working relationship. It’s amazing when you consider the number of classic, and award-winning, scores they’ve done together over the years, including Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks! and more. My story leads the Tim Burton section in this week’s edition of Variety.
Saturday was tremendous fun for me. I did the first interview for a new documentary planned about the music of the 1960s Batman TV series. Cleverly titled The Beat of the Bat, it’s the brainchild of longtime Batman fan Pat Evans and will probably be in production for the next few months. We discussed the origins of Neal Hefti’s classic Batman theme, the memorable villain motifs that Nelson Riddle created, the “Batgirl” theme that Billy May wrote for the third season, and much more. Here’s the website where you can monitor the project’s progress.
… a headline I liked, for a change. This was a really interesting topic thrown me by a Variety editor: How has the music of comic-book movies changed over the years? Can you still do what John Williams did in Superman in 1978? Or does the music need to reflect the darker tone of many contemporary superheroes? Hans Zimmer, Brian Tyler and Marco Beltrami were some of those I interviewed on the subject.