The Unknown Known

Dan Graphic Design

I had never heard of The Unknown Known, but when I was assigned to do the artwork for the album, I was thrilled because it was yet another chance to work with Danny Elfman and his awesome team. In this unique case, the soundtrack was completely owned by Elfman, and so there was no studio to deal with.  A selection of high resolution art assets came my way, and after the usual back-and-forth with changes, it was good to go.  It wasn’t …

Restless

Dan Graphic Design

Apparently Black Beauty was not going to be the last Danny Elfman project of 2013 for me. 2011’s Restless was a small film that Gus Van Sant directed, which featured a very enjoyable score by Elfman that oddly never got a soundtrack album. Working with Sony Pictures, I handled the art direction on the project, utilizing the key art elements and movie stills to put together a package that reflected the same tone and style of the poster.  The only …

Black Beauty

Dan Audio Projects, Graphic Design

Black Beauty marks my fifth Danny Elfman soundtrack album, and it’s one of his most tender, intimate and emotional scores.  The original soundtrack release was enjoyable, but there was a surprising amount of music not released.  The assembly for this project was actually finished early in 2012, but with a shifting schedule, it didn’t come to the finishing stage until later in 2013.  I don’t really have much to share about the artwork process, which was relatively straightforward, except to …

Scrooged

Dan Audio Projects, Graphic Design

‘Tis the season! Indeed, one of the most sought-after Danny Elfman scores will finally be released for the holidays: 1988’s comedy Scrooged.  This modern retelling of the classic Dickens tale featured one of Elfman’s earlier scores, and aside from an 8-minute long suite on his “Music for a Darkened Theater” compilation, it was never released – until now. Working with a variety of elements, we pulled the whole thing together and created an album with the score and a bunch …

Jade / Batman Returns

Dan Audio Projects

Today is Black Friday, and La-La Land Records has announced their “final four” releases of the year. It’s quite a grand-slam: Jade (James Horner), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Jerry Goldsmith), Batman Returns (Danny Elfman) and Home Alone (John Williams).  I produced Jade and co-produced Batman Returns, and both were fun projects to work on. The tricky thing with Jade was that at any time, supposedly Horner could have pulled the plug or taken over the project – thankfully, …

Announcing the La-La Land Comic-Con Titles, and More!

Dan Audio Projects, Spain (2010)

After a nice Spanish breakfast at the hotel, I walked to the Hospital de Santiago, where most of the festivities would be taking place.  10am saw the Jamie Christopherson panel, after which a press conference was held with the mayor of Ubeda, as well as the festival organizers, to kick off the start of the festival.  Spanish composer Zacarías M. de la Riva held his panel, and then it was time for mine. My panel was about the work I’ve …

Alice in Wonderland

Dan Movie Reviews

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has had numerous film and television adaptations, but one of the most famous ones is the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature from 1951.  Tim Burton – who had recently given us his unique spin on such properties as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tackled Alice in Wonderland not as a retelling or remake of novel (and the sequel Through the Looking Glass), but rather as a …

Mars Attacks!

Dan Audio Projects

Wow, I can’t believe I totally dropped the ball on this and never bothered to blog about my most recent released project!  I wrote the detailed liner notes for the new expanded release of Danny Elfman’s score to Mars Attacks!.  A lot of research at the Academy library, plus new comments from Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek and Bobbi Page all came together to create what I feel is a pretty well rounded essay on the film and the music. It’s …

Terminator Salvation

Dan Movie Reviews

You certainly can’t blame them for trying. It’s no secret that James Cameron’s Terminator franchise was exceptionally successful, but we can also be honest about how disappointing Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was. After the success of Casino Royale and The Dark Knight, it’s not surprising that the powers-that-be would seek to renew the Terminator franchise. Directed by McG, Terminator Salvation attempts to build on much of what James Cameron established, but with a few twists, as well as …

April Fools!

Dan Showbiz

This year’s April Fools joke for ScoringSessions.com was a pretty simple one: a news item about Danny Elfman’s score to Terminator Salvation.  See, he is scoring the film, so that part isn’t unusual. What is unusual is the idea that he recorded it with just a ukulele.  Check out the fake pix, and be sure to listen to the “score clip”! (Thanks to Nathan Whitehead!)