Danny Elfman Was Initially Apprehensive To Work With Tim Burton… If You Can Believe It
Over the past 30-plus years, Tim Burton and Danny Elfman have shared a fruitful working history together. The filmmaker and the musician-turned-composer have collaborated on 16 different productions, including (but not limited to) Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman (for which he won a Grammy), Big Fish (for which he was Oscar-nominated), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, which Burton produced but didn’t direct.
This long-standing partnership began all the way back with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, when the director attended the musician’s concerts with his band, Oingo Boingo, and felt he was right for the job. But surprisingly enough, Elfman hesitated. As he noted in a Rolling Stone interview, he carried no former musical training, so he wasn’t sure if he could do it. Nevertheless, it worked out splendidly. As Elfman said, he was aware of the Pee-Wee character, but didn’t know who Tim Burton was: