For the purposes of Tim Burton’s “Batman,” Danny Elfman provided Warner with an orchestrated soundtrack that was abused in the finished film, as the composer just revealed in an interview.
A sacrificed soundtrack? This is what Danny Elfman criticizes today at the Warner studio, which he said abused the music he had composed for Tim Burton’s Batman. Podcast guest Premier Guitar, the composer lambasted the studio’s mixing choices:
I could have made the music with a little percussion, a harmonica and a banjo, since all you hear is percussion at the important moments, you can’t really hear what the orchestra is playing.
However, in 1990, Danny Elfman won the Grammy for best instrumental music for his work on the theme of Batman, proof that he still managed to find listening ears. But the composer persists and signs, his soundtrack has been altered:
I was terribly unhappy with the dubbing of Batman. They did it the old fashioned way, where you give your composition to the “professionals” who drop buttons and double over them. (…) We had recorded on three tracks – right, left and central – and they took the central track and turned it entirely.
Everything you need to know about Batman
Elfman echoes here the fact that on certain feature films until the 90s, the music was sometimes attenuated in order to make room for the voice of the actors, in particular in dubbing intended for foreign markets. At the risk of distorting the work of composers.
This dissatisfaction will not prevent Elfman from collaborating again with the Warner and Tim Burton on Batman, the challenge in 1992. The theme of the Dark Knight signed by the composer, who has become cult for a generation, will also serve as the credits for the animated series Batman from the 90s created by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm.
Check out our 5 favorite Danny Elfman compositions: