Danny Elfman scores Charlotte’s Web

Posted on March 14, 2006 by Dan Goldwasser

Last week, composer Danny Elfman recorded his score to the new film version of the beloved children’s classic, Charlotte’s Web. An 82-piece orchestra, conducted by Pete Anthony, performed the score over a five-day period at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox.

Pete Anthony conducts the Hollywood Studio Symphony

Director Gary Winick and composer Danny Elfman

Richard Grant handles the Auricle click-track

The film, directed by Gary Winick, is a live-action adaptation of the novel, and features Dakota Fanning as Fern, with Julia Roberts voicing Charlotte, as well as Oprah Winfrey, Steve Buscemi, Kathy Bates, John Cleese and more lending their vocal talents. Elfman’s score features Dean Parks and George Doering on guitar, adding the necessary rustic edge to the emotional music.

George Doering on guitar

Dean Parks on guitar

Pete Anthony and orchestrator Edgardo Simone examine a cue

The music was orchestrated by Steve Bartek, Edgardo Simone, David Slonaker, and Marc Mann, and mixed by Dennis Sands. Noah Snyder handled the ProTools digital recording, and music editor Bill Abbot logged the recordings for the mix.

Orchestrators Edgardo Simone and Steve Bartek with composer Danny Elfman and score mixer Dennis Sands

Orchestrator Mark Mann, music editor Bill Abbot, and assistant music editor Denise Okimoto

ProTools Digital Recordist Noah Snyder

Towards the end of the last day of the session – with the orchestra well ahead of schedule – Elfman himself took control of the orchestra and conducted a “wild” track with the string section.

Danny Elfman conducts the Hollywood Studio Symphony

Pete Anthony, Gary Winick, Danny Elfman, and concertmaster Bruce Dukov

As final visual effects come in, the film’s shape is expected to change a bit, and so additional scoring sessions are planned for later in the summer. Charlotte’s Web will be released by Paramount Pictures on December 20, 2006, just in time for the holidays.