(Interview) Jake Monaco

Meet the Man Behind Disney’s “As Told By Emojis” Spooky Remake of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Jake Monaco, known for his work on Fox’s “Keeping Up With The Joneses” as well as a plethora of animated series, takes us behind the music of the reinvented, “As Told By Emoji” web series version of the classic family horror comedy “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Check it out here:

What was your inspiration behind scoring this project? Are you a fan of the original film?

I remember falling in love with The Nightmare Before Christmas the first time I saw it. I think I was 11 or 12 years old. It wasn’t just the visuals, but also the songs, and the way the underscore was tied into them so well. Because the scores to each of these emoji episodes are supposed to be inspired by the music from the original film, I went back and listened to Danny Elfman’s soundtrack to get some ideas, taking note of certain instrumentation and musical devices he used throughout the score.

How did you get involved in the emoji series? What other webisodes have you scored?

I had the amazing opportunity to be involved in the score for Frozen, which was the first episode in this As Told By Emoji series. Gino Guzzardo, the director of each webisode, was given my name to help create a score in the vein of Frozen. NBC is the 11™ episode in the series and there are already a few more in the works.

I’ve been on 3 animated TV series and many films, but I’ve actually only been involved with one other webisode series called “Hunting Season”.

Have you done any projects in the past in the horror genre? Any upcoming?

Actually, “No” on both accounts, but I hope to change this in the future as I’m a huge fan of the genre, even more so when the film incorporates a psychological element.

What are some of your favorite horror films and scores?

One of my favorite series is Saw. I thought they were all interconnected so intelligently. The Others and Silence of the Lambs are two of my other go-to’s. Bernard Herman’s scores to Hitchcock’s films will always stand out, but more recently, Joseph Bishara’s scores to The Conjuring and Insidious series are some of my favorites.

Did you use any unique sounds or strategies in scoring this project?

There aren’t any unique sounds per se, however, Danny Elfman uses some interesting orchestration techniques that make his musical voice very recognizable. I love all of the crazy character voices in the original film so I wanted to make sure that I incorporated some of those. I layered myself singing different parts in different ranges to make a small choir. Thinking about it now, I should have gotten some helium. Those higher notes would have been a little easier to hit!

What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Watching my two-and-a-half-year-old dress up this year (as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) and dance around in our driveway to The Monster Mash for 2 hours straight, while handing out candy, was definitely this year’s highlight. That song is now banned from our house…well, until next Halloween.


Submitted By:
Giorgio C.

Written by Mitchell Wells

Founder and Editor in Chief of Horror Society. Self proclaimed Horror Movie Freak, Tech Geek, love indie films and all around nice kinda guy!!