Richard Elfman on Losing His House, FORBIDDEN ZONE, Being Tenacious and Seizing Opportunities

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage: At the time you made FORBIDDEN ZONE after all these years that you think about the time that you put into it and making it, did you consider the original release a failure?

Richard Elfman, Filmmaker of The FORBIDDEN ZONE and FORBIDDEN ZONE 2: Economically, yes. I mean it bankrupted me and I lost my house. But artistically I was glad I did it.

Film Courage: At the time that you did it you felt this way? Or later you felt…

Richard: Completely glad I did it.

Film Courage: Really okay, wow.

Richard: Yes.

Richard Elfman and the late Verne Troyer on the set of Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks (coming soon!)

Film Courage: And so you are able to talk a little bit about what happened in terms of how it bankrupted you?

Richard: Yes, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t clear the music rights. The animation cost…(although I had a very talented animator) it cost like 20 times what I thought it was going to cost. And I was just starting in real estate and part-time jobs as a bus boy and a cab driver and I’m forking money in. It was like some people go to film school. I just made a film.

Film Courage: Have you always done things this way, sort of seat-of-your-pants and you just jump right in and that’s how you learn the good and the bad?

Richard: Yes.

Film Courage: Did people try to stop you?

Richard: Just economic. Only economic.

Richard Elfman preparing for his role as Clown Bippy in the upcoming Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks

Film Courage: Yes, that’s scary.

Richard: I had to shoot it in starts and stops as I’d get some money. I had a little bit of help from friends and some partners, mostly on my shoulders.

Film Courage: And then I’m assuming you took out a second on your house in order to fund the movie?

Richard: Yes. Well more than that. To finally get it released I had to sign away all control…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here)


About Richard Elfman:


Richard grew up in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles (Boyz n the Hood), was a semi-professional boxer, food and wine critic and successful stage director. He is also a noted Afro-Latin percussionist and with his brother, Danny Elfman, founded the band Oingo-Boingo.


Richard’s theatrical career began in Europe, having worked with directors Jérôme Savary in Paris and Peter Brook in London. Elfman has been a published journalist for 30 years, focusing on food, wine and entertainment. He published culture and entertainment magazine and website, Buzzine, between 2010-2015 and produced 275 Buzzine red-carpet, music and celebrity videos.


Richard family include his mother, novelist Blossom “Clare Elfman”, sister-in-law, actress Bridget Fonda, son, actor-producer Bodhi Elfman, daughter-in-law Jenna Elfman, niece, producer Mali Elfman and nephew, Emmy-winning broadcast journalist, Diego Santiago.


Richard presently resides in Hollywood with his actress/dancer wife, Anastasia Elfman, where they are renown for wild, extravagant dinner parties. Richard still writes and directs live theatre and plays in the band Mambo Demonico.





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¡CALAMBRE! is a 53 minute episodic black and white film about a poet who returns to his hometown of New York City to rekindle an old flame, only to complicate his return with new women in his life. A film by Carlos Renaso.