The Netflix original movie iBOY, debuting on January 27, features original music by composers Max Aruj (THE ABANDONED, STEFAN+ CHRISTY) and Steffen Thum (PERFECT WOMAN).
When shards of a cell phone get lodged in a teenager’s brain, he discovers he can control electronic devices and uses his newfound power for revenge. The film stars Bill Milner, Maisie Williams, and Miranda Richardson.
“It’s a coming of age story,” said Aruj. “It’s a superhero movie that is really about a young man who felt powerless to help the young woman that he likes. He wants to defend her and stand up for her. After he gets shot in the head while talking on the phone – a piece gets embedded in his head and it gives him these powers, which allow him to fight back.”
To mesh the melding of electronics and mind, the composers addressed this with their score. “Throughout the conversations with Adam [Randall, director] we talked a lot about the sound he was looking for,” Thum described. “He had a clear idea about sounds and textures that he liked or didn’t like, which helped us a lot in the earlier stages of writing. We decided on a hybrid – an electronic score with organic elements. For example, we use organic sounds such as strings, but manipulated through electronic processing.”
Aruj added, “One of the main ideas is augmentation. When Tom’s (Bill Milner) world begins to transform and he can control technology we used very electronic elements. For the sensitive parts with Lucy (Maisie Williams) we used more organic sounds.”
Max Aruj is a composer born and raised in Los Angeles. Aruj composed the score for Eytan Rockaway’s psychological thriller The Abandoned, as well as Sandu Negrea’s dark romance Stefan + Christy. This past year, he served as score producer on Lorne Balfe’s score for The Lego Batman Movie and wrote additional music on The Crown for Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams. Aruj studied at the USC Thornton School of Music, earning a Bachelor’s in Music Composition. Currently, he is the composer for Well Played Studios’ Virtual Reality gaming platform, which debuts April 2017. Also this year, Faraway Features’ horror/thriller Wichita will be released, for which Aruj composed the original score.
Steffen Thum is a German-born composer for film, TV, games and advertising. He first started a career in film post production before making his way into music, studying media composition and audio production in Trossingen, Germany, as well as film scoring in Los Angeles, where he moved in 2013. In 2014, Steffen started as an assistant composer at Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions, providing additional music for Lorne Balfe’s scores to iTV show MARCELLA and video game SKYLANDERS: SUPERCHARGERS, among others. As a freelance composer, Steffen wrote and produced music for international short films, commercials, indie game Perfect Woman, and most recently, finished writing a commissioned piece for concert band, which will premiere in Germany later this year.
“iBOY is about this concept of becoming an electronic device being able to control technology around you. Especially our generation likes to be more and more involved in tech with the boundaries between real life and tech blurring. For Tom – the line has been crossed,” concluded Thum.