Composer Ryan Amon Chats About Scoring 'Elysium' as His First Movie
One of our most anticipated movies still left to see this summer is Neill Blomkamp's Elysium with Matt Damon, out in theaters this August. As a big fan of composers, I always keep an eye on who's scoring what, but interestingly the one on Elysium isn't one I recognize - Ryan Amon. However, the Hollywood Reporter published a piece with a brief introduction to the composer, who created an "organic" and "nontraditional" score for the new sci-fi movie and admits that, "I haven’t done anything before this," but Blomkamp knew that, and that's why he chose him. I really like this choice already, I'm just anxious to hear some of his score.
There isn't much revealed in the THR piece that we don't know about Elysium from the first teaser trailer already, but it's interesting to hear anyway. Ryan Amon is an up-and-coming composer whose only other work was for trailers, but "I haven’t done any short films or anything, and he knew that." Blomkamp heard his music on YouTube and "there was no doubt in the director's mind as to who should score the sci-fi epic." Some of his trailer work includes The Avengers and Watchmen, as well as epic tracks like "Oracle", "Nation Rises" and "Principalities and Powers" on YouTube. Here's the story behind Ryan Amon on Elysium's score:
The director had him compose much of the music before seeing the film -- replicating Amon's process for scoring trailers, which are usually not prepared for composers beforehand. "He didn't want me to know what was going on. He wanted me to use my imagination," Amon said. He found the process both daunting and liberating. "I could have scored this movie 100 ways."
The result is a "hybrid score" that fuses synthesizers with classical orchestration by London’s Philharmonia.
Awesome. Amon says "it's got electronic elements, a lot of them, and the orchestra is more like color." It also uses animals, in some way, including baboon calls, mosquitos buzzing and other wildlife. He explains "there's a lot of sound design that’s built into it." I can't wait to see the movie, and now I can't wait to hear the score, and I've never even heard of this composer before. How's that for some outrageous buzz, but that's why I love Blomkamp, he goes big and bold with his movies and I trust he's making something great. Hopefully we'll get a chance to speak with Amon more this summer. I'm counting down the days to release.
Elysium, directed by South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (of District 9), focuses on Secretary Rhodes (Foster), a hardened government ofﬁcial, who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. However, that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds. Sony/Columbia has Elysium set to hit theaters on August 9th this summer. First trailer.