“Orion and the Dark” director Sean Charmatz knew he had found the right creatives to lead the music for his animated film for DreamWorks Animation after auditioning Robert Lydecker and Kevin Lax.
In an exclusive behind-the-scenes video shared with TheWrap, the filmmaker, previously known for “Trolls Holiday in Harmony,” recalled auditioning composers and how the two Lydecker and Lax stood out.
“How we got the composers we did this blind test group where 10 to 15 composers did a test for us, and we didn’t know who any of them were. It was just ‘listen to the music’ and these guys got the job,” said Charmatz.
“Orion and the Dark,” a DreamWorks production, is now available on Netflix. The new animation follows the storyline of a young, anxious boy who faces his fears and meets his worst nightmares. Orion goes on an adventure to conquer his troubles with his new friend “The Dark”.
“The movie feels like it was done by hand. We needed to make something that felt handmade as well,” said Charmatz.
Lydecker and Lax have both written music for films in the past. Lydecker’s notable scores include Paramount’s “Return of Xander Cage,” Marvel/Netflix’s “Iron Fist,” Fox/Warner “Bros’ Lethal Weapon,” and two seasons of ABC’s designated “Survivor” with Emmy-winning composer Sean Callery.
In an exclusive conversation with The Wrap, Lydecker says the movie, at its core, is heartfelt.
“As composers, it’s exciting creating exotic musical soundscapes for such an adventure, but we loved that we could keep the score grounded through the emotional journeys of our main characters,” said Lydecker.
Lax’s recognition for his co-scoring begins with AMC’s “Walking Dead,” Universal Pictures “The First Purge,”ABC’S “Agent of the Shield, ” and Netflix’s “The Witcher: Blood Origin” and “Juanita. ”
Clearly, the music in “Orion and the Dark” was crafted with detail and sheer thoughtfulness. The team carefully incorporated suitable instruments and specific sounds to match the film’s evolution. As the film progresses Lydecker and Lax follow the theme, even if that means they change genres of music.
“Since ‘Orion and the Dark’ is such an ambitious and unique movie, it allowed us as composers to really explore many genres of music to accompany Orion on his extraordinary journey. From grade school band to fantastical synths, to rich orchestra and choir, the movie pushed our musical sensibilities, which was a really rich and rewarding experience.” said Lax.
Lydecker and Lax have worked together in the past, and they recently won a Children and Family Emmy award for their work in Netflix’s “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight.”
Watch TheWrap’s exclusive behind-the-scenes “Orion and the Dark” featurrette in the video above.