• Moonbot Studios + Dolby

    Behind the Scenes of Silent

    • In 2013, we partnered with Moonbot Studios to honor Dolby's passions: advancing tools accessible to filmmakers and providing audiences with profound audiovisual experiences.

      We strove to celebrate that magical relationship between motion picture and sound. And we sought to create a story that would honor the filmmakers and artists of today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

    • Dolby Storytelling

      Our audio and video creators produce content to showcase Dolby audio and imaging innovations.

  • See the making of Dolby's short film, Silent.

    • Moonbot Studios was a natural partner with whom to create this story. Their tech-savvy, energetic spirit has led them to create compelling, award-winning tales like The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011). Morris, the protagonist, is actually modeled after Buster Keaton, a perfect character for our vision. We worked with Moonbot to put Morris on another adventure, one that would represent Dolby's story, one of both picture and sound.

    • In the words of Vince Voron, Vice President and Executive Creative Director, “Storytelling is incredibly important to the ethos of our company. So when we needed to create demo content for Dolby Atmos, we knew this was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the creative and technical community that creates art everyday.” 

      Since Morris is inspired by one of cinema’s greatest early film actors, we decided that he would represent Cinema. Dolby had its start in sound, so we needed to develop a character to represent Dolby and the importance of sound. 

      It’s difficult to nail down a visual character meant to portray a corporate identity. But by starting with the basic values of innovation and pursuing wonder, we narrowed in on the form of the Kid. Rough around the edges, the Kid is imaginative, curious, persevering, and always learning! Not afraid to get her hands dirty and tinker with new tools, the Kid has a persona that techies and creatives alike can relate to.

    • The Kid plays off Morris's traits well, to advance the pair with her curiosity, even when Morris is timid and cautious. The dynamic between the man and the little girl, both endeavoring to create art for the sake of art, is essential to the flow of the film, and it speaks to the ageless and timeless struggle of pursuing an artistic path.

      The pair had to work visually, both together and with their environments. So the development of Silent began with style boards of the most important story elements: street performers, early film actors, movie-theatre organs, and theatre interiors and exteriors. From these inspirations, iterations of storyboards with a classic cartooning style went to review. Spun with modern computer graphics touches, such an animation style harked back to the early film era, which we wanted to honor.

      The storyboards then led to the development of scratch tracks and demo sounds: takes of the tale's sound development. With a goal to tell a story driven by equal parts visuals and audio, these scratch tracks were key to the first animatics: digitally sequenced storyboards with audio to establish action timing. Here's a look at one of the final animatics.

  • See the animatic of Dolby's short film, Silent.

    • Since our partnership with Moonbot Studios celebrated the emotional power of audio in film and cinema's greatest audiovisual moments, it was essential to bring an amazing sound designer on board. There was no better person to work with than Steve Boedekker, a sound designer and sound editor who has been nominated for an Academy Award®. Jürgen Scharpf, a Dolby A/V mixer, also joined the team as Silent's sound rerecording mixer.

      We are thrilled to have been able to tell our story with some of the best storytellers in the industry. Silent embodies our ideals for supporting the art, science, and technology of storytelling. And it evokes the value of pursuing curiosity, whether you come from an artistic or scientific background.

      Take a seat, put on your headphones, and enjoy Silent.

  • Silent: An Animated Short