• Dolby Family Sound Fellowship

    Blindspotting Receives the Dolby Family Sound Fellowship

    • Blindspotting is a movie about two life-long friends in a rapidly gentrifying Oakland, California, whose relationship is challenged and tested after one of them witnesses a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man.

      Directed by Carlos López Estrada and cowritten and starring Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, Blindspotting received this year’s Dolby Family Sound Fellowship. The grant supported the filmmakers in augmenting the sound design and mixing the film in Dolby Atmos.

      The grant, administered by the Dolby Institute, allowed the filmmakers to explore and express the importance of sound in telling this complex story. “The sound changes and evolves from the first day [of the story] to the second day to the third day,” said Estrada. “And the music you hear, the sounds you hear, the city around it changes as these characters are learning more and more about what’s going on.”

    • Blindspotting Movie Review

      "Blindspotting swings between high drama, low comedy, terrifying danger and sweet moments of near-romance."

  • “There are so many moments in the film that don’t have any dialog, any words. All you’re getting to experience is what Collin is getting to experience, by hearing what he’s hearing, feeling what he’s feeling. Sound became the secondary form of speech of the movie.”

    Carlos López Estrada, Director, Blindspotting

    • “We picked Blindspotting to receive the fellowship because it uses sound in a distinctive way to get into the minds of the characters,” explained Dolby Institute Director Glenn Kiser. “Daveed’s character, Collin, is clearly suffering from a kind of PTSD, and Carlos uses sound in a really dramatic and effective way to put the audience inside Collin’s head by warping and shifting the sounds he hears.”

      “When we first heard about the Dolby grant we thought, that’s interesting, because this is not what I would consider a Dolby Atmos applicable film, necessarily,” said supervising sound editor and rerecording mixer Andy Hay, whose previous films include The Florida Project. “I mean, you think of big sci-fi movies or action movies where there’s tons of opportunity to move sounds within space. But there are ways to use the [Dolby Atmos] system that are subtle to introduce the sense of space in a manner that is not particularly obvious. It’s not just for fly-bys and helicopters and spaceships; it can be used for everything.”

  • “We have moments where all the sound goes away and all we hear is Collin’s breathing, or one very distinct thing, or just the hum of a red light. That’s the only thing we hear, and it gives you this incredible experience of focus, and then complete awareness.”

    Rafael Casal, Cowriter and Actor, Blindspotting

    • Hay went on to explain how the sound design of the film almost works in a musical way to give the audience an emotional experience. “What we’ve done thematically in the cop shooting — we’ve used a very few specific sounds that we then carry forward and use as anchor points that we can relate back to, sort of like a symphony has motifs to hear later, and they recur, and they’re upside down, inverted, backwards, whatever. Those harken back to that initial horrific shooting moment.”

      Blindspotting, released by Lionsgate, opens in select cities on July 20, 2018 and in wider release on July 27, 2018.

  • “As Collin descends into this nightmare, it’s another way to think about gentrification, where the sounds you’ve heard your whole life all of a sudden take on a different feeling.”

    Daveed Diggs, Cowriter and Actor, Blindspotting