A day in the life of Silent film animators

Sorry if you were expecting something about Windsor McKay or Otto Messmer, but here’s a peek of life at Moonbot Studios while we were making the short film Silent for Dolby. Our stalwart documentarian, Patrick Long, filmed some behind-the-scenes footage, and one of our TDs, Akin Bilgic, set up his time-lapse camera.

The time lapse portion is about 10 seconds in, and was filmed at two frames per minute (so this is a tiny sliver of one working day). Akin filmed two entire work days, from a different camera position each day, and on the second day the camera was right next to me. It was a little unnerving, but I’m happy to have a small record of what I actually do at work. It’s unusual to get to see behind the scenes at a mid-sized studio, and unlike the usual ‘making of’ video that you see on DVDs of feature films, this stuff really was behind the scenes. There’s some nice footage of the directors, animators, artists, and TDs of Moonbot hard at work. Oh, and please ignore my rambling comments made before I’d had my morning coffee. There’s a reason I’m an animator, and not an actor!

And here’s the finished film, Silent. Enjoy:

It was a challenging and exciting project, in part because we started right into ‘crunch’ mode just before the Christmas holidays, and the film had to be complete and rendered in time to be shown Feb. 15 at the Scientific and Technical Academy Awards ceremony. I’m still not sure how we pulled it off!

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The animation and animation-related musings of Kevin Koch