Music and sound design are two of the most powerful tools for storytellers. In this Master Class we will explore how sound design and music work together to communicate emotion, tone, and characters, and how music can be used to complement or counterpoint visual storytelling.

Join Peter Golub, composer and Director of Film Music at Sundance Institute and Glenn Kiser, Director of the Dolby Institute, and several guests in a live, three-hour online Master Class to investigate the creative process of Music and Sound in Film. This is an essential class for any writer, director, producer, composer, or sound artist seeking best practices and shared language to collaborate and serve the soundscape of a film.

Topics presented will include:

  • Discussion with composer Hildur Gu∂nadóttir to take a deep-dive look at her process.
  • Case study presentation of “The Assistant”, with director Kitty Green, composer Tamar-kali, and sound designer & mixer Leslie Shatz.
  • How composers “read a film” and make specific choices on tone. Examples will be shown and discussed that highlight different approaches and styles.
  • The distinct worlds of sound design and music; how and when to most effectively use each tool.

Presented in partnership with the Dolby Institute.

All Sundance Co//ab Master Classes are recorded and will be available for all registrants after the live event. Please allow up to 24 hours after the live event for the recording to be posted.

If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please complete this form, contact us at (435) 776-7900 or email us at to discuss your specific needs. Every effort will be made to accommodate advance requests; requests made within 5 days of the event may not be guaranteed.

Peter Golub is the composer of numerous works for film, the concert hall, theatre and dance. His film scores include: FROZEN RIVER (directed by Courtney Hunt and nominated for 2 Academy Awards); THE LARAMIE PROJECT (for HBO); THE GREAT DEBATERS (directed by Denzel Washington and co-composed with James Newton Howard); WORDPLAY; COUNTDOWN TO ZERO; SOUND OF A DREAM; and SONGS MY BROTHER TAUGHT ME (dir. by Chloe Zhao). more...
Glenn Kiser is the Director of the Dolby Institute, Dolby’s initiative to bring education and inspiration to filmmakers and content creators about the creative use of sound and picture in storytelling. Previously, Kiser was the VP & General Manager of Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound, where he oversaw sound work on film projects such as AVATAR, THE INCREDIBLES, the STAR WARS prequels, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and HARRY POTTER films. more...
Kitty Green is an award-winning Australian filmmaker. Kitty’s independent feature documentary, UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2013 and screened at over 50 festivals internationally. In 2015, Kitty’s documentary short, THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL premiered at Sundance where it was awarded the Non-fiction Jury Prize. more...
Hildur Gudnadóttir is an Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, Emmy-, two-time Grammy-, and BAFTA-winning Icelandic artist, who has been manifesting herself at the forefront of experimental pop and contemporary music. In her solo works, she draws out a broad spectrum of sounds from her instrumentation, ranging from intimate simplicity to huge soundscapes. more...
Brooklyn-born and bred artist Tamar-kali is a second-generation musician with roots in the coastal Sea Islands of South Carolina. As a composer, Tamar-kali has defied boundaries to craft her own unique alternative sound. 2017 marked her debut as a film score composer. Her score for Dee Rees’ Oscar-nominated MUDBOUND, garnered her the World Soundtrack Academy’s 2018 Discovery of the Year Award and has been classified by Indiewire as one of the 25 Best Film Scores of the 21st Century. more...
Leslie Shatz is an academy award and Emmy award-nominated sound designer whose career spans 50 years. Among the many directors, he has worked with include John Cassavetes, David Lynch, Francis Coppola, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Kelly Reichardt, and Kitty Green. more...

Join the Discussion