Silent City Now Online

Back in November, we posted the trailer and a shot breakdown of Ruairi Robinson’s short film, “Silent City.” Well, the whole film is online now and available for your viewing pleasure.


Honestly, I haven’t watched it yet—I’m still downloading it. But I wanted to get the word out as quickly as possible. Props to Ruairi not only for finishing the film but for deciding to share it with the world. I also enjoy the self-effacing humor on his site. It’s a nice change from the usual puffed up egoism of so many directors.

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



He does actually have a big ego. All he talks about on his website is how no ego he has at all by putting himself in a silly light, wrapped in some sort of vulgar humor . Just scroll around and down. Kinda annoying and distracting.

Nevertheless i find the shortfilm interesting and well done. Nothing amazing, but well done visually. I wonder how long it took him.

Adam B

He seems like he could be scitzophrenic almost. In terms of the shortfilm, I found it to be quite catching.


are you sure this is the whole film? the visuals are very well done, but there’s no resolution to the piece and the narrative content is rather empty.


The saddest excuse for a “film” that I’ve seen in a long time. Excellent visuals but absolutely no story, no brain, no soul and no message. Ruairi, get a life and stop pretending you are a director. The entire piece is a waste of time – yours and those who you expect to watch it.



Wow. Amazing integration of live and CG. However, familiar gaming nihilism, with dreadful talent direction.


Okay Mylenium,

Put your money where your mouth is… let’s see some of your film work. It’s very easy to point out the negative.
I think he did a great job just getting the thing made.

…go on Mylenium please post the URL to you short film.


The whole thing felt a bit like a very impressive efx and composite test.


not that there’s anything wrong with that:)


It’s a real tease! Kinda more like a scene from a film than a conventional short – was that the intention? A Hollywood calling card? It does makes me want to see a full feature from this guy!


“It does makes me want to see a full feature from this guy!”

Why? With such a shallow, boring story i can’t understand how someone would hire this guy to direct a hollywood feature film. The visual effects are well done. But you ain’t steven spielberg by using his ideas and trying to make a poorly directed version of saving private ryan.

Ruairí Robinson

Hello, Punchbag Robinson here.

I don’t subscribe to the theory that someone has to be a filmmaker themselves in order to justify expressing an opinion, and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always appreciated, but no need to make it personal…

I’m painfully aware of any and all flaws in the film. Painfully. Aware. But fuck it – it’s the first thing I’ve ever shot in my life (and I get to use that excuse exactly ONCE), and I put a lot of work into it – and some people like it a lot, so for that reason I’m pretty proud of the thing, warts and all.

The film is offered with no warranties expressed or implied, and no refunds. That’s why it’s free.

As a quick litmus test, if you don’t like the rest of the stuff on my website, or my sense of humour, there’s probably not much point in watching the film either… In the meantime I’ll keep telling myself not to take it too personally…



Fuck it.. Kudos for doing it, kudos for getting an agent, and kudos for finishing a project that looks this good.


I liked it a lot, and I want to see what crazy robot thing was going after them! like D*Form said, I want to see the whole thing now.


Keep it up man. Production value alone deserves the kudos. The fact you were able to bring together some talent and direct them well isn’t bad either.

My first short leans on the “it’s my first time” excuse because it needs it. I wouldn’t have guessed that with this one. It’s very professional.

Congrats, I hope you get to work on a feature before to long.

Critics be damned. They have the easiest job of them all.


posted by confused:

Okay Mylenium,

Put your money where your mouth is… let’s see some of your film work. It’s very easy to point out the negative.
I think he did a great job just getting the thing made.

…go on Mylenium please post the URL to you short film.


Did I ever say I have one? Sorry, I think you are simply not getting what I tried to say. Ruairi’s piece is just like so many films/ movies/ TV series today – a pointless VFX battle without any heart, soul or story. That’s all I was saying.

Did I say I can be a good director? No! Did I bash the effects? No! Did I say I wanna be part of that bastardly VFX industry? No! So calm down and crawl back to your dark corner.


posted by Marc:

Why? With such a shallow, boring story i can’t understand how someone would hire this guy to direct a hollywood feature film. The visual effects are well done. But you ain’t steven spielberg by using his ideas and trying to make a poorly directed version of saving private ryan.


Pretty much my feelings. Ruairi would probably make an excellent VFX supervisor, but that’s it. As for Spielberg – that would only be something to aspire to up until the point before he went into making rubbish popcorn movies like “A.I.”, “Minority Report” or “War of the Worlds”. He has long lost his magic touch.


It seems there are two camps of thought here:

A. the movie sucked, and the visuals were visual (meh)
B. the movie rocked and the visuals were great

I’m more of a column B individual, seeing as I felt the visuals were extremely impressive for a one man VFX operation. In fact, they were impressive for a small team. I’m not quite sure why the movie has received such negative feedback. Yes, the plot was rather minimal in terms of what information we were “told”, but I imagine the artistic merit is in its minimalism.

The weakness in the story is that the viewer builds no bond with the main character(s) and we are just left with assumed protagonists and an antagonist. Therefore, when the finale arrives we are left with very little emotionally, other than a faint sympathy at best. Yes, the artist can argue that it is an experimental piece or what not, and we shouldn’t apply this piece to the “Hollywood Standard”. I am not here to argue his case for him.

I enjoyed the film. Mostly for the visuals, and for its experimental, albeit flawed concept. I come from a school of thought where concept trumps visuals and I learn it the hard way daily. Go Ontario College of Art and Design 4 LIFE! (or 4 years, whichever comes first)



seems like a really long preview, with about as much content. the visuals are hot, and the camera animation for the ground unit is spot on. i especially like the juggernaut force exerted on the car in the last 30 seconds.

as hans moravec said “biological species almost never survive encounters with superior competitors.”

there’s your ending.


i love it.nice sound and please do watch the breakdowns


Ruairi Robinson Man U rock. I know the story and scripting is a little i mean very very minor details that u can leave behind when u r doing a project without any earnings. Man i have a practical experience I KNOW the hardwork and the kind of challenges u have faced. It really is a gr8 work. Just dont critisize him for the heck of critizism. Anyone of u have ever done some thing like this even 60sec clip. An artist can see the potential of other artist whoes first painting may not be the master piece but a strong begining for a greater achievements. and by the way ur site is pretty humourous :) Keep up the good work.

Nick Ryan

Mylemium says: ‘Ruairi, get a life and stop pretending your a director.’

Well that is harsh criticism indeed. Even bitter I may add. Ruairi puts it rather well by stating that film is offered with no warranties expressed or implied. He is putting it out there, and indeed you are open to say what you wish, but to trash it with no merit is without cause.

Also Marc, ‘Steven Speilberg, he aint’, Just because Ruairi’s film actually looks like a film, don’t confuse it with something that cost 50-60 times more than it did. So you decide to compare it to a film by cinema’s most successful director. Tell me what it is that you do, show me what it is that you do, and let me come up with a similar comparison to who may be the top of their game. Fair enough?

Well done Ruairi

Ash / Umeric.

The grade is amazing love the use of cg lens distortion.

Especially love the establishing shot of the ‘nuked city’ into the roll around the building into the body; and lighting is really nice and moody.

But it must be said it’s pretty brave to go with a war script and even more brave to take it as the first short.

As it could of so easily ended up very stupid/b grade.
But it didn’t, its quite believable .

I think this has to do with a great choice in casting and nicely quick-cut cg effects…

In seven or so minutes for this war story might be a little flat with no real ending,
but moving away from the usual funny catch/twist at the end is nice to see in a short.

Anyways, I think if he was given a stronger/longer action script he would make a a interesting film don’t you think?


Nick Ryan wrote:

…but to trash it with no merit is without cause.


Well, where do you see any merits in this? Sorry, it’s just a lot of wasted effort on Ruairi’s end in terms of the whole directing/ production shebang. Films are more than just pretty pictures and there is just not a single ounce of originality anywhere. Even the cinematography has a definite feel of “Seen it all before”. It’s just completely boring. Well, I’m out. I’ve written already way too much about a piece that deserves no attention.

Nick Ryan

Mylenium – hmmm, I have rarely seen such bitterness!

Merit? you ask? How about, the fact that there is a film for people to discuss, love or hate. That alone is enough, let alone the level and ability shown across all disciplines in this production, oh, and in case you managed to miss out the fact it landed him some decent attention by those folks who make the big films. But I suppose they know nothing. Go figure….


Mylenium does sound a little bitter. Not sure why. If you’re so offended by it just forget about it.


This could be the beginning of great things to come, so don’t beat yourself up over the negative comments. The short has its good and bad points, but I have a feeling the next one will be excellent.


I like boobies ones that gigle…


where is the Love. Its valentines day and as his site states it his birthday tomorrow..
show him the love


Silent City has story resolution problems, it’s hard to deny that. But that does not take the merit of the film, or from the director. Robinsons is VERY, VERY, talented.

Talk is cheap. Let’s make some movies.


Regardless of how one feels about story (or lack thereof…), the production value of this piece alone should be applauded, not to mention the multitude of invisible FX shots seemlessly integrated into the live action. And in the long run, this film did get him signed with a major hollywood agency – which is an accomplishment every aspiring directing should be celebrating.

Job well done.


Of course it looks good. The guy has amazing animation talent. Also, just, you know, a little side note, that it cost ten thousand pounds. Regardless of the story, with that talent and money you’re going to have a film that looks good. Now, for me, I prefer content, but if it’s visuals that gets you off, fantastic. There’s lots of that in Hollywood. Almost too much if you ask me.


Oh, apparently 11,000 euro to *shoot*, and then more, I’m assuming, to edit and finish.



Seriously, fuck all those silly little people with disparaging comments. It’s just obnoxious. As artists, we are all in some phase of development. When you’re sixty, and you look back at your life’s work, if you never do anything better than “Silent City,” well, maybe we should sit down and have a chat, but for a first short, you kicked intergalactic ass. I’d like to see anyone here do anything half as cool for a first solo project.

To everyone else: lighten the fuck up. Concentrate on making beautiful work. Sure, feel free to critique your colleague’s work, but be respectful, compassionate, and considerate. Do not listen to your ego, listen to your heart.



well said Issara.

why is it that you never see people with TRUE skillz talking smack about others work? they may have something constructive to say or even point out a weakness – but leave with a possible solution or positive take on some aspect of the piece. respect.

it seems that its usually wanna B’s that bring the hate on others. why is that? and why do they give themselves away so cheaply? weak.

am i wrong?

mr peanut

I agree AlexJ – Maybe the wanna B’s are bitter and boiling with rage and jealousy when they see other people doing good work.

anyway almost finished downloading the short.

will give my opinion of it soon.


I agree with Mylenium.

In that I do not want him to be a part of that bastardy VFX industry.

Excellent film though!


Mylenium, you’re an idiot.


Good luck man, I wish you the best. Constructive critism is great, its what makes us better. Mylenium is just down right disrespectfull. That will get him nowhere. It seems like there are two types of people in our industry. People that DO work. And people that TALK about other peoples work. Go get it yo!


carlos Florez

and Ruairi Robinson, I wish you the most humble and positive energy to keep up with the great work!
Don’t let negativity influence your motivation to do what you love to do.
as an artists, the worst thing to do, is to not do anything.

Carlos Florez


Ruairi great f##### work dude!

Bo Mosley

Mylenium is a fucking tool.


I enjoyed it, im not too hot on Don, but its all there man! Good look with it! (the spin ruled)Just wondering exactly how detailed the models of those buildings were?
They all look great but did u make em just detailed enough for what we see or is there loads of extra stuff that could be seen if the camera zoomed closer, id like to know more about the process! Congrats!


He told me that he worked 2 years (on/ off) on it. And a friend did the buildings for him.

The cg/ comp is nicely integrated.


Myleniums page says he works in VFX… Hehehu hahahahah.
Prolly with less sallery than r000ri will be.

Amazing work; faaaaaaaar off from what to expect from this small production. The deserted-city-with-skullface-snipers theme is kind of lame, and i never want to see a skull trying to picture something seriously evil again.
But I’ve never seen Steven Spielberg getting the writing credits ever either. Excellent Work!

Joe Clay

The work was pretty good, however I don’t agree that all of the VFX was seamless. It was pretty obvious. To be fair I couldn’t do any better, but I can sure recognize what needs work.

For a first film it was very well done, and for a nearly one man operation it was excellent. The story obviously has no resolution, but if it’s meant as a holloywood calling card, they won’t care.

Also, while Mylenium was harsh, he wasn’t entirely wrong. He’s not an idiot. That said, I think Ruarí could make quite a good second film after learning what he has with this one.


It’s interesting that all of the criticisms of story make the assumption that Ruairi doesn’t understand plotting. I took the sparseness of narrative as a deliberate choice on the filmmaker’s part. Look at his first animated short (the one that won an oscar). This guy knows how to tell a tale – even in the 3 to 5 minute format.


he didn’t win an oscar with the other animated one. it was just nominated. but i told him too in a personal email that i found it lame and couldn’t understand why it got nominated. he said that the others were just lame enough too.


Hey Ruairi, my friends and I just watched your film (we are all working in TV), and we all thought it was great, a huge effort for just one person and extremely well done. Your work is amazing, ignore the bitter ones! Its just empty negativity. We can’t wait to see more from you!


What was that all about! As always the proof is in the pudding, people who cite babylon 5 as great television on their websites (you know who you are, Mylenium) aren’t really qualified to make any kind of critical comment!

I was amazed by it, and knowing how much it all cost impresses even more. I really hope good things come of this, I know you’re just at the start of your career (directing wise), I imagine thatthey will.

nick ryan

Hey Anthony,

How old are you? three? So you told him in a personal mail that his film fifty percent grey was lame and he said the others were just as lame. Hmmmm, I haven’t heard people, sorry, kids talk like that since I got out of short pants.

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