Monday Morning Mini Movie: Robots Shooting Bikini Babes

Film makers and advertisers using robots again!  Isn't it cool that you chuck out your tripods, tracking dollies and cranes entirely and use a flying Hexrobot instead?

Now obviously this technology has a long way to go but as it matures a couple of the problems in the video above will be solved:

1. The camera is using a rolling shutter which, combined with the vibrations off the robot, causes weird distortions in the video.  Using a camera with progressive scan would sort this?

2. The shots of the camera dropping out of the sky and stopping just above the models was filmed in reverse. Would you want a robot with spinning blades dropping down on you from 50 meters?  Proximity sensors could solve this one I think...

3. Notice the noise of the robot?  No, obviously not, as no native sound was used at all.  Any dialogue scenes shot this way would require a very clever mic set up or extensive ADR.  I don't see an easy way around this problem.  Can you?


A robot salute goes out to the BotJunkie blog again for this one.

Monday Morning Mini Movie: Transformers Done Right...

So today's Monday Morning Mini Movie is a short sequel to the awful Michael Bay Transformers movies:


The big difference and major improvement between this and the original Transformers is that the fight is between the two human gangsters.  Although I'm not a fan of organised crime, at least I stand a chance of caring about one of the guys, with robots from outer space squabling over a widget, not so much.

The Transformers film I'd love to see is two groups of HUMANS are in conflict and both sides are trying to convince the Transformers to fight for them.  This way we'll care about the conflict, see people expressing their convictions about something important to them.  Then we'd see the cool over the top action sequence an the final third of the movie where the Transformers disarm both sides of all their WMDs.


The short film was made by a couple of guys in Russia for a using equipment costing a couple of thousand dollars which got me thinking…

How much would this sequence have cost to make just 2 years ago before the dSLR video revolution?  

Then what about 5 years ago, then 10 years ago, then 15?

If we graphed this line would it go back as a reverse of Moores Law or much steeper?  I'm not sure.


What would your guess be and how cheap will it be to produce a sequence like this in just 5 years time?


Monday Morning Mini Movie: Death By Robot?

Here's a fun film about how to use the PR2 research robot safely:

This may seem an odd choice for a Monday Morning Mini Movie but I liked it for a couple of reasons:

  1. I think the clunky animations and effects are funny.
  2. It involves robots.
  3. People are more likely to watch the video than read a safety booklet.
  4. People are more likely to remember the safety advice after watching than reading.

Points 3 and 4 have been proven many times yet even when it comes to keeping clients or employees safe, most companies still go with the easily written, easily forgotten memo instead of an efective video or animation.  What about your company?



Robots + Astronauts + Cameras = Awesome

I was going to post this following video as yesterday's Monday Morning Mini Movie but it turns out it is an advert.  That aside, you can't get much better than cameras mounted on repurposed 6 axis industrial robots filming Sally Ride and Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell with some archive footage of Appollo thrown in for good measure.


Although these robotic rigs are great for smooth panning shots but where the will really excel is recreating pre programmed "hand held" shots.  Remember Derren Brown's lottery prediction stunt?  That was probably filmed on a pre programmed rig which only had two axis so the the camera only moves on two dimensions.  If he had used these babies he could have had the camera moving all over the place.

Anyway, if any one has a spare robot laying around, I have a couple of ideas about how to use one in a really creative way...

Here's the explanation vid of the lottery stunt: