When I want to get my wife something, my mind usually wanders through the usual suspects: flowers, chocolates, a nice night out, perhaps. This demonstrates my failure as a husband, because if I really loved her, I’d do what fellow Aussie Neil Harvey did: I’d spend three months going through NASA’s archival footage to make her an incredible short film.
Set 6000 years in the future, Robbie tells the story of a robot floating through space contemplating his existence. His battery is about to run out, and he has to face some tough questions.
It only goes for eight minutes, but when you watch it, you’ll be glad you took the time out.
Here’s what Neil has to say about Robbie:
I am Neil Harvey, a director and editor from Sydney, Australia. This video is a short film I created as an anniversary present for my girlfriend a few months ago.
The film-making process involved downloading about 10 hours of footage from the NASA archives and compiling a list of shots which resonated with me at some level. I did this over about 2 or 3 months when I had the spare time. From there, I put these selected shots on an editing timeline and watched them back until characters and narratives began developing in my mind. That is when i met Robbie.
A lot of people have read ‘Robbie’ as a rather sad story. My personal reading is that I find it to be a bit more uplifting, perhaps even celebratory. While it was not my intention to have “a message”, I was certainly interested in the way we confront death and the issue of not ever waking up again. I also felt that by transposing such themes onto an AI character, it would provide a much more compelling vehicle through which to explore these ideas than if we were watching a human protagonist. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I definitely find value in my life by occasionally thinking about how lucky I am that I was actually born at all. I guess this is why I find the film to be more cathartic than depressing.
Enjoy your Monday Night Web Movie: Robbie.