Robbie Short Film. Neil Harvey‘s Robbie (2012) short film’s plot synopsis: “Set 6000 years the future, Robbie charts the existential reflections of an aging robot drifting alone through space on the last of his battery life.”
I thought I would just watch the first few minutes of this short film but I could not stop watching. That voice and what the robot had experienced and was experiencing was fascinating and really well scripted. It’s so sad that Robbie is trapped up there alone. The fantasy world he creates is something humans can do without even thinking about and its interesting that his designers gave him that ability and that he used it to keep his sanity for 4000 years.
About the creative process behind Robbie:
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.
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