Submarine Channel

Can a documentary be shot and directed entirely by robots?

Who knew robots could be this popular? This is by far the most viewed Profile, thanks to it being featured in Wired & Filmmaker Magazine!

Cubie – the cutie documentary robot – plans to kickstart meaningful relationship with human beings and create the world’s first documentary shot entirely by a robot! But how personal can we get with Cubie?

The chances of running into a fleet of curious robots at a film festival usually range from slim to none. Not the case at IDFA DocLab, where experimental filmmaker Brent Hoff and artist Alexander Reben stood behind a table full of little robots, asking people to help with their experiment.

The goal is to get random people to spend time with Cubie, answering (very personal) questions to a sad, E.T-sounding robot. But even more than that, Reben shares that this experiment attempts to examine how people relate to robots. With all the collected responses from IDFA DocLab, Hoff created a short documentary that screened during the festival. We’ve got some of this amazing footage in our interview with Hoff and Reben, so don’t miss it.

“I’m curious to see how the interaction between people and robots will be, since there are more and more robots present in our daily lives. That’s why I programmed all these personal questions into Cubie. I don’t expect people to answer all the questions, but I am curious how far they will go and how they will respond to the questions. And how personal and intimate will they be?”

*A huge thanks to Reben and Hoff who provided us with the footage captured by Cubie at IDFA DocLab*

Director: Katy Yudin, Camera: Pierre Rezus, Editor: Anneke de Lind van Wijngaarden, Sound: Pierre Rezus, A production by Submarine Channel Foundation 2012. Recorded at the IDFA DocLab Expanding Documentary exhibition at De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam in 2012.


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