Creating Emotional Robots: Behind the Scenes of Spike Jonze's Short 'I'm Here'
Spike Jonze is one of those unique filmmakers that both takes huge narrative and visual risks in his films while still making them relatable and marketable. His latest project Her does just the same -- a story about a man who develops a relationship with his operation system "Samantha". However, Jonze's entire body of work makes use of his strange, off-beat sensibility, and in this video by The Creators Project, we take a look behind the scenes of his 2010 I'm Here, and learn how Jonze and his team developed the emotion in a short film about two robots who fall in love.
First, take a look at the trailer for I'm Here.
Like Jonze's other films, including Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Where the Wild Things Are, it's not enough to be different and "out-there" to create an engaging narrative -- emotionality is the key. The film is interesting in that it chronicles a love story between two robots in a world in which their kind and humans coexist. (The idea behind these robots, according to the filmmakers, is that they represent the working class -- bus drivers, clerks, and laborers.) A story that includes robots and humans -- and the love story belongs to the robots.
As you'll see in the behind the scenes video below, though it's a short film, the production was a full-scale operation. The filmmakers used live actors wearing robot costumes, and then developed the visual effects to animate their facial expressions -- something that was integral to creating the emotion of the story. Jonze tackles this idea again in Her, with Joaquin Phoenix's character falling in love with an operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
The Creators Project also did a great interview with Spike Jonze, so be sure to check it out.
What do you think of Spike Jonze's theme of love and emotions played out between non-humans? Does it actually help to convey emotionality between beings that aren't human? Let us know in the comments below.
[via The Creators Project]