By Admin | November 14, 2005

Initially, Thomas Barker’s short film “Hanging Out With Robots” seems like a silly trifle. Three “robots” (actually, three guys with large metal wash basins on their heads) stand on a street corner, shooting the breeze. I could feel myself getting that feeling of, “once again someone made a short film he and his friends found funny but then, they decided to send it out.” That’s never a good feeling and usually signals a loss of time one never regains. Yet as the short rolled along, I realized this was definitely not one of those films.

I quickly became accustomed to the wash basins and found myself tuning into the funny dialogue and terrific voice acting. There’s also clever use of emotion through eyes pasted on the wash basins and a I quickly got the feeling that “Hanging Out With Robots” is much more together and funny than the low-fi production would have you believe. In fact the film is pretty damned funny!

The “robots” are basically your typical holier-than-thou geeks who have nothing better to do than sit in judgment of those who walk by throughout the day. Yet in this parallel universe large mechanized robots and androids walk the streets on their way to work. There’s also more than one storyline which is impressive for a six minute piece. The film is kind of a D.I.Y. geek fest without the lame pop culture references.

I hope director Barker continues on and makes some kind of series out of this as “Hanging Out With Robots” could easily find a home on the web or on television. The characterizations of each robot coupled with spot-on voice acting make them well defined personalities. “Hanging Out With Robots” isn’t much to look at, but pay attention. It’s smarter than it appears to be.

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