BALLET ROBOTIQUE (1982) [Feature]

USA (MIFF 1996 , Robotica)
Director: Bob Rogers


A computerised dance performed by giant industrial robots on an automobile assembly line and synchronised to music recorded by London's Royal Philharmonic. The film was made possible by a grant from the General Motors Corporation of America.

Ballet Robotique has become a classic short film, and is virtually unique in the rarefied genre of robot films in that it uses actual production robots in a creative manner. The logistics involved in shooting, programming and synchro­nising the movements of the robots were enormously complex, but the final product is a rather beautiful and often amusing 'humanised ballet of electromechanical motion. Each type of robot has its own personality." said Rogers "One moves like a chicken. Another like a cat. One paint spraying robot moves like seaweed gracefully swaying and curling with current. Our objective was to use the cinematographer's art to enhance and emphasise the personalities For example, we knew we wanted to use low key lighting on the big welders so the welding sparks would look like a laser battle in outer space. We planned to synchronise them with the 1812 Overture so that the explosions of sparks would take the place of fireworks and cannons ".

• Bob Rogers American Cinematographer

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