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UNKLE's Pointman Robot Is Brought To Life

Courtesy of animatronics whiz John Nolan.
December 22, 2010, 5:11pm

All your automaton fears may just come bubbling up to the surface after watching this video for “Runaway” from James Lavelle’s UNKLE. This version is a re-edit—the original appeared on Where Did The Night Fall—and features the addition of aggressive synths splintering and crackling throughout the track. Animatronics designer and director at Streetlight Films UK, John Nolan, whose credits include Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, has captured the physical embodiment of the music well, manifested into the lurching form of Pointman, the UNKLE robot designed by Futura Laboratories. Pointman originally appeared in Daydreaming with…James Lavelle, an exhibition that featured artists from multiple disciplines creating innovative artwork based on UNKLE’s music. And my, what energy our robot friend has, jerking and twitching towards the camera in a video where he (along with the wonderful animatronics), is rightfully, the star of the show. The jittering motions show you what can be achieved by using a physical form, the solidity of which is difficult to recreate digitally, making objects appear to lack substance. The physical presence of the animatronics allow Pointman to be just the right side of creepy.