"A fun look at addiction to technology and other modern diseases."
iDiots is a short film created by Spanish studio Big Lazy Robot that offers a humorous portrait of addiction to technology, mass consumption and instant gratification, presenting a series of situations describing how people fall into patterned, superficial behavior through the use of technology. The film is no doubt a true expression of the times.
We have real life models of the robots in our office. I bought them on the net, they’re made of tin and we keep them on shelves as a souvenir and decoration.
iDiots captures such an accurate snapshot of the technological human zoo of our age, that it has quickly spread like wildfire around the web.
Analysis: First Look
Built on a cyclic structure, the essence of the short lies in showing how characters’ behavior becomes superficial and homogeneous due to the use of mobile devices. A staging that transmits repetition of images, choreography and sound is built for this purpose.
In this analysis we’ll take a look at the film techniques Big Lazy Robot (BLR) used to accomplish their task. Let’s begin!
Shot Types and Camera Elements
In order to show how behaviors move from the particular to the general and become socially repeated, the film uses a sequence of different shot types: close-ups to show the content of the displays (generally over-the-shoulder shots with high camera angles), shots that are more frontal and a bit wider to show a robot’s (re)action, and group shots to show the behavior being repeated (or responded to) by other robots.
The introduction of the big robot character (1m49) results in the use of wider shots to fit it in the frame with other robots, in order to link their images and cover the action.
There’s some nice use of low height cameras to show robots’ feet to transmit repetition. Overhead shots are also used to show image repetition of robots’ heads, as well as to relate the big robot’s antenna to the effect it’s having on the mobile phones’ displays.
Camera Moves & Visual Rhythm
Static or slow moving cameras are used mostly, since the short focuses on showing the content of the displays, the robots’ behavior and the relationships of elements within the frame (which viewers must be able to “read”). Camera movements include a few handheld cameras, slow moving dollys, a crane shot, a few pans and an overhead shot tracking the big robot. Dollies are used for expressive purposes in the two shots starting at 3m29.
Visual rhythm is usually handled through editing and through the movement that takes place within the frame, aided by close-ups, which help magnify it. Depth of field is also used for narrative purposes and adds to the visual rhythm.