Scenes From a Secret Robot Short

Published August 26, 2009 by Graham

Spike has been hard at work on a top secret robot-related short film. When Dallas and I visited the set, the first person we bumped into was Family owner David Kramer (more on Kramer in Lance Bang’s doc Family Portrait), furiously memorizing a verse of lyrics inscribed on his palm in a parking lot beneath the freeway. Kramer, a non-musician who had joined the project only one day earlier, was preparing to play the lead singer in a fake band called The Lost Trees, alongside the members of Moonrats.

Miranda July showed up and the four of us made our way through the vast maze of a fantastically decaying abandoned building to the room where Spike was setting up The Lost Trees’ big show. Waiting for the shoot to begin in earnest, Dallas and I decided to explore the building’s musty labyrinthine corridors. Scattered remnants left over from other Hollywood productions blurred unsettlingly with authentic artifacts from the location’s functional former life as a ballroom hall/radio station.

After conquering the rooftop with its epic vistas and then descending to the depths of the building’s eerily Saw-esque basement, we returned to the set and found “The Rec Center” now occupied by a couple of radical robots adrift in a roaring sea of extras feigning their fandom for The Lost Trees. Check out the photos above to see David Kramer embracing his inner rock star, Spike and Miranda talking shop, weird finds from our backstage explorations, and Lance Bangs shooting documentary footage in his trademark visor.

Keep an eye out for the short’s premiere in November and the unveiling of Spike’s new robotic stars!

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