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Life Rewired Shorts - Uncanny Valley by Gary Dumbill

Uncanny Valley still
14 Jan 2019
2 min watch

Welcome to the Uncanny Valley, a nostalgic and familiar place that looks and feels very much like the human experience, but with something a bit strange in the corner of your eye...

How does your film respond to Life Rewired?
'I became slightly obsessed with a Donald Trump speech written after thousands of hours of audio recorded at his rallies were fed into a bot. It’s both hilarious and really unsettling. I wanted to explore this feeling and imagine what would happen if artificial intelligence was given free reign to create consciousness. The film is deliberately unsettling, using visual and audio, specifically created for the film, to disorientate.

The more 'human' androids seem, the more comforting they feel. Until they start to become really convincing, at which point they become very creepy. This dip in emotional response to familiarity is known as the ‘Uncanny Valley’.'

I wanted to create a sensory experience rather than to tell a story...

Can you explain the process behind the making of your film?
'I knew that I wanted to create a sensory experience rather than to tell a story as such, and animation is the perfect tool. I find nostalgic imagery to have the strongest emotion pull and provoke strong responses, something which has been manipulated for political gains since primates were up to no good hanging around black monoliths.' 

What does the filmmaker of the future look like?
'Hopefully Robocop, but more likely computer algorithms. They’ll recycle scenes and scripts tailored to each individual, based on their tastes. What feels the most familiar and comforting will take priority, sending the viewer down a rabbit hole of warm fuzzy confirmation bias.'

About Gary Dumbill

Gary Dumbill is multi award winning animator, designer and music video director from Manchester.  You can find more of his work on:

Part of Life Rewired

A season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything

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