An Adorable Robot Actress Comes In For A Screen Test In This Short From Sky Captain Director Kerry Conran

By David Wharton | 8 years ago

Remember Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? The flick was a tribute to classic adventure serials and was shot almost entirely using bluescreen effects. Sky Captain starred Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie in an adventure full of giant robots, submersible sea-planes, and zeppelins docking at the top of the Empire State Building. It was supposed to be the Next Big Geek Thing when it showed up at the San Diego Comic-Con in the summer of 2004, but unfortunately the finished film fell prey to the same malady as George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels: gorgeous visuals wrapped around a script that still needed work.

Still, I’ve always admired director Kerry Conran’s imagination and passion for the project, even if I don’t think it held together as well as it could have. After not having heard much about Conran for the past eight years, it’s very cool to see him pop back onto the radar with Gumdrop, a cute little short about a lady robot who comes in for a screen test for a role in a big new movie. She’s kind of adorable, so check it out:

Conran wrote Gumdrop, and co-directed it with Stephen Lawes, who worked on visual effects for movies such as Avatar, The Avengers, and Iron Man 2. That pedigree is definitely on display in the short, especially the lovely sequences where Gumdrop is inserted into old movies alongside legends such as Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire. Hell, there’s even an animated sequence where Gumdrop recites the “shark monologue” from Jaws. My favorite bit? Gumdrop’s demonstration of her “other talents.”

There’s not really much story to dig into with Gumdrop, but it is a great example of how a richly realized character can win over an audience. I’d like to see more of Gumdrop, and if that’s not a mark of success for a short film, I don’t know what is. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another eight years to see something else cool from Kerry Conran.

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