Short of the Week

The Machine

Telling tale of the dangers of human invention and the destruction it can wreak on the environment and others in this well-executed stop-motion film.

The Machine, by Rob Shaw of Bent Image Lab, is an entertaining stop-motion fable about a man-made machine who knows no bounds to his power. I’ve had this in my queue for awhile but knew I couldn’t let it pass without sharing with you. I love Angela Poschet’s voiceover.

Description via Vimeo:

“The Machine” is an animated fable following the path of an innocently forged mechanical creature. As his independence and knowledge of the world grows on his journey, as does his desire to conquer all that we encounters, from the pastures of a farmer to the realm of man’s entire world.

The story is in itself a mechanized apparition, the characters and scenery exisiting inside of an early 20th century nickel arcade and being driven forward by the gears of this machine.

The main character, the innocently created, human like mechanism whose power knows no bounds, thinks of himself as invincible, that no man or spirit could ever overpower him. Yet, the irony is that he himself is only a small part of a greater device, and in this case, a mechanized stage for passers by to waste a nickel in.

This film was shot over many hours at Bent Image Lab over the course of several months in 2008-2009. Animated using stop-motion puppets and sets, then composited together in After Effects, the film has a mixed media presence to it that is accentuated by the machine’s own collage like form.


Andrew makes no attempt to hide his love for the magic art of animation. He appreciates compelling visuals but never forgets that in this modern age, a strong story always reigns supreme. You can see his work at or his latest film The Thomas Beale Cipher.
  • The Machine by Rob Shaw | Wilson

    [...] The Machine on [...]

  • milan

    great animation,great sound,great style, interesting to watch, great work

  • Staphon Smith Blog #8

    [...] I picked this short film because it is very creative and I like the way it was edited and filmed. it is different because it is more cartoonish but still gets its point across, and if that’s even a word. I don’t know if this will help for our films in class but it is very interesting and would be cool if someone could make one similar to this one. I also liked the soundtrack that goes with it and it makes it more dramatic. and lastly it is very clear and has a good viewpoint in the footage. ← Richard Gabug’s blog 8 [...]