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November 19, 2011 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine.
posted by twoleftfeet (20 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
[more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:20 AM on November 19, 2011


Melvin takes pictures and makes video's of his audience


AAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHHH! SCREAM! SCREAM! SWEAR! SPIT!

My love of Rube Golberg machines has encountered MY HATE
posted by louche mustachio at 6:52 AM on November 19, 2011


Isn't a machine like this supposed to produce some mundane result at the end, like a cup of tea or a gumball? It wasn't clear to me at the end what the end was. Perhaps someone with better eyes saw something I didn't.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:09 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


First thing I thought of was Marlo the Magic Movie Machine but I guess this aint him.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:31 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it silkscreens t-shirts. They mention it makes its own merchandise.
posted by chairface at 7:48 AM on November 19, 2011


The slightly shonky camerawork on this made me appreciate just what a tough job it must be filming these contraptions, let alone building them. FWIW, I thought the bit with the flames was pretty cool.
posted by RokkitNite at 8:25 AM on November 19, 2011


I thought the bit with the flames was pretty scary (and if I were working there, I'd be coughing my lungs out), but this Machine violated a couple of Rube Goldberg's design specs:

(a) many of the actions and reactions were unclear or semi-concealed and hard to follow (although the video crew often just did a poor job following them)

(b) some of the actions were unnecessarily showy dead-ends, distracting from where the real actions were happening (easy example: all but the first swinging tire)

(c) as noted above, no clear idea of exactly what the end result of all of it was. As Shakespeare said "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing", which would make this a machine made "by an idiot".

I SO wanted to like this more.

A much more entertaining example of this kind of thing is something I was afraid to post here because it is SO Pepsi Navy Blue: The Fed Ex box dominos.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:40 AM on November 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


The fire was a nice touch.
posted by Sailormom at 8:48 AM on November 19, 2011


They missed showing us at least one sign. But then at the end, I realized that the video isn't the point. All the guys rushing in to drop tshirts on the flames so they can quick stick them in the shop as "authentic" or whatever made the whole project reek somehow. The images of people in black coats solemnly watching it operate aren't helping.
posted by DU at 8:53 AM on November 19, 2011


We're still waiting for the one with a building or stadium demolition in the middle of it, that knocks over a single domino...
posted by hexatron at 9:38 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't a machine like this supposed to produce some mundane result at the end, like a cup of tea or a gumball? It wasn't clear to me at the end what the end was. Perhaps someone with better eyes saw something I didn't.

The payoff is the last shot, with the camera used mounted on a balanced beam which is part of the macine so its last act is to use its own camera to show us a rising crane shot of scene remaining and the crew responsible.
posted by longsleeves at 9:56 AM on November 19, 2011


I'll chime in for "not all that great", for the reasons listed above.

The construction was really good - but that's about it.

The design was lame.
The videography was poor.
The output was ... what?

And the point was to sell stuff? No thank you. I have enough stuff being sold to me.
posted by LoudMusic at 10:08 AM on November 19, 2011


Calvin the Commercial/Conceptual Camera Contraption
posted by itstheclamsname at 10:42 AM on November 19, 2011


BTW, Melvin is no Marvin.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:29 AM on November 19, 2011


Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:53 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Took me a couple tries to figure out that the end result is final upward panning shot as the credits roll.
posted by hwestiii at 1:08 PM on November 19, 2011


Please add Rube Goldberg tags.
posted by furtive at 2:03 PM on November 19, 2011


If what you're trying to do in an art/design project has already been done, and done much better, in a car commercial give up and try again.
posted by Grimgrin at 3:33 PM on November 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's an episode of Mythbusters where Adam and Jamie are tasked with making a Rube Goldberg machine. The false starts, rehearsal runs, and production problems are, in ways, more interesting than the final working result because of the appreciation it gives you for how much work goes into one, and how delicate the whole machine is.

I think the main disappointment I felt with Melvin was not that it was underwhelming (it wasn't; it's surprisingly big) but that while it was built with the intention of being filmed it wasn't designed with sufficient consideration of the single tracking shot they evidently intended to use to shoot it. So some of the gags in the machine involved changes of scale greater than the camera could show, or happened while concealed by other pieces of the machine, or ran off-frame faster than the cameraman could keep up. And the fire track at the end seemed like a miscalculation; they should have used fuel that doesn't throw off black smoke.

By comparison, the Mythbusters machine was two-dimensional and relatively consistent in scale; easy to track with a single camera. The Rube Goldberg machine in that OK Go video was set up and synchronized with not only the camera in mind but the song it was designed for. Melvin wasn't a bad idea and doesn't even look badly constructed. It simply wasn't designed well enough.
posted by ardgedee at 5:20 PM on November 19, 2011


Is it made out of Ikea furniture?
posted by Brocktoon at 11:36 AM on November 20, 2011


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