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Chaos? In *my* print shop?
April 29, 2008 9:06 AM   Subscribe

We've seen a number of Rube Goldberg machines in advertising before, but here's the first one I've seen that actually uses the controlled chaos of one to describe what their product actually does. Or doesn't, really. If you've ever worked in a print shop, you've probably seen something like this happen. Usually once or twice a day.
posted by loquacious (45 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Terribly clever.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:09 AM on April 29, 2008


Somebody had a lot of time on their hands, and God bless them for it. That was awesome.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:11 AM on April 29, 2008


****
posted by quanta and qualia at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2008


One take. Bet that took a while.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:13 AM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pepsi Rube, but kudos.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:14 AM on April 29, 2008


Although, I don't understand how the domino stack of videotapes sets off that machine, whatever it is. Is there a remote control on the floor that the last one falls onto?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:16 AM on April 29, 2008


Am I the only one who kinda freaked at the Large Format Color machine breaking? I need a new job.
posted by khaibit at 9:18 AM on April 29, 2008


Fun. That was more enjoyable than my breakfast. And I love breakfast. Rube Goldberg machine engineers, you rock.
posted by heatherbeth at 9:20 AM on April 29, 2008


Behind the scenes.
posted by scrump at 9:21 AM on April 29, 2008


> Am I the only one who kinda freaked at the Large Format Color machine breaking?

You're not the only one. It made my heart stop. Not even the media rack's collapse bothered me as much.
posted by ardgedee at 9:27 AM on April 29, 2008


That was very cool, I sent it to our print guys.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:28 AM on April 29, 2008


Best of the best of the web (even if I am gonna see it in my emailbox several times this week). Thanks.
posted by straight at 9:30 AM on April 29, 2008


That was fucking spectacular.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:31 AM on April 29, 2008


I don't think we should credit the advertising agency for spotting that their client's product had anything to do with order or chaos. Someone in the office just saw a similar thing on the internet and thought they'd copy it. It probably dawned on them that it might be relevant after the pitch. It's Rube-sploitation.
posted by Brian Lux at 9:34 AM on April 29, 2008


The "video tapes" are HP ink cartridges.

You're not alone, khaibit. That part totally messed with me. I've actually seen inkjets with bulk ink systems spray ink all over the place.
posted by loquacious at 9:58 AM on April 29, 2008


I want to see one of these done in a sausage factory.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:04 AM on April 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I like this Honda Accord/R-G advert.
posted by sciurus at 10:08 AM on April 29, 2008


Some friends and I built a Rube Goldberg machine once. The one in this FPP is a little more than twice as complex as ours (24 energy transfers to our 11), and a lot of the steps are fancier. Ours took probably 100 man-hours of work including brainstorming and filming, on a pocket-change type budget (I'm sure we spent less than $50). We had to try about 8 times to get one continuous take where nothing went wrong. If each step works 19 times out of 20, you have a 30% chance of all 24 of them succeeding in a row (which implies that ours were significantly less reliable than that). With the additional steps that means there's more to set up when it fails.

Still, if you're of a disposition given towards attention to detail and doing fiddly things with your hands, making one of these is a whole lot of fun!
posted by aubilenon at 10:09 AM on April 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I want one of these and I don't work in a print room.
posted by tommasz at 10:10 AM on April 29, 2008


I have worked in a print shop, and I can't imagine my old boss letting us goof off long enough to set something like that up, even if it was a viral advertisement.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:12 AM on April 29, 2008


This is way better than that one that was going around last week, where the guy was only runner-up in a contest, and people were acting like it was some kind of injustice even though he filmed it on seemingly an eighties handicam in a fully wood-panelled environment and basically just made a bunch of back and forth tracks with cut-up paper towel tubes. Today's Goldberg machine post shows more flavour and more of a "links design" in that the machine is a natural extension of the environment and materials in which it is found.
posted by autodidact at 10:19 AM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who kinda freaked at the Large Format Color machine breaking? I need a new job.

I'm going to spend my whole day thinking about that and shuddering when I pass my Epson.

admittedly, we have a large format HP that could have an "accident" with no tears from me
posted by lekvar at 10:19 AM on April 29, 2008


It just seems like a recipe for disaster to store your empty toner cartridges like dominoes on the floor. Really, when you use organizational systems like that, you shouldn't be surprised when this sort of thing spontaneously happens in your office.

Thankfully there was someone there with a camera to capture the entire event. Pity they didn't make an effort to stop it before that printer was broken though.
posted by quin at 10:30 AM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


See also: Peter Fischli and David Weiss's ┬źDer Lauf der Dinge┬╗ (aka "The Way Things Go" or "The Way of Things"), a 30-minute rube-goldberg contraption, not really to any end, but the travel is part of the fun. Clips here, smacking into here, leading to here, and then dropping down into here.

coolfppthx
posted by not_on_display at 10:31 AM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


> The "video tapes" are HP ink cartridges.

Okay, but how did they set off the Large Format Color machine?
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:52 AM on April 29, 2008


See also: Pi-ta-go-ra... su-ICH-i!
posted by wanderingmind at 11:07 AM on April 29, 2008


This is, indeed, awesome.

I would like to build something like this out of stuff that I work with, too. Alas, I'm a teacher and suspect that getting a bunch of Freshmen to stand still until something falls onto them is going to be harder than it sounds.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:51 AM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Man, the tape measure was just perfect.
posted by eriko at 11:53 AM on April 29, 2008


Whenever I see these I'm more impressed knowing how many tries (and fails) were attempted before they finally got it right. I don't have the patience to try anything like this but have massive respect for anyone who does.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:22 PM on April 29, 2008


Nice!
posted by Mister_A at 12:26 PM on April 29, 2008


I'm a teacher and suspect that getting a bunch of Freshmen to stand still until something falls onto them is going to be harder than it sounds.

This could actually be really cool -- getting a bunch of humans to somehow interact toward a purpose in the style of Goldbergian machine.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:54 PM on April 29, 2008


> This could actually be really cool -- getting a bunch of humans to somehow interact toward a purpose in the style of Goldbergian machine.

They have this, it's called the Department of Motor Vehicles.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:01 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Server fried.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:16 PM on April 29, 2008


Bandwidth limit exceeded. Anyone have a mirror?
posted by wtdoor at 1:16 PM on April 29, 2008


YouTube to the rescue.
posted by valkyryn at 1:24 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good stuff. I'd have made it faster - the film at least - to imply more chaos or things going wrong quickly. But fun, nonetheless.

/not so fond memories of a huge stack of comb bound calendars going everywhere
posted by Zinger at 1:50 PM on April 29, 2008


Server fried

Not fried. The chicken needs to lay another egg so the egg can roll down the chute and fall into the cup at the end of the lever that releases the little car that races across the table and collides with the dominoes that spell out CLUSTARACK.CO.UK, with the last domino falling off the table and onto the trigger of a mousetrap that snaps shut onto the end of a little catapult that sends a ball bearing into a target that goes "PING" as it releases chow into the hamster cages so the hamsters have enough energy to get into their little wheels and power the server again.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:32 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Along with the YouTube link, they have a "Making Of" clip -- they had to shoot this 98 times! Problems like a lorry driving by causing the sensitively placed stuff to trigger prematurely... lovely.
posted by cavalier at 2:36 PM on April 29, 2008


Cog , for Honda, took 605 takes and cost $6million to make. I wonder how these guys fared?

But artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss deserve a credit for coming up with the original idea for this kind of thing with their 1987 film "The Way Things Go".
posted by rongorongo at 2:57 PM on April 29, 2008


the bandwidth is exceeded. boo.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 4:53 PM on April 29, 2008


Damn, I spent a good twenty minutes crafting a double post. Must. Preview. Sooner.

Then, let me share a Rube Goldberg flash game, via (The) Graham Linehan, whose blog is ever delightful.

Some earlier Rube Goldberg Machine threads:

Buy them all and build it at home!
(by me)
Rube Goldberg Alarm Clock
Japanese Rube Goldberg Noodle Device

Movies with Rube Goldberg machines in them
Pi-ta-go-ra su-i-chi! (by me)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:34 AM on April 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


_ _ _ _ / |||||||
posted by Pollomacho at 6:42 AM on April 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


That "Cog" ad for Honda looks ... fishy. Like the whole thing was done in Solidworks and rendered.

If they really did do it honestly, whoever messed it up in post and give it that 'ray-traced' look should be shot.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:16 AM on April 30, 2008


Kadin: you might also be interested in "The making of Cog" so that you know where to aim. As they say "success is 99% failure".
posted by rongorongo at 9:17 AM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow. The "making of" video is about a thousand times cooler than the actual commercial, because it's clearly real. (Also: six years to do one commercial? Jesus.)

I think there's some sort of interesting lesson about authenticity in there; they tried so hard with the final product to make it look perfect that it just got pushed (in my eyes, anyway) into the realm of unreality. When it's made more clear that it's not an illusion, that it really is what it appears to be -- by viewing the process in the making-of video, for instance -- suddently it's tremendously more impressive.

Anyway, cool link; thanks.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:45 AM on May 5, 2008


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