The skit “Demo Monster,” featuring a highly opinionated animated man/robot, debuted during Comedy Central’s new series Kroll Show. The animated portion of the live-action skit was produced at Bent Image Lab and directed by Bent’s Rob Shaw.
Inspired by the 80’s movie RoboCop, “Demo Monster” features a stop motion robot programmed with male stereotypes and asked to give his opinion on TV shows. As a group of marketing executives display various clips the “Demo Monster” gives his approval with an ok or thumbs up sign. That is until they show him something he doesn’t like…
“I wanted it to be a true homage to RoboCop,” says Shaw. “RoboCop is super influential from a stop motion stand point because Ed 209 [from the film] was created in stop motion.”
Shaw was recruited to direct the animated segment of “Demo Monster” after he worked with Kroll Show Director Jonathan Krisel on a previous project at Bent. Shaw designed the robot with input from Nick Kroll (the show’s star) and Krisel. The stop motion “monster” features five arms, three legs and a machine gun. Each hand holds something an 18 – 34 year old male would want, including a pizza (that turns into a throwing star), a football, a cell phone, and a human hand to type on his phone or work his video game console. His three legs consist of a basketball clothed leg, a robotic leg and a skate board leg. A spring attaches a can of beer to his tiny brain that is enclosed in a plastic cylinder. A computer is glued to his chest next to some kind of gauge.
“They wanted this robot to be a conglomeration of all these different male stereotypes,” says Shaw. “We did a bunch of designs and refined it until we ended up with the design that we got. Then the art department [who built the puppet] went crazy for it.”
To give the monster emotion Shaw developed 2D animation facial expressions that were composited onto the robot’s facial screen. Bent also produced the effects of gun fire and blood bursts, in which the scene ends.
“Working on this project was a lot of fun,” says Bent Executive Producer Tsui Ling Toomer. “Rob really understands comedy and he loves stop motion robots, so this project was the perfect fit for him.”
“RoboCop is one of my favorite movies and one of Rob’s favorites,” says Bent Producer Nate Baston. “Stop mo lends itself perfectly to what we were trying to do.”
Shaw was happy with the results of the skit and was pleased with the reaction he got from Kroll and Krisel.
“Nick Kroll was super complimentary, very gracious and happy with everything, which makes you feel great,” says Shaw. “Jonathan is great to work with because there is trust on both ends. He trusts us to do stuff that looks good and to get the joke in the first place.”
“Demo Monster” aired on February 6, 2013 during the “Too Much Tuna” episode of Comedy Central’s Kroll Show. Kroll Show airs on Wednesday nights on Comedy Central at 10:30/9:30pm Central.
Source: Bent Image Lab