BattleBots and South Beach

Posted on August 6, 2009

It’s been a while and I’m sorry, but here’s where my life in the real world is at:

I’m officially done with Film School and FSU, got my diploma and everything. It was a weird last semester because I was editing and doing pick-ups for UnderCover and finishing You 2.0, so when all was said and done (well, UnderCover still isn’t officially done), there was no definitive end. I had already had a graduation ceremony in December, and then a brief mind fuck when I figured out I would be staying another semester. So it was just a weird period of “Do I go out in the real world now? When do I leave Tallahassee?”

And I wasn’t sure what the next step would be. I didn’t really want to intern again, even though my past experience are probably nothing like what working at a real company would be. I had been getting more into photography, so I was focusing a lot on that. But if someone asked me what I was going to do, I probably gave a different answer every time.

Now I’m not entirely sure what made me decide to run with it, but last year I caught the national championship of BotsIQ, the BattleBots High School division. If you’re any level of techie you’ll remember BattleBots from the Comedy Central show from a few years ago. Remote controlled robots (alright, technically machines because robots are supposed to be autonomous) fight it out in a weaponized arena. I loved the show, but I thought BattleBots was dead, until I stumbled on this championship (which was in South Beach, where I was at during break).


So here’s the same arena with big robots battling it out, yet it’s all done by high school students. I thought that would be an awesome TV show or film, but this being right before thesis filming started, it was just a random thought.

Fast forward a year and insert thought bubble of me thinking back to BattleBots and BotsIQ while brainstorming ideas for the future. I even developed a proposal for the film in a professional development class during my fake last semester. Whenever I mentioned the idea people thought it was really cool and I believe it would make a cool film, plus it was the best and most developed idea I had. It’s got a built in narrative (start when the school year starts, end at the climactic championship), it has robots (Transformers 2…box office record setter), and kids doing adult stuff, which I’m a fan of. So I decided to make it.

I met with the head of BotsIQ (Nola) and she was game for the idea (along with being one of the nicest person I’ve ever met), so the project became official. Nola and BotsIQ are based in Miami, and Miami has the largest number of participating schools, so a few weeks ago I packed up in Tallahassee and moved down to my apartment in South Beach. This is ironic on so many levels because I lost count of how many times I said I would never move back to Miami. But the fact that I’m from here is irrelevant – I moved here for the film, because it’s something I really believe in and hope it will get my career started.

I’m working on getting a website up for it, but in the mean time there’s a newsletter you can subscribe to get updated when things start happening:

Subscribe to the BattleBots Doc Newsletter


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