CNR 2012: Participants: Michael Garrigues (USA)
I'm currently a video producer based in the San Francisco, California and owner of Foglifter Media, a company providing production services in Northern California. I've produced local television, environmental education and live event video. I'm also active with the independent filmmaking community of San Francisco in both the documentary and short narrative film categories.
In addition to documentary production, I currently provide ethnovideography services to the market research arms of companies such as Apple, Nokia, Google, and Sony. Before entering video production, I was a freelance copywriter in Silicon Valley. I've additionally worked as a writer for multimedia projects, such as Simulations Interactive's "Himalayan Journey", which was nominated for the European Mobius Award.
My first television job was co-producer for "Film Trip", a film review and interview program airing in San Francisco.
I also was casting and assistant director for the short film "Win Each Way" which won numerous film festival awards, including the Gold Award at the Cotswold International Film & Video Festival.
I've also done stints as a script reader for American Playhouse Theatrical and as story editor for Continental Cinema Group in New York City.
I went to Japan for the first time in 2006 on vacation and became fascinated by this culture of extreme contrasts: modern high-tech glass and steel skyscrapers next to 1000-year-old stone and wood temples or bullet trains traveling at 200 miles-an-hour over rice paddies that were terraced centuries ago.
This mix of ancient culture with ultra-modern design and technology intrigued me. When I saw videos of Japanese robots like Asimo and Wakamaru, I realized that no other country had as many advanced humanoid robots. I wanted to learn why.
Although some Asian countries have similar high-tech abilities that Japan has, no other country in the world brings as much government, academic and business resources into the development of humanoid robots.
Japan has the fastest shrinking population in the world and will soon not have enough younger workers coming into the workforce to replace the retiring ones. It is government policy to support the development of robotics to augment this shrinking workforce. Also the Japanese Shinto religion heavily influences the relationship of the Japanese people towards inanimate objects. In "J, Robot" we interview a Shinto priest who explains this relationship. This religion is unique to Japan.
[image source: Foglifter Media]
[source: Vive Les Robots!]
Michael Garrigues is the Director of the documentary J, Robot (2012).
The American documentary on Japanese humanoid robots by Michael Garrigues will be shown several times at the exhibition during the Cafe Neu Romance festival (27.-29. of November 2012 from 2pm - 6pm each day) at the Galerie NTK.