You’ve heard the buzz: the script was written by an AI in 0.25 seconds; filming took place over one weekend at CES in a hotel room in Las Vegas; it’s received pre-release acclaim from TechCrunch, Wired, O Magazine, Buzzfeed, The NY Times, a wall outlet, Uphill Quarterly, and TIME magazine; and it’s expected to win big at Sundance and YouTube. It seems like everyone from your grandma to that guy on the bus is talking about It’s Electric or, Scooters: What Are They?, the new documentary feature from Robot Dog.
Robot Dog is a bit of an enigma. It received an advanced degree in geopolitical engineering from the Singularity Institute while working a full-time job at Yellow Labs in Palo Alto. We sat down with Robot Dog to ask a few questions and find out what we can learn from It’s Electric’s astounding success.
Blak Box Group: First of all, congratulations on the most successful Kickstarter of all time for a film about scooters!
Robot Dog: Thank you. We’re very proud. Our team worked really hard on this. Our team, you may recall, consists of five unpaid interns, a friend who’s pretty good at editing video, two very famous advisors—you’ve definitely heard of them—and Robot Dog.
BBG: Help us set the record straight. Robot Dog. Is that the name of your production company, or your pseudonym?
RD: No, that’s me. I’m a robot dog. Literally.
BBG: Ah, I see.
BBG: Actually, I don’t see. Are you—
RD: Next question.
BBG: Uh, okay. So, how’d you get the idea for this film?
RD: I was in the Mission, having a drink with the founder of a very well known Silicon Valley startup, and we got onto the topic of millennials and how no one understands them. Do you understand them?
RD: Of course you don’t. Naturally, the conversation then shifted to scooters and what they are—does anyone understand them? And I thought, someone should make a movie about that. Six months later, here we are.
RD: It’s been quite a ride.
BBG: Your Kickstarter’s success has been attributed to the amazing perks and to the fact that you were endorsed by Kanye West on Twitter. How’d you pull that off?
RD: Quite honestly, I’m still not sure, but we’ll take it.
BBG: I have to ask—Forbes published an article alleging that the cost of fulfilling all your perks will run you at least $1.5 million. How are you going to make the financials work?
RD: Next question.
BBG: I think that’s all we’ve got, actually. Thanks for your time! And good luck with making your film.
RD: Thank you. I’m glad this didn’t take all day—I’ve got to go buy a company car. What do you think—Mercedes?