“Report from Mars”

This is the inside scoop from a Mars rover of the future, perhaps 20 or 40 years from now. Besides performing soil tests, geological surveys and the lot, rovers in the future will likely be able to go beyond just collecting data but processing it with a complete analysis. Uploads from Mars will likely have charts and graphs vs raw bits and bytes.

However, rovers in the future will have the additional mission of locating, stockpiling, and recycling former rover mission hardware which may be a ‘life saver’ for a rover on its last legs.

Basis: in 1957, Sputnik was the first and only artificial Earth satellite. As of 2012 there are over 4000 satellites orbiting Earth and many of these are no longer functional. If you include the debris from launches and other sources at a size of 1 cm or larger the number increases to close to 10 Million. That’s a lot of hardware floating around up there in less than 60 years of space exploration. So why not ask the question, “how much junk will be on Mars in the year 2062?”

Behind the scenes:
This short 1 minute animation was a complete surprise to me. It started a couple of weeks ago while I was on a mission to photograph a junk yard that specializes in recycling scrap metal. I just wanted a lot of shots of piles of debris. Somehow a crane working the piles caught my attention so I took a couple of shots just before closing.

Since then I was able to excavate a story from sandboxing one of the original clips using extensive velocity envelopes and this is the final result. Admittedly the story is a somewhat ambiguous which leads me to wonder how some things are connected? In the end I decided to leave this as it is as it would be more interesting than to overtly connect the dots. In its final cartoonish form the piece is simply a “Report from Mars” as from the mind of a Sub-Cubist at work.

Camera, Editing, and Sound Design by Phil Loarie

Camera: Sony HDR-CX500v
Editing Suite: Sony Vegas Pro 10
Audio Sources: Live recordings: cranes at work, dump trucks loading and unloading, construction sites, red striped black birds, BART trains, bending sheet metal and rubbing glass. Electronic samples (buzzes, laugh track, scream, shield ray, blast off, rocket) from a Yamaha S08 synthesizer.

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