Those of you who are familiar with WIGS probably associate the channel with the low-key, human dramas it has produced in the past. In a new release, however, WIGS is trying something completely different, and instead of working with an established Hollywood actress, they are introducing us to a newcomer: her name is Gumdrop, and she’s a CGI robot.
Gumdrop is the star of an eponymous short film in which she is interviewed as part of an audition. Gumdrop, with her long, alien neck and a vacuum cleaner where her legs should be, hardly looks human. On the other hand, her emotions certainly are. She loves movies, is amazed by Los Angeles, and laughs when people have the audacity to make fun of her. In the brief feature, she comes as more likeable than some of WIGS’ more manipulative leading ladies.
What makes Gumdrop so fascinating, however, is the clever use of computer effects to insert the robotic protagonist into old film and photograph footage. Female leads in Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire movies were digitally removed, and Gumdrop was inserted in their place. We’ve seen this technique before, in films like Forrest Gump and in a recent web series from The Onion, but the added CGI wrinkle makes the work done here by the design team (whose previous credits include The Avengers) that much more fascinating.
Of course, this being WIGS, Gumdrop wouldn’t be complete without an added trailer at the end of the film for the channel’s next series, Kendra, which stars Sarah Jones (of Vegas fame) as a mysterious nurse. Jon Avnet, one of the co-creators of WIGS, will be the director for that eight part series. Jason Isaacs (you know, this guy) appears as a hospital patient, continuing WIGS ongoing tradition of turning feared actors into weak-willed teddy bears. God bless ’em.