runtime: 1 min 30 sec
what’s it “about”: moving on, breaking out of comfort zone, helping someone in an obtrusive way
logline: a robot who failed his protective duty is now comforted by a lone flower in solitude, until a runaway girl steals that comfort away from him.
characters: egg (robot) and ivy (girl)
a lone robot, egg, protects his beautiful flower in the center of a glade. he protects it from anything and everything that could potentially harm it, no matter how impractical the danger. one day, a small girl, ivy, happens upon the glade and the robot with his flower. the robot becomes a worrying wreck when the girl steals it from him, but reluctantly follows her away from the glade to get his flower back. at the edge of the forest, the flower is returned to the robot. rather than wander back into the now gloomy looking forest, egg decides to follow her away from there and together they venture into the green hills beyond the forest. finally, the two reach ivy's destination. she smiles at the robot, welcoming him to her giant field of flowers and the robots that she has rescued who now tend the garden.
in the distance sits a gleaming white city, as white as the armor on the robot standing in the middle of the forest. his body is made up of egg-white plates, but his lower torso is damaged.
the robot's name is egg and he lives in a glade of trees, not a particularly welcoming place except for a single beautiful lone flower. a bonsai shaped tree grows a little ways off the center of the glade, rising above the flower and egg, leaning as if it wants to give them a hug. the flower stands quite apart from the rest of the scenery. egg crouches beside it, ready for anything that could possibly harm the flower.
the leaves above rustle and a single leaf falls from the canopy of the forest. upon seeing the leaf nearing his precious flower, egg jumps up and throws his giant shield arms over his flower to protect it. the leaf gently drifts nearer and the robot’s eyes squint in suspicion. after the leaf lands, he looks at it for a moment. egg relaxes, but a small gust of wind nudges the leaf closer. he is startled and immediately vaporizes the leaf with a laser from his head. again, he relaxes.
a flare glints off to the left and egg whips his head around only to see a small, girl standing at the edge of the glade. she wears clothes as if she was a mechanic at a junkyard. her name is ivy and she's had a very interesting and difficult past.
egg lowers his defenses in surprise that there is a girl standing there. ivy tosses a trowel towards him and the flower, agitating him back into a protective state. he looks back up towards where she was, but Ivy isn't there anymore. he looks around, beginning to panic, then goes into his full shielded mode.
as the dust clears, egg doesn't see the girl, and lifts his arms curiously to see if his flower is still intact. she stands in the hollow of his arms looking up at him smiling with the flower removed from the ground. she finishes the knot to the sack that is holding the roots of the flower, still smiling at him. egg throws his arms up in surprise and motions wildly for the girl to place the flower back in the ground. ivy begins to back away and the robot continues to make desperate motions.
she is nearing the edge of the glade when egg angrily raises his arms into the air and smashes the earth around him, glaring at her. a branch slowly cracks, then swings down from the tree and smacks him alongside the head. ivy giggles and walks into the forest. after a moment, he drops his shoulders and sulks.
looking up, and seeing that the girl is no longer in the glade, he hurriedly stumbles into the forest after her. he continually looks back at the glade that was once his home. the forest becomes more and more unwelcoming the further he moves from the glade, although the glade becomes more and more alluring to him.
at the edge of the forest, egg cautiously peeps his small head out. the flower lies on the ground before him. he picks it up and cradles it in relief. egg is about to walk back into the forest towards the glade, but he turns and sees the girl standing atop a nearby hill.
egg stands at the juxtaposition between the dark forest edge and green rolling hills. he begins to notice the different elements in his surroundings. after a long look back at the forest tunnel he and the girl came from, the robot turns and runs awkwardly in ivy's direction, still cradling the flower.
reaching the top of the hill, egg gazes out into a sea of rolling green hills, an empty but beautiful vista. after looking around for the girl, he hears a hollow tapping from the top of his hulking shoulders. ivy sits there holding the flower. the robot looks in surprise at his empty hand. she smiles and points forward and they begin their trek across the hills.
they walk across several beautiful landscapes, each fading into the next.
after their journey, the two reach the summit of a particularly large hill. ivy excitedly reaches the top while the robot slothily brings himself up the hill, pouting from the length of the journey. he jumps up in surprise as he sees what’s over the hill and runs forward full of energy to stand next to her. ivy gives him a smile as she touches his arm.
the two look out on a field of beautiful flowers, and the many robots that tend them. they turn to them and wave, welcoming the girl back and the new robot to their family.
egg and Ivy both originate from talos, a dystopian self-sustaining city where the upper class citizens thrive upon the near-slave labor of the lower class. personal robots exist to aid in various tasks depending on the needs of the family. it’s very common for a family to have a robot. giant walls stand around the city, designed to keep its citizens in, making escape from harsh life nearly impossible for anyone of the lower class. two major districts exist in the city, for the upper and lower class citizens. the upper class enjoys living a tier above the lower region of the city, with all the comforts of a utopian existence. the lower class is doomed to operate the giant facilities that keep themselves alive as well as provide for the upper class.
no one ventures beyond the city. the lower class cannot escape and the upper class have all they desire.
one upper class family in particular has the job of making sure the equipment is running properly. to do this, they must travel to the lower city. they created a robot, egg, to protect them as they make their way through the dangerous lower city to the equipment facilities to inspect them.
while in the lower city, the family becomes sympathetic towards their lifestyle and troubles. they do their best to help out citizens of the lower city in secret, as it is illegal.
after being suspected in helping lower class citizens, the family must flee the upper class to avoid harsh punishment. believing that escape is more dangerous than the punishment, egg tries to get the family to stay. eventually he gives in, and the family leaves him behind since he would draw too much attention to them.
seeing some suspicious vehicles following the family, the robot chases after them. law enforcement troopers emerge from the vehicles and fire on the family as they run. the robot is too late to protect the family. as he comes to a stop near the dead family, the troops open fire on the robot and he is forced to flee the upper class section of the city.
after dangerous adventures in the lower city, egg manages to escape the city and discovers the lands beyond. he wanders aimlessly, haunted by the trauma of losing the family he was supposed to protect; blaming himself for the failure. after several months, the robot stumbles upon a lone beautiful flower in a dark forest he was wandering through.
trying to make sense of his traumatic past, egg decides to treasure and protect the flower from any and all harm. he manages to do this successfully, building confidence in himself and his ability to protect... until one day a little girl happens upon the glade.
ivy grew up in the lower class district of the city. an orphan all of her life, she worked along the other abandoned children providing waste management and recycling services for old robots that are thrown away. an old robot at the orphanage sparks an interest in mechanics in ivy. until the age of five, ivy learns from the old robot, becoming close friends with him.
finally, the old robot himself is thrown out because his parts are failing. ivy becomes disgusted with what the orphanage does with older robots. many robots are thrown out that are still active and aware. ivy abandons the orphanage and lives in the undercity below the lower class district for the next five years tracking down pieces of her old friend. the recycling process takes quite a long time, and she manages to find many pieces.
she attempts to rebuild the old robot with her rudimentary knowledge of engineering, but isn't able to revive him. one day, law enforcement discovers her small shelter and confiscates the old robot while the girl escapes custody.
rather than take him to the recycling facility, the law enforcement agents take the old robot to a nearby secret trash chute. ivy decides to travel down the trash chute to find her old friend. she discovers the trash that isn't recycled collects in a dump far from the city walls.
there, she finds a trail of small parts from her old friend that lead away from the piles of trash. somehow the tumble must have knocked around the right parts inside to reactivate him. while searching the dump for her friend, ivy assists other half-working robots with her mediocre mechanical skills.
a year passes as she tracks robots who have wandered away from the trash piles, fixes them as best she can, and takes them to an empty field. there, the forgotten robots collect and nurture a field of flowers, a utopia for themselves and the girl who saved them. she continues to track robots and brings them into her ragtag family, hoping to find her old friend eventually.
one day, ivy happens upon a robot that doesn’t appear to be broken... tending a lone flower in a glade.
- tristan brown
- elysse czopek
- julia elliott
- adam johnson
- stephanie lin
- john charles strader-garcia
- scott stribling
- aaron townsend