This Garbage Robot Needs Your Help to Be a Dad

In a refreshingly upbeat take on the future of the environment, director Artem Shcherbakov and the ZHEESHEE animation crew introduce a trash-powered robot with existential problems for the 2023 portfolio of Pause Originals short films.

Artem Shcherbakov: “Billy was born out of our desire to explore a different angle in the world of robotics and storytelling. We wanted to step away from the typical post-apocalyptic robot narratives and instead introduce a lighter, more sarcastic story.

“We’re all a bit tired of the heavy stuff and we thought it would be interesting to take a problem we care about, like waste recycling, and present it from a fresh perspective. We chose the mockumentary style because we enjoy working with realistic textured animation, and it allows us to bring out the fluidity we love.

“In this project, we primarily honed the skills we had acquired from our commercial works. We used mockups, combined live-action and CG elements, and played with HDRI maps to replicate real location lighting. One interesting tool we used was Tyflow modifiers for generating the surface displacement in the sand from Billy’s steps in the last shot. It added that extra layer of realism.”
Billy short film for Pause Originals by ZHEESHEE | STASH MAGAZINE

Billy short film for Pause Originals by ZHEESHEE | STASH MAGAZINE

Billy short film for Pause Originals by ZHEESHEE | STASH MAGAZINE

Billy short film for Pause Originals by ZHEESHEE | STASH MAGAZINE

Client: Pause Fest

Production: ZHEESHEE
Writter/director: Artem Shcherbakov
Art Director: Maxim Shagovikov, Alexey Orlov
Executive producer: Artem Shcherbakov, Anton Chistiakov, Aleksei Novikov
Producer: Daria Sharonova, Elmira Shcherbakova
Lead Animator: Anton Chistiakov
Lead Visual Development Artist: Nail Gaynullov
Supervising: Alex Makedonski
VFX artist: Andrey Bibartsev
Directors of Photography: Nail Gaynullov, Artem Otvodenkov
Character concept artists: Maxim Shagovikov, Alexey Orlov, Natalia Chistiakova
Character artists: Alexander Panin, Ilya Dyadyura
Props artists: Alexander Korshakov
Animation artists: Anton Chistiakov, Elena Marchenko, Dmitrii Fomenko, Ekaterina Shvedova, Giorgi Tchanturia, Liubov Tcimbaliuk, Pavel Elchaninov, Alexandr Pridachenko, Negah Majlesi
Edit: Artem Shcherbakov, Dmitrii Sebrov
Rigging artist: Ravshan Gaziev, Alexander Gushin
Rigging artist (props): Alexander Smirnov
Track/cleanup: Alexandr Chiknaev, Maks Cheslavsky
Motion graphics: Vlad Bratkevich
Previs artist: Nail Gaynullov
Story Advisor: Petr Samoilov

Mocap Actor: Otar Berov

Music/sound design: Ilia Shibanov
Voice Actor: Baldwin Williams Jr.