April 13 2020
CABC short film receives international recognition
A new Public Service Announcement which uses cutting edge movie-making technology to warn social media users about bots spreading online conspiracy theories has been published on Shots, a platform designed to showcase cutting-edge international creativity.
Shots selects only the most creatively excellent work including the most innovative TV commercials, the latest work from talented new directors as well as ground-breaking music videos, short films and idents.
Produced by Patriot Films, Zayd Halim and Lauren Dugmore, and directed by Aadil Dhalech, the film features two characters; Ronald, a robot which spreads false information about Covid-19 vaccinations and Pete, an unsuspecting social media user who falls victim to Ronald’s web of lies.
The film tackles three false conspiracy theories around Covid-19: 5G towers are responsible for the spread of the virus; masks are dangerous; and vaccines contain nanotechnology which can be injected into people’s bodies.
The concept was developed by Iron Heart’s founders Kush Chetty and Toni-lee Cheiman, to dispel these myths and conspiracies that may make people hesitant about taking the Covid-19 vaccine.
“This means a lot to us young creatives, we grew our careers by watching Shots videos.
“We put a lot of effort into developing Ronald. We used 3D printing to develop his face and had access to the best equipment when shooting the film.
“This is a nod to production,” said Cheiman.
Ronald the robot was designed and created by local visual effects artist Robert Carlisle. Carlisle has also worked on blockbusters like Judge Dredd and 10 000 BC.
It is estimated that there are over 500 million bot accounts on social media, and many are being used to spread disinformation and to manipulate social narratives
Typically, these accounts have unusual user names and they do not use profile pictures – they often use stock images instead. They have a low number of followers, but a very high number of tweets spouting the same narrative, with very little content.
Social media users who suspect that bots are at play should run simple image searches and check whether the information has been corroborated by reliable media sources, scientists or professionals.
Ronald, the film, can be viewed here
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