The FilmSince last August I've been following around different high school robotics teams in South Florida for my documentary Bots High. These are high school students who build combat robots to compete in the high school division of BotsIQ (the non-profit version of BattleBots, the former TV show).
The film will follow a few different teams as they design and build their robot, and lead up to the National BotsIQ Championship, where the teams' will battle with their robot to see if they built the best in the nation. Kind of like a science sports movie.
Beneath the surface of all the fun and excitement is major science and engineering learning at play. These are high school students building sophisticated robots and machining the parts themselves. Even more awesome is almost half of the teams in South Florida are all-girls teams.
The goal of the film is to be entertaining to all, yet motivating to kids and teenagers to see how fun and exciting match and science can be.
The ChampionshipThis year is unique as there will actually be 2 championships.
The first is for the high school division of BotsIQ, where high schools from all over the country will travel to Miami to compete in task, 15 lb. and 120 lb. competitions. This is the main event for high schoolers, and the climax of the film.
(To give you an idea, what you see in the video above is a local 15 lb. competition. The 120 lb. robot competition is 10 times more awesome and epic.)
The second is the National BattleBots Championship in San Francisco, which is open to anyone who wants to build a robot. Some of the high school teams will take their chances and travel all the way across the country with their robot to compete in a 120 lb. open class and see if they can hold their own against professional robot builders.
The National BattleBots Championship isn't happening for now. I'll still be going out to San Francisco to interview people, and the money will be used to finish the film in post production and distribution.
What's the Money For?In a nutshell, the funds are to film the BotsIQ championship and finish the film.
The major championship is the one in Miami, as every team I've been following will be competing there, and it's the official High School finale (as well as the film's). Up till now I've been filming everything on my own with a camera I bought from my savings.
Now I'll need to higher additional crew and rent cameras. It's going to be 4 days of mad chaos, and I don't want to miss anything. While one team may be competing, another team may be furiously working in the pit area to try to repair their robot in time for the next battle.
The other part of the funding is to travel to San Francisco to interview some key combat robot players.
Trey Roski and Greg Munson - BattleBots co-creators Brad Stone - Author of Gear Heads Grant Imahara (possibly) - Mythbuster and former BattleBot builder
Thanks for reading and I hope you can make this project the best it can be!
Be sure to follow the action at http://www.botshigh.com
Get embeddable videos at: http://vimeo.com/channels/botshigh