Plunderbirds: Talk Robots (partially found unfinished robot combat mockumentary film; 2019)

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Mockumentary logo.

Status: Partially Found

Plunderbirds: Talk Robots was a unreleased robot combat mockumentary film. Produced by Kinemacolour Media, it followed the International Wreck Crew, a prominent team on the BBC robot combat gameshow Robot Wars, as they detailed their history in robot combat, and attended modern robot combat events.

Background[edit | edit source]

International Wreck Crew competed in the first five main series of Robot Wars as well as the spin-off Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1, entering a total of five machines under the Plunderbird moniker.[1] Their most successful machine was Plunderbird 2, which reached the Semi-Finals of Series 2. The team itself, whose main members were Mike Onslow and Bryan Kilburn, overshadowed their machines however. They became highly popular among Robot Wars fans and roboteers alike, for their "tough guy" characters on-screen and for generally being helpful behind-the-scenes.[2] They would also win the Sportsmanship Award for Series 2,[3] with their first machine, Plunderbird 1 earning Series 1's Best Design Award.[4]

Plunderbirds: Talk Robots and Kickstarter Campaign[edit | edit source]

In 2016, Onslow was interested in creating a mockumentary on International Wreck Crew, based upon their history of creating machines, as well as interviewing teams that were still competing in the sport. Plans therefore began with the aim of releasing a robot combat mockumentary DVD where all proceeds would be donated to good causes, including cancer and homeless charities. Throughout 2017, Onslow and Kilburn would work with Kinemacolour Media to film the mockumentary, including at various robot combat and educational events, and the team's robot workshop. A teaser trailer was released by Kinemacolour Media in July 2018.[5]

In January 2019, Onslow and Kilburn launched a Kickstarter campaign. They requested £10,000 so that their mockumentary, entitled Plunderbirds: Talk Robots, could receive the editing and marketing required, as well as allowing for the manufacturing of the DVDs themselves. Included on the Kickstarter page includes several screenshots of the unedited film, and a two-and-a-half minute video consisting of the duo explaining the Kickstarter (both in and out of character), with a small trailer of footage of the film provided.

Ultimately, the project raised only £765 from 12 backers by the funding goal's deadline of 17th February, 2019. The failure primarily stemmed upon lack of interest among the robot combat community, some being put off by the £10k target.[6]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Because Plunderbirds: Talk Robots went unreleased, little media of the unfinished mockumentary is publicly accessible. A few minutes of footage can be viewed from the teaser and Kickstarter videos, with a few screenshots still remaining accessible on the Kickstarter page.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Teaser video for Plunderbirds: Talk Robots.
Kickstarter video for Plunderbirds: Talk Robots.

Images[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]