The machinist: Joseph Herscher’s latest elaborate project set to hit the screen

Misplaced golf balls, unbalanced dominos, a fraction of a hair’s width short of hitting the basket – all the pitfalls of creating a Rube Goldberg Machine. They’re whimsical contraptions designed to complete the simplest tasks in the most complicated way possible, and one Kiwi’s made art out of it.

You might not know who Joseph Herscher is, but most people would be familiar with Rube Goldberg machines (first port of call would be the classic board game Mouse Trap, but more importantly, the classic comics that were created by the man himself). Now, a short film has been made about Kiwi Joseph Herscher and his “getting dressed” machine.

A documentary crew has followed the ‘kinetic artist’ around for the last two years as he created the elaborate machine to dress himself from head to toe. The 25-minute documentary is in the last stages of production and only a few weeks away from completion. Produced by Metro critic, RNZ producer and past New York-based Augusto staffer Gemma Gracewood, Joseph Gets Dressed will be available to audiences later this year. 

Having had a guest spot on Sesame Street, Herscher’s most famous video has no doubt been ‘The Page Turner‘, which was featured by the New York Times. He and Gracewood are also behind Jiwi’s Machines, a multi-platform series funded by NZ on Air’s Kickstart Digital Media Fund in which Jiwi builds elaborate contraptions in an effort to inspire budding young New Zealand inventors, innovators and scientists.

And just for good measure, take a look below for five of the best Rube Goldberg-inspired clips of recent years. 

Honda – The Cog

Samsung Smart Travel

GoldiBlox Princess Machine

Red Bull – The Athlete Machine

Purina – Dog Machine

OK GO – This too shall pass

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