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A feature length documentary about the diverse world of people who make stop motion animated films using LEGO® toys.
A feature length documentary about the diverse world of people who make stop motion animated films using LEGO® toys.
270 backers pledged $12,800 to help bring this project to life.

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Production Updates, Reward Delays

Posted by Bricks in Motion (Creator)
3 likes

We're making progress on the documentary! The producers are currently in the process of poring over some 40 hours of interview footage, taking notes in order to help decide what to include in the film and what to leave on the completely figurative cutting room floor. We'll be doing more than just cutting it down until all that's left is our favorite parts -- with this much material, it'll be a process of finding what best serves the overall structure and narrative of the documentary, and does that in the most entertaining way.

Delays with Reward Production

We have hit some delays with producing the rewards, and will not be able to ship rewards by the end of this year as we had hoped. Our new goal is to ship by the end of February, 2015. We apologize for the delay; the primary issue is that we're still trying to collect content for the BiM Collection.

We decided to go for a dual-layer DVD, meaning we can include twice as much content as originally planned, but collecting and organizing all that content will take more time. We hope that the delay will be worthwhile, resulting in a much better collection than we could have put together before the end of this year.

Dylan Woodley (NXTManiac) and Philip Heinrich are hard at work on exclusive, original short films to be included on the BiM Collection. Here's a sneak peek at Woodley's film, which features a LEGO Classic Space figure:

Once the BiM collection is completed, we'll ship it alongside all the other physical rewards.

Production of the documentary itself remains on schedule! Keep checking back for more updates, either on Kickstarter, or via our Twitter and Facebook pages. If you've got questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact us!

Filming in North America has wrapped!

Posted by Bricks in Motion (Creator)
9 likes

After 17 days of filming, the North American portion of filming for the documentary has been completed.

Though it was a challenging and at times exhausting shoot, it went very smoothly on the whole. We interviewed a total of 26 people, including a variety of LEGO animators and their friends and family members. We filmed in places including San Diego, Hollywood, and Lompoc California; Seattle, Washington; Toronto, Ontario, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Below, we've included some images from the interviews. Color correction is temporary, but these images give some idea of the aesthetic we're aiming for.

Chris 'slothpaladin' Boyer
Chris 'slothpaladin' Boyer
Dylan 'NXTManiac' Woodley
Dylan 'NXTManiac' Woodley
Rachel 'dewfilms' Dew
Rachel 'dewfilms' Dew
James 'spastikchuwawa' Morr
James 'spastikchuwawa' Morr
Jay Silver
Jay Silver

The next phase of making this film will be to begin the editing process. Before the Europe trip, we'd like to have a good idea of what we've got filmed so far and begin to edit it. With over 40 hours of interviews and counting, this will be no small task! Our producing team will work together to notate and catalog the content in these interviews before editing begins.

Thank you again for your support! We look forward to the rest of this journey with you, and we'll continue to post more updates as progress is made. Producer Nathan Wells is making progress on instructions and the other brick-built Kickstarter rewards, and we hope to post an update about that undertaking in the near future.

Filming Begins This Weekend.

Posted by Bricks in Motion (Creator)
5 likes

As we approach the start of filming this weekend, we'd like to share a few updates about our progress on the film with you.

The Old and the New

In the last post, we talked about how we'll be using cameras released in the past year to shoot the documentary, namely the Gh4 and the Sony A7s. However, a fair critique of many of these new cameras is that they tend to produce a very sharp, “digital” looking image that is perhaps not in keeping with the character and cinematic feel of older movies shot on film.

We'll be using a number of techniques to give this film a distinct sense of visual style, one of which is the use of vintage lenses. The Helios 44-2, a vintage 58mm lens produced in the USSR, produces images with a unique texture that will lend some visual character to the film's interviews, while still producing a high quality, sharp image. Here's a video shot with the lens (not by us), as well as another lens we'll be using in the film.

Adapting the FD lens with the Ed Mika FD to EF adapter kit
Adapting the FD lens with the Ed Mika FD to EF adapter kit

The lineup will include other vintage lenses as well, such as a Canon FD 35-105mm zoom lens that has been modified to fit the more modern EF mount. This lens also resolves high quality images with a distinctive character and texture to them, as demonstrated in this music video (which we also had nothing to do with).

A test shot with the Helios 44-2 lens
A test shot with the Helios 44-2 lens

Narrative Planning

One of the unique things about a documentary is how the story is crafted over several stages in a more fluid manner than a conventional scripted film. We won't know exactly what story we're telling until after the interviews. The interview questions have been written to focus on certain themes, but the documentary will ultimately be found as much in the editing as in the preparation and interviews. No Film School recently published an insightful article from documentary filmmaker Gregory Bayne about the the challenges and opportunities in documentary editing.

Fortunately, we're filming a large amount of material for this film, with more than 15 interviews in North America alone. Our hope is that this will free us up to shape the story with a great deal of flexibility in post-production.

The free-form, no-rules nature of documentary filmmaking is liberating, but it also means that a lot of creative decisions have to be made at every stage of preparation, from the people we'll interview, to the questions we'll ask, to the cameras and lenses we'll use to shoot. Our goal is not to make this simply an informational project about LEGO animation, but an artistically cohesive and thematically relevant piece of storytelling.

Filming Begins

This Saturday, we'll begin filming the North American portion of the documentary. It'll be a non-stop shoot for two and a half weeks, so the production team won't be able to provide updates during that time on the road.

Look for more updates coming soon via Kickstarter, and our Twitter and Facebook pages, including a post from producer Nathan Wells about the upcoming rewards for backers!

Pieces for Kickstarter backer rewards!
Pieces for Kickstarter backer rewards!

Filming begins next week!

Posted by Bricks in Motion (Creator)
4 likes

The principal portion of filming in North America for the documentary begins on October 25.

For this block of filming, we'll shoot interviews in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, and Halifax.

Preparing for the trip involves a lot of logistical preparation. It's always a challenge to shoot a film while traveling from one city to another, but thanks to the image quality and light sensitivity of modern video cameras, it's getting easier. We'll be filming the bulk of the movie on the Panasonic Gh4, a camera released earlier this year which has 4k capability. Though the final film will be produced in 2k resolution for cinema standards, having 4k resolution to work with will allow for superior image clarity and more options to zoom and crop during the editing process.

We'll also be shooting footage with the new Sony A7S, which has exceptional low light performance suited to filming night views of the various cities and landscapes we'll explore in this documentary. The A7S has even been used to shoot video by moonlight! It's important to us to visually explore the worlds of the people we're interviewing with more than talking head interviews.

We are currently in the process of writing all the interview questions for this portion of the film. With 15 interviews, there are a lot of questions to be written. We have a structure and themes in mind for the film, but the interviews themselves will determine much of what the final story ends up becoming, so it's important for these interviews to cover a broad spectrum of topics.

Look for more updates in the coming weeks as we finalize preparations for filming!

Funding Campaign Completed!

Posted by Bricks in Motion (Creator)
6 likes
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With 270 backers and $12,800 raised, we've completed the crowdfunding campaign. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.

We came close enough to our stretch goals that we will be able to include filming in Europe! We will travel to Europe and work with a European crew to shoot this portion of the film. In addition to Chris Salt and Tim Drage, we intend to add Steffen Troeger (also known as GoLego Animation) of Germany to the lineup. Troeger is a prolific, award-winning LEGO animator and long-time member of the German LEGO animation community. As more scheduling and additional interviews are planned, we'll continue to provide updates.

An adaptation of 'The Time Machine,' by Steffen Troeger

We've gotten questions from several people who ran out of time to back, or would like to back more money in order to get a DVD or Blu-ray at a later date. We intend to make pre-orders for digital copies of the film, as well as DVDs and Blu-rays, available for a limited time in the near future. Look for an update on the campaign's updates page, or follow us on Twitter for more updates.