LEGO Doctor Who Brickfilms

LEGO Doctor Who: 50 Years, a photo by kadigan on Flickr.

Today the BBC announced the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi. So in a fit of Whovianism, here are some of my favorite LEGO Doctor Who brickfilms.

Don’t Blink by A Repelling Spider.

New Beginnings by BentheCreator:

And for any LEGO folks out there, add me to the long list of people that will happily bankrupt ourselves if you license The Doctor. Just sayin’


LEGO Movie Trailers

LEGO Movie PreviewReplicating trailers with LEGO is a great way to practice your stop motion animation skills without having to worry about the story. Instead you can focus on your animation skills, lighting and editing. And if you are good enough (and fast enough) you can get some good coverage in the blogosphere.

Check out this LEGO trailer for The Wolverine by Antonio Toscano:

Here are some other LEGO Stop motion trailers:

LEGO Star Trek: Into Darkness trailer by Antonio Toscano

LEGO Iron Man 3 trailer by Antonio Toscano

LEGO Man of Steel trailer by Antonio Toscano

LEGO The Dark Knight Rises trailer by ParanickFilmz

LEGO Casino Royale opening sequence by Bricktease

10211 Grand Emporium Review


10211: The Grand Emporium is a great set for any LEGO movie maker’s backlot. It has a beautiful façade with some fun builds and the window displays, food vendor and other bits will make your street scene come alive.

Other things I has going for it from a movie making standpoint:

  • It’s a corner building. Isn’t whipping around a corner avoiding scrambling bystanders more exciting? Yes it is.
  • It includes a window washer on a suspended scaffold. Here comes LEGO Superman to save the day.
  • A great roof for a watchful LEGO Batman to perch on. It’s got a billboard, a skylight, and some nice detailing to offset the brooding.

The inside is too crammed for an iPhone, much less a digital SLR. So any shooting beyond an inside-looking-out shot or a perspective shot down the escalators, which are a fun build, is going to take some futzing. My only nitpic is that the chandelier is beautiful but its attachment is delicate.

If you are going to splurge on an off-the-shelf set, this is the one to do it one. At $150 I am extremely satisfied. It took me a day to build taking my time and I’m going to get lots of use as the anchor of my LEGO backlot.

LEGO Animation Contests

Prizes are of course nice, but LEGO stop-motion contests are great for the aspiring Brickfilmer. Why?

  • Practice. No mad stop-motion skills for you without practice.
  • Deadlines. Best way to keep a project from languishing is a firm deadline.
  • Contraints. Embrace story, time, or budget restrictions and the creative juices will start flowing.

My favorite example of helpful constraints is a LEGO-sponsored contest at Eurobricks. You had to show a hero or villain doing something mundane. None of the usual rock-’em-sock-’em.  You also had to use the LEGO Movie App for the iPhone, which meant to fancy editing, special effects or graphics. I didn’t win, but I’m pretty happy with the resulting video: Roadtrip!

Current and upcoming LEGO stop-motion contests:

Brawl 2013. You have to shoot and edit a 30 second video in a week. Starts July 28.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Project.

LEGO DC Universe Super Heroes Video Project

LEGO Stop Motion Contest Forums and Resources

  • Tongal is serious competition for serious cash. Still, you can participate at different levels (idea, pitches and videos) and sometimes you might get an advance if your pitch is selected.
  • BrickFilmersGuild is an online community for Brickfilmers and the founders do a good job of posting contests in their blog.
  • Eurobricks as a whole is really active, and monthly themes often feature contests.
  • Brickfilms is an online community for Brickfilmers with a dedicated forum for contests.
  • BricksInMotion is an online community for Brickfilmers with a dedicated forum for contests. They just announced Brawl 2013, where you have a week to produce a brickfilm.
  • From Bricks to Bothans will run a movie making contest every now and then.

Good luck, and the may the best animation win!

LEGO Backlot


Every studio needs a good backlot. Why keep rebuilding the same city backgrounds over and over again? When the inspiration or contest deadline strikes, I hardly ever have the time or inclination to create beautifully detailed LEGO buildings for backdrops. I need to make it into a project of its own.

The anchors to my backlot will be 10211: The Grand Emporium and 10232: Palace Cinema. Not having won the lottery, I’ll need to be a bit resourceful for the rest. As much as it pains me, I might need to turn the LEGO Gingrott’s from 10217: Diagon Alley into a museum.

I’ve created a LEGO Backlot board on Pinterest to collect the stuff that inspires me. Particularly RedCoKid’s jewel-like creations, Xenomurphy’s New York inspired buildings. Bricktowntalk is a great source of inspiration. Given my penchant for supehero movies, I’ll need a good  alley. I’ll update this post as my LEGO backlot comes together.

10232 Palace Cinema


10232: Palace Cinema is the latest modular set, to be released in March 2013. The set will have 2,194 pieces and will cost US $149.99. I might as well just hand LEGO my wallet. You can bet every brickfilmer is now adding posters to their production to-do list and planning their premieres here.

The set was first seen at Eurobricks, where Grogall posted the first picture. has a Flickr gallery and below is the designer video, posted by Hothbricks

The Palace Cinema is based on Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the site of many Hollywood premieres, including Star Wars in 1977. It doesn’t take much to image the LEGO Star Wars recreation of the premiere. Personally, I can’t wait for someone to do a LEGO version of Star Wait, where fans lined up six weeks before the release of the Phantom Menace.

The exterior is quite lovely, with lots of detail. I would have loved a balcony and a bigger screen. Still, the beauty of LEGO is that you can always modify it, right?

LEGO, Star Wars, Christmas, and Brickfilms

I’m sure civilization would survive without another LEGO blog. But I thought I would chronicle and share the journey and what I learn about making LEGO stop motion movies.

It all started with lust for a LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon and a frugal wife (Hi sweetie!). As luck would have it, LEGO ran a contest where you could win a Millennium Falcon by submitting a Christmas themed photo or video using your LEGO Star Wars sets. 3 sleepless weeks later, the LEGO Millennium Falcon was mine. Here is the video that scored it for me, Santa Yoda, featuring the lovely singing of my frugal and very talented wife.

A year later, I’ve made 7 more stop motion brickfilms, placed in a couple of contests, spent way more on LEGO sets than I’ve won (hi sweetie!), and the Millennium Falcon is scattered across half a dozen movie sets. To see what a difference a year makes, here is my second LEGO Star Wars Christmas movie: A Hoth Christmas.