Over the years, the LEGO Group has used brickfilming to promote their products. This has been both in the form of competitions and the creation of brickfilms. Most of these brickfilms are made with CGI, but some have used traditional stop-motion animation.
Relations with the Brickfilming CommunityEdit
The LEGO Group's attitude towards brickfilming has varied greatly. In 1989, when they were made aware of The Magic Portal - one of the first brickfilms, they sent the creator a 'Seize and Desist' letter ordering him to confiscate all copies! However, this decision was later back-tracked.
In more recent times such extreme action has not been taken and they have become increasing supportive towards the brickfilming community; this can be seen by how many members of the community have been commisioned to work with the company on brickfilms. The company's release of products such as LEGO Studios also suggests that the company approves and even endorses people brickfilming, however it is seen as a legal 'grey area' whether brickfilms should be monitised on sites such as YouTube, especially those of licensed themes.
There have been many Star Wars brickfilms presented by LEGO. One of the first was LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick produced by Tree House Productions.
In 2002, LEGO and Lucasfilms commissioned Spite Your Face Productions to make a brickfilm to promote the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The short was called The Han Solo Affair.
StudiosEditStarting in January 2001, LEGO released a line of products called LEGO Studios. This line included many sets featuring stunt studios, movie sets, and lots of cameramen. But the first Studios set ever released was called the Steven Spielberg MovieMaker Set. This set included two cardboard city backdrops, a couple buildings and street pieces, a car, movie lights, and the director, cameramen, and actors. A LEGO camera was also included, which could be plugged in to a computer, and was compatible with the animation software which also came in the set. This line was very influential in growing the population of brickfilmers.
The MovieMaker Set was released less than 1 month after the grand opening of the original Brickfilms.com, which caused a significant leap in the number of filmmakers joining it.
Also in 2010, LEGO hired stop-motion animator Patrick Boivin to make a series of brickfilm shorts about the LEGO Ben 10 Alien Force building sets. He made 6 single product videos, showcasing:
Along with those, he also made 3 set combo videos:
Patrick also went on the LEGO Club Show, Episode 2 and talked about making these stop-motion videos, with some tips for brickfilming enthusiasts.
In the March-April 2010 issue of the LEGO Club Magazine, there are a couple pages of an interview with Patrick Boivin, several of the questions from the LEGO Club Show episode.
BionicleEditIn 2010, LEGO made a mini-series of stop-motion videos to promote the new "Bionicle Stars" products. The videos were featured on the Bionicle minisite on LEGO.com, and also on the Club TV YouTube Channel LEGO Club TV YouTube Channel.
In the March-April 2010 issue of the LEGO Club Magazine, there were a couple pages featuring a storyboard from one of the videos, and facts about storyboards and how the LEGO Group uses them for other videos.
In addition to the stop-motion shorts, LEGO also created a series of feature-length Bionicle movies, following the ten-year Bionicle product storyline.
The first movie, Bionicle: Mask of Light, which came out in 2003, follows the late 2003 storyline which involves the island of Mata Nui and a Bionicle mask called the Mask of Light. This being the LEGO Group's first feature film, it had several flaws and plotholes, but still was a decent movie.
The second movie, Bionicle 2:Legends of Metru Nui, which came out in 2004, followed the 2004 storyline, which took place long before Mata Nui on an island called Metru Nui. This film filled several of the first movie's plotholes, and was marked as an improvement over other aspects from the first film.
Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows was the third Bionicle film, released in 2005 and consequently followed the 2005 product storyline. This movie takes place before the end of Legends of Metru Nui. This film was again an improvement from the last one, with quite good computer-generated effects.
The 4th and last Bionicle film, Bionicle 4:The Legend Reborn, was released in 2009 and takes place on Mata Nui, where a once great and powerful ruler wakes up in a wasteland, where the inhabitants fight to the death.
In 2010, The Adventures of Clutch Powers was released by LEGO. Clutch Powers, the main protagonist, goes on missions for the LEGO Company. In the movie he learns the value of teamwork, when he is teamed up with 3 other minifigures to save a castle-themed planet. A sequel is currently in post-production.
In early 2012, LEGO started hosting stop-motion video contests on Tongal.com. They have had several contests, and have given many brickfilmers the chance to make a video for TLG.
The Lego MovieEdit
In February 2014 the LEGO Group, for the first time, endorsed the release of a full length Hollywood feature film primarily featuring their products called The LEGO Movie. The film utilises CGI but does so in a way that attempts to emulate traditional stop motion animation. The film received high appraisal by critics as well by brickfilmers and a series of LEGO building sets, video games, and other merchandise have been produced relating to the film.
- LEGO Club Magazine, issue March-April 2010
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huhOrTEMESw&feature=plcp Jet Ray video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr9eJGx4blI&feature=plcp Big Chill video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=PVQ4zvlcTV4&NR=1 Spidermonkey video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzhmVIOxnYw&feature=relmfu Chromastone video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7SeFgiNF-w&playnext=1&list=PL3BD52D9030C97A7F&feature=results_video Swampfire video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4FEyfdCCc8&feature=plcp Humongousaur video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrJEBMEjHrQ Swampfire+Jet Ray video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls--lgZ9TWA Humongousaur+Jet Ray video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TugbaDlSawE Big Chill+Spidermoney+Chromastone video
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMNOp29gsHI&feature=plcp LEGO Club Show, Episode 2, Part 2
- ↑ http://bionicle.lego.com/en-US/movies/default.aspx Bionicle Stars videos on Bionicle.LEGO.com
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/user/LEGOClubTV/videos?query=bionicle+stars&flow=grid&view=1LEGO Bionicle Stars videos on the LEGO Club TV YouTube Channel
- ↑ http://www.bricksinmotion.com/forums/post/317641/#p317641 Reactions on Bricks In Motion