Welcome to Bricks in Motion!
Founded in 2001, Bricks in Motion is a friendly filmmaking community devoted to the art of stop-motion animation. Most of our films, sometimes called brickfilms or LEGO movies, are created using LEGO® and other plastic brick building toys. We have an active forum for filmmakers to learn from each other and share their work, as well as an ever-growing directory of films submitted by our members, and periodic animation contests that challenge filmmakers to push their skills further.


We've concluded the judging process for our summer Spirit of Adventure animation contest! Many thanks to all of the entrants, the judges, and our contest sponsors:


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The generosity of our sponsors is the only thing that allows us to have great prizes for these contests. I encourage you to give them a look!


Congratulations to our prize winners as well as all animators who completed entries!


1. Quest for Life by Silent Frames

2. Horse Brother by Speak Broccoli

3. Spirit of Adventure by nswihart


Promising Director Prize winner: Makaveli by Kreal


For the full Top Ten results, visit the forum thread!

By Penta on October 19, 2017, Comments (0), Share


That's right; another official LEGO contest announcement already! There is a new brickfilm contest on Rebrick called "A LEGO House Dream", for films depicting what you would expect to see and do in the new LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. Three winners will receive the LEGO set of the LEGO House signed by the designer, and the one Grand Prize winner will also receive a trip for two to Billund, Denmark with tickets to visit the LEGO House. Entries to the contest must be between 15 and 30 seconds, and the deadline is November 3. This is a shorter Rebrick contest than usual so the competition might not be so fierce. If you can whip up 30 seconds in a month, I think it sounds worth giving your best shot. Don't forget that the official LEGO Thor: Ragnarok Contest was also announced a few days ago on Brick à Brack!

By Penta on October 1, 2017, Comments (1), Share

I would like to bring attention to a contest that is being run by our French friends at Brick à Brack on behalf of The LEGO Group. LEGO requested that they host the Thor: Ragnarok Contest to tie in with the upcoming Marvel film and related LEGO sets. The contest is for short brickfilms starring Thor, and the deadline is October 29. The contest is open to worldwide entries and the announcement and rules are in English, so make sure to check it out!


With that in mind, I decided this edition of The Brickfilm Feature should have a French theme. While France has given us some of the greatest brickfilms ever made, there is another area that has piqued my interest and has been on the cards for a feature. I have noticed a bit of a trend among French (and French Canadian) brickfilmers to create short and quirky films based on a single novel concept or experimental animation technique. Due to these films usually being rather strange, I affectionately refer to them as "French insanity films". Fittingly, this type of film is often made for Brick à Brack's popular animation challenge, which seems to attract more filmic entries than the animation challenge on BiM. I love these films as there is a great sense of fun to be found in them. They also seem like a good way to release films more frequently, rather than just leave the ideas as tests. I have chosen 10 films by 5 directors, which may look like a lot but actually comes out to about 9 minutes total viewing time. There is no language barrier.


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EARWAX by Loïc F-B (2013)


https://i.imgur.com/Q5sXYYE.png


Hand'Shoes by Loïc F-B (2013)


https://i.imgur.com/4ooQk3S.png


Choo choo! by Loïc F-B (2011)


This is the French Canadian portion of the feature. Loïc F-B has been around on both BàB and BiM for a long time, and though he hasn't released a film in a couple of years, he remains active as an admin of Brick à Brack and is participating in hosting the Thor: Ragnarok Contest. One problem with this feature is that it's often the case with with these types of films that the less is said, the better. I will say that EARWAX is well voiced by Loïc and Squid, Hand'Shoes features an excellent interpretation of the animation challenge theme "Walking on Hands", and Choo choo!... Well, you just need to watch Choo choo!.


To see the rest of the films featured, visit the forum thread!

By Penta on September 29, 2017, Comments (0), Share

First, I would like to mention that the Spirit of Adventure Contest has ended, receiving 24 entries. Thank you to all who entered! Check out the playlist of entries here.


For this feature, I was trying to think of a theme when I remembered that school would have recently started for a lot of people. This got me thinking that school is actually kind of an uncommon setting for brickfilms (when not including the more YouTube-view-centric and imaginatively titled stuff). I thought this was surprising considering most brickfilms are made by people who are still in school, but also that perhaps it makes sense that school is the last thing they would want to be thinking about. With this is mind, I have chosen a selection of brickfilms centered around school:


https://i.imgur.com/ktYwDS9.png


His Mind's Account by unfoldingmetal (2005)


Perhaps some of the other picks are too obvious for some, so now here is a film that I believe needs to be rescued from total obscurity. Only one scene of this film takes place in a classroom, but it still counts. His Mind's Account is an abstract brickfilm that incorporates multiple types of animation. I won't try to explain it, as all I can really say for certain is that it definitely held my attention for more than one viewing. It features some nice moody lighting, and a stand-out digital effect that is blended in well (...if that makes sense). I find it impressive that the director made this at age 14, as it is more thought provoking than what most would think to make at that age.


To see the rest of the films featured, visit the forum thread!

By Penta on September 18, 2017, Comments (0), Share

For today, I thought it would be fitting to create a feature to tie in with the solar eclipse. However, there really aren't many brickfilms that deal with eclipses or even blindness, so instead I have mostly selected films about the sun and the moon in some way.


http://i.imgur.com/6e1vHNI.png


Total Eclipse of the Heart by golego (2009)


I'm sure Americans are sick of hearing this song by now, but this is really the only eclipse-related brickfilm that came to mind. Luckily, it is a good one, as it comes from one of the all-time great brickfilmers, golego. This is a music video for a recording of the song by a Welsh choir, and was commissioned by Decca Music Group to promote the album it is taken from. Unfortunately, golego's own upload of the film was eventually struck down due to copyright detection, despite being authorised. This film makes great use of camera movement and especially lighting, with one of the standout elements being the under-lit stage. By being made with LEGO, it uses the lines about falling apart to comedic effect. Impressively, this film was produced in only two weeks.


To see the rest of the films featured, visit the forum thread!

By Penta on August 21, 2017, Comments (0), Share

Dare I bring up the subject?


Yes.

It’s time.

It’s way PASTime.


IP Logos


There seems to exist a common popularity, amongst Brickfilmers, of using characters, stories, and media that originate with and belong to someone else, most commonly corporate entities.

I’m referring to Intellectual Property Films (aka IP Films).


The convenience of utilizing recognizable mini-figures from pop culture with preexisting back stories argues the point we can make IP brickfilms. Companies manufactured them; we buy them at the store, why can’t we use them in brickfilms? I counter that argument with The LEGO® Company’s own mission statement: "Our ultimate purpose is to inspire and develop children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future -- experiencing the endless human possibility."


Does recycling characters and stories from pop culture, demonstrate creative thinking?


It can, but all-too-often we see brickfilms resulting from IP that don’t.


I realize in bringing this up, I open a criticism of brickfilming itself. The bricks aren’t something we made ourselves. Indeed, a corporation invented them, developed them, manufactured them, patented and trademarked them and sold them TO US. The very notion of our films’ originality, hinges on the reality that these companies encourage creativity with their products. These interlocking bricks are so pervasive and universal they are more than toys. They are a medium.


While we may own some bricks, we do not own Darth Vader. He belongs to Disney (apropos if you ask me). Some use IP source materials as a crutch to generate stories that will get attention due to ease of recognition, but others use it as a medium to surpass re-production and mimicry. Despite not owning the Marvel Universe you can use the IP source material as a medium to explore ideas!


Let’s examine a few well-made IP films that have used their source material as a medium to enrich our enjoyment of tales, stories, and characters we already know and love. (continue reading in forums)

By nswihart on August 12, 2017, Comments (0), Share

I have this addiction to collecting things, but my obsessive nature insists that my collections be complete. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish, unless… your collection is VERY specific, and VERY obscure. Right now I’m collecting LEGO pirate hats (one of each type that has been molded and printed) and I believe I will complete my collection without too much difficulty.


But this post isn’t about pieces, it’s about films.

It is a treat to share… (continue reading in the forums)




pizza oven

 

By nswihart on August 4, 2017, Comments (0), Share


In recent years, I have noticed a shift in focus away from brickfilm effects being accomplished through CG and bluescreening, and greater thought given to how to accomplish as much as possible in-camera. I think this trend was accelerated by The LEGO Movie's focus on keeping everything theoretically possible in stop-motion, to admirable results (though of course the emphasis is on "theoretically", for many shots). Unfortunately, it appears that the LEGO Movie sequels are becoming less "purist" in this regard, but I am glad to see the influence continue to grow in brickfilming. Computer effects can often be used to great effect, but I enjoy seeing the creativity that can go into the in-camera solutions, so for this feature I have chosen a handful of brickfilms that make use of interesting in-camera techniques, whether in visual effects, set design, lighting, or otherwise.


1. Technic Challengers is a recent series of LEGO commercials animated by Dylan Woodley, AKA NXTManiac. What really stands out to me in this series effects-wise are the brick-built effects used to create clouds of dust and snow. These have an exaggerated, stylised look and make great use of many types of sloped LEGO pieces. I could imagine this type of technique being influential to somebody with a LEGO collection more sorted than my own. There is also particularly amazing camera movement in A City Crook is no Match for Technic Vehicles!, and of course sublime animation throughout the series. Two more of these films are as of yet unreleased, and I hope LEGO still plan on uploading them.


To see the rest of the films featured, visit the forum thread!

By Penta on July 30, 2017, Comments (0), Share


In 2015, Nathan Wells ran the Brickfilm of the Week feature, with myself and Sméagol joining in towards the second half. For a while now, I have been thinking about launching a successor to that feature, and when nswihart began talking about how he wanted to see a feature and would also be willing to write for one, it seemed like now would be a good time to start one up again. Welcome to the first installment of The Brickfilm Feature!


While Brickfilm of the Week featured one classic brickfilm each week, I plan for the format of this new feature to be less defined. My main focus for now will be on featuring a number of brickfilms under a common theme, no matter their age or fame. It may also include Brickfilm of the Week-style single film features if the film is substantial, or other formats entirely. There will also be multiple writers, and hopefully some once-off guest writers. If you enjoy seeing content like this, I would encourage you to try to leave responses to the threads, as visible response helps motivation to continue writing articles.


For this inaugural feature, I will be highlighting “Unusual adventure brickfilms”. With there still being more than enough time to begin an entry to the Spirit of Adventure Contest, I thought I would encourage out-of-the-box thinking in regards to the theme in the hopes of inspiring those who don't have enough time or LEGO to craft an adventure on a larger scale. A tightly made short with a strong concept can have just as much of a fighting chance as a mini-epic (as I myself have found out in previous contests).


To see the full post including the films featured, visit the forum thread!

By Penta on July 21, 2017, Comments (1), Share


The Brickfilm Rapidly All Week Long Contest 2017 has come to an end! The contest has received 24 qualifying entries, which is up from last year. The standard of quality is quite impressive, and the experimental theme has led to great variety in the filmmaking approaches taken. Check out the entries in the YouTube playlist, then head over to the Releases forum to leave responses!


Don't forget, there is still more than two months left to enter the Spirit of Adventure Contest, for a chance to win Dragonframe and other great prizes!

By Penta on July 3, 2017, Comments (0), Share