Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: Beast (June 12, 2015)

This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is Beast by Nathan Wells.

Time to be a little self-indulgent! It’s my birthday next week so I thought I’d be selfish. Beast is a horror myster brickfilm about Dr. Wilson, a scientist who will do anything to find a cure for cancer and must deal with the sudden murder of his lab assistant. It was made by me, Nathan Wells, in 2006 for the Fame, Infamy and Glory Contest, and ultimately won second place. Beast was also nominated for Best Sound Design in the 2006 Brickfilming Achievement in Motion Picture Arts Awards. I was an active member of from 2005 to 2008, and have been active on Bricks in Motion since its founding, save for a “short” hiatus. My other films include Alex and Derrick: Five Years Later, 30 Years: The Story of the Minifigure, Blinders, Unsound, and Infinity Squared.

Watch Beast on YouTube


Instead of attempting to analyze Beast from a neutral third person perspective, here are some never-before-seen facts about Beast. Beast was my first attempt at a serious brickfilm, and I was heavily inspired by Robinson Wood’s Frankenstein. My original script for Beast, which I still have somewhere, was around 15-20 pages long. Because of contest time limits and running out of time, I had to trim the story a lot, and ultimately half of the characters had to be cut (but they survived the end credits). Originally Beast was going to focus more on the CSI team, and would feature two women CSI investigators and a coroner with a morgue scene. Dr. Myers, Dr. Wilson’s friend, was also going to die, and his death would lead Bill Gristle to suspect Dr. Wilson, but unfortunately that whole subplot had to be cut.

What are your thoughts on Beast? What did you like about it? Did the new facts about Beast change how you see the film? Did you have a favorite moment?

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Beast (June 12, 2015)

I've always enjoyed Beast since the first time I saw it. It has a real depth to the story. Even though you cut a lot out of the story and simplified it, it is still very unified and professional. It's always interesting to hear hidden facts and behind-the-scenes stories of films.

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Beast (June 12, 2015)

Ah, where to begin?

Beast, simply put, is my personal favorite Brickfilm. I, in no way, intend to imply that it is the best Brickfilm ever made. (A close runner-up in that category would be the film that beat it in the Fame, Infamy, and Glory contest – Robinson Wood’s Grace.) However, Beast is the Brickfilm I watch when I’m feeling down, when I’m feeling happy, and when I want to be inspired. It’s the only Brickfilm I’ve watched over 100 times, and, certainly is one I love to quote, reference, and remember throughout my everyday life.

Aside from one certain Spongebob Christmas Short that featured LEGO stop-motion animation, Nathan Wells’ Beast was the first “Brickfilm” I ever saw. Actually, it was probably one of the first youtube videos I had seen as well. And, though I loved watching it, I wasn’t as interested in making my own brickfilms at the time, and thus, only watched it with the mind of a viewer…

However, that’s not to say that my fascination with Beast was small or unimportant. Actually, the opposite. No, Beast was such a film that sat in my conscious, I even recommended it to be screened at my local library that was having a contest to “find the most compelling story in a youtube video.” This was probably around 2009. Needless to say, it won. (Though, one of its competitors was a Fred video, so, take that with a grain of salt.)

Later, when I started taking Brickfilming as a serious hobby and art form, I took a look back at Beast again, this time with my Director’s eye. I wasn’t looking at Dr. Wilson, or Detective Bill Gristle. No, this time, I focused my attention between the cracks in the bricks in the walls of the sets, and the glare of the lights upon the minifigures faces. And, it was a truly inspiring experience. Not only did Beast stand the test of time as a great standalone story, but, it was also a very technical Brickfilm to marvel at. Similar to Nathan’s other brickfilms Driven and Alex and Derrick: Five Years Later, every single set not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but, also has some really cool, and really ingenuitive twists to prop building. I love watching the café, the two scientists’ labs, and the rooftop scene again and again, just to watch how Nathan crafted and arranged the LEGO elements together.

Beast’s true strength is in its enjoyability. What it may lack in animation and color correction (which, even by high standards, are still pretty great on their own) it excels at in sets, characters, and overall fun! A parody/spoof/reboot never felt this original, this creative…

I could easily write an entire book on my love of Nathan Wells’ Brickfilm, going scene by scene into the writing, development, and sparkle of every frame. However, that’s hardly necessary. Beast certainly speaks for itself. It’s still my favorite Brickfilm, and, has inspired hours and hours of creativity in myself alone. Beast is the mold that I sculpt my films to. It is a staple, an absolute, within my mind, and is the first Brickfilm that I suggest newer brickfilmers watch.

With Nathan once hinting at a “Director’s Cut,” on Beast’s youtube description, I gained hope that the original, darker, and longer story would one day grace the LED’s of my Computer Monitor… And, I’d still love to see a parts list and instruction page on how to build the titular beast. But, I digress. Even if these two requests of mine are never met, Beast is still enough to keep me inspired, creative, and imaginative. Thanks for the inspiration, Nathan. I only hope to accomplish half of what Beast was to me in my own films.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Beast (June 12, 2015)


Last edited by Noah (May 27, 2017 (01:38pm))

Formerly known as HeliumBrick