Fantastic insights guys!
That being said, there are many brickfilmers... just not here. The community isn't full. Community is made up of people who love the art and like to talk about it. You're talking about the quantity of brickfilmers in general.
Of all the great discussion in this thread, I was drawn to this paragraph in particular. I think there's a lot of truth in this.
It may be a side-effect of my slowly drifting away from the hobby, and thus, being less active in the forum, or maybe just a quick of miss-remembering the past, but I haven't seen the community side of things as strongly as I remember it being when I first began. Even though it was just a forum, and I really didn't know them well at all, I honestly felt closer to guys back then. Others seemed more closely tied back then.
I came in about six years ago, and the community certainly had a different flavor back then. But you know what? They were having similar discussions even back then! I mean, that was more centered around the kinds and qualities of films, as opposed to the community itself, but certain parts correlate.
"...I don't think brickfilming is "dying", not even remotely. The state of the current community is simply that it's hugely unfocused."
I have to agree. Back in the Golden Age, Brickfilms.com was the ONLY place (more or less) that you could find weirdos like yourself that made movies with those silly little kids toys called Lego. So they naturally huddled together and did what they could to help others and get to know each other. They had to if they wanted to survive!
Now, you find brickfilms on YouTube, Rebrick, Bricksinmotion, Facebook, Twitter and all kinds of social platforms. Some of the most well known brickfilmers now (Brotherhood Workshop, Forrestfire101, MICHAELHICKOXFilms, ect) don't have anything to do with us here. You don't NEED the community to survive, or even thrive, as a brickfilmer. So many don't.
You may get well-known in the community, but you probably won't get a million views on anything if you post it here. You won't get lots of ad money, or comments by big-name guys, or high subscriber counts, or any of that. You'll get told that the film needed refinement and that runs off some.
Jampot again nailed it when he mentioned that brickfilming has begun to shift from the filmmaking process to an extension of Lego. Now, I'm, like he, in the middle somewhere. There are guys like Smeagol who took this and grew it into professional filmmaking, while others, like myself, have faded away as life has take a different path.
If you're doing it to extend your play, then things won't be perfect, there is less motivation to film things at that higher level of quality. Perhaps one of my flaws is that I subconsciously expect every new brickfilmer to be looking to grow as a filmmaker, and not a play maker. Instead of reviling in the joy of childhood dreams, I cut it down to the lifeless technical aspects.
One thing I've learned from Bible college is the need to cultivate a balance regarding the Bible. A pure enjoyment of its beauty and power, but also a desire to get in deeper and see the technical side of its language, (in the Greek and Hebrew) doctrine, and organization. With just the love, you tend to be light, while solely the second could turn you into a harsh critic, or lifeless encyclopedia. To properly experience and live and know the Bible, you must find a balance between the two.
Perhaps, as a community, we are going through the pains of learning that balance. The YouTube world may be, in the words of some, more "modern" or "relevant," but if we really dig deep, and look for it, we would find that the community of Bricksinmotion is both "relevant" and capable of actually maturing those that are in it. While the "truth" of our criticism may nto be appreciated by all, it, tempered by kindness and understanding, is the only thing that can really grow and develop somebody into a good filmmaker.
Yes, times change, though memory may taint our perception of the past more than we think. Bricksinmotion may not seem like the same community it once was, but if we pour ourselves into it, and approach new members and films with the right attitude, then we can continue to be the leading, most helpful, and most amazing brickfilming resource out there.