Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Legoless Part I: Dispatches From The Set

After the screening of “We Can Get You Some Really Cheap Gear” at Rotoreliefs, several questions about the making of the film came up in the Q and A. I’d like to share a couple of lessons learned: this article is about the technical side of things, and in Part II I'll write about the reality of working with Legos.
Set construction was the most time-consuming part of making the film. Each of the five locations took one night shift to build and shoot: as with other films, write for the minimum number of locations, and build your sets for multiple scenes if you can. Also (and I learned this the hard way) make sure you’ve got every single shot you need from each set before demolishing it to build the next one.

There are three basic principles of Lego filmmaking: stabilize, stabilize, stabilize. Use anything you can find: sellotape, superglue, blu-tack, nails, radioactive slime – anything to reduce shake between frames. The good news: Lego isn’t only good for on-screen antics – it’s also ideal for constructing ad-hoc camera rigs, tripods and dollies. A few minutes stabilizing your set and camera saves hours of frame-by-frame adjustment in post.

One more thing: watch out for Lego injuries: constantly handling all those sharp edges is hard on the skin.


tony berkman said...

Lego! I would never have imagined that in my life if you hadn't mentioned it.

nothingprofound said...

Fascinating, and surprisingly complex work. We have an old lego set of my daughters which, thanks to a friend's 4 year old daughter, still gets some pretty vigorous use.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Thanks for both your comments! Tony I didn't realize this either but I recently found out this is a major issue for the builders at Legoland.