Full disclosure: I appear in this documentary. But don’t let that dissuade you.
2014 is shaping up to be a great year for LEGO fans, and for fans of LEGO motion pictures in particular. April 20th saw the world premiere of “Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary” at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
Not to be confused with the podcast of the same name, or the previously released short-form LEGO documentaries, “Beyond the Brick” is a charming, playful look inside the worldwide LEGO fan community. Despite being moderately involved with the film (insofar as I was interviewed for it), I found the film’s content quite surprising; going in, I was expecting a more storied history of TLG as a whole. In fact, the film turned out to be more focused on AFOLs and other folks who take this children’s toy and do interesting, creative stuff with it.
Among those highlighted in the film are:
- Alice Finch
- Stephen Pakbaz
- Nathan Sawaya
- Dr. Daniel LeGoff
- Jan Vormann
- Søren Eilers
- Jonathan Vaughan
The film’s proceedings are led by a stop-motion minifig narrator, voiced by Jason Bateman. He serves to introduce each segment, as well as bridging some gaps between events, locations, and people. Having a narrator like this in the film was paramount — the LEGO fan community is widespread and varied, and “Beyond the Brick” makes the bold attempt to cover as many facets as possible within its 95 minute running time.
The animation for the film was done by Tommy Williamson (aka BrickNerd) and James Morr (aka Spastik Chuwawa), with some help from Kevin Ulrich (of Brotherhood Workshop). I also noticed a few other familiar names in the credits, including Marc-André Caron and Zach Macias. I assume that a number of the animated clips probably came from the ReBrick “Show us an AFOL” competition. Unfortunately, the less-than-stellar ReBrick archival approach makes it difficult to find any specific information about which entries won the contest and were included in the film. (If your entry was included in the film, please let us know in the comments below.)
In addition to being featured in “Beyond the Brick” (the documentary), I was also a guest this past week on “Beyond the Brick” (the podcast) to discuss “Beyond the Brick” (the documentary).
…Yeah. For those interested, I go a bit more into detail about my thoughts on the film, as well as a little bit of behind-the-scenes info:
Overall, if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend checking out “Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary”. The next stop for the film is the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), where the film will be playing on:
- Friday, May 16 @ 4:00pm – Lincoln Square Cinema, Bellevue
- Saturday, May 17 @ 3:30pm – SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater, Seattle
- Sunday, May 18 @ 2:30pm – SIFF Cinema Uptown Theater, Seattle
After that, we’re not sure where the film will go next, but as soon as we know, you will, too!