The Set Bump turns 5!

It’s our 5-year blogiversary!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, David Pagano and David Pickett sat down and had a conversation about their past, present, and future. Below is a lightly edited transcript. Enjoy!

PICKETT: This month marks the five-year anniversary of The Set Bump! A lot has changed in those five years: in the world, in the LEGO community, in the brickfilming community, and in our lives. So I thought we could take some time to reflect on some of those things and talk about what it’s been like to be us (and not us) over the last five years.

PAGANO: I have no idea what it’s like to be not us. [deadpan pause]

A blog post like this might be the most bare-minimum celebration that we could possibly do—not because of our excitement level, but because we both have other work on our plates. We are busy people. But yes, we started this blog five years ago… and that is very insane to me.

Set Bump logo sketch

Logo sketches by Nelson Diaz.

PICKETT: You know, we’ve talked about this a few times in all the interviews and stuff we’ve done for “The LEGO Animation Book”, but I think it’s worth reiterating a little bit of our history together and how it led to us starting The Set Bump: we met at Brickworld Chicago in 2008, and then really became friends the following year. That’s when we started collaborating on stuff like the LEGO animation workshop we ran at Brickworld, as well as Brickjournal issue 14, which I think only came out in 2011.

PAGANO: Well, we were writing it for like six months prior to that, which would have been 2010. (The digital version of that issue is still available.)

PICKETT: After that issue was published, that’s when we really started having a serious conversation: “what if we expanded this content into something bigger?” And that became the earliest plan for The LEGO Animation Book.

As we worked on that first book outline, we realized, “well, if we’re gonna make a book, we should probably start collaboratively writing together more.” So we started this blog as a way to do that, and to stay engaged with the LEGO animation fan community leading up to the release of the book. That was kind of the original idea behind The Set Bump.

PAGANO: All of that sounds correct to me. I was actually I was thinking about Brickworld earlier today, because I was looking for some photos for a thing that I can’t talk about yet, haha. But I found a few old pictures from classes and screenings.

David Pagano teaches an animation workshop at Brickworld Chicago 2010.

Five guys standing on a stage smiling

The winners of the 2013 Brickworld Film Festival pose with Pickett and Pagano.

PICKETT:  I am always in favor of digging up old, weird photos. You know, I feel like, to this day, there still isn’t a great blog about LEGO animation as a topic. The thing that keeps ours from greatness is the infrequency with which we post to it. I mean, I think our blog is the best blog about LEGO animation, but I’m also 200% biased.

PAGANO: Sure. Another reason that the blog was a great idea was that it allowed us to not only start a fanbase in anticipation of the book, but to have that conversation on our terms as well. We’re always trying to stay involved with the the brickfilm community, but online forums are neither of our styles. I don’t know if that’s due to our ages, or just… I think we both have an affinity for things that are more like prose; things that are a little more academic as opposed to an endless thread of comments.

PICKETT: I mean, we’re both very verbose (as evidenced by how we’re speaking in multiple paragraphs here), but also, we both have an aversion to internet drama. In my experience, forums always attract more drama than blogs because they are more about personalities and interactions. We don’t need to get into the “Great Schism of” again in this post, but when that divide in the community happened, both of us only realized it like six months after the fact—because that was about how frequently we visited the forums. Suddenly, everyone was over at Bricks In Motion.

Which reminds me: one thing to point out, of course, is that when we launched our blog, it wasn’t called The Set Bump. It was called, and those URLs still work to this day.

PAGANO: But the reason behind that was that our book was originally going to be called “The Brick Animation Handbook”, right?

PICKETT: Yeah, that was the working title. We spent a lot of time thinking through titles both for the blog and the book, and just thinking about brick animation in general.

PAGANO: I tell this story often: I specifically remember the moment when we came up with the name for this blog. You were sitting at the table at my old studio, and I was laying on the carpet next to the television, and we were both just like… saying words back and forth to each other, trying to come up with ideas.

PICKETT: I know once we said “set bump”, both of us were like “oh!” Because we were literally brainstorming for 24 hours non-stop.

PAGANO: And this was after we already held a contest to name our blog, which didn’t give us a name we liked, but did give us a kind of jumping-off point. I’m scrolling through our naming document now… “Bricks, Flicks and Motion Pics” was one of the winners, which we ended up using as a tagline of sorts. Also, shout-out to “The Commanders of Blokammander”, which is just a wonderful phrase.

PICKETT: I really still want fanart of the two of us, in some sort of ‘80s sci-fi movie poster called “The Commanders of Blokammander”.

PAGANO: Love it. Get Kevin Hinkle on the phone.

I’m reading through the other ideas… It’s a long document, but you can see that it ends when “set bump” came up like three times with different modifiers. “The Unfortunate Set Bump”, “The Unwanted Set Bump”, “The Inevitable Set Bump”.

That’s when we were like, “what if it was just ‘The Set Bump’?”