I made myself to run in a marathon. Marathon of creativeness. It was also a test whether I was able to produce the film and make it works with everyday life and job. But let's start from the beginning.
Wednesday, evening. I just read that LEGO® has made another contest for brickfilm. Prize? As usual, there are a lot of them, but one is the most interesting for me - you will get featured in the official Ninjago movie which will hit the theaters in a few weeks. WOW!
Like with Batman the competition will be hard. But I managed to win once. Why not try again? :)
Hundreds of thoughts in my head - "I do not have time for this", "so many other things to do", "Easter is coming and we are going to organize it for whole family this year", "So much much work" etc. Ehhh. But on the other hand, it will be fun, and I will acquire additional skill in making movies :)
What exactly do I need to shoot?A day in the life of a Ninja in Ninjago City. A thriving pan-asian metropolis that blends the best of a dozen cultures into one population of happy Ninjagans. The city itself is built upon it’s history so that the lowest levels of Ninjago appear ancient with each higher level becoming more and more modern until the top layer resembles modern Hong Kong or Tokyo. Only sounds and music you have created yourself. A panel of judges from the LEGO Ninjago and Warner Bros. team will select six winners. They will judge entries upon: Ninjago action and humor in the video (25%), Overall Ninjago Movie look and feel (25%), Coolness and originality of your story (25%) and Most inspiring details in your video (25%).
Ok! I am doing it! But I have to do it in 4 days. I simply don't have more time. In fact - I don't even have those 4 days... ;) I got an idea for the scenario that day and I was falling asleep thinking about how to plan everything to make it in 4 days.
Thursday. Since 5 AM I'm working. No, not on the movie :( I must take care of all my normal work so I can focus only on LEGO in the second half of the day. After few hours I'm starting working on the film! I make a quick storyboard aka pictures that are showing all the scenes and camera/objects movements.
Alright, I need a city. And some life to fill it. Ninjas will be also useful. And some villain. I'm starting with vehicles. I don't own too much pieces for them, I am not really into City stuff. But I managed to design and build 10 cars + a cop on motorcycle, 2 bikers and I used one classic set from 1990 (Road Rebel 6644). I also designed evil Mecha and put together main characters (Kai, Jay and Zane). Now time for sleep.
Friday. I get up again with sunrise to finish job earlier. Probably about 10 AM I am ready for movie making! Today also is a building day. Skyscraper with a restaurant on the ground floor. Restaurant needs interior because one of the scenes is goin' on there. Next to skyscraper there is more traditional Chinese-like building. On the other side - older gray tenement house. Before I felt asleep I managed to build last set - roof for final scene. I think I've never build so many things in 2 days!
Saturday. Again I am getting up from bed very early. But at least I don't need to work today. Setting up lights and background... Background that have already been exploited a lot but unfortunately I don't have time to make new one. So I'm starting shooting scenes. I'm filming from morning till night. I do a lot of things on the spot. I do not check every frame. I limit test shoots to the absolute minimum. There's just no time for things like that. But still everything goes smoothly and according to plan :) I know that I will make it :)
Sunday. Of course I am waking up very early. I am shooting rest of the scenes. I finish before my private deadline! Of course because of the crazy short time I had to make some compromises in animation but overall I am very happy with the final effect. I even manage to clean up the studio and sets. Time to start work on the soundtrack.
4 days. And the film is practically ready. Mission complete! I managed to finish my brickfilm! Even if I do not win it I'm so glad I managed to make a cool video in such a short time :)
It took 1 day extra to record some new sounds and make final touches in editing software. But it was normal day with job, sleeping etc. I think I was sleeping like 10 hours after that :)
Today I wrote this post and put the film on the YouTube. Keep your fingers crossed for the contest! And enjoy the movie and some extra photos below :)