The Surveillance Situation • Behind the Scenes

On July 18th, an annual week-long LEGO animation contest started on BricksInMotion.com. It is called BRAWL 2015 (Brickfilm Rapidly All Week Long), and contestants are to, like it’s name implies, make a brickfilm in one week. I entered said contest, and produced the following video:

The Surveillance Situation

This film is based on a series of films I began in BRAWL 2014. This series follows Captain D. Rom, a very goofy cop with a sidekick named Laura (who seems to end up being the unnoticed real hero). You can watch the other two Captain D. Rom films here:

The Surveillance Situation was actually made in less than a week, because I was finishing the filming of another film (to be released in September) on Saturday night and Sunday. So I started BRAWLing on late Sunday night (it was almost Monday by that time) and wrote the script for my film (I already had the main concept working in my mind since Saturday night, I just hadn’t written it all together yet). On Monday, however, I had to help a family friend clean an entire field of corn and prepare it for freezing, so I was gone all day. On Tuesday afternoon, I began filming, and kept it up, day time and night, until Friday. I edited my film Friday night and most of the day Saturday, and successfully submitted my entry a few hours before the deadline.

Now, enough boring talking, let’s get to the pictures:

And here is a final frame for you to enjoy:

BRAWL2015-Preview-frame

And that concludes my BRAWL behind-the-scenes look! Thanks for reading (if you did read all that, if not, thanks for at least reading this thanks, but if you’re not reading this, then you will never see it so whatever).

-rioforce

P.S. As you can see, I’ve been updating my blog, and I plan to post a lot more here now. Expect real articles in the future! I have things to say about filmmaking, design, and stuff-n-junk. Stay tuned (if you can even tune into a blog)!

(Fan news) Bound – Brickfilm Epic Released

Originally posted on LEGO Universe News!:

This is not official LEGO news, this is news of the LEGO fan community.

MS_Bound_dvd-storeMonitogo Studios, a sibling-started LEGO film company, has officially released their first feature film, Bound. Bound is a 49 minute stop-motion epic. Read a synopsis below:

An incredible stop motion adventure following two children and an old man on a quest to rescue their brother from the clutches of a fearsome foe. Following Zathen’s abduction by his worst enemy, his two younger siblings must learn to face unknown fears and follow the guidance of a wiser man. Amidst harsh weather, villains, and twisted backstory, the trio’s dedication to their quest will be firmly tested. Climaxing at the enemy stronghold, Bound provides an interesting and fun adventure for the family in a format and scale never before seen in brickfilm. After all, there are no holds barred when someone’s soul is on the line.bound1

Imagined and…

View original 68 more words

NewRecruits Thumb

New Recruits (THAC XII)

Captain D. Rom is the best cop around. Sometimes he is a little too good. While looking for new police officers, he looses control and launches into interigation mode in the comedic police brickfilm.

Voice Actors:
Harrison Allen: https://www.youtube.comannoyingnoisesinc
Walter Benson: https://www.youtube.com/walterbensonvids
Brick7: http://www.bricksinmotion.com/forums/…

MADE IN (under) 24 HOURS! Yep, that’s right. I started at 7:00 am on January 3, 2015, and am ending when this finished uploading at about 5:00 am on the 4th. Made for a contest on BricksInMotion.com called THAC XII (That’s “Twenty-four Hour Animation Contest 12).

http://www.bricksinmotion.com/forums/…

To make sure that the contestants didn’t cheat and create their entries early, there are mod elements and a theme announced right when the contest begins. This year’s theme was “A Fresh Start”, and the mod elements were a “Black brick connected to a blue brick”, and/or “The letter N”. I didn’t use the letter mod, instead I connected black and blue in every shot of the film.

Behind the Scenes

ChristmasPuppyLoveThumbnail

Christmas Puppy Love

The happy tale of two dogs who have fun in the snow.

Behind the Scenes

As you can tell in the video, I used powder for the snow. What kind of powder you ask? Baking Soda. I used Baking Soda instead of sugar or flour, because sugar tends to be sticky (especially when it soaks up the humidity from the air), and flour can be a pain to clean up (because when you mix flour and water, you get dough!).

I love Christmas, and have always tried to make a Christmas-themed film every year since I began making movies. (As a matter of fact, I started brickfilming with a Christmas movie, seven years ago! Check it out here!) This year, I started kind of late with my film. I began writing a script in mid-November. This script was actually quite a long one. It was the story of a minifigure who hated snow, but had to leave his house to go to the store, and discovered the true meaning of Christmas when he got there. However, I procrastinated a bit, animated a little bit, and got sick for a week, then went to make another brickfilm for a LEGO Project on Tongal.com (I didn’t win, though), and before I knew it, it was far too late to finish that film. It’s too bad, too, because the film had a nice poem to go with it. To see a glimpse of the film, here is the only animated portion that I finished:

I had all of the buildings and sets built for that film. You can see them here:

After I gave up on that film, I cleaned up my desk. WRONG THING TO DO!!! :P Right after I had finished cleaning, I was looking at my cute little LEGO dog bricks, when I came up with a nice brickfilm idea. That idea was the final brickfilm. That was December 6th. So I modified one of the houses, poured my baking soda back out, and started back on filming.

I had hoped to have the brickfilm uploaded by the 13th or so. The sooner the better. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I released the film on December 19th. Not too bad, I suppose, but with only 6 days left until Christmas, it would have been better to release it sooner.

Now, about animating the baking soda. It wasn’t too bad, but like all things, it takes a lot of patience. Even more than you normally need to animate. The dogs occasionally fell down in the “snow”, making them be covered with the white powdery stuff. This caused me to have to take many re-takes, and there are still a lot of in-consistencies in the film from where the dogs are not covered in snow in one frame, but then covered in the next. It also didn’t help that my camera does not support a software with onion-skinning, because it is hard to remember where the dog was in the snow, so sometimes they make quite large movements without me noticing. The good thing about baking soda, though, is that it doesn’t blow away when you breathe. It is heavy enough to stay still. This helped me a lot when animating.

The night time scenes were fun to animate. I had to close all my windows and doors, turn off all other lights in the room, and only turn on one lamp (which was pointed at the wall for bounce lighting to create soft shadows). Luckily, it gets dark fairly early because of the daylight-savings thing, so I was able to animate for a few hours without having to worry about the light getting in through my curtains.

DSC_0411

To give the illusion of light coming through the house window, I used stick-tac and put my flashlight on a small Pick-a-brick cup and shined it through the window.

DSC_0416

In a couple of scenes, I positioned it so that it would make a cool lens-flare. This is the advantage of having an old lens without a flare-resistant filter built in.

For extra lighting, I used a small light-pen I got off a table from a convention’s exhibit hall. I thought that it would come in handy. :)

DSC_0415

Now, this is the post-apocalyptic set. It always looks this way when I get done filming. Unfortunately, this time I added another layer of mess to it with the baking soda… :P

DSC_0409

That’s all for now! Follow me on Twitter (@_rioforce), like me on Facebook (Luke Action Films), and look me up on Google+ (LukeActionFilms). Next year, I have plans to create a longer action adventure film. Stay tuned to my Social Media pages and here for upcoming details! :D

-rioforce

Screenshot (154)

7 Years of Luke Action Films!

Screenshot (154)Howdy everybody! Seven years ago, on December 10th 2007, I sat down in my living room floor, grabbed my Dad’s camera and some LEGO bricks, and started making a movie. Little did I know then that I would still me doing that today. Ok, not exactly that. I don’t sit in the floor anymore, I have my own camera now, I actually write scripts and build more elaborate sets, and have proper lighting. As you can see, a lot has changed in seven years. In fact, if you’d like to see just how much has changed, be my guest. My very first stop-motion animation was based on the LEGO Nativity Story from Luke 2.

I did animate a few more videos within that very same week, you can check those out in the playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaGMnwSAJDazqdmFwfTJmsVNqF5dKkkvk

Unfortunately, I have not prepared any special video for the seventh anniversary of Luke Action Films (which, back then, was called “Bulls-eye Productions Company”), but I am in production of a video that will hopefully come out within a few weeks.

If you haven’t seen my latest brickfilm already, check it out below. It is called “Journey to the Centre of Time”.

Hael_Storm

The Family of Hael Storm (A LEGO Universe Adventure)

Hael_Storm

You may think that Hael Storm, the Venture League faction leader from LEGO Universe is just a space pirate/overall awesome explorer. You are right at first, but there is much more underneath the surface. Today, I will explain the secrets of Hael Storm’s family:

Princess Storm

cas034In the first Knights Kingdom LEGO theme, there was a king named King Leo. He had a daughter named Princess Storm. She was no ordinary princess, though. She didn’t hide in towers and wear a fluffy dress. She was in the knight’s army. She fought along with the strong men, and ended up defeating Cedric the Bull in the LEGO Adventures! Magazine Issue 15. She obviously had a very adventurous spirit, but also had pride for her kingdom and loved being a knight. She could only be related to Hael Storm if Storm was her last name, instead of her first name. It would only make sense that it was he last name, though, because who would name their daughter Storm?

Axel Storm

DiverstormAxel Storm is a character in the 2010 LEGO Atlantis theme. He is the tech expert of the Atlantis Deep Sea Salvage Crew. He likes to fix things. This seems to be as far as it goes with him, but actually, there is more. In the 2011 LEGO Kingdoms line (in the 7188 King’s Carriage Ambush set), his face appears again, but this time, he is an un-named knight. I think that this knight is Axel Storm. After the Atlantis crew found the lost city, he returned to his kingdom to serve as a knight. He is possibly King Leo’s son, and Princess Storm’s sister. And this is as far as it goes with him.

Gail Storm

Adv0016Gail Storm is a LEGO character with a larger story and background than the ones mentioned above. She is a photographer and journalist for the World Magazine in the LEGO Adventurers theme. She travels along side Johnny Thunder on his adventures around the world. Her name Gail Storm was not permanent, however. She has two aliases: Linda Lovely, and Pippin Reed. I am not positive on her relation to the Castle side of things, but let us say for a minute that she is Princess Storm. If Storm is the princess’s last name, then what is her first name? She must have one, and it cannot just be Princess. I am going to say that Princess Storm’s first name is Gail. And that she is the same Gail that travels with Johnny Thunder. Since she had such an adventurous spirit as a princess, defeating Cedric the Bull, then she had to have been looking for more adventure after the battle was over. The life at the castle was too boring for her. Thus, she went off and joined Johnny Thunder on his explorations. After a while, she changed her name from Gail Storm to Linda Lovely, and later, Pippin Reed, to dis-associate herself from the Storm family. The reason for this is unknown, although, it could have been because she thought that Gail Storm wasn’t a good name for a journalist. Pippin Reed is a pen name, instead of an official name change.

Gail Storm from LEGO Universe

LUfac-Gale-final-LRIn the early concept phase of LEGO Universe, when the faction leaders and characters in the game were still in development, the head of the Venture League was not Hael Storm. Rather, it was a sword-carying, parrot-loving, female pirate named Gail Storm. It is said that Gail Storm is the sister of Hael Storm, an that she has a secret crush on Duke Exeter (according to Mike Rayhawk). If this Gail Storm is the same person as Gail Storm from the adventurers, who is the same person as Princess Storm, then this all makes sense. Princess Storm, who was a knight, probably had a crush on a certain knight named Duke way back in the days of Knights Kingdom. When she moved away to become a journalist under the name of Pippin Reed, she came to love adventure. Later on, she quit journalism, changed her name back to Gail Storm, and became a pirate in the Venture League. Then her brother Hael Storm was called upon by Doc Overbuild and Baron Typhonus (which probably has some relation to Baron von Baron, but that is another story completely). Doc and Baron needed Hael for two reasons. One, to use his awesome adventuring and navigation skills to help find the imagination Nexus, and Two, to find Duke Exeter, the only person in the universe who who knew the location of an ancient structure built by the First Builders on Gallant 5. The only way Hael Storm would have known about Duke is from Gail Storm, who probably had a crush on him when she was a knight.

Conclusion

So, according to all of this information above, I will tell you exactly who Hael Storm is related to and how:

Hael Storm: Son of King Leo, brother of Princess Gail Storm, brother of Axel Storm.

So, yes, you did just read off of that information to get a simple fact. But it is one very interesting fact! If all of my data is true, then this means that Hael Storm is a former member of the Sentinel Faction, but, like his siblings, longed for adventure beyond the Sentinels.