Wotcha think you're doin' here then? You think you can just waddle in like that, do ya?

This here, laddie, is a top-secret Brickspace testin' ground. Yup, thassright. So you'd better geddout before someone sees ya pokin' around...

Monday, 1 December 2008

Interview with David Pagano (Paganomation)

 Hey there guys! I've managed to get my first interview, and here it is, an interview with none other that David Pagano, also known as Paganomation! You may remember him as the creator of 'Go Miniman Go! ', 'Playback ', and the classic Brickfilm 'Little Guys! ' So here's the interview...
Q) How long did it take you to make "Little Guys "?
A) From start to finish, about eight straight months. This included coming up with the idea, recording sound, designing, building, animating... all the aspects of production.

Will you ever make anything similar to "Little Guys "?
A) Absolutely. In terms of LEGO animation, I am extremely interested in doing work with characters built from LEGO parts, as opposed to using mini-figures. I'll definitely be making other movies in a similar style in the future. I also have a few ideas for a Little Guys "sequel", should I ever find the time and opportunity to do that.
On the other hand, you could say that everything I make is similar to "Little Guys!" I'm a huge '80s nerd and an animation fanatic, and that pretty much creeps into everything I do.

What's your next project?
A) Right now, I'm just finishing up a full-bodied LEGO sculpture based on one of the kid characters from "Little Guys!" But in terms of animation projects, I'm actually taking a little break right now. Earlier in the year, I did two LEGO animated films in the span of about 2-and-a-half months ("
Go Miniman Go! " and "Playback "), while also working a full-time job. Even though it was rewarding, it was also extremely difficult -- there was definitely a time in the midst of it where I was awake for around 43 straight hours. So for now, I'm just making sure I take some time for rest and relaxation.

What would you say to anyone who wants to make Brickfilms like you? Any tips?
A) Overall, the most important thing is to make sure you're having fun doing what you're doing. Animation is a long, arduous, time-consuming process, and so it really helps to be passionate about the project you're doing. You want to work for those moments where you're in the middle of animating a shot, and you watch the preview of what you're doing, and just laugh out loud or sit in awe of the work you've just done. It's a very satisfying feeling, and that's what keeps you going through the production. It's what keeps me going, anyway.
As for LEGO, I'd just say don't stop building. It's a simple answer, but it's true. Make sure and keep some bricks around to mess with when you're not doing anything. I have some LEGO on my desk at work that I build with when I'm waiting for a render or taking a break.
On the animation side of things, it's pretty simple as well: watch animated films, cartoons, TV commercials, anything. Read books on animation. Pay attention to how things are done, and why. It doesn't have to be only LEGO animation work that you watch, either. The principles of animation are universal, and they apply regardless of what the medium is.
Finally, don't be afraid to just mess around with animation. Not every film you do has to be an epic, high-quality work of art. Sometimes, it's just fun to put some bricks in from of the camera and goof off. You have to make some simple, pointless, low-budget, occasionally awful films before you get to the good ones. That way, if you mess up, or it doesn't come out the way you want, it's no big deal. And if you manage to do something really cool, it's that much more rewarding.

And finally, what other Brickfilmer would you recommend? Do you consider them at your level of expertise, or above it?
A) The brickfilming genre is really exploding now, and it's exciting to be a part of that. There are so many talented artists out there right now, I could probably go on and on... name about 20 or 30. The one that really inspired me when I was starting to make "Little Guys!" was Marc Beurteaux , an animator from Canada. His film "ROBOTA " set the brickfilming bar so high, it was all I could do to try and approach that. Definitely go check out on its YouTube page.

I consider quite a number of the brickfilmers out there WAY above my level of expertise (and I use that term loosely). None of us are really experts, because there hasn't been much of a precedent for brickfilming until very recently. I think what's cool is that all of us in the genre are kind of making it up as we go, finding new ways to improve our work, and try to continually top each other.
It's that kind of friendly competition that's really making some great people put out some great work, and that can only be a good thing for brickfilms in general. That's part of the reason I put instructions for a kid character on the DVD for "Little Guys!" Just as I was inspired by films like ROBOTA, I hope that at some point, maybe someone else will be inspired by Little Guys and try to make their own animation using my kid character as a guide. It hasn't happened yet, but I can't wait to see it when it does. 

Well, many thanks to David for answering those questions. You can find all his films on his website . See you next time!
-John, Admin

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