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Cleaning Time: The Janitorial Contingency is a 2005 community project comedy brickfilm co-ordinated by Doug James and Joshua Leasure and directed by Tom Dean. The film is about two janitors who accidentally activate a time machine that sends them to the year 12,345 AD.[1] It was the first official community project on, fully establishing the idea of such a brickfilm, after having been inspired by a precursor concept, The Brickfilms Director's Project (which was more of an "exquisite corpse" method). It features contributions from 22 community members including animators, writers, voice actors and other artists.[2][3] It was in production from 2003 to 2005.


Phil and Eddie are two janitors at Adnauzium Technologies Temporal Vortex Research Facility. They are assigned to clean a room filled with technology without touching anything, a request which Eddie finds contradictory. Eddie begins messing with a computer, and a voice is heard saying that the temporal vortex sequence has been activated and asking them to be seated. The janitors sit in a machine and are asked to enter a code. Eddie tries 12345, and the voice tells them to enjoy their visit to the year 12,345, before they and the machine disappear.

Phil and Eddie arrive on a street in the year 12,345, and Eddie convinces a reluctant Phil that they must take look around in the future before going back home. When they walk away, aliens find their time machine and take it to a museum to go with their ancient bread machine, thinking it is an old-fashioned yogurt maker. Later, Phil and Eddie see on the news that their time machine is on display at the ancient history museum. Eddie comes up with a plan to retrieve the machine by breaking in to the museum using hoverboards, and they go to a nearby shop to buy some. The shopkeeper spots Phil's Chicago Cubs hat and after explaining how rare Cubs merchandise is, offers to trade two hover-helmets for Phil's hat.

At night, the janitors arrive at the museum and use their hover-helmets to reach the roof and enter through a skylight. They find the time machine, but an alarm is set off when they attempt to operate it. Robot guards enter, and Eddie manages to initiate time travel just before him and Phil are captured. Following a brief detour to the prehistoric era, they get back to their own time period. As they leave the room, they pass two technicians entering, and one asks the other if he has their galaxy card, implying that they are headed for the future.

In the future, two janitors, Bob and Ryan, discuss if their time machine will be OK where they left it. They then hear on the news that an ancient bread machine has been found in an alley.



Scenes by each animator:

Scene Animator
Opening 3D Michael J. Green
Establishing shot Joshua Leasure
Inside the lab Jeff Leary
Title graphic David West
Arrival and Alien discovery of machine Tom Dean
Finding the machine missing James Jannicelli
Still shot over the shoulder towards TV David West
Still shot of machine in the news Kristian Sandberg
In the shop David West
Into the museum Kristian Sandberg
The museum Kristian Sandberg
Displays in the museum Joshua Leasure
The past Logan Wright
Back in the lab, break time Jeff Leary
The Coda David West


The idea of a community project was inspired by Jason Rowoldt's Director's Project from 2001. In the Director's Project, brickfilmers who put their names down were grouped into fours to create a co-production, in which the first filmer produced the first minute and the second produced a minute continuing on from that minute, and so on. Two such films were created out of this project. Doug James had felt that the Director's Project was chaotic and did not produce particularly memorable films due to lacking any sort of planning or scripting, and in 2003 he began talking to new owner Joshua Leasure about reviving the Director's Project as a new entity, the Community Project.

On June 18, 2003, Joshua Leasure announced that Doug James and himself had been developing the plan for the community projects, and that he had created a new sub-forum for them.[7] Doug was appointed as executive officer of community projects and on the same day, he posted the thread "Community Project", outlining his plan for the community to make films together under the coordination of the executive producer/s in four separate teams: Script, Storyboard, Sound, and Animation. It was initially stated that animation may or may not be a team effort as it was the hardest stage. Doug and other community members began posting plot concepts, and interest was gauged by replies to these threads. Doug began posting weekly update threads about community project progress.

On July 10, it was announced that a sci-fi/comedy about time traveling suggested by Tom Dean on June 20 had received enough offers to contribute to officially begin production. Tom Dean, Doug James and Skye "legotronn" Sonomura began outlining the script, later with assistance from Daniel "Idiotless" Ernst and Jonathan "Lewa11" Kaplan. Updates became less frequent as there was less to report and Doug also wanted to see how many people were interested enough to ask about progress. In an update on October 8, he explained that production had been rocky and that he was disappointed by underwhelming participation from the community and by people who had agreed to give input on the script never getting back to him, but also that they now had a finished script.[8] Following writing advice from Joel Haas, the start and end of the script were kept and everything in between was changed entirely, removing the initially mentioned plot point of time travel being illegal in the future. This was the final dedicated update thread posted by Doug. On October 19, Joshua Leasure posted a thread announcing that they were looking for animators to join the project.[9]

Little more official word was heard as animation and sound design slowly took place. Occasionally, a community member would ask about the film and Doug James would assure them that it was still coming, and this was about all that was heard in 2004.[10] Finally, on April 5, 2005, Doug posted on the front page of that all major animation had been completed and that editing had begun, with the film scheduled to arrive soon in the same year.[11] Editing was being handled solely by Joshua Leasure. On May 22, Doug James announced the title as Cleaning Time: The Janitorial Contingency. On June 6, Leasure posted a Cleaning Time trailer created by David West.[12] The finished film was released on July 28, 2005. Leasure gave credit to Doug James for never giving up pushing forward, even when the project seemed in dire straits. Cleaning Time was included on the DVD of Heroes and Villains Contest entries.

References to other brickfilms[]

Cleaning Time contains multiple references to other brickfilms and members of the brickfilming community. Tom Dean's recurring characters Bob and Joe (and a penguin) are seen walking and Anne Frank is seen riding her bicycle when the janitors arrive in the future. The news ticker in the year 12,345 mentions the eventual release of Jay Silver's pirate film, a film with an infamously lengthy production time that was never completed. The names of the stocks also incorporate various references: "BRCKFLMS" (, "YLOHD" (Stefan "Yellowhead" van Zwam), "PRTWRX" (Stephen "Protowrxs" Nolen), and "BLNTMTN" (Nate "Bluntmation" Burr). "BROCK" and "MB" are likely references to the characters Mr. Brock and MB from Stephen Nolen's film The Factory Fix.

The scene in the ancient history museum shows several displays that reference other brickfilms. The "Eindhoven Man" exhibit features a caveman from the Great Inventors films by Stefan van Zwam, and is also named after Stefan's hometown. The "Parliament 2053" exhibit shows Ned Kelly from Nick Maniatis' films wielding a halberd, and the next shot features a screen in the wall playing The Battle of New Orleans by Joshua Leasure.


Community project brickfilms
Old in Motion: Cleaning Time: The Janitorial Contingency (2005) · BrickFest 2006 Montage (2006) · The Day Crashed (2007) · Brickfilming Is Just Awesome (2012) · A Brickfilm Christmas (2017) · Christmas Holidaze (2022) · The LEGO Movie Rebuilt (2024)

BrickBoard: Star Trek: Dawn (2006) · 16 Cities - 17 Brickfilmers - One LEGO Set (2015) · 10 Jahre Oli-AG Gemeinschaft Projekt 2016 (2016) · Der Brickboard EM Kick (2021) · Aktion "Bunt" (2021) · 15 Jahre OliAG Gemeinschaftsprojekt (2021)

Brick à Brack/ by BàB: Au-delà du brickfilm (2017) · Brick à Brack is Everywhere (2020) · BCO vs Résistance (2021)

Brickfilm Day: The Marvel Cinematic Universe in LEGO (2018) · Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer in LEGO (2018) · The Skywalker Saga in LEGO (2020) · The Bad Batch Trailer in LEGO! (2021) · The LEGO Movie Rebuilt (2024)

Corey Pines: Never Gonna Give You Up (2020) · Fallen Kingdom (2021) · Welcome to the Internet (2022)

Other: The Incredible Story of James William (2007) · Quarantine Daze (2020) · LEGO WW2 Battle of Falaise (2021) · The MCU in LEGO (2022) · The Greatest Captain Guy Collab Of All Time! (2024)