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Trailer recreations in brickfilming are LEGO animated recreations of existing trailers for films, video games, or other media. The trailer recreation as a brickfilm genre emerged alongside the rise of YouTube, and brickfilm trailer recreations have been known to have broad appeal and the capability to garner large view counts and shares from media websites due to capitalizing on brand recognition and hype for upcoming releases. However, within the brickfilming community, trailer recreations have long been criticized for lacking originality and for being motivated by chasing trends and views.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Trailer recreations have occasionally made use of the brickfilm medium to parody the original or otherwise add new humor, but they most often aim to stay as close to what is depicted in the original trailer as possible.

History[]

2000s[]

While recreations of entire scenes from preexisting feature films have always had a presence within brickfilming, the concept of trailer recreation brickfilms was practically unheard of until the rise of YouTube. Certain early stand-alone trailer brickfilms based on existing films such as Star Wars: LEGO Edition Trailer (2000) by Jason Allemann and Deane VanLuven, The Exorcist Trailer (2002) by Bacher Markus, and the Harry Potter Lego Trailer series (2004 - 2011) by Mario Baumgartner do not appear to be derived from actual trailers for their respective films. In 2002, The BrickFest Star Wars Movie Trailer Competition asked people to submit brickfilms that were trailers for existing or fictional Star Wars films, but none of the entries were recreations of preexisting trailers.

A precursor to trailer recreation brickfilms is Grand Theft Auto: LEGO City by Billy Fitzgerald, Ronn LeFeuvre, and Deon White, from 2004. Although not a direct recreation, elements of the video were derived from the second trailer for the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This became a viral video online prior to the existence of YouTube, and was featured on multiple gaming websites and in print magazines such as Edge and Kerrang!.[7] Following the creation of YouTube, it became even more widely known via many unauthorized reuploads, starting from late 2005.[8][9]

Halo2legotrailer

A frame from Halo 2 Lego Trailer

The earliest known trailer recreation brickfilm is Halo 2 Lego Trailer by Marshall Brekka, which was originally created in 2002 but seemingly first shared online on a personal website in 2005. It was uploaded to YouTube by Brekka in August 2006, and it also ended up being repeatedly reuploaded by other people, with the most viewed upload actually being a reupload by someone else from November 2006.

The trailer recreation genre emerged on YouTube divorced from the influence of the brickfilm community that had been established since before the existence of YouTube, and trailer recreation brickfilms were at a much lower general standard of quality for a number of years. However, this did not stop them from becoming popular on YouTube and being picked up by the media due to novelty and brand recognition. Lee "Dirtydilz" Hulme's brickfilms Superman Returns Teaser in Lego uploaded in March 2006 and Superman Returns 1st Trailer in Lego from May 2006 do not actually contain stop-motion animation, but are early examples of trailer recreation brickfilms released prior to the theatrical release of the actual film. These were shared online by the USA Today blog Pop Candy and by Entertainment Weekly.[10]

Trailer recreation brickfilms uploaded in 2007 include Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Trailer in Lego by "Krimzon Studios", Spider-man 3 lego movie trailer! and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix lego trailer! by Sean Willets, Lego 300 by "Metrozol", 300 lego trailer by "Flamejumper", and LEGO Resistance: Fall of Man by Michael Inglis. Some of these brickfilms have received upwards of a million views in their lifetime.

Darkknighttrailer

A frame from The Dark Knight Trailer. IN LEGO!!! (2008) by Keshen8

One of the first brickfilms by Keshen8 to receive widespread attention was The Dark Knight Trailer. IN LEGO!!!, released in January 2008.[11] This brickfilm had over 1.5 million views by the end of 2008,[12] and has received over 6 million views in its lifetime. Keshen's next brickfilm was The Dark Knight Trailer 2. IN LEGO!!! (Trailer 3) in May 2008, and the only trailer recreation he would make after these was Ninja Assassin Trailer IN LEGO!, released in August 2009.

Lego Ironman Trailer by "Flamejumper" from March 2008 is an early example of a trailer recreation brickfilm that was also uploaded in a side-by-side comparison version, which would later become a common practice for trailer recreation brickfilms.

2010s[]

Throughout the 2010s, The LEGO Group released many more sets based on Marvel, DC, and other properties, and this plus the regular releases of MCU, DC, and Star Wars films fed into the increase of brickfilm trailer recreations. General standards of technical quality of trailer recreation brickfilms also rose over the years, and the amount of attention they received from the media increased. Some examples of trailer recreation brickfilms in the 2010s include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 Trailer IN LEGO! (2011) by Forrest Whaley, The Dark Knight Rises Trailer 2: IN LEGO (2012) by Nicolas Parada, LEGO The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Teaser Trailer (2013) by Kevin Ulrich, and Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer IN LEGO! (2014) by Forrest Whaley, Sean Willets, and Paul Hollingsworth.

Cars2trailer

A frame from the Cars 2 trailer in LEGO, which was professionally created for The LEGO Group and Disney/Pixar, and so was of abnormally high quality for its time

In 2011, The LEGO Group and Disney/Pixar commissioned professional animator Patrick Boivin to create the Cars 2 trailer in LEGO, to tie in with the release of Cars 2 LEGO sets.[13] Other film studios also realized the potential of brickfilm trailer recreations for general viral marketing, and would sometimes commission brickfilmers to create trailer recreations for upcoming releases, but it wasn't always made clear that they were commissioned brickfilms,[14][15] likely due to legal concerns over using LEGO.

At a time when trailer recreation brickfilms would often make use of crude digital effects to achieve prohibitively large-scale shots, the 2011 brickfilm LEGO Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 by Alex Kobbs made a point of achieving everything in camera, even including the titles. This was commissioned by Machinima, meaning it was posted on one of the largest YouTube channels in this era.[16] The original upload is no longer available, as Machinima became defunct and all videos were removed from the channel in early 2019.

It was most common for people to only occasionally make trailer recreations in between other types of brickfilm projects, but in the 2010s, some brickfilmers emerged who made trailer recreations primarily. Examples include Antonio and Andrea Toscano, Huxley Berg, and Karol Pikuła. In this era, it became customary to also upload separate side-by-side comparison videos with the original trailer and the brickfilm recreation. Side-by-side versions could often get similar or greater view counts to the regular versions.[17][18][19]

Forceawakens16

16 Force Awakens teaser trailer recreations being played simultaneously

In 2014, the massively hyped first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens led to a "gold rush" of many brickfilmers racing to recreate the trailer in the hopes of scoring a hit. Many recreations were posted after just one or two days of the release of the teaser, with more following shortly afterwards. The winner in terms of views was Lego Star Wars Stop Motion Animation The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer by Shane Kerksiek which was released within 24 hours, but the eventual general consensus was that the best quality version was Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer (in LEGO) by Zach Macias and "Sméagol", which was released just under a month later. The YouTube user "Placid Sulfuric" noticed the trend and uploaded a split-screen video of 16 brickfilm recreations of the trailer playing simultaneously a couple of days after the initial release of the trailer. This trend would inspire future races to recreate high-profile trailers, though on smaller scales than the initial occurrence. This practice received criticism for sacrificing quality in the name of speed, as well as for brazenly being in pursuit of fleeting attention.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Subsequent Star Wars trailers became popular choices for brickfilm trailer recreations, and in 2018, Solo: A Star Wars Story Official Trailer (As Told with LEGO Bricks) was commissioned by Disney and The LEGO Group, and was posted on both the official Star Wars and LEGO YouTube channels.

Trailer recreation brickfilms have the unique challenge of requiring a large number of sets and shots in relation to their runtime. This has led some people who aim for a high quality result to make it a team effort, such as Christopher Gearhart bringing together a group under the name Animators Colletive to create Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in LEGO! (2016) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in LEGO! (2017). The community and event hub Brickfilm Day has coordinated community project brickfilms including Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer in LEGO (2018) and THE BAD BATCH TRAILER in LEGO! (2021).

2020s[]

Acrossthespiderversetrailer

A frame from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse but in LEGO by Preston Mutanga, created in Blender

The 2020s has seen a rise of CG brickfilm trailer recreations created with Blender. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse but in LEGO | Official Trailer (4K) by Preston "LegoMe_TheOG" Mutanga was seen by Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and Mutanga received the opportunity to create a CG LEGO animated scene that was included in the film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. This resulted in much media coverage referencing CG brickfilm trailer recreations.[20]

References[]

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