Brickfilms Wiki

A frame from Doorway (2002) by Nick Maniatis; an influential early white expanse brickfilm

A white expanse is a setting in which characters appear to be standing within an endless white void. This is most commonly achieved in brickfilming by curving a piece of white paper so as to serve as both the ground and the background without a seam visible, and pointing plenty of light at it. A white expanse setting has been employed in brickfilming to serve as a surreal or "purgatory" setting, to mimic other media which includes a white expanse, or to achieve a quick and clean backdrop without having to build a set or have any distractions.



A behind-the-scenes picture shown during the credits of Doorway

An early example of a white expanse in brickfilming is a scene at the halfway point in the 1989 film The Magic Portal. However, as this film was first shared online in late 2003, it was not the brickfilm that proliferated the technique among the online brickfilming community. In April 2002, Nick Maniatis released Doorway; an experimental brickfilm primarily made to test a number of things, including how to achieve a white expanse. Maniatis mentioned that an influence on the brickfilm was The Matrix, which features white expanse scenes.[1] During the credits of Doorway, behind-the-scenes pictures are displayed, demonstrating how the white expanse was achieved. This helped influence other people to try the technique in brickfilms of their own,[2] as did subsequent explanations and tutorials over the years.

Alone by Jason Rowoldt from October 2002 was reminiscent of Doorway, although did utilize white LEGO brick walls. Silence is Golden by Logan Wright from September 2003 also featured a character waking up within an all-white room, blown out to the point of looking like a white expanse. The February 2004 brickfilm Reality (What a Concept) took place in a white expanse, largely aided by digital means. In November 2004, James Morr released White, describing it by saying "It's a parody of all the "Guy finds himself in white expanse, something weird happens" films we get around here every once in awhile". Late 2004 saw the occurrence of the 10 Brick Contest, in which entrants were limited to only using a maximum of ten LEGO pieces throughout their entries. This limitation lent itself to using a white expanse as a setting, with entries that did so including Greedy Bricks by Mirko Horstmann, Nine Elements, One Problem by Lewis Chen, Golem by Felix C., and Dream by Aaron Leming. In January 2005, Nate Burr released the white expanse brickfilm Death Carries a Big Stick, and in April, Matthew Gray released Contains Small Parts.

2006 saw the rise of two participatory fads that used a white expanse as their setting. In January 2006, Nathan Wells released Stoic, which was created to try out widescreen and white expanse. The format of this film inspired a fad called the Dictionary Series, which saw many people making short brickfilms illustrating the meaning of other words within a white expanse, akin to the original. In July 2006, another fad began which saw brickfilmers making Mac vs. PC parodies, based on the "Get a Mac" television advertisements which themselves were set in a white expanse. Both of these formats remained popular for a couple of years, and between these fads and other stand-alone white expanse brickfilms, the white expanse was at its most commonly seen in brickfilming in the late 2000s. The technique has continued to be used intermittently in brickfilming throughout the following years.