Jason Rowoldt launched Brickfilms in December 2000. Originally a small collection of a handful of films, the site grew over the intervening years, taking on various features and growing into a nexus for an entire community of LEGO–philes. In 2003, Jason – claiming that he could no longer maintain the site – sold it to Joshua “RevMen” Leasure.
Leasure continued to add staff, and initiated an extensive review panel, which would be charged with maintaining the site’s extensive collection, and sorting entries so that a novice viewer would not be overwhelmed by the glut of LEGO cinema.
Despite the efforts at cleanliness and categorization, Brickfilms is a monstrous entity, and one that requires dedication on the part of the viewer, as well as the creators.
The hundreds of entries in the film collection come from creators around the world and are divided into traditional categories: action; drama; documentary; comedy; and so on. Think everything from Star Wars to The Diary of Anne Frank, to give an idea of the range. The true cineaste can also sort entries by staff ratings of animation, story, sound, cinematography, and effects, so simply choose the staff’s favorites.
If viewers have their fill of LEGOs – entirely possible, given the range – they can head to the active message boards, check out the in-house wiki (with a fairly extensive history of stop motion film), learn the necessary techniques to make films of their own, and then download the requisite software. Once that’s done, they can peruse the latest site-sponsored film contests, and win some of the hardware they’ll need. Brickfilms is indeed a full service site.
Some production companies have made names for themselves via consistent storytelling and technical prowess; London-based Spite Your Face is one of the best known, and has gone on to produce some pretty sweet official films for the LEGO company and Lucasfilm, among others.