Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is Pertinacity by Christoph Brock.

Pertinacity follows the story of a gray swan trying to get the attention of a white swan. Pertinacity was made in 2004 for the Ten Bricks Contest, a contest that challenged brickfilmers to animate a short brickfilm using a maximum of 10 bricks total. It won second place, but since Christoph Brock was also a host of the contest, the second and third prizes were passed down to the third and fourth places. Christoph Brock, known as Brickbrock, was an early active member of Brickfilms.com, and made several other brickfilms including A Quiet Evening and X-Mas Golem.

Watch Pertinacity on the Brickfilm Archive

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SPOILERY DISCUSSION BELOW!

Pertinacity is a wonderful example of what can be achieved despite the narrowest of limitations. With only ten bricks and two characters, Brock was able to convey many nuanced emotions in this 2-minute film. Every movement is thoughtful and intentional, and not a moment is wasted. Thanks to the painted backdrop, it’s not even immediately obvious how limited the brick selection is. With modern brickfilms reveling in their massive, excessive LEGO sets, it’s nice to look back and see that sometimes, less is definitely more.

What are your thoughts on Pertinacity? What did you like about it? What do you think about its restrained use of LEGO? Did you have a favorite moment?

Last edited by Nathan Wells (February 20, 2015 (09:41am))

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

What a beautiful film. It reminds me (and is obviously supposed to remind me) of Looney Tunes. The animations were nice, I especially like how he tilted the bricks to make more fluid movements. That must have been tough. The backdrop was simple, but very effective. It's too bad we don't have contests like that around here. Even without prizes, I'd love to see what people can do with just a few bricks and their pure imagination.

(BTW, Nathan, you have a typo)

With modern brickfilms reveling in their massive, excessive LEGO sets, it’s nice to look bad and see that sometimes, less is definitely more.

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Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

Interesting concept. I should watch this later.

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Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

Thanks for sharing that film!
I love the simplistic take and basic premise. I've always been impressed with how well some animators can convey emotion and story with a handful of simple bricks, and this is no exception. Also, the painted backgrounds are fun. I've tried a few pastel backgrounds in my time, and I think it's a style that goes neglected a lot. Sure it's not as complex and detailed as brick-built sets, but it has a charm that somehow works in certain films.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

That was a really nice little film! Personally, I really enjoyed that.

rioforce wrote:

It reminds me (and is obviously supposed to remind me) of Looney Tunes.

What? That isn't the vibe I got at all. I thought this was a really peaceful, acting-centric, feel-good film. Looney Tunes, (and there kin, Merry Melodies, etc) never struck me in the same way.

Pritchard Studios wrote:

Also, the painted backgrounds are fun. I've tried a few pastel backgrounds in my time, and I think it's a style that goes neglected a lot. Sure it's not as complex and detailed as brick-built sets, but it has a charm that somehow works in certain films.

Painted backdrops (or pictures) can work in certain situations. I think that by and large they aren't used real well typically. They work fine in this movie, but the brick limitation pretty much dictated that he use a backdrop like that. They feel like a necessity in this case (for me), though thankfully not a distracting one.

Nathan Wells wrote:

With modern brickfilms reveling in their massive, excessive LEGO sets, it’s nice to look back and see that sometimes, less is definitely more.

I'm not going to argue that sometimes less is more, but referring to modern brickfilms as "reveling" in "excessive" brick-built sets is not exactly how I would term it... I mean really, what do you find wrong with large LEGO sets? Large sets aren't a negative to me, especially if they are done well. If anything, they are a positive. I would rather watch a massive (well done) LEGO set than a piece of paper slapped against a wall nearly any day. I seem to recall a classic brickfilm, what was it... oh yeah, The Gauntlet, for which one of the reasons people liked it was... impressive sets.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

AnW wrote:
Nathan Wells wrote:

With modern brickfilms reveling in their massive, excessive LEGO sets, it’s nice to look back and see that sometimes, less is definitely more.

I'm not going to argue that sometimes less is more, but referring to modern brickfilms as "reveling" in "excessive" brick-built sets is not exactly how I would term it... I mean really, what do you find wrong with large LEGO sets? Large sets aren't a negative to me, especially if they are done well. If anything, they are a positive. I would rather watch a massive (well done) LEGO set than a piece of paper slapped against a wall nearly any day. I seem to recall a classic brickfilm, what was it... oh yeah, The Gauntlet, for which one of the reasons people liked it was... impressive sets.

I don't think the problem is with "large sets" in general. It's films where huge, impressive sets are built without a real purpose to the story/just to look impressive. Often times, these large sets are offset by poor cinematography, camera work, and just general technical incompetence. Even though the sets looks pretty, the film looks like crap and no SNOT technique is gonna fix that. Large and well-designed set doesn't mean jack if you can't do jack.

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Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

I really enjoyed watching this again, it's a very effective take on the restrictions that it followed. I'm thinking I might try something with a similar challenge as a short animation.

Are the other winners and entries of the contest available to watch anywhere?

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

CheesyBricks wrote:

Are the other winners and entries of the contest available to watch anywhere?

3rd Place: Mirko's Greedy Bricks
1st Place: Hali's Interference

There are probably some others that aren't on Youtube but have been archived; I'd defer to Nathan on that.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

Sonjira wrote:
AnW wrote:
Nathan Wells wrote:

With modern brickfilms reveling in their massive, excessive LEGO sets, it’s nice to look back and see that sometimes, less is definitely more.

I'm not going to argue that sometimes less is more, but referring to modern brickfilms as "reveling" in "excessive" brick-built sets is not exactly how I would term it... I mean really, what do you find wrong with large LEGO sets? Large sets aren't a negative to me, especially if they are done well. If anything, they are a positive. I would rather watch a massive (well done) LEGO set than a piece of paper slapped against a wall nearly any day. I seem to recall a classic brickfilm, what was it... oh yeah, The Gauntlet, for which one of the reasons people liked it was... impressive sets.

I don't think the problem is with "large sets" in general. It's films where huge, impressive sets are built without a real purpose to the story/just to look impressive. Often times, these large sets are offset by poor cinematography, camera work, and just general technical incompetence. Even though the sets looks pretty, the film looks like crap and no SNOT technique is gonna fix that. Large and well-designed set doesn't mean jack if you can't do jack.

Yes, Sonjira nailed it. I love a good-looking and well-built set, but nowadays it's becoming increasingly common to see brickfilms with expansive, detailed sets get a lot of attention and love simply because of their sets, while flaws in storytelling, pacing and cinematography are ignored. That's what I was referring to in my above comment.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

CheesyBricks wrote:

I really enjoyed watching this again, it's a very effective take on the restrictions that it followed. I'm thinking I might try something with a similar challenge as a short animation.

Are the other winners and entries of the contest available to watch anywhere?

Many of the entries seem to have been uploaded to the Brickfilms Podcast YouTube channel, and some are available from the original creators. Here's all the ones I've found:

And sites other than YouTube:

Cannot find:

  • Golem by Felix

  • Ten Brick Paintball by BRICK MAN

  • 10-BRICK MAN! by Cyclonis

Including the others mentioned in this thread, I think that's everything accounted for. I'm glad I had an excuse to write all of these down as the Brickfilms.com forums appears to have been recently completely wiped. I saved some PasteBins for reference here and here, and this is still on Brickfilms.

I love the 10 Brick films; there is great creativity that came out of this contest. It would be so cool to see it run again. Pertinacity is a great choice to feature as it really makes you forget the limitations of the contest, whereas many other entries you can spot as being 10 Brick entries straight away. A very impressive film, and an enjoyable watch even without taking the contest stuff into account.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

Thanks for the links guys, I really appreciate the work you've done in cataloging old brickfilms. These films are great to watch, it's interesting to see how people worked with the challenge. I'd definitely like to see a similar contest run again

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Pertinacity (Feb 20, 2015)

For a concept that I've seen done to death, Pertinacity doesn't bring much new to the table. However, it's still a pretty good brickfilm.

While most videos today tend to focus on visuals and abundance, this little film does show how less can be more! The Lake setting is perfect, and, the characters are interesting to look at, even if they're only 5 pieces each.

The main negative this film has is it's basis. One swan, who's darker in shade, wants to meet the beautiful swan, who's lighter; Whether it be a short subject musical piece, a poem, or a Looney Tunes skit, I've seen this thing a billion times, and always know what to expect. Same with the music - It's just another piece I've heard more than I can count.

Now, don't get me wrong, the concept itself isn't bad, nor is the musical score; Actually, the first time I ever saw it done, I was rather impressed. It was able to bring emotions out with no words - mainly focusing on the music to drive the visuals, your thoughts, and feelings. And, since this is a brickfilm, I suppose that, for some kids, this may indeed be their first exposure to this story and concept. And for that, it's great!

However, I feel that Brock is trying to accomplish something new. (Most brickfilmers do in contests, don't you think?) However, instead of coming off as a Kubrick-like masterpiece of cinema, it's just a standard little film. But, perhaps I'm trying to see what I wanted it to be instead of what it is - and, for what it is, it's great! I think a lot of animators could learn from the movements and articulation achieved by Brock in this. It certainly proves that you don't need minifigs to make a good brickfilm!

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