Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: Dr. Jobs & his Scary Laboratory (Feb 27, 2015)

This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is Dr. Jobs and his Scary Laboratory by Fumitaka Anzai.

Brickfilming is, like LEGO itself, an international phenomenon. Our beloved plastic bricks transcend international borders and language barriers with ease, and we’ve seen brickfilms and brickfilmers from around the world. However, while we’ve seen plenty of brickfilms from North America, Europe and Oceania, we’ve essentially seen no brickfilms from Asia. Dr. Jobs and his Scary Laboratory by Fumitaka Anzai is an exception. Released in 2005, this brickfilm caused a stir thanks to its impressive visual effects and extremely smooth animation that essentially had never before been achieved with LEGO. While Fumitaka Anzai did post this film on Brickfilms.com, he was not an active member, and very little is known about him.


Watch Dr. Jobs and his Scary Laboratory on YouTube

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SPOILERY DISCUSSION BELOW!

Dr. Jobs and his Scary Laboratory is a fun film reminiscent of Saturday Morning Cartoons and every “inventor uses a Rube Goldberg machine to make breakfast” scene in every 90s movie. Its use of lighting and sound creative an immersive world, and it’s slow pace builds tension until it's released in an amusing sequence. This 5-minute film is actually listed as “Part 1,” and while a part 2 has never been completed, Fumitaka Anzai released a 13-minute rough cut that includes part 1 and a soundless part 2, which gives fascinating insight into his filmmaking process, including the use of rigs and (apparent) custom-printed faces.

What are your thoughts on Dr. Jobs and his Scary Laboratory? What did you like about it? What did you think of the visual effects and sound design? Did you have a favorite moment?

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Dr. Jobs & his Scary Laboratory (Feb 27, 2015)

I saw this just yesterday while browsing the Brickfilms wiki. That was great. I watched (most of) the rough cut, and admire the use of the rigs, and how the walk cycles defy gravity. I am not sure if the faces are custom prints, they look like paper at some angles, but at others they look like prints (anyone want to start an internet phenomenon about #TheFace? mini/tongue ).

As a fan of the old Looney Tunes, I really like the style. The story, while it is typical, is still original. We don't know that there is an anti-climatic breakfast coming at the end, we just know that this large spooky machine is creating something.

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Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Dr. Jobs & his Scary Laboratory (Feb 27, 2015)

Dr. Jobs & his Scary Laboratory is a perfect example of what I think a brickfilm should be. It has a simple focus, and hits it out of the ballpark. There's no need for a complicated plot or compelling storyline - the film simply tries its best to be the best. And, while it is a bit different from the pacing and approach that seems to dominate American and European films, it does manage to entertain in a new and fresh way!

The animation is perfect. In my humble opinion, it tops The LEGO Movie! It's not trying to be really flashy; it just sits at a pretty standard frame-rate. But, that's what I love about it. There isn't a need to get flashy with animation, because, in the end, the frames are just the window into the canvas of your art. If the canvas is worn and has rips in it, you can still paint a masterpiece... It's when you try to paint a stinker onto high-quality paper when I have a problem. A lot of modern brickfilms try to do this - I mean, come on, how many 24fps fight scene tests have you seen? Do any of them stick out in your mind? I thought not.

It's hard to pick out Dr. Jobs's strongest point; it truly is. The animation fits so perfectly, as mentioned above, and, the sets and lighting also exceed any standards or expectations that I'd had! However, If I did have to chose one point of focus that really brings everything together - making this short subject brickfilm a cinematic masterpiece - it would be the cinematography

From the lighting to the camera angles, to the editing - I really do believe this world when I see it. Every frame is like a work of art, every shot a comic still. Things look great, and really make this film stand out in my mind. I'm tempted to say it's a Citizen Kane of brickfilming. However, I think I can easily back up such a comment:
        It's inspirational.
        It's an "earlier" brickfilm. Not one of the first, but, certainly, before the bulk of films started coming as they do now.
        It has a certain look, feel, and design that I've seen copied and recreated time and time again.
        And, it simply is great!

There's nothing I didn't like about this film. From the look and feel to the visuals and emotions - it's got it all. I feel like I'm there, I'm entertained. I just love it! I used to keep an actual list on my computer of my top 20 favorite brickfilms ranked... And, I'll have to change that now. A year ago I would have easily said Beast, America: Outlawed, Grace, and Henri & Edmond were guaranteed in the top 5. But, after giving Dr. Jobs & his Scary Laboratory a look, I can say that none of the previously mentioned brickfilms are safe anymore...

Dr. Jobs takes the top spot, or, at the very least, a spot in the top 5. It may not have the story of Grace, nor does it have quality or length of Henri & Edmond... but what it does have is heart. Not many filmmakers can truly capture this, however, Anzai did. I'll remember this film fondly from here on out. While it may not be "the greatest brickfilm of all time" for others, it certainly is for me. Something about it just works - perhaps that's just alike creative ideas, but, whatever it is, I'm glad it's there!

This is a true 5 star brickfilm!

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Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Dr. Jobs & his Scary Laboratory (Feb 27, 2015)

Man I used to have that minifigure, I got it with one of those vintage minifigure collections, along with the Octan guy in my avatar. BUT I LOST IT. I have to say that was one of my favorite minifigs

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