Topic: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Welcome to the Weekly Bricks in Motion Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion thread!
These threads are designed to inspire discussion, debate and discourse on the topic of filmmaking, brickfilming, storytelling and LEGO. Each week I will start a new thread with a new discussion topic. Everyone is welcome to contribute as long as you have something thoughtful to say. Paragraphs are encouraged! If you are going to participate in this thread, please keep the discussion civil and refrain from pointless jokes, image macros, or “memes.”

Please feel free to continue to contribute to the previous discussion threads as well. Just because they are older doesn't mean they aren't relevant any more!

Previous Discussions:
Week 1: Why LEGO?

This week’s discussion topic:

Have you been mocked because of your brickfilming hobby? How do you dealt with it?
Not everyone shares the same hobbies. That’s too be expected. And like any hobby, brickfilming can have its detractors, and this can result in people who actively dislike or mock people who are into the hobby. LEGO in particular can warrant being a bigger target in some social circles because of its association with children, which can be perceived as “immature” or “uncool.” Have you had to deal with people who mock, dismiss or even bully you because you like to make films with LEGO? How do you deal with this?

Special thanks to backyardlegos for suggesting this week's discussion topic!

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Eh, sometimes. Occasionally I get the 'haha you play with Lego' thing, but a lot of people think the things I make are pretty cool. Maybe instead of introducing yourself as 'that guy who plays with lego in a dark room' just casually show someone a new animation you've made or something.
  A lot of people I know seemed to like my most recent film, Quack In Time, so all that really does it just give me some confidence that people outside a group dedicated to the appreciation of stuff like this can like what I make.
BRAWL 2013 ENTRY Quack In Time
"Why in the world did you do a weird language if you know English?" - tenny1028

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Mocked because of my hobby? Nope. Thankfully the habitat in which I come from is very positive; everyone I know respects each others likes, dislikes and interests.
Much of the people who heard I animate with 'tiny bits of plastic', are quite interest in my (below amatuer) work. The odd one or two people have even expressed interest in collaborating with me, especially in help of effects.
Thats my input on this weeks discussion!

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I think I said some of this in the last round, so please don't hate me for sounding like a broken record but this is and has been an important issue for me.

I started brickfilming in about 2007, when it already seemed to be uncool to still like LEGO. I'd just started at a secondary school where I knew absolutely nobody. My tight-knit group of friends from primary school who accepted me for my interests had gone off to different schools, so I was on my own. In my first term, I made a few friends, and I showed one or two of them my first brickfilms and my friend Nash even started making them with me.

After Christmas that first year, people started to change. Everyone was more familiar with the Great Chain of Being that had slowly developed over the first term, and so split themselves off into little groups, as kids do: the athletes, the bimbos, the science nerds, the 'cool' kids, the thespians...and then there were the outcasts. Oddly enough, I found myself on the outside of the cool group, but that didn't stop a lot of people from hating me for no apparent reason than that I was just nice to everyone. I literally can't think of a single thing I did to get people to hate me. Anyway, someone caught wind of my brickfilms and that became a thing, blah-dee-blah association with being childish blah blah blah. My karate and taekwondo grades didn't matter - apparently I was a wuss (the words they used were a lot stronger and totally unrepeatable). I was slowly weeded out of most of my friend groups. I never got invited to anything. The only people who would talk to me were the social rejects, most of whom were genuinely unsavoury characters (that's not me being mean, a lot of them were rejects because they weren't nice people).

Nash changed school in the second year because of his low grades, and I spent the next four years occasionally mingling with some quite transient friends. Looking back, there were some people I think I took for granted, but as a rule I was bullied by most people. Not physically (thank the Skyfather) but that sticks-and-stones stuff they teach you in kindergarten is total rubbish. Words hurt a tremendous amount, especially when people turn something you love into a weapon, in my case brickfilming. I took several hiatus' because I thought they might be right, and that there was something wrong with me for liking LEGO still, but I came back in the end. My only proud moment was when I was getting a hail of pretty brutal verbal abuse in Geography class and I pointed out how much money I made from a single video. That shut them up for about an hour.

It didn't help that when I bought BrickJournal for the first (and only) time, seeing a lot of the contributors only reaffirmed the stereotypes people seemed to pin to me. That was a massive blow to my confidence and led to another hiatus.

How have I dealt with it? Like I said, I tried to distance myself from brickfilming, but then I realised I shouldn't have to give up something I love just because others are too narrow-minded to appreciate it. College has been better, and I got Best Short Film for Ozymandias in the Film and Media Awards last week. Nobody teases me about it anymore, and very rarely is it a source of tension. It's liberating that all of a sudden, anyone can be a total nerd about anything and not have to worry about being mocked for it. Some people are still narrow-minded, but they're a rare few now and it's easier to see that they have no advantage over you. They're the people who'll be collecting your garbage one day.

Flickr was a massive help, because one day I was scrolling through other peoples' MOCs and found something I never thought I'd see: that you could grow up into a 'normal', happy, well-rounded person and still MOC or brickfilm. This went against everything I'd had beaten into me by endless mocking and teasing, but these guys proved that the bullies were wrong, and that was a boost I needed. A shame it only came towards the end of my time at secondary school.

The moral of the story's one that adults told me for years but I never listened to: wait it out. Words hurt almost as much as physical abuse (I count my blessings that I only ever had two minor incidents with that) and you can't move past those, but there's always a light on the horizon. Sometimes, you just need night vision goggles. By night vision goggles, I mean patience and to try and be stoic.

And of course, there was always one place I could go where people weren't taking the mick out of me, but I think you can guess where that is mini/smile

Wow, I wrote a lot there. Guess I got carried away...sorry, guys.

BTW Nate, fancy picking a softer topci next week? mini/bigsmile  Just kidding.
"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I've really very rarely been mocked about brickfilming at school and such. And the very few times that it happened, it was by people who are generally thought as a little less respectable in words or opinions. Most other people are either pretty cool with it or quite interested in finding out how it is done and wanting to get involved with ideas/ voice acting.

   Being a brickfilmer has definitely taught me a lot about how to handle criticism of myself and my work, both on the internet and in life. I've gotten really good at identifying what is helpful, constructive criticism to be listened to and taken to heart, and what can be discarded and not listened to.

   I would actually go so far as saying that if all you get is just blind praise and never any sort of critique, you are a poorer filmmaker for it. You're never going to find out where you need to improve in your technique and you wind up just making the same mistakes over and over.

   I'm not saying you need someone to spit in your face and call you idiot (though it can build character and knowledge of what is good and bad criticism), but you have to try and get a healthy balance for yourself. Like, maybe try and ask people "Where do you think I should improve?". You will find that people will have a lot more to say than you think, and you'll learn something new.
Youtube @TheRealSonjira I consider it a personal defeat if my pee is not perfectly clear every time.]

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Most of the people I show my films now think they are pretty cool but at the school I went to for 7th/8th grade I got picked on in general by my classmates and they thought playing with LEGO was for little kids (I did get some clone minifigures from one for free mini/smile ).

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I never received any taunting from non-brickfilmers I know, except in one instance where this one kid I know made a humorous remark: "look at me I make block movies cause I'm a dork, ha ha". But, I knew he was merely kidding around with me, so I laughed along.

Other than that, my peers tend to think it to be very cool.

Have you seen a big-chinned boy?

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I don't deal with it.  I am not ever mocked for what I do with brickfilming.  Not to my face at least.  The people I show my brickfilms are usually impressed and tend to show respect for my ability.

This is probably largely due to the fact that I'm a heliophobe who doesn't get out much. and thus doesn't come into contact with as many people as an average person.

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Most people don't mock me for it, well thats pros because I don't tell them. mini/tongue But half the people I do tell think it's cool, But the other half... My sister from time to time makes fun of me, though when I show her mine she says they're really cool. I lose one friend because of it.. he thought it was uncool and childish. For the rest of the day I was muttering to myself about his jerkish soul. mini/blankexpression

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I've occasionally been nervous about telling people that I brickfilm, but for the most part people think it's cool.

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I, personally, am not one usually chosen by bullies. (I'm 6 foot tall, work out every other day, and know several types of martial arts) However, I've still had harsh words thrown at me, even if in a playful/buddy insult sort of way. Though, none of these really get to me, because I know that at the end of the day, Artists (more specifically GOOD artists, and even more specifically GOOD Directors) make more money than most of the rest of the population. - A friend who works at McDonalds who mocks an aspiring filmmaker is a little ironic, especially if that filmmaker goes on to make it big - or even, at the very least, enter into film festivals.

I'm here to entertain, and thus, whenever I hear harsh words, I can brush them off, knowing that though I may have not entertained one person, there's someone else one click away from discovering one of my brickfilms...

In my opinion, hobbies should be respected. I, someone who "still plays with LEGO," could very easily poke fun at those who make model ships that can't even float, or those who work on collecting little stamps, that are usually much more expensive than what is posted upon them... But, I don't, because they're just like me. When you see that someone has passion for what they do, it's really something remarkable! Several people I know that may procrastinate at work, or on other "harder" projects find tranquility in their hobbies, and are often more excited to animate on a Friday night than to go out and party. With brickfilming, animation, and film in general: these people get to do what they love AS A JOB! - Because of that, you'd think that there would be less mocking and more applauding at such an opportunity. But, alas, things aren't always like this in the world.

Overall, I haven't been mocked outright because of my love for all things LEGO, and Film. (Youtube comments aside) And, even if I was, I've got the whole community of BiM on my side, awaiting my projects, and eagerly aiding a fellow film-maker when I'm in need. And, I'm usually pretty head-strong, so, dealing with some road-blocks is just a matter of driving through back-roads, until I reach what I want - to be a filmmaker. mini/smile

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Yes, I have been mocked because of my brickfilming hobby.  That was all in the olden days though, it's all cool now. 

It was more LEGO in general, not specifically brickfilming.  When I was about 11-13 I was bullied a lot in general by the group of kids I was on swim team with.  When I finished a movie or something I would show a few people and then everyone knew about it and it was just another thing to make fun of and criticize me for.  They mostly made fun of me for "playing with legos [sic]" and that kind of stuff.  That discouraged me a little but eventually I just decided they were stupid so who cares what they have to say. 

When I was about 14 we moved to a different town in Southeast Alaska, now I don't have to put up with them.  For about two years now, I have no problem showing anyone my animations.  Anytime I show them now like before they see it you can see the look in their face..."oh, he plays with LEGO. Um alright..."
I only show it to people I know fairly well though so they expect that.  EVERYONE knows I love superheroes and LEGO, despise most sports, love being inside on my computer, everyone just calls me a nerd or a geek (in a nice way).  So when they hear that I make animations they're not surprised, but perhaps a bit apprehensive.  Once they see them it's always "woah, that's actually really cool!  You really did that?"

Also, from my experience, being able to say I've got 500 subscribers on YT for some reason makes people think a lot more highly of what I do, even if they themselves don't understand or appreciate my films.  A younger brother of one of my friends started brickfilming a little after seeing my stuff so I gave him some help and they all think that's cool and stuff.

So currently, no one mocks my films anymore because everyone actually things it's pretty cool.  They used to but I'm beyond that.  Even if people did still mock me, I honestly think I'd care a lot less now (but that's only because of my extremely pessimistic view of people that I've acquired as a coping mechanism).

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I never experienced mocking because I animate with Lego, but would shrug it.

"None practice tolerance less frequently than those who most loudly preach it."

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers


Wow, what a heartbreaking experience. I'm glad you got through all that and are confident and comfortable with your chosen hobby. Although it is a cliche, it is still true; "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and you are further proof of that.

Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

AlNickelsFilms wrote:

"what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"

I do believe it's, "what doesn't kill you makes you stranger."

"I wear black even when I'm not animating. I'm like a walking funeral parlor."

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Please keep the following request in mind when responding to this thread.

Nathan Wells wrote:

If you are going to participate in this thread, please keep the discussion civil and refrain from pointless jokes, image macros, or “memes.”


Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Sorry. Meme comment removed.
"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

I never said ''I'm playing with LEGO toys''. I just say ''I animate with bricks''... It works, because it's true.

But in other hand, I can't speak for everyone because I'm tall and muscular mini/tongue

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Wow Jampot I'm so sorry to hear you were treated so badly! I would have been your friend! mini/smile

Brickfilming is so much more than merely "playing with legos". You're developing qualities like patience, attentiveness, determination, creativity and diligence that you will carry with you no matter what you do for a living.

And by the way, what do Nathan Wells, David Pagano, Kevin Ulrich and David Pickett all have in common? They all make brickfilms and they're all adults!

Re: Filmmaking & Brickfilming Discussion Week 2: Dealing with the Mockers

Jampot, your comment in the last thread is what prompted me to bring this subject up to Nathen.

Part 1: Walls

I was bullied a lot in elementary school, a lot. I’m not really sure why, probably because I wasn’t the most athletic (although I wasn’t super unathletic, and I grew out of it, I mean I played three varsity sports in high school for crying out loud) and I’m really smart, which can’t really be helped; basically I was bullied for the way that I was. There were a few people who picked on me relentlessly, and it really wore down on me in a way that I wasn’t even aware. I had a group of friends that I’d had since kindergarten, so I wasn’t totally alone, but whenever there was a situation where one person would be alienated (group projects, playground games etc) I was almost always the one left out. As I put up emotional walls to protect myself, it got to the point where I was, and still am, virtually incapable of making friends on my own. Because of the bullying I experienced as a child, I assume subconsciously that no one likes me. My friends all went different ways for highschool, and if it weren’t for the actions of one person at the beginning of freshman year of high school, I would have gone through those four years almost completely alone, instead of with the great friends that I made. But the walls still remain, and now that all my high school friends have split for college, I’m two years in and even though from the outside my life seems great, it’s not because I’m basically unable to function in the society of my generation. The lesson here is that as painful as bullying is, don’t put up emotional walls to protect yourself. Walls don’t just keep out the people who don’t like you, they keep out the people who love you or would love you if they could just get to know you. In the last few years I’ve removed those walls for one person, and it felt great, and I’m trying to remove them entirely, but it’s really hard and emotionally draining, better to never build the walls than have to struggle to tear them down.

Part 2: Better Than Walls

Even though it may seem like it, bullies don’t bully for no reason, they have some sort of motivation, frequently an inferiority complex, or because they don’t understand something about you. People are almost always bullied because they are good at something (frequently this is school, but it doesn’t have to be) or because they are different. But being good at something and being different are really good things. To be different is to be unique, and the fact that each one of us is capable of being unique from the others is part of what makes us human (philosophy!), it’s a great thing to be unique. So if you’re being bullied, chances are that means you’re doing something right. If anyone here is being bullied for brickfilming, that means you’re being singled out for something that makes you different; for being creative, for expressing yourself through stop motion animation, one of the most complex art forms around. You’re doing something with your life, striving to be good at something not many people are good at. The kind of people who actually do things with their free time, such as brickfilming, instead of getting drunk, are the people who accomplish things in life. If you’re bullied for brickfilming or some related activity, try as hard as you can to dispel the feelings of inferiority, which lead to walls, and replace them with the knowledge that you are living a more fulfilling life. If you love something, like brickfilming, and are bullied for it, the most important thing is to never let it go. I watch a lot of people going through life you don’t have anything they are passionate about, and it’s sad. Cling to your passions and never let them go. It may be rough now, but down the line you’ll have something to live your life for, a positive reason to get up in the morning, while your bullies barely slog through the day at some boring job. The people who bullied me are working minimum wage service jobs, and maybe attending community college, while at age 20 I’m working on a way to convert carbon dioxide emissions into methanol for fuel.

Long story short, the things you’re bullied for are usually the things that make you an amazing human being. That thing you’re picked on for is what makes you unique, and as long as you hold on to it, you’re a better person than those that bully you. Don’t build walls; stay open to new people, be proud of your hobby, of the things that make you special. Eventually you’ll meet some people who appreciate those things about you, and those relationships are well worth finding. But you have to stay open and proud about who you are. I know words hurt, but the best thing you can do is just ignore them. I’ve been working very hard to shift my approach to life to just living the life that makes me happy, and ignoring anyone who tries to belittle it. Fulfilment is found in the things that we love, and no amount of disapproval by others should be able to take that away. I wish I could tell that to 10 year old me, but maybe I can tell someone else before they end up like me.

Hmm, I sort of wrote an essay, sorry about that. That’s sort of the stream of consciousness I went through pondering the topic a week ago. I hope some sort of a useful viewpoint/advice came out of that somewhere. mini/smile