Imagine if the Lego movies had been captured frame by frame, put together via painstaking stop-motion animation. BrickBrosProductions consists of a pair of brothers, Matthew and Paul Bentler, from Saskatchewan, Canada, who do basically just that.
They have been making Lego movies or “brickfilm” since 2008, when they were just 9 and 7 years old, respectively.
While their early videos didn’t receive much attention, their YouTube channel now has nearly 165,000 subscribers, with some of the videos reaching over 9 million views!
The siblings do impressive work in these videos, blurring the lines between the Lego world and our own reality with videos like “Lego in Real Life 2,” which displays the struggle of a young man making an egg for breakfast and finding each egg he cracks has Lego inside.
Where did Matthew and Paul learn these skills? How did they achieve this level of success? It all started with a trip to a friend’s house.
Intro to Brickfilm
Matthew and Paul’s friend introduced the young boys to new ideas on how to build with Lego. He got them creating without instructions and replicating sets they didn’t own with the pieces they had.
Later that day, their friend showed them a brickfilm on YouTube—that moment changed everything for them.
“We were so captivated by the characters moving on their own, and seeing Lego pieces that were so familiar to us come to life,” Matthew told Humanity. “We had seen stop-motion movies, but they had nowhere near the effect and appeal to us that these Lego movies had.”
So, the brothers started creating their own brickfilms based off of popular franchises like Spiderman and Star Wars. Unfortunately, though, those old Lego films have been lost to time.
“They never saw the light of day due to computer crashes, not knowing how to edit and save properly in Windows Movie Maker, and just plain laziness!” Matthew said.
Still, those early experiments paved the way for much greater content years later.
BrickBrosProductions is Born
It wasn’t until October 2014 that Matthew and Paul decided to finally take a chance and start a YouTube channel. They began by buying a few Lego sets from Toys “R” Us and doing speed builds of them on camera.
“The production value was horrendous compared to our videos now, but back then, it was groundbreaking. We had just made a YouTube video,” Matthew said.
A couple of months later, they started releasing their first stop-motion videos. Teamwork played a huge part in making these early brickfilms come together. Matthew would come up with the ideas for each video, and Paul would flesh them out.
That summer, they planned out a Lego Western, which was uploaded in February 2015. At that point, the most popular video on their channel had only around 2,000 views, but the Western grew their channel views exponentially.
“The Lego Wild Western seemed to grow at a much faster rate, and reached 50,000 views, which was crazy!” Matthew said.
Hoping to keep the momentum going, the brothers planned their next batch of videos. Since they were homeschooled, they had a lot of time to prepare, which worked in their favor.
Over the next few years, the channel’s view count grew greater and greater. In May 2017, they released a religious brickfilm that garnered over 9 million views!
From that video came another idea which spawned a recurring series for the channel, one that would be covered all over the internet from CNET to Mentalfloss.
Lego in Real Life
The religious video that BrickBrosProductions released back in May 2017 involved a large block of bricks that looked like a wooden plank. The siblings thought it would be cool to release a video where they used stop-motion to push the plank through a table saw like a real hunk of wood.
“But we put that thought on the shelf (literally and figuratively) and decided later on that we would make a Lego breakfast video,” Matthew said.
That idea became “Lego in Real Life,” which depicted a man fixing breakfast with all of the food replaced by Lego bricks. The video initially received more than 10 million views and was covered by all sorts of media outlets.
Since then, a YouTube glitch has forced the brothers to upload the video again, but even the new re-uploaded version proved a viral success, with over 1 million views to its name.
The duo has since released two sequels to this video with “Lego in Real Life 3,” finally incorporating the table saw idea they had back in 2017. In just two weeks, the video received nearly 1.5 million views!
There’s some truly impressive animation and craftsmanship in each of these videos and it’s clear that Matthew and Paul have learned a lot over the years.
A big part of their improvement came from a film camp, which Matthew attended for two summers in a row, taught by professional filmmaker Tom Simes.
“That really sparked my interest in film and the more technical side of it. I really enjoyed it, and Mr. Simes was an excellent teacher,” Matthew said.
At just 19 and 16 years old, respectively, Matthew and Paul have proven themselves phenomenal filmmakers and we can’t wait to see what they produce in the future!
Lego is such an amazing toy that can be enjoyed by people of any age, gender, race, or religion—and even people without any hands!
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This article was originally published on Humanity.