Brickfest 2002


What a trip. A ten hour bus ride brought me, Kyle, and AJ to Arlington, Virginia where we holed up at the Holiday Inn (on the same road as George Mason University). Doug James was right down the hall-and it was awesome to finally meet him in person. (Midnight Ride was done hundreds of miles apart.)

M3 Friday started it all. It seemed more of a set-up day. There were not a lot of people (as compared to Saturday), and the really large sets (Hoth) were being pieced together. Doug and I had our animation seminar 1-3 on Friday afternoon, and while we gave some tips on animation (walking, Painter5) it ended up being a theatre for our favorite brick films. We also showed the winners from the Historical Fiction Contest including our own Midnight Ride-and the group loved it! What a wonderful thing to get real live audience feedback. I wasn't able to tape our seminar, but I was able to tape both animation events.
On Friday night the Star Wars trailer contest commenced. Jay Silver, Nick Maniatis, and Paul Hollingsworth and Sarah Stinchcombe walked away with awards for Friday nights festival.
After the first day-I had seen seven two-foot tall minifigs, a bunch of cool MOCs, some robots in an arena getting prepared to fight, and my name and Mystic Studios were emblazoned on Lego Bricks.



Saturday, Kyle, AJ, and I woke up early and took the Metro to Arlington National Cemetery. I've seen plenty of pictures-but the amount of graves seen first hand is unbelievable. After the cemetery, we went to the Arlington National Zoo. We didn't see any pandas, but AJ was able to fill a whole roll of film with other animals. During this time, the animation lunch was commencing-and I missed it. Oh well, maybe next year. When we got back to GMU, there were a couple events going on and I decided before the Animation Festival to stock up on beards for Operation: Annihilate. Doug showed me that he had gotten a Nestle Quik rabbit, and I just had to have one for myself too. So, at the entire fest I ended up spending a grand total of twenty dollars.

REBEL BLOCKADE RUNNER AND ME By then, the Animation Festival was about to start, and I took my seat toward the rear so I could tape everything. The festival went as expected. Macabre Manor got awkward laughs and a groan during the kitty slaughter scene. It was the only real different reaction from the Brickfest crowd. Of course, Nate Burr won Audience Choice for the "Clocktower Trilogy" and Greg Perry won the Conference Organizer's Award for "Evolution of Creation." I am glad Macabre Manor was screened in front of a large audience-now I know what people don't want.

Right before the Animation Festival, the organizers held the door prize drawing. You were automatically eligible to win a prize when you registered. When you got your name brick, on the back was a four digit number. A smaller blue brick (with the same number) was placed in a tub when you registered. They pulled my number out for the Rebel Blockade Runner-the largest prize for that night. I'm just glad the four people they called before me were not there :P



I had a great time. It was good to sit down and chat with Doug face to face over the course of the weekend. This was my first trip I got to plan by myself, and everything went better than planned. Was I to give any constructive criticism about the fest-it would be for Todd Thuma to get a better desktop system (he was using a laptop), or require everyone to submit animations by videotape. There were many sluggish plays, downloads, codec problems, a reboot-and it did seem like everything was done at the last minute. I didn't see much of Brickfest outside of the animation events (that's the main reason I was there) but in walking around-I saw some huge train displays and an amusement park ride that worked (I didn't see it running, but it was plugged into the wall). There were castles, and tons of happy brick enthusiasts to talk about our dementia of the little plastic bricks.

Official Brickfest Website
Jason Rowoldt, Brickfilms