The film club was just getting to work on their Lego movie when Batman came out of nowhere and started taking out all sorts of bad guys. A punch here, an attack with a sword there, a swing of a bicycle, and BAM! The hero wins and the class rejoices.
This all plays out in the club's short stop-motion Lego movie, which was shown after a screening of The Lego Batman Movie at the Carmel International Film Festival on October 19. The festival's co-founder wanted to demonstrate how a film like Lego Batman inspires young people to animate. The feature film's director, Chris McKay, was at the screening and talked to the students about how they went about making their short.
Guided by English teacher Charlie Dorf, the club's 15 sixth- and seventh-graders spent two to three weeks coming up with the concept and writing the script, then shot the whole movie in a weekend. "We started out wanting to do something dark, but then we just decided to go with comedy-slash-darkness," said Owen, who directed the short. He said it was all about teamwork: The students took everyone's ideas for the movie and then mashed them all together. "That's exactly how it works in Hollywood," McKay laughed.
The students got to ask McKay questions, too. How big were the Lego sets? When did he make his first movie? Did he get to fist bump Will Arnett?
McKay signed autographs for the students before the film, including quotes from Lego Batman and words of encouragement like "Keep making movies." It was a big deal for the students to see their work on the big screen. As one of them said, "I feel famous."
(Top photo by Michelle Borgomini)