Epic Lego Battles Are A Smash On YouTubeBreaking News
tags: film, military history, popular culture, teaching history
One of the biggest complaints about the state of modern war movies is that instead of having a cast of thousands and using practical effects (including models), much of the "action" is created via CGI (computer generated imagery). While there is no denying that in the past 20 years CGI has gotten much better and makes the impossible seem almost real, it still doesn't compare to seeing actual actors charge across a battlefield on the big screen.
CGI may also allow for a more seamless sense of motion that the use of models, but it seems we're still very much in that "uncanny valley" where computer-generated graphics have a quality that is almost lifelike but misses by enough that it seems creepy.
For those who want the old school-stop motion animation there are now some truly impressive "creators" who have utilized Lego (and similar looking) plastic bricks to recreate famous battles and other moments from history, and taken their efforts to YouTube.
It may not be actual soldiers, and Lego may not have the realism of more detailed models but there is simply something fun about what it provides.
Many Lego creators are still happy to create static models, and many of those can be truly impressive in their own right. Yet, it is the small handful of skilled individuals who have combined their knowledge of history with the ability to be both excellent filmmakers and Lego builders whose creations truly stand out!
Among them is Jordan Durrenberger, whose YouTube channel JD Brick Productions, has more than 245,000 subscribers while his most popular videos have been seen more than three million times. He's recreated the D-Day Landings at Omaha Beach – and while it is clearly inspired by Saving Private Ryan – it actually captures the spirit of the battle in a way that is both fun and informative.
Other creations of his include The Battle of Cambrai, the defense of Rorke's Drift during the Zulu War and the Battle of New Orleans. The challenge in these creations is that neither Lego – nor any of its competitors – actually make playsets from the various conflicts, so that has required Durrenberger to get even more creative.
"The vast majority of the pieces I use are Lego, however, for more specialized parts such as guns, helmets, uniforms etc. I'll have to get them from one of the many stores that sell custom molded/printed pieces," Durrenberger explained.
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