Watch: Dylan, who we support in Lincoln, creates an intricate animation about safety – using only Lego!
An individual supported by Lifeways creates stop-motion animations using his extensive Lego collection – and wants to show how the plastic bricks and figures can help make informative (and at times humorous) safety videos.
Dylan is in his fifties. He lives in his own home in Lincoln, and has received support from Lifeways for over 25 years.
Back in the eighties, when he was a boy living in a children's care home, Dylan first became interested in Lego when it was introduced to him as a form of therapy.
Then, over a decade ago, Dylan says he “rediscovered” the joy of building with Lego.
Caption: Dylan speaks to a enthusiast about his Lego creations at the BrickLincs show in October last year.
“I've continued the hobby ever since,” he says.
Like many Lego beginners, Dylan started out making sets, working off the instructions. “Then, I started to create and build my own custom sets which I designed or modified,” he adds.
From there, Dylan then started building Lego sets for his stop-motion videos.
After a few practice shoots, Dylan built a small studio in his lounge, with a blue background for the ‘sky’, and an enormous green Lego base board for the ‘earth.’
He then shoots the animations with a camera on a tripod, lighting the scene with a bright daylight bulb.
Caption: Lights, camera, Lego! Dylan sets up his studio in his lounge for his stop-motion animations.
Videos range from stories – such as the story of the three little pigs, told with bricks – to an alternative Star Trek trailer, or simply a demonstration of Lego soldiers marching.
Making animations with Lego is a painstaking process.
Dylan’s stop-motion animation process uses a filmmaking technique where the objects – in this case, Lego pieces or characters – are moved by his hand in frame-by-frame increments.
When played back on video, the objects appear to have independently moved. To add dialogue, Dylan uses auto-generated voiceovers, putting everything together with an editing software.
“Some of the stop motion videos take a full weekend to create,” says Dylan.
Dylan’s stop-motion Lego videos aren’t all just for fun.
His latest animation features a suburban scene where the idyllic, plastic serenity is interrupted when a Lego-figurine cyclist is hit by a blocky passing car.
“He is not breathing. I’m going to perform CPR, starting with chest compressions 30 times,” says Dylan’s brick-made bystander, before going on to revive the stricken cyclist.
Dylan doesn’t only make stop-motion animations with Lego.
As shown in the images in this article, he also builds large, intricate static displays, including a town high street, featuring shops, a pharmacy, town hall, airport, and train station; a football match, complete with dozens of figurine fans sitting in open-air stands, and a pirate ship circled by sharks.
To display his creations, Dylan regularly attends Lego shows, including the local BrickLincs show in October last year.
When he’s not busy building Lego, Dylan volunteers as an ‘expert by experience’ to help deliver training on autism to our Lifeways support workers in the area.
Dylan ensures his support team are also involved with his hobby.
“I make custom Lego figures, sometimes of my staff members,” he says.
Awesome work, Dylan – and thank you for sharing your safety animation with us!
Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.
We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions.
Our 11,000 colleagues currently support almost 5,000 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales.
Find out more about how we change people's lives at: www.lifeways.co.uk
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