Derrick has an explosive surprise for Alex and Alice. This is the first brickfilm I made in over five years, since 2008's 30 Years: The Story of the Minifigure. I primarily made it as a test to stretching my animating muscles and to test out the new camera and software I was using.


Directed, Animated, Written and edited by
Nathan Wells
Nathan Wells as Alex, Derrick
Sound Effects
  • alienistcog
  • cmusounddesign
  • jakobthiesen
  • jasonlon
  • pauliep83
  • Cameras: Canon T3i DLSR
  • Capture software: Dragonframe 3.5
  • Editing software: Vegas Studio
  • Microphone: Turtle Beach Ear Force X12 Headset
  • Frames per second: 15
  • Production duration: Fall 2013

Behind the Scenes

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The wrecking ball crashes through the wall

Technically, Derricking Ball is the first brickfilm I’ve released since returning from my 5-year hiatus. I was about halfway through the production of Alex and Derrick: Five Years Later, filming with a Logitech Quickcam 9000, when I decided I definitely wanted to return to the brickfilming hobby. I quickly acquired a Canon T3i DLSR, some Nikon Nikkor prime lenses and Dragonframe. Since this was all unfamiliar territory to me, I decided to make a very quick animation test to get used to the equipment and software. At the time, Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball music video was just starting to fade from internet meme culture, and so I decided to make my test into one of my most derivative videos (only topped, perhaps, by Nyan Unikitty, released later).

Derrick is ready for his close-up
Derrick is ready for his close-up

The script was a breeze and I didn’t storyboard. A single set was built, and animation took place in a single day. The wrecking ball was suspended on a simple geared LEGO Technic rig, with the chain hidden behind this transparent bar part. The transparent bar was obscured enough by the chain so that I didn’t have to remove it in post-production. During the breaking wall animation, parts of the broken wall were held in place with sticky-tack. I always secured the wall parts to either the back wall, the wrecking ball, or the rails in front, so I never had to erase any rigs in post-production. The bursting fire hydrant was a last-minute addition. I wanted to have a sound playing over the quick end credits, and decided a burst water pipe would be funny.

Though released before Five Years Later, Derricking Ball is chronologically set after Five Years Later. It was a fun little short to make, even if the entire premise was derivative and dated.