5th Annual Giant Robot Fighting Tournament

Submitted for your approval, the long awaited product of the 2010 GameCity LEGO Animation Workshop.

SYF/GameCity LEGO Animation Workshop 2010 from Spite Your Face on Vimeo.

This is our second year in a row doing the workshop for GameCity festival in Nottingham, which is a free public event where kids could drop in and try their hand at animating. The workshop was very different this year, with far greater numbers attending and a change in tactic for how we proceeded. Like last year, we still had some little stars who could have been left to make a whole film themselves, but there were still more children looking to add their creations into the mix. This demanded something close to a narrative, something better resembling an overall plan than last years unbridled stream of consciousness. Both approaches have their merits, but something had to be done to accommodate the sheer volume of zigurats and giant robots.

The logical solution according to my head, and the best way to house this miscellany of goliaths, was to channel Yukito Kishiro. And so we present the 5th Annual Giant Robot Fighting Tournament (don't look for tournaments one through four, we made that up). Quite whether that's a tournament of fighting Giant Robots, or a tournament where Giant Robots are fought, is not entirely clear. Certainly the main antagonist (he's the antagonist, btw) seems to just be a guy in Judo pants.

The 'story' developed over the three and a half days, equal parts youthful contribution and creative interpretation. The finalé for example came in stages; one girl contributed the mummies, who were instantly added to the chief roster, then another boy dictated that their mode of attack be singing. Finally, it was my own destructive assertion that the remainder of the LEGO be poured onto the guys head (from a sonically induced fourth dimensional meta-portal, if it isn't perfectly obvious) , providing a spectacular conclusion to both the film, and the event itself. The poignant (poignant) juddering hair-piece in the final shot, is pure serendipity.

It's also worth mentioning that we ran out of LEGO on the third day. The pile you see poured out at the beginning of the film, is but a third of what TLG contributed - but the children of Nottingham made short work of it!

Music comes courtesy of Rebecca Mayes (yes, that Rebecca Mayes) she of musical games reviews for Escapist and GamePeople. Rebecca actually composed the music for another, thematically similar project running along side ours at GameCity, in which she and Adam 'best game on the iPhone' Saltsman developed a game in three days. Both projects came from ideas submitted by children, so a suitably playful score developed that prove successful with both projects.

Finally apologies to anyone involved who can't find their creations in the final film. We've tried to document everything and there are more photos on the GameCity flickr stream. You can also find and link to our official host of the film, and the YouTube version.