Every now and then we cross paths with youngsters, quite passionate about LEGO. Tomas du Preez is one of these talented youngsters heading for a very creative future in MOC building and film making.
Tomas is currently 14 years old and already an avid MOC builder. He takes his hobby one step further and combines it with stop motion animation. His first introduction to LEGO was around 6 years of age. He jokes that he initially didn’t like LEGO, mistakenly thinking that he was supposed to stick to the instructions. He realises now how wrong he was!
One of his first sets was the “Off-road Fire Rescue” set and rapidly lead to collecting more CITY themed sets over the next 4 years. In 2016 he was introduced to the Star Wars theme. He remembers his first set being the X-Wing Microfighter and a year later, he got the Naboo Starfighter and his collection started growing from there. This sparked the interest to begin building LEGO MOCs.
One of the first MOCs he built was a Star Wars Low Altitude Attack Transport (LAAT), leading to his first proper MOC, which was a scene from Star Wars – The Last Jedi, the Battle of Crait. It took him five days to build and even included custom vehicles. Tomas took quite a lot of inspiration from “Krisproductions” and “Solid Brix Studios” on YouTube and tried copying the MOCs he saw.
On his 13th birthday, he had the opportunity to visit the pick-a-brick wall in Menlyn. He bought himself a small cup, filled to the brim with pieces he never knew existed. Since that moment, his MOC builds started improving tenfold.
From a really young age, Tomas developed an interest in stop-motion animation. Through shows like “Bob the Builder”, “Shaun the Sheep” and “Lunar Jim” he started to feel a passion for film making. After many experiments and failed attempts, Tomas created his first proper stop-motion movie about two robbers robbing a bank and miserably failing at it. To date, he’s completed four stop-motion movies while he has nine other work-in-progress projects. One of these projects is called “Summons”, a poem by Robert Francis. After matriculating, He dreams of becoming an actor, Special Effects artist and editor in the film industry.
Tomas states that he has no specific process making his stop-motion animation films. Inspiration strikes from all over – it could be an event from history, a scene from Star Wars or even a previous MOC he worked on. He assembles the movie set on a desk in his room, using two white fluorescent desk lamps and a Canon 450 camera. Most visual effects are achieved on set while filming. Tomas prefers Filmora9 when he edits while finding royalty-free music from sites online.
Tomas plays Minecraft in his free time as it’s very similar to LEGO. He also plays around with Lego Digital Designer (LDD) building digital MOCs with pieces he doesn’t have access to at the moment. He’s also fond of adapting his clone trooper minifigs to resemble characters from the TV show “The Clone Wars.”
For Tomas, LEGO is so much more than just a toy. It has become a way through which he expresses himself. From BlockBlaze, we wish him well on his film making journey and look forward to many more of his productions.
- Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/blockblaze
- Zapper: https://zapper.com/url/P9uKPkCjJP
- Tomas’ channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDmLOzVll-kY6UTAamFP8jQ
Recognised LEGO® User Groups (South Africa)