Your garden will be deleted

If you remember, some months ago Joshua and I spent a Saturday afternoon designing a Lego garden.

It was the most fun I’ve had with him all year, I think – and just the other week, by sheer coincidence, Josh had the option of designing and building another garden as part of a school project. (Actually it was a competition, but seeing as he’s wont to bursting into tears when he loses at board games we downplayed the competitive element.) And seeing as he and I are fairly au fait with the concept of plastic brick construction, and seeing as I’m hopeless with cardboard and sellotape, and seeing as we’d sort of already done it back in the spring, building another Lego model seemed an obvious choice.

Just to give you an idea, here’s the finished item.

Anyway, that’s not why I popped in this morning. It was decided that photos would serve better than actually trying to take the thing into school, but there was no reason to stop there – we also shot a couple of videos. The first was Joshua talking about the garden and giving a tour in the manner of the design honchos at Lego deconstructing the playsets on the company’s website. I basically let the camera run and prompted him as and when needed, trying to balance the actual content with the footage of him playing with Mr Snail.

Of more interest to Whovians, I hope, is this: we had the idea of the Cybermen stomping all over the place like they did in ‘The Age of Steel’. He also came up with other things he’d like to see on film, which I duly managed to include, but you’ll have to watch the video for that. The first thing we needed was an accompanying mansion, which I built with the help of Thomas and Daniel:

I shot the stills photography over the course of an hour or two – hurried, but we were against a deadline. It was dull and monotonous work but ultimately quite satisfying, even if I had to switch to my mobile towards the end of the process when the camera battery died. Then Josh sat down with me in the afternoon and I talked him through the editing process – the basics of sequencing, the specifics of timing images and then the somewhat laborious job of trawling the web (and my CD collection) for sound effects and music. We put the thing together in a day, which is as fast as I’ve ever produced anything, and while it’s still rough around the edges, it was the first time I’ve ever even attempted a semi-stop-motion / still photostory, so I confess I’m rather pleased with it. And I got to work with my son, and teach him about something I love – and that has to be a good thing.

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