14-year-old Preston Mutanga from Toronto, Canada, secured a role as an animator on the highly successful film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” after LEGO recreation. Mutanga’s rebuilt the film’s trailer using LEGO blocks and caught the eyes of Chris Lord and Phil Miller, known for their work on “The LEGO Movie.”
His outstanding talent and dedication impressed the industry professionals, leading to an opportunity of a lifetime.
From LEGO Recreation to Animation Stardom
Mutanga’s LEGO remake of the “Across the Spider-Verse” trailer, uploaded to Twitter on January 2, quickly gained recognition. Lord and Miller, avid Twitter users and familiar with LEGO-inspired sequences, were captivated by Mutanga’s creation. Coincidentally, they were in the process of incorporating a LEGO universe scene into the new film and decided to approach Mutanga for his remarkable skills.
LEGO: An Unprecedented Opportunity
Miller in amazement revealed, “We found out that it was a 14-year-old kid who made it, and we were like, ‘This looks incredibly sophisticated for a nonadult, nonprofessional to have made.'” Mutanga, who had been obsessed with animation since childhood and self-taught through YouTube videos, spent several weeks remotely animating the LEGO sequence for “Across the Spider-Verse.”
A Collaborative Journey
Despite the geographical distance, Mutanga and Miller connected through video call every other week. Miller provided detailed feedback and monitored Mutanga’s progress, guiding him through the intricacies of professional animation. The experience taught Mutanga the importance of feedback and the extensive revisions involved in the creative process.
Inspired by Heroes
Lord highlighted the film’s underlying themes, saying, “‘The LEGO Movie‘ is inspired by people making films with Lego bricks at home. That’s what made us want to make the movie. Then the idea in ‘Spider-Verse’ is that a hero can come from anywhere.” Mutanga expressed this notion as a heroic young person who draws inspiration from the very movie that took inspiration from creators like him.
A Dream Realized
Currently attending high school, Mutanga has taken a significant step toward reaching his career aim of becoming a full-time animator. He expressed his astonishment, saying, “I adored the first movie and was so hyped for the second one, so getting to work with the people who actually made this masterpiece was honestly like a dream.”
Preston Mutanga’s incredible talent, passion, and dedication to animation, propelled him from recreating a trailer shot-for-shot in LEGO style to a role as an animator on “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”
His story is a testament to the boundless possibilities that can arise when creativity, perseverance, and recognition converge. As Mutanga’s journey continues, audiences eagerly await his future contributions to animation.