50 Years of LEGO: Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon Time-Lapse Video



Here are several evenings of my life condensed into 3:38 of time lapse footage as I assemble the “Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon LEGO set, the largest yet sold, with over five thousand individual elements.

My thanks to Matt Goodell for cutting me a great deal on this set. It was even better than new, since he even sorted out all the pieces for me. Thanks also to Judson “Cicada” Cowan for letting me use the track “Earth’s Assault on the Enemy A.I.,” one of my favorite tracks of 2007. Finally, thanks to Brian Lam and Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo who had the idea first but were kind enough to give me permission to run my version before theirs to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Thanks, everyone!

I captured one frame out of every 150. It’s a great set; much more fun to put together than the giant Star Destroyer. Far fewer repetitive sections. Now the ultimate question: keep it on my shelf to scare potential dates, sell it, or press its parts into service to build more ships of my own design?

(Don’t miss: My snazzy sweatpants with the hole in the knee, then my realization that I have a hole in the knee after, like, a day of filming.)

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19 Responses to 50 Years of LEGO: Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon Time-Lapse Video

  1. Steiny says:

    I have the UCS Star Destroyer ( rudimentary photo build log here: http://steiny.futariba.com/lego/ ) and have been debating ever since it appeared for pre-order whether or not to get the Falcon as well. I certainly hear you about the repetitiveness of the SD, but this looks way more enjoyable. Over Aus$1000 including postage is still a fair whack in the hip pocket… decisions decisions!

  2. Anonymous says:

    hmm, not sure where you got 18 min from. I didn’t really check the math but I got something more like 9 hours.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “I captured one frame out of every 150″ So going by the bases that he shot at 30fps, 3mins 38s = 218s * 30fps = 6540f * 150 = 981,000f / 30 = 32700s / 60 = 545m /60 = 9.08 Hours.

    To me it seems that would take longer, but then again I’m not to coordinated with Legos

    • Joel Johnson says:

      Yeah, I tried to work out the math, too, and it seems short to me as well. I know that some footage got dropped by iMovie. (I’m not sure why, but it tended to clip stuff at the ends.) So that that could be part of it. But I’d have guessed almost 2x that much time to actually build it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What kind of camera and software did you use to make this time lapse video? I want to do one too.

    • Joel Johnson says:

      I used a Canon HV20 and iMovie HD, but you could have used any camera. (This is actually shot in HD and then scaled down to web sizes.) Nothing to it, really, once I figured out how to prevent iMovie from crashing. (Hint: Pray a lot.)

  5. Dustin Driver says:

    Amazing work! Now you definitely need to take it apart and start experimenting with the parts. Just think of all the possibilities . . . That is, after all, what LEGO is all about.

  6. naggs says:

    love the music, DL all the other tracks by that artist

  7. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Batu: that line would appeal to the women you date? Back in my dating days, it would have sent me straight back out the door.

    A guy who built a Millennium Falcon out of Legos and thought it was cool? No problem. One who built that, then tried to do an “I’m so suave” routine about it? Loser.

  8. strider_mt2k says:

    Oh man that was GREAT!

    -and look at how Lego brings together different Tech Blogs!
    I’m sure Jesus’s will be awesome too.

    Thanks for bringing this to us!

  9. Anonymous says:

    awesome. i must say i like the blues better than the yellows.


  10. dculberson says:

    That thing is huge! And awesome.

    I love that song, too.

  11. mdhatter says:

    Oh, that one is definitely a keeper. Just imagine your grandson getting it appraised on “Antiques Roadshow 2100″…‘and I have an archive of the entire “blog” he ran, including a primitive fileshare video of the construction’

    also, the ‘yellows’ taste terrible. Try the dark red ones.

  12. arkizzle says:

    well, i can’t say i saw even one elephant. let alone five thousand individual ones..

    nice lego though :)

  13. Anonymous says:

    You have officially earned the right to use the pickup line: “Hey baby, wanna see my LEGO 50th anniversary collector’s edition Millenium Falcon?”

  14. batu b says:

    hmmm….lego AND star wars? I think it’s cool, but what happens when you reflect on the sentimentality of your nostalgia coupled with the indulgent focus required to build such a thing? (If your date’s a smart one, you may just save it with such a conversation!)

  15. A New Challenger says:

    Good job on the video. I need to listen to both Technology Crisis I & II again

  16. Anonymous says:

    how many hours did you log on this? .. i did the math assuming you were shooting 30frames a second and only came up with just over 18 minutes.. im assuming that you either shot at a diffrent frame rate lost frames in the downscaling or didnt include all footage… or a combo of all ..

  17. celia says:

    A nice large framed photo of it prominently displayed would probably do just as well to scare off potential dates, and then you’d only have to decide between the last two options. (for added scaribility, I suggest making the frame out of legos )

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