Behind the Toys

posted by / Blogs / June 15, 2010

Backhand Lego snap by Karim Rejeb

Backside vertical Lego snap by Karim Rejeb at one of his many secret spots.

Interview by Matt Skenazy

A week ago, when we posted this stop-motion surf animation, we didn’t know it would blow up like it did. The ensuing interest compelled a get-to-know-ya call to one Karim Rejeb, the Lego enthusiast/filmmaker responsible for the video. (After this, we promise — no more surfing toys.)

SURFING Magazine: Where are you from?
Karim Rejeb: I’m from the Southwest of France. Born in Holland to a Dutch mom and Tunisian dad.

How did you get the idea for the video?
Like many of us, I loved to play with the Lego dudes as a kid; I just kept doing it as I grew older. Making the video was just an excuse. As soon as I don’t surf, I need to get my toys shacked.

How long did it take you to make it?
All together with the recording of the soundtrack and all, it took me about three months, with some intense parts working day and night. My good friend Matthieu “Matty Blues” Armengo made the last track, “Like in the Summer Time” — which is a hit!

What was the hardest part?
The hard part is for my little family. My girlfriend has to endure that I’m just a big kid and sneak my son’s toys. Other ways: climbing up the dune, giving the Lego a five millimeter push, running down, making a photo, climbing up again, giving it a five millimeter push, running down, shooting it, climbing…I need approximately 15 shots for one second of film. That’s the way of stop-motion. I mostly work alone so it’s a lot of up and downs by the end of the day.

Sounds tedious. Have you made other stop-motion films before?
Yeah, I made “My Toys” last year. Had a few awards for it in France and Spain.

So when’s the next one come out?
I can’t wait to start the next episode. I want to bring it to a new level, more fluid and with more tricks. On a toy’s scale the world is so big and there are so many secret spots with beautiful scenery to film.

You used some pretty classic surf movie angles. Did you study other surf films to make sure you had all the angles covered?
Oh yes I did. I watched almost every film from the 1970’s. Brian Conley is definitely one of my heroes—I was hooting all through My Eyes Won’t Dry. I like films that bring up something new, a new vision. I like watching things under different angles to grasp the subtleties of things.

What’s your day job?
I’m a concrete skate parks builder. I work for C.W.S.P. That’s my brother’s company. It’s a tough job, to be honest, pretty heavy, but very creative and interesting. At the moment we’re building a snake run in Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast of France.

The clip that started it all:

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