10K Club Interview: Meet Brett Cuviello of The Iron Giant
10K Club Interview: Meet Brett Cuviello of The Iron Giant
This week the 10K Club interview visits sunny California to introduce a talented young builder whose nostalgic project surely brings about many fond memories for fans of the animation. Please give a warm welcome to Brett Cuviello, a.k.a BrettCuv, the creator of the The Iron Giant project.
Please help us congratulate Brett on joining the exclusive LEGO Ideas 10K Club!
- Where are you from?
I am from Westminster, California.
- How old are you?
I am 19 years old.
- What do you study or do for a living?
I am a college student, currently studying illustration.
- What hobbies do you have?
My hobbies include watching movies, reading comic books, drawing, building with LEGO, and hanging out with my friends.
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
My interest in LEGO probably came about around 2003 when I saw my cousin’s Bionicle collection. I spent the next 6 years basically buying every Bionicle set I could get my hands on, as well as the occasional Batman set. More recently, I’ve found themes like Super Heroes and Nexo Knights to be great for modifying and repurposing!
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
A lot of LEGO sets come to mind when I think of my favorite, such as the new 10247 Creator Ferris Wheel, 7590 Woody and Buzz to the Rescue (a great recreation of a classic movie scene), the LEGO Ideas Exo-Suit, 8601 Vakama (my very first LEGO set), and 7962 Anakin Skywalker and Sebulba’s Podracers, but I think my absolute favorite set has to be 76035 Jokerland. That set has everything a comic book fan could dream of: some of Batman’s greatest villains (featuring their own deranged versions carnival rides), Teen Titans minifigures Beast Boy, Robin, and Starfire, a Keaton-style Batmobile, and a Batman minifigure with boot printing. The set is so ridiculously awesome that I think it has to be the coolest LEGO set ever.
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
My favorite LEGO element is probably the Star Wars battle droid torso (30375). I find that piece to be extremely versatile when it comes to building larger characters, as well as greebling larger designs.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
I’ve found reddit.com/r/lego to be a very welcoming environment for people to talk about LEGO and showcase their own builds. I also enjoy visiting thebrickfan.com.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
My interest in this particular model came from the movie it was based on, The Iron Giant. It’s one of the first films I ever saw, it has to be one of the best animated movies of all time. Artistically, everything about the design of the Giant, himself, just screams “iconic” to me, and as I saw more and more Warner Brothers films being adapted one way or another by the LEGO Group, I thought to myself, “this has to happen.” Partially inspired by my own passion for The Iron Giant, and partially inspired by beating the LEGO Group to the punch, I began designing this project as fast as I could.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
For me, the most difficult challenge in creating the model was shaping the torso, and getting the Giant’s chest piece to look right. One of the most difficult parts of the giant to recreate was the proportions of his long, spindly upper-arms and thighs, compared to his thick, cylindrical forearms and calves. Balancing aesthetic accuracy with structural integrity was both challenging, and extremely fun for me.
- How long did it take to complete the model?
It didn’t take me very long at all to complete the first draft of the model. I built it in LEGO Digital Designer Extended in probably about 24 hours, when added together. From there, though, it took me awhile to get it up to LEGO Ideas standards. The funny thing about LDD Extended is that every piece is colored red by default, and I usually don’t bother recoloring anything until I’m done. This model was so large, though, that it probably took me longer to color it than it did to actually build it in the first place.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit stressed out when I hit 10,000 supporters. I had another update planned, and I was in the process of building the Giant with real LEGO bricks. Although I’ve finally been able to accept and celebrate my achievement, I’m still building the real Giant for all the great supporters who have asked to see it. I reached my goal in about a month-and-a-half, which I still find hard to believe.
^ Banana Guy is no match for The Iron Giant!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
I believe the model consists right now of approximately 1900 bricks. A larger LEGO Ideas project, for sure, but I felt it necessary to capture the Giant’s scale when compared to a regular minifigure. I probably redesigned the thing 3 or 4 times from scratch to both bring the piece-count down, as well as refine any parts of the build I found to be excessive.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
Well, I’m not sure that anything I have to say on this topic will be very useful. I feel like I’m just a victim of great circumstances, bringing this idea to fruition a little before its 20th anniversary. It’s a nostalgic project, and no one’s immune to a sucker-punch from nostalgia. I guess if I had one piece of advice to really give, it’s that you should design something you haven’t seen done before. Think outside the box, and really work your imagination into the build. Put time and effort into your project, and make sure it shows that. As far as gaining support goes, it doesn’t hurt to email editors of pop-culture news websites.
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas project (besides your own of course)?
Honestly, I’m going to have to go with Fancy_Sir’s Project: Megalodon. Every time I look at that thing, I’m speechless. It’s incredible. Sharks in giant, weaponized exo-armor...I just...It’s amazing.
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea?
I love that LEGO Ideas gives regular people a voice in what might become an actual LEGO set. To anyone thinking of uploading an idea, put your heart into it. Build something you love, and make sure that effort shines through your finished project. If you do that, then you can’t go wrong.