10K Club Interview: Alex Storozhuk of Home Alone. McCallister's House!
Alex Storozhuk, aka adwind on LEGO Ideas, has recreated the infamous house from Home Alone! Take a peek into a brick-built version of the McCallister's House and the person who built it here. Be sure to congratulate him in the comments below too!
- Whats your name?
I’m Alex Storozhuk.
- Where are you from?
I’m from Ukraine, I was born in Vinnitsa.
- How old are you?
28 years young but at least twice as young when building LEGO together with my wife!
- What do you do for a living?
I’m struggling to get a PhD degree in medicine. I also work remotely for freight brokerage company.
- What hobbies do you have?
Aside from building LEGO, my wife and I absolutely love taking road trips. We dream of getting a camper one day and exploring even more of the Alps! Also I like fitness, music and enjoy playing the guitar.
- Do you have a personal LEGO portfolio website that you can share with us?
You can follow me on Instagram!
- Have you created any LEGO MOCs (my own creations) that you’re particularly proud of? What is it, why are you proud it and do you have a photo of it?
I really like how my Lifeguard’s Shack turned out, you may check it out here - it’s in “gathering support” phase :)
- How and when did your interest for LEGO come about?
Just like every 90s kid, I loved LEGO a lot, but re-discovered it again not so long ago! All started with a single set - Santa's Workshop (10245) me and my girlfriend (back in those days) bought for 2016-th Christmas. I accidentally saw some pictures of this very cute set and thought that it would be a cool thing to do on Christmas Eve. Since then Winter Village became a very special thing to us (as a married couple now) and an addiction started to grow!
- What is LEGO for you? What does it mean for you? How does it fit in your life? E.g. build, display, meetups, play the games.. or 'just' watch the cartoons.
Having common interests with your couple is priceless! Lego is one of those “bricks” :) It gave us a beautiful tradition and the whole new field for creativeness! So much more than just a toy, it actually unites families and people, this is something I really like about Lego and it’s wonderful community.
- What is your favourite LEGO theme (current or past)? Why? And has any theme inspired your building style or preference in any particular way?
As a kid I remember enjoying Wild West theme! I like current Creator Expert line and Modular Buildings in particular and Winter Village of course.
- What is your favourite official LEGO set? Why?
Don’t make me to choose! ) I like Winter Village Cottage, Old Fishing Store, Parisian Restaurant… let’s just skip it - it’s impossible :)
- What is your favourite LEGO element? Why?
I just really like all kind of minifig utensils and animals :)
P.S. We need a Labrador.
^ Alex and his wife on a trip!
- Is there a LEGO designer (official LEGO designer or fan designer) who you are inspired by and look up to? Who and why?
There are so many talented builders that you literally may discover someone new every day. I really like sets by Mike Psiaki and Jamie Berard, also Andrew Tate does very stylish things and of course kinetic sculptures by JKBrickworks.
- Is there one or more particular LEGO related websites (not official LEGO websites) that you visit often and/or are inspired by?
The Eurobricks forum is a nice place.
About Your Project
- Where did your interest in this particular model come from?
Just as every 90s kid did, I grew up watching this classic (Home Alone) and it takes a very special place in my heart. I can’t even imagine holidays without Home Alone. This movie is very nostalgic and makes those warm childhood memories to come up every time. Last Christmas, we were watching it and had out Winter Village on display, I clearly remember the moment I asked myself - “Why is there no LEGO Home Alone set?”. I thought that it would be a great collaboration and complementarity of brands and I just couldn’t let it go!
- How long was the process of making the project did, and what did you have to research as well. What kind of prep, research and design phases did you go through to produce your creation?
I never knew before I started that you can find the McCallister’s House plan on the web! So I learned the plan both from the open source on the web and the movie itself and then had to figure out how to fit this huge mansion on a baseplate! When I had a plan ready I just started to build it in LDD. I guess it took about a week and then a week or two to have renders completed.
- What special challenges did you face creating the model? What was the most difficult part to recreate?
I’m going to say, the second floor was the most challenging. I was trying to go as close to real house plan as possible and considering it’s scale - it wasn’t that simple. I think it turned out to be pretty recognizable.
- How long did it take to complete the model? Did you finish it fairly quickly, or did it take a long time? And how did the build time compare to the time you spent promoting your Product Idea to reach 10,000 supporters?
I think the first version was done in a week. The thing is that IP projects are a bit easier to promote than non-IP. Home Alone is a well known and beloved classic all over the world, so basically I just had to share it on my social media and then other big pages made a significant part in promotion.
- How did it feel when you reached the magic 10,000 votes and how long did it take?
It was amazing! We even had our celebration cake ready by the time it hit the magic 10k :) It made it in 10 months, which is pretty nice to me!
- Approximately how many LEGO bricks did you use to create your model?
There are 3000 bricks.
- What is your favourite building technique or part/section that you’ve incorporated into your Product Idea?
I really like how kitchen turned out, and of course I love Kevin’s tree house and zip line!
- If you built your model digitally, what software did you use to build and render your model?
I used LDD to build it and then rendered in Studio 2.0.
About LEGO Ideas
- Do you have any useful advice about creating a successful LEGO Ideas project?
I guess my formula would be something like: Idea+Design+Presentation. You’d better make sure all those components are on really high level.
- What (if any) methods did you use to advertise and attract support to your Product Idea?
Social media is a very powerful thing nowadays. I used Instagram mainly and I found there lots of people who helped with promotion. Twitter helped to reach out to Macaulay (The actor who played Kevin) who gladly shared this project!
- What is your favourite LEGO Ideas Product Idea (besides your own of course)? Are there any Product Ideas you think have been overlooked?
House from Up by bramant1, and then something that really deserves a lot more attention is Mechanical Beehive by nasa105!
- What is it about the platform that attracts you? What tips would you give to anyone who is thinking about uploading an idea
This is a great community with a lot of talented people! It feels very cozy :). This platform gave us so many great sets that would probably never happen without it!
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