Lego Adventure 3: Attack of the Giant Guinea Pig
Maxim Hussey wins award with Lego film.PT3M27S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39bnq 620 349 May 31, 2014
Maxim Hussey is possibly the world's thriftiest award-winning filmmaker. With a budget of just $5, the Brisbane schoolboy made a short stop-motion movie called Lego Adventure 3: Attack of the Giant Guinea Pig.
On Saturday, it was crowned best child-made film at the Little Big Shots festival in Melbourne.
The 'giant' guinea pig that wreaks havoc in his award-winning Lego-themed movie. Photo: Karl Quinn
''That $5 bought us the carrot for the guinea pig,'' Maxim says.
''You can actually make a good film without any money.''
Lest anyone suspect him of cashing in on the recent Lego Movie, the 12-year-old he stresses he's been making Lego-based films for seven years. ''The timing was a bit annoying,'' he says of the Warner Bros blockbuster, ''but it was also kind of good because it made more people want to see my film.''
Maxim Hussey revels in his director's glory. Photo: Paul Jeffers
In fact, Maxim was unaware he'd even entered a competition until he won - despite also submitting a film last year. ''I just entered because I love this festival and I think it's great,'' he says.
After a red carpet welcome at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image on Saturday, the young contestants watched a handful of the 105 films in this year's program.
Actor and director Katrina Mathers and children's author and illustrator Graeme Base won best adult-made film with The Gallant Captain, while Belgium's Wouter Bongaerts took the international gong for Mia.
Maxim is particularly thrilled his film was chosen by a panel of peers aged six to 16. Unlike most filmmakers, he shoots all his scenes sequentially and prefers working with animals to humans.
''We didn't have to pay the guinea pig,'' he says. ''We'd just get him to move across the screen by putting a carrot on the other side. He's really the star of the film, so he's been treated to ultimate luxury these past few months.''
As the title makes clear, Maxim's film - an action-comedy with clever use of voiceovers and humour - is the third in a series of Lego-based dramas. Maxim's dream, of course, is to make a full-length feature film with the iconic Danish toy blocks.
The festival runs from June 6-9, with preview screenings on Sunday.