Here at The Producers we spend a LOT of time playing with LEGO and dreaming about one day becoming a Master Builder. You know…the guys that build all those amazing objects and characters out of LEGO. How the devil so they figure out how to do it?? What do you need to study at school to become a Master Builder? How many bricks does it take to make Darth Vader?
Soooooo many questions and who better to ask than LEGO official Master Build Chris Steininger, when we were hanging out in Manchester Arndale Centre and building a giant 9ft Emmet for THE LEGO MOVIE 2 over 2 glorious brick filled days.
Q: How did you become a Master Builder?
Chris: I am a second-generation LEGO Master Builder; my father Dan is also one of the six Master Builders in the world that work for LEGO. I actually started at LEGO on a freelance basis during high school summer vacations. After high school, I did carpentry and wood working/furniture making in Boston. Eventually finding my way back LEGO as a model builder working my way up to a Master Builder.
Q: What would you say is the best part of your job?
Chris: I really enjoy going on Building events, when we build our models in Enfield CT the North American HQ you don’t really see how much people love what we create. Being on an event you see how people are just in awe of these giant LEGO sculptures
Q: What’s been the weirdest or most surreal moment in your career?
Chris: That’s a tough question as our team gets involved in some really amazing projects from Life sized X-Wing fighters assembled in Times Square NYC to building a massive LEGO model of the city of Rio for the 2016 summer Olympics or to building models for the LEGO Movies.
Q: Tell us some behind-the-scenes gossip form the LEGO Movie 2 set!
Chris: So, our team was involved in the building of the live action Apocalypseburg for TLM2 the after we sent the model to Vancouver Canada for the shoot the production team sent out a frantic email asking for us to send whatever space themed models we had hanging around our office, so they could use them as set dressing that was a mad scramble!
Q: What advice would you give to children who may want a career as a builder?
Chris: Art art art, LEGO Master Builders are artist first and foremost as we sculpt with LEGO bricks as someone would sculpt with clay. Creativity is key to what we do we always push the boundaries of what you can do with LEGO so someone who thinks outside the box is also valuable.
Q: What’s the biggest / most complicated build you’ve done and how many bricks were used?
Chris: Life sized X-Wing you could sit in the cockpit it was over 17,000 hours to build weighed over 20x tonnes and took over 5.3 million pieces to complete.
Well there you go – to be part of the magical world of LEGO, and truly test your building techniques (a life-sized X-Wing – wow!), make sure you study art, keep building and experimenting and most importantly of all – let your imagination reign!