Put something up on Twitter, and you never know where you might end up. For 14-year-old Preston Mutanga, he ended up animating a scene for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Mutanga had uploaded his LEGO remake of the Across the Spider-Verse trailer to Twitter on 2 January and caught the attention of producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord. The entire trailer was shot-for-shot in the style of LEGO blocks and impressed Miller and Lord who previously worked together on The LEGO Movie.
I recreated the entire Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse trailer in LEGO! @philiplord @chrizmillr @terry12539 @LEGO_Group @SpiderVerse #LEGO #SpiderManAcrossTheSpiderVerse #animation #Blender3d pic.twitter.com/kYY19go7Fc— LegoMe_TheOG (@FG_Artist) January 3, 2023
“We found out that it was a 14-year-old kid who made it and we were like, ‘This looks incredibly sophisticated for a nonadult, nonprofessional to have made,” Miller told The Times. “It blew us all away, including some of the best animators in the world.”
Mutanga left such a big impression on the filmmakers that when the team decided they wanted a scene in Across the Spider-Verse set in a LEGO universe, there was no question that Mutanga would be the one to do it.
“The LEGO Movie is inspired by people making films with LEGO bricks at home,” added Lord. “That’s what made us want to make the movie. Then the idea in Spider Verse is that a hero can come from anywhere. And here comes this heroic young person who’s inspired by the movie that was inspired by people like him.”
Mutanga said he began animating as a kid after his father introduced the 3D software Blender to him. He also watched a lot of YouTube videos and taught himself some of the skills. His dream is to be a full-time animator one day.
“I adored the first movie and was so hyped for the second one, so getting to work with the people who actually made this masterpiece was honestly like a dream,” said the 14-year old.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now showing in theatres. Read our review here.