The swooshing of Lego spaceships is a time honored tradition that has it’s roots (for most people) in the carefree days of childhood when nothing was better than running around like a sugared-up jackass with your favorite space fighter making engine and laser gun noises. As teens and adults, most people limit their swooshing to hastily taken still photos where the greatest variable seems to be facial contortions and wardrobe. Indeed, some artistic souls, like Graybandit2000 have mastered the art form to the point where it seems little innovation is possible or even necessary. I’m not a swooshing man myself (I have a face made for radio), but I can appreciate a good swoosh when I see one.
I’m not sure who was the first builder to apply the concept to video, but maybe one of you will educate me in the comments. Swoosh videos became an all too brief fad a few years ago and most example seemed to be directly associated with the oft discussed SHIPtember. Indeed, the practice became so popular that even the tribe of notoriously humorless train-guys tried to get in on the action, but as usual, they didn’t quite…get it.
By and large, swoosh videos are pretty uninspired, shaky-cam affairs that are sort of instantly forgettable. This is sad when you take into account all the comedic and auditory advantages video has to offer. I think the collected works of Monty Python alone would provide nearly endless inspiration to would-be directors, but most people refuse to apply the same creativity to the videos as they do to their Lego models. Even when the creators get the music right, the results are frequently out of frame, out of focus and ultimately out of bounds. One enterprising builder had the foresight to bring a trampoline into the mix and yet the final product still managed to disappoint. I don’t think you can really maximize the value of a trampoline without the entire affair ending in injury or some form of disaster. Most of the videos seem to feature teenagers literally running around in bucolic settings, with a death-grip on their precious SHIPs.
For my money, the greatest swoosh video to date, is 2013’s simply titled SWOOSH, by Jacob Unterreiner. Jacob seems to have dropped off the map in the last year or so, which is a shame because he was really hitting his stride as a builder. Even though I’m pretty sure he and I shared some unkind words at some point (no doubt my fault), I always enjoyed his work immensely. The model he’s clutching, PHOENIX, is worth a look too, it’s pretty rad and has some great color blocking. While we wait for Jacob’s triumphant return to the scene, let’s enjoy the king of all swooshing videos and pause to consider this underrated and underdeveloped sub-genre of the hobby.
Feel free to include your favorite swooshing still shots or videos in the comments.