Steveston SalmonFest 2021 Behind the Scenes – The Bullhead Derby

Hey there fans of fish and fun! What does the film industry have in common with a fisherperson? The reels of course!

Welcome to yet another behind-the-scenes post about our stop-motion Lego video for the Steveston Salmon Festival 2021. You can watch it right here.

Today we’re covering the winner of the Bullhead Derby, on the houseboat float. While we had a bit of fun with this one, it is indeed based on a real event that happens annually. I can’t find a current page to link to, so I’ll have to summarize.

Here’s a bullhead! It’s a kind of catfish. They come in several varieties, and this is a Brown Bullhead. Bullhead derbies are somewhat common across BC. In the Steveston event, only senior citizens and children under 12 may compete, to mostly exclude the professional anglers. We’re not sure about little Tiffany from our video. I think what she’s caught here can safely be called a ‘Whopper.’

In one previous, glorious yesteryear, the Steveston Bullhead Derby was won by our own Andrew Wade! Congrats, Andrew!

Andrew also built the houseboat model we used for this parade float. It’s actually Lego set 31093, the Creator 3-in-1 Riverside Houseboat. The creator sets are pretty cool. I’m a stickler for minifig-scale sets, so I prefer ones like this over the ones that make several animals. It’s a pretty good houseboat.

We got it from the Granville Island Toy Company. They’re a beloved local toy store, and a terrific source of Lego. They do the Series minifig sorting, so you can get the one(s) you want. This is really handy, especially currently, where stores probably don’t want customers feeling their bagged Lego people, and customers don’t want other customers feeling them either. You know, ‘feeling,’ like using your fingers to find the pieces that identify the character inside the pack? If the thought of it sounds horrifying, yet you must have minifigs, the Granville Island Toy Company is a great place to shop.

We didn’t use it in the video, but the side of the boat opens up and there’s a little home inside! Very cool. We put a driver in, whether you could see them or not. The set also builds a float plane and a little dockside fishmonger with a smaller boat.

It’s pel-I-can, not pel-I-can’t. I’d say it’s pierless, but I think that’s what it’s roosting on. Har har! When choosing to use the houseboat, we decided we wanted something we didn’t have to design ourselves, and something a little rustic. Another option was set 60221, the Diving Yacht, which came with a cool shark, but seemed too shiny and new for the parade. Too yachty. The houseboat, while more expensive, was the right choice.

I built the bullhead, which is totally of a realistic size. Tiffany’s Grandpa can’t stop taking photos, and who would?

The little yellow cup here is the trophy, but since it’ll be sharing the mantle with our reasonably-sized bullhead here, it might need some extra lighting on it or something.

As we moved the float down the street, we moved the fish from side to side, often letting the model do whatever it wanted as the houseboat moved. That give it a floppy fish kind of movement.

In real life, Bullheads don’t get too large. Some of the largest fish ever caught for these species are in the 7-8 lb range, or 3-3.5 kg. However, even the smaller ones would require two hands on the fishing pole. Tiffany dragging this monster along with a single hand is a little suspicious, but with that absurd strength, who’s going to argue with her? Kid power!

Speaking of Kid Power, check out our upcoming event with BC Culture Days! It’s this coming weekend. We’re doing an open Stop-Motion animation workshop at the Richmond Library and Cultural Centre! The workshop is Saturday, but I’ll be around Sunday as well with our various models to answer questions and talk about filmmaking! Come get yourself a minifig and help us make a movie! Thanks for reading!

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