Published on April 19th, 2012 | by Stevesesy0
Epic Mario Creator Interview
A giant Mario Lego mural. This is awesome. To learn more, read this on the Kickstarter thread. And make sure to support them. Now, onto the interview.
thoseguys.tv: Just so you know, I’ve taken the liberty to read your past interview and just about everything else people have said about you and your project. I’ve also talked about your project to a few of our contributors here and thoseguys.tv and the general consensus is, “this is the greatest thing ever”. How does that make you feel?
Zachary Pollock: It makes me pretty excited. I had an idea for something that was a powerful icon for me as a kid, and the opportunity to do something on a scale much larger than anything I had dreamed of when I was younger. The community in general has been very supportive and I think that it feasible to meet my funding goals by the deadline. The important thing to me is that people understand that this project is just a stepping stone.
tgtv: Just a stepping stone?
ZP: Kickstarter doesn’t let you fund causes. So this project is a means to help start a foundation and that is my real goal with the project.
tgtv: That does lead me into my next question, are you really passionate about? Charity, LEGO’s, or videogames?
ZP: All three. It just took me going to grad school to figure out how to find a way to mesh three together. The NES was the first gaming system that I owned, and LEGO was my all time favorite toy growing up and still is. My house is covered with sets that I have both purchased and designed myself. There are racks of video games sitting on my shelves. I have never gotten rid of any console I have owned. I was a manager for many years in the corporate world. When I started grad school, I thought it was because I wanted to be a teacher, but what I have realized is that the part of managing and teaching that I truly love is the creative process. LEGO and Mario were tremendously crucial for shaping who I am as a person. This project and the foundation that I hope to form will give me an opportunity to help spread that joy to a new generation. Specifically to a group of individuals who might be having a hard time finding much joy.
tgtv: Nice, that sounds great not only for you but for anyone that you and your projects are able to reach. Alright, for our readers out there, I was wondering if I could know a little bit more about you. What is your general background? Where are you from? What do you? What is your favorite color? Just who are you?
ZP: I was born and raised in Oregon. My father is in law enforcement and my mother works for the school district that I went through. I thought for a long time that I wanted to be an Architect, right until I went to architecture school. I still love designing and building but decided that working as an architect wasn’t right for me. I also love to travel though I haven’t had much opportunity for it lately. That is why I am excited for my travel plans this summer and fall. Italy, Greece and Turkey this June then Japan this October/November. Other than that I am just a regular guy. I’m in my mid thirties, and love to camp, hike, spend time with friends, and in general, recreate. Since you asked, my favorite color is a blood red, but it usually has to be balanced with a grey tone.
tgtv: Usually, but not always. I have to ask, I am curious as to what your inspiration for this project was. Were you in bed late one night, and you just thought to yourself “multi-thousand dollar mario panel made of LEGO’s”?
ZP: It actually began on the couch while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have a hard time only doing one thing at a time and needed something else to do while watching the show. So I began to cross-stitch. I wanted to do a project that lent itself to the nature of cross-stitching so I picked an 8 bit project. A while later I was talking to some friends about how to develop the cross-stitch into a gallery piece and we started talking about doing it with LEGO. I had already had an idea in the back of my mind about doing a Nintendo themed LEGO project and the combination of that with the cross-stitch just turned into something of a monster. I initially only wanted to do a single TV screen worth of the game but got encouraged to develop the entire level. As far as the price tag goes, there was actually a lot of budgeting involved before I ever started planning the Kickstarter project. I have it slated for about as barebones as I can do it. I would love to expand the project and create a more 3D feel to it.
tgtv: I think the price tag would increase to about $26,400^2
ZP: To go entirely 3D it would probably increase by a factor of x4 or x5. As it stands now the retail cost of the parts needed would top out over $70,000 but I am actually getting a really good deal by buying in bulk.
tgtv: Geez, maybe start a little smaller. So now for a real tough question, do you think that this project will get fully funded?
ZP: If I didn’t believe it could be funded, I wouldn’t have launched it. We are off to a good start but the contributions need to ramp up a bit if the project will succeed. There are still three weeks to go and a lot of projects don’t get funded until the last week. Sometimes not until the last day. There is a tremendous amount of support. Everyone I have spoken to thinks it is a great idea.
tgtv: I hope you go through with this, I’m excited. As for the actual project, how long do you expect it to take to literally build it piece-by-piece?
ZP: 200 – 300 man hours. Which is why I am going to have building parties where contributors take part in the building if they want to. When funded, I also plan to have a display at the Bricks Cascade LEGO convention, specifically for kids to help build it. This whole thing comes back to connecting with the next generation of LEGO fans.
tgtv: Speaking of the next generation of LEGO fans, how do you feel about LEGO CUUSO?
ZP: It started as a project called LEGO Factory then became Designed by Me, and now it has this new iteration. This is the type of program that I could only dream about as a kid. It creates a fantastic opportunity to get sets out there that we always wanted to see as an official LEGO release. Plus this new version lets you get a royalty for your work if it gets popular which is nice.
tgtv: I’m personally looking forward to anything that comes out of it. So back to you, do you have any other projects slated after this one? Or are you completely dedicated to the project at hand?
ZP: I have two houses that I am developing. One is at Minifig scale and one about the size of the Fallingwater set. The big project I am working on though is to create a life size Bender from Futurama. I did his head a couple of years ago and have always wanted to take the project further. What is special about Bender is that he is completely smooth and built using a process called SNOT or Studs Not On Top. That alone makes the model stand apart from most busts and sculptural LEGO projects.
tgtv: I bet. Well thank you for your time . It was great talking to someone as passionate and interesting as you and I will promote the HECK out of your project but I do have one last question.
tgtv: Is this shirt hilarious or what: http://thoseguys.tv/new-shirt-n6-12-some-dlc-required/
ZP: That is pretty funny. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to talk about my project!
tgtv: No problem. I’ll send you an email when it is up and thank you again. Have a great day! I look forward to this project!