About "En rejse til månen" ("Journey to the Moon")

By Lars C. Hassing

Here is the story about the making of the Super 8 film brickfilm "En rejse til månen" ("Journey to the Moon").

See also mention in "How fan films shaped The Lego Movie".
and "We interviewed the FIRST Brickfilmer..." by Bricks in Motion.

Back in 1972, when I was 12, it was a very different time from today. There were no computers, no PlayStation, no smartphones, no Facebook, no Snapchat, no TikTok, and Danish TV only had one channel showing only 30 minutes kid TV a day, so we had a lot of spare time and had to entertain ourselves. I spent many hours building Lego and following the exciting Apollo program that was happening at that time. I read every book I could get hold on, and knew the complete procedure of a moon travel, every step of the journey.

In summer holidays and Christmas holidays I got together with my younger cousin Henrik (10) at our grandparents' house. The living room furniture was moved to the walls and the floor was filled with Lego, cities and train tracks all over. Lego didn't have themes at that time, so we just built whatever we could think of. We often built a railroad, then sitting in opposite corners of the living room we wrote small notes that were sent by train requesting bricks or ready-built cars from each other.
Here is a small clip (made after the film) showing our grandparents in their living room with Lego all over. Our grandfather inaugurates a race track by cutting the ribbon with a pair of scissors brought by Henrik.
We also built a rocket with a lunar module inside and played the whole journey.

Lars and Henrik building
Lars and Henrik building rocket, crane, houses and vehicles on Christmas holidays in our grandparents' house in 1972.
L.R.F.I. = Legolands Rum Forsknings Institut
(L.A.S.A. = Legoland Aeronautics & Space Administration)

I was generally technically interested and another passion was filming and I read a large book (500+ pages) Jeg smalfilmer (Jeg smalfilmer on Google Books) about all aspects of hobby filming including stop motion.
And I'm not the only one appreciating this book (without comparison at all):

Jeg smalfilmer
About Lars von Trier's Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook

»As a child and young man, I made 8mm film and can safely say that the handbook Jeg smalfilmer, Politikens Forlag 1965, was the gold mine I dipped my fingers into. My claim is that it has never been surpassed by any other film technical work. A genuine Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook, and if I have any competence, it comes from this one.«

Om Lars von Triers grønspættebog

»Som barn og ung lavede jeg 8mm-film og kan roligt sige, at håndbogen Jeg smalfilmer, Politikens Forlag 1965, var den guldgrubbe, jeg stak fingrene i. Min påstand er, at aldrig er den blevet overgået af noget andet filmteknisk værk. En vaskeægte grønspættebog, og har jeg nogen kunnen, stammer det fra denne.«

Lars Von Trier fik en pris og en million - her er 18 citater fra hans takketale,

Our grandparents would celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in May 1973 so we decided to make a Lego moon film as our gift for them. I guess we were inspired by the Thunderbirds (TV series).



Only a few people had film cameras at that time, my grandfather was one of them, filming vacations and family parties. The camera was a Eumig Vienette Super 8.
Eumig Viennette Super 8 camera
Eumig Viennette Super 8 camera
Kodak Super 8 cartridge
Kodachrome 40 KMA464P Super 8 Cartridge,

We borrowed the camera two months March-April 1973 together with a 500 W lamp. The film came in a 3:20 minutes cartridge which was rather expensive (at least for kids). My parents granted us two 3:20 film cartridges, and as stop-motion takes a VERY long time, that was fine.

Stop-motion was made possible by a shutter release cable to shoot a single frame. While the camera was mounted on a tripod, it was extremely important not to accidentally misposition the camera even slightly while shooting the frame. The shutter release cable being flexible supported that.

Shutter release cable
Shutter release cable
Shutter release cable activated
Shutter release cable activated, see also Eumig Viennette 2 Super 8 camera


Because we didn't have access to cutting/splicing devices we had to shoot the film in the proper sequence. I spent many hours meticulously crafting a storyboard for the film:

Storybook front page. Click to see a larger version.
Front page of the storyboard.
Linieret REGNEHÆFTE Lined math exercise book
af Henrik og Lars Hassing by Henrik and Lars Hassing

Storybook scene 2. Film scene 2.
TID 4 sek. TIME 4 seconds
Handling: Et skilt hvorpå der står: EN REJSE TIL MÅNEN. Skiltet er lavet som i scene 1. Action: A sign showing THE JOURNEY TO THE MOON. The sign is made like the one in scene 1.
evt. tilføjelser Any additions

Storybook scene 10. Film scene 10.
TID 6 sek. TIME 6 seconds
Handling: LRFI-bussen kører ud foran kontrol-huset og venter på astronauterne.
LRFI = Legolands Rum Forsknings Institut
Action: The LASA bus drives up to the control center and waits for the astronauts.
(LASA = Legoland Aeronautics & Space Administration)
skitse sketch
evt. tilføjelser Any additions

Storybook scene 14. Film scene 14.
TID ca. 15-20 sek. TIME circa 15-20 seconds
Handling: Man ser A. (astronauterne) gå ind i elevatoren og lukker døren. Så starter den og de kører op. Kameraet løftes også lidt imens elevatoren kører op. Oppe i toppen standser elevatoren og døren åbnes. A. går ud af elevatoren og ud på platformen. Så kryber de ind i kabinen og lugen lukkes Action: You see the A. (astronauts) go into the lift and close the door. Then it starts and they move up. The camera is also elevated while they move up. At the top the lift stops and the A. leave the lift and move onto the platform. Then they crawl into the cabin and the hatch is closed.
skitse sketch
evt. tilføjelser der hvor A. går ud på platformen skal man hele tiden holde A. i midten af billedet: Any additions when the A. enter the platform they must at all times be centered in the camera view

Storybook scene 15. Film scene 15.
TID 7 sek. TIME 7 seconds
Handling: Man ser bunden af raketten, d.v.s. det gule trin. der er sat et springvand i trinet og det tændes når raketten stiger. I øvrigt skal der være en glas plade foran kameraet og øverst i højre hjørne skal der være nogle tal (5,4,3,2,1 og 0)
(Senere tilføjelse efter ordre fra min far:) Der er sat en stjerne-kaster i i stedet for et springvand.
Action: You see the bottom of the rocket, ie. the yellow stage. A fountain fireworks is put into the stage and it is ignited when the rockets lifts off Also there should be a glass plate in font of the camera and in the upper right corner there should be a count-down (5,4,3,2,1 and 0)
(Later addition by Daddys order:) A sparkler is used in stead of the fountain fireworks
skitse sketch
evt. tilføjelser Any additions

Storybook scene 18. Film scene 18.
TID 4 sek. TIME 4 seconds
Handling: Zoomer ind på måne globus Action: Zooming in on the moon globe
skitse sketch
evt. tilføjelser Any additions


The building of the Lego houses and vehicles for the film took place during many weekends during the beginning of 1973, my cousin came over and we built in the basement of my parents house. Later my little sister Inger joined helping creating the landscapes in papier-mâché and painting them. The film was shot in many weekends in March-April 1973.

Lars playing with Moon and Earth while Henrik is building the air craft carrier
Lars is playing with Moon and Earth while Henrik is building the air craft carrier. On the shelf you can see the paper sign (rolled) saying "EN REJSE TIL MÅNEN". Behind the camera is the living room where the wives of the astronauts watch the TV transmission of their return.

Lars with the camera, Henrik holding the 500W lamp and Inger painting the sea
The city and landscape on top of a table tennis (ping pong) table. Lars with the camera, Henrik at the launch site holding the 500W lamp and Inger painting the sea

Henrik filming at the moon landscape, Lars is holding the lunar module
Henrik filming at the moon landscape, Lars is holding the lunar module.

The golden wedding anniversary May 16th 1973

The film was presented to our grandparents at their golden wedding anniversary day.
Golden wedding anniversary, our grandparents and six grandchildren
Golden wedding anniversary, our grandparents and six grandchildren at the front door where neighbors had set up a port of honor.
The celebration lasted three days in order to have the party at their home with different sets of guests. We showed the film three times and the audience was impressed and had never seen anything like it.

Our grandfather was very excited and insisted on showing the film to the CEO of Lego, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen. So he wrote him a letter and a few weeks later our grandparents, Inger, Henrik and I were invited to the corporate headquarter in Billund. We remember Godtfred Kirk Christiansen as a big smiling man in a white shirt. We showed the film and he seemd to enjoy it. He borrowed the film and had some copies made and we were given some large Lego boxes and a factory tour.

Please e-mail any comments to me.

Last updated May 7th, 2019     Check HTML