The Burien Film Festival and the Burien UFO Festival recently announced the winners of the 2023 BFF – BUFO Edition film contest, and in this post we’re featuring the second place winning film “4:21,” Directed by Torrin Tse.

And get this – Tse is just 14-years-old…impressive! Check out his film below, which includes stop-motion Lego characters from The Maury Island Incident (including the infamous Man In Black), the historic B-25 crash and more.

Screenshot of the Lego-based “Man In Black” as seen in the short film “4:21.”
  1. GRAND Prize: “Echos,” Directed by David Over.
  2. 2nd Prize: “4:21,” Directed by Torrin Tse (see full film below).
  3. 3rd Prize: Weekend at Maury Island,” Directed by Bradley Wilkinson.

A special “Thank You!” to judges Kirk Nordenstrom and Gevin Booth.

Tse not only directed and edited the short, he also shot all the stop-motion, performed all the voices and more, and included a funny after-credits bonus scene (running time 5-minutes, 18-seconds):

YouTube player

Q&A with ‘4:21’ Director Torrin Tse

What inspired you to enter and make your film?

“What inspired me to enter was my love for video editing. For a while, I had been editing small gaming YouTube videos. So when I saw the Burien Film Festival ‘BUFO Edition’, the deadline for entry was in two weeks at the time so I jumped at the chance.

“When I was a lot younger, I used to animate stop motion small YouTube videos using Legos and then edit them. This time, I decided to go back to that old method and animated every single character in my movie “4:21″. This time however, I applied a new ‘green screen’ method I have never used before. This was actually my first time using ‘green screen’ instead of building the set in the background, so there was a lot of new stuff I had to learn for the first time and I think it was worth it.”

What is your film called and why?

“My film is called ‘4:21‘ because it was intended to be a reference to the Maury Island Incident’s date, 6/21, but I accidentally typed a 4 instead of a 6 when creating the credits, so I decided to keep it because it felt right at the time. I started editing videos when I was playing around on the family computer and found iMovie.

“My dad showed me the basics and I continued to learn on my own to animate stop motion films and it became one of my favorite things to do. No one else worked with me to create this film, I edited, shot and voice acted every single character, storyboarded and handmade my own scenes.

“I shot my movie in the basement of my house, where I set up a few cardboard walls with light green paper taped to the back. I then used Lego base plates to build scenes on.”

What was your response to winning?

“I was on vacation while the BUFO Edition screenings were announced and was elated to hear that my film had won 2nd place!!!

“I am not currently pursuing filmmaking as a career, it’s more a hobby and a way to express myself in a very fun way.

“I am extremely happy to have created a film for this contest, much less win an award for it.

“Either way, this has been an extremely enlightening experience and through this, I look forward to making even more films in the future!”

Congrats Torrin on a job well done!

Watch the BUFO/BFF Grand Prize Winner “Echos” here.

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...