Mustache Maniacs Film Co. is the amateur film company started by Daniel and Andrew Bermudez and is the subject of this wiki. Initially starting in live action home movies, the company now boasts a wide variety of content across a variety of media.
The inspiration for creating what would become Mustache Maniacs Film Co. came in 2003 from friends John and Luke Stabe, who had made their own films with their cousins under the label Stabe Inc. Interested, Daniel and Andrew Bermudez, upon receiving their first camcorder that December, made their pre-formation films until March 2004.
Daniel and Andrew Film Co. was officially founded on April 18, 2004, the same day that Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Leopard's Treasure was filmed. This resulted in the quick succession of releases, including Com 50 and 007, Indiana Jones and the Treasure of Tikal, and Indiana Jones and the Heart of the Dragon.
From 2005 through 2007, the Cornerstone Thespian Society resulted in the releases of Kilroy Was Here!, Jolly Roger and the Pirate Queen, and Mystery at Shady Acres. Around this time was when Daniel and Andrew Film Co. changed to its current name, Mustache Maniacs Film Co., and Com 50-3: Raid on Central Island was released.
2008 saw the release of the company's first online film, the breakout hit Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo, which has resulted in much of the company's popularity. The film has since spawned two sequels. The following year celebrated five years with the introduction of the press room, The Adventures of Legoman, and From Sea to Shining Sea, currently Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s longest movie (it has a 117 minute running time).
In 2011, Mustache Maniacs Film Co. began its first partnership, which was with CarTOON Shack. This led to the beloved animation An Afternoon at the Zoo, as well as the award-winning New Friends ~ An Environmental Fable in 2013. Additional partnerships include noted groups such as the authors of BZPower's Dino Attack RPG.
In 2013, Andrew Bermudez was assigned to a group of artists to create the film A Bite of MyJobs, a film that explains how College of the Canyons' internship program works. The film was released later that year, and is now screened across campus to promote their internship program. This year was also the debut of their in-house animation department, Drawn to Life Animation.
2014 was their ten-year celebration, which included the unveiling of Project U and the official cinematic universe. These threads continue to this day, which has prompted several contests, comics, films, books, and more. Also at this time, several older films were re-edited, upgraded, and re-released.
In 2017-2019, however, content output slowed dramatically, causing fans to trickle away. To combat this trend, the studio's pipeline was overhauled in 2019 to permit more content and to emphasize quality visuals and storytelling, so that fans would be assured that Mustache Maniacs Film Co. wasn't going anywhere. These changes took effect in 2020, where the Covid-19 lock down allowed the studio to produce new content, albeit safely. During this time was also when the last special editions were released. These changes went even further in 2021, when Mustache Maniacs Film Co. began to recruit talent from across the world, which included the creation of the official story team and the transition to a monetary-based model of operations.
- Andrew Bermudez - President; CEO; Director; Writer; Animator; Editor; Composer
- Daniel Bermudez - Corporate Adviser; Decision Committee Head
- Teresa Bermudez - Story Team Adviser; Writing Editor; Producer
- Al Bermudez - Producer
- John Hitchcock - Story Team Writer
- Christian Smith - Director; Editor; Animator
- Dylan Johnson - Composer
Portfolio of Content
As listing every piece of content that Mustache Maniacs Film Co. has created here would be a massive burden, we would like to direct you to the pages listed below for the form of media that you seek.
The following tropes have been exhibited across multiple pieces of company media and by Mustache Maniacs Film Co. staff.
- Alternate Universe Fic: The Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Cinematic Universe takes loose liberties with LEGO's characters and settings. Most of LEGO's original stories are not even considered canonical (LEGO Alpha Team, LEGO Atlantis, LEGO Ninjago, and LEGO City are really the only exceptions), as these new stories just take several basics from the themes and change them drastically or in minor ways, as is seen fit for the greater universe.
- The Artifact: Typically, older material that still promotes out-of-date material (like dead URLs or long-past contests) are left unchanged, since it's considered easier to just change the links in the video's description. If the film in question hasn't been touched in years, making any changes to, say, update the URL for the website seem unnecessary. This has led to cases where graphics on the new website still make reference to the original website's URL (which is, naturally, out of use). Even posters for some upcoming films still sport the original version of the classic logo.
- Blog: Naturally, the Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Press Room is this. Check it out for yourself here.
- Brick Joke: This has happened occasionally between films, though it's only really noticeable when you watch the films in the order demonstrated in the official cinematic universe timeline.
- In Attack of the Fifty-Foot Hamster, a relieved citizen wonders how Nana would fare against aliens. In Space Attack, Nana fights a space alien.
- In Jolly Roger and the Pirate Queen, Roger Goodman finds a ring on a skeleton with an inscription. Centuries later, in Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients, Patrick finds Roger Goodman's skeleton with the exact same ring.
- Character Blog: Occasionally, the Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Press Room will feature "Ask Mark Matthew," where the said fictional character will answer fan questions. While the questions are actually fan-submitted and the answers are based on actual events and studio decisions, the "Ask Mark Matthew" posts are entirely in-character.
- Fan Film: Most of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s movies technically fall under this category, though a mixture of completely original films do also exist within the company's portfolio.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: For the cinematic universe itself, a common rule is that the main universe is "like reality, unless otherwise noted." That otherwise noted is, of course, composed of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, reanimating the dead, living mummies and statues, curses, alternate dimensions, sorcery, hyper-advanced technology, mutant animals, living dinosaurs, cryptids, corrupting substances, secret agents, prophecies, crazed super villains, genetically-altered super soldiers, satyrs, time travel, mystic powers, extraterrestrial technology, highly-intelligent animals, and more.
- Firing Day: A running joke in the studio is that fictional LEGO Studios CEO Mark Matthew will fire employees over the most minor infractions, such as watching TV while on the clock, writing petty insults, and being too loud.
- God Does Not Own This World: Bizarrely zigzagged throughout Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s entire collection of content, which is broken down in the following list.
- The collaborative works that were produced in conjunction with another party, such as A Bite of MyJobs and An Afternoon at the Zoo, are jointly owned by both Mustache Maniacs Film Co. and the respective third party, giving both joint distribution and character IP rights. However, any further developments that those third parties pursue that involve the intellectual property of the said productions are not owned by Mustache Maniacs Film Co. in any way, even if the characters are partially owned by us (which would make those independent productions non-canon for the cinematic universe).
- Things get even more complicated when Pioneer Drama Service, Inc. and the Cornerstone Thespian Society get involved. All of the Cornerstone Thespian Society's productions are fully-owned by Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., including all of the characters in those productions; the Cornerstone Thespian Society only held the performance and distribution rights to the plays it performed. In addition, those rights only extended to Mustache Maniacs Film Co. for the productions that involved Teresa Bermudez, meaning that while Kilroy Was Here! and Mystery at Shady Acres can be distributed by Mustache Maniacs Film Co., Cactus Pass and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory cannot. Both The Prince and the Pauper and The Rented Christmas are in more ambiguous territory; Teresa Bermudez was not involved in those two productions, but they were organized and performed through the same legal means as Christmas Spotlight Night 2006 and Mystery at Shady Acres, meaning that while official Mustache Maniacs Film Co. special editions do exist of those two productions, seeing them widely released is very unlikely (they would probably need director Valoris Peterson's blessing first).
- This also tangles things up with the original soundtrack for Kilroy Was Here!. Per agreement, the performance and distribution rights extended to the original soundtrack (since that play is a musical), but only for the soundtrack's performance during the production. However, a second version of the soundtrack was created, which features the voices of the play's performers. This cast-performed soundtrack is actually the property of Cornerstone Thespian Society (which defaulted to Mustache Maniacs Film Co. after the Cornerstone Thespian Society shuttered in 2007), but does block the release of certain tracks that were cut from the performance, such as Never Gonna Give Up.
- In an unusual case, anything created for DINO ATTACK RPG is the property of the RPG's authors. However, content created for Mustache Maniacs Film Co. related to the RPG that was never fully established in-universe is owned by Mustache Maniacs Film Co., but has been given the blessing of PeabodySam, the RPG's head author and proprietor of canon, and has therefore been retroactively canonized for the RPG (such as the physical appearances of Astrid Dunham and the Ogel Drilling Vehicle). In fact, the director's cut of the RPG (which is not Mustache Maniacs Film Co. property) has rewritten certain scenes to better align with the official cinematic universe. This has led to bizarre situations, like where Astrid Dunham is owned by PeabodySam and Astrid Dunham's appearance is owned by Mustache Maniacs Film Co. (though we have allowed said appearance to be used freely by the RPG's authors).
- Com 50-3: Raid on Central Island has not seen any re-releases since its initial debut for one major reason: it uses clips from films like Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Godzilla 1985, which are not our property. A re-edit shortens the clips to alleviate these concerns, but since the preceding Com 50 films were removed from the internet, this has scuttled plans for a re-release (removing movie clips from other films, like Kilroy Was Here!, has proven to be far more successful).
- Fan-made characters and locations that appear in our works (such as Miss Calliope Shaw, Dr. Daniel Thunder, and the Cabana Bar & Grill) fall under the same rules as LEGO's Fair Play Policy; we own the work that they've been adapted for, but the fan in question owns the original IP (such as Watson Films owning the Cabana Bar & Grill, even though we own The Employee of the Month).
- For the official story team, anything that the story team creates AND is produced by us is Mustache Maniacs Film Co. property, though we do like to give credit where it is due. This means that if a member of the story team pitches an idea and we reject it, the rights to that story default back to the story's author. The only exception would be for ideas that originated within Mustache Maniacs Film Co. leadership, which are retained with us.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: This is officially how the main universe is regarded within the official cinematic universe, though it is fast and loose about this rule (see the Fantasy Kitchen Sink entry above).
- Off-the-Shelf FX: With the limited budget afforded to Mustache Maniacs Film Co. in its early days, most of the set pieces were improvised items from around the house. Johnny Thunder and the Gift of the Nile was really the first production to use more involved and detailed sets.
- Official Fan-Submitted Contest: While Mustache Maniacs Film Co. has run several contests over the years, two of them in particular, the Nexus Force Character Creation Sweepstakes and The Quest for Canonization, actually integrated the winning entries into the official canon. One participant in particular, Elizabeth Scarheart, actually used this opportunity to patch up a plot hole in Johnny Thunder and the Gift of the Nile.
- Old Shame: It is no secret that some of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s earliest works are viewed dis-favorably within the company, especially the older live action films. There is no attempt to pretend like they don't exist, but no one will also say that they think that they are anything even remotely related to the concept of quality.
- Going even further, director Andrew Bermudez is so ashamed of the series Mystery LEGO Theater 3000, the two episodes were the only productions that were not saved in the major back-up of the studio's archives in 2015.
- In some respects, this even covers some of the earliest animated films, to a certain extent. This was actually the justification behind creating the special editions.
- Running Gag: Mustache Maniacs Film Co. has several, which span several different works.
- The oldest one is the iconic fake mustache itself. Originally a piece from a spy kit, it was so over-used in the early days that it literally became the face of the company. Almost every film now has at least one character with a mustache (there are exceptions, though).
- Another old one is using the Cal Pada Guards as the go-to butt-monkey for any story material, even if Cal Pada wasn't involved in the story. This was mainly because almost all of the Cal Pada Guards were only played by one actor, Daniel Bermudez. Even in Com 50-3: Raid on Central Island, where Nathan Stabe plays the guards, he plays all of them.
- Never once has a shoe shiner character survived beyond the conceptual stage for any Mustache Maniacs Film Co. production. Because of that, the general slang used around the studio for any character cut from a film is "shined like the shoe shiner." For actual shoe shiner characters, the phrase used is "shining the shoe shiner."
- As mentioned above, fictional LEGO Studios CEO Mark Matthew will frequently fire employees on the press room for minor infractions. This even bled over into The Third Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards and Rap-Trick.
- Since 2011, it has become an almost-annual tradition to run an April Fool's Day joke. It first started on the press room before migrating to the YouTube Channel for the 2015 and 2017 jokes.
- During the brainstorming session for The Kingfisher in 2015, one idea that was rejected was to have a bear move out of his cave and build a log cabin in the woods. Ever since then, supporters of the idea would end their conversations with "And someday, that bear is going to build his log cabin," which even spilled over into Mustache Maniacs Film Co.: The Visual Dictionary - 2nd Edition. This joke reached its logical conclusion with the release of How To Build a Log Cabin, which finally brought the original idea to fruition.
- Schedule Slip: It's what we're known for, really. Very rarely has ANY production by Mustache Maniacs Film Co. been completed by its original projected release date. To put this into perspective, here's all of the films that we've produced that WEREN'T delayed in any way. Click on each movie title so that you can find out how each of these productions was somehow miraculously finished on time. Compare this to our list of films.
- Trip to LEGOLAND
- Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Leopard's Treasure
- Com 50 and 007
- Indiana Jones and the Heart of the Dragon
- Jolly Roger and the Pirate Queen
- Com 50-3: Raid on Central Island
- Plankton Strikes Back!
- Plankton: Burner of Books
- Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo
- From Sea to Shining Sea
- A Very Patrick Christmas
- Johnny Thunder and the Gift of the Nile
- Wonders of Buoyancy
- When Barrels Fly
- An Afternoon at the Zoo
- Space Attack
- Freddy and Joey in Corn Farm
- Seeing Eye Robber
- A Battle to Remember
- Late for the Soccer Match
- A Friend of the Police
- True Identity
- The Kingfisher
- The Film That Changes Everything!
- Ninjago: Visions of Memories
- New Year's Resolution
- Mustache Maniacs Film Co. is Coming to LEGO Dimensions!
- Ocean of Fear
- The Easter Egg
- How To Build a Log Cabin
- Johnny Thunder and the Trail of Botnik
- The Employee of the Month
- The Happiness Fund
- Without a Blacksmith
- The Recycling Enigma
- The 'Verse: On May 23, 2013, it was officially confirmed that, with a few exceptions, all of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s productions (including movies, books, comics, and more) take place in one giant universe.
- Going a step further, some productions NOT produced by Mustache Maniacs Film Co. (like LEGO City Undercover, Johnny Thunder and the King of the Gypsies, and Evil Music) also take place in the same universe. In addition, alternate dimensions explicitly exist, allowing both LEGO Universe and DINO ATTACK RPG to exist in an alternate dimension. For full details, visit the official cinematic universe page.
- The Wiki Rule: Obviously. After all, if you were to stop for a moment and think about where you're reading this sentence...
- The corporate mascot, Mustache Max, is modeled after Shriff Aha, the main villain from Com 50 and 007.
- Before the Mustache Maniacs Film Co. brand change in 2006, Daniel and Andrew Film Co. had no logo.
- The current Mustache Maniacs Film Co. logo is a parody of the Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer logo, with Mustache Max standing in for the iconic MGM Lion. This logo also reuses the footage filmed for the original logo from 2006.
- An alternate logo for Mustache Maniacs Film Co. exists, which is called the Classic Logo. It features a simple mustache against a gray background with text. Despite its name, it's the newest logo for the company and was created specifically for company collateral.
- Currently, Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s most viewed film is Forest of Fear.