Getting animated over animation
Inter-school competition helps film-makers discover career path
It took them just one animation competition to find their calling.
Mr Jerrold Chong and Mr Victor Gan, both 25, participated in the second season of N.E.mation! in 2007 when they were Secondary 4 students at Hwa Chong Institution.
The annual inter-school digital animation competition is for students from secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institutes to express their thoughts on Total Defence.
Their teamfinished first runner-up with their minute-long clip of a heart monitor depicting scenes of various courageous acts, such as firemen rescuing people from a burning building.
Today, the duo are independent film-makers.
They credited N.E.mation! for helping them discover that animation could be more than just a hobby.
Mr Chong, who has a bachelor of fine arts in animation from the California Institute of the Arts, said: "N.E.mation! II was the first time our work was showcased to a large audience. To create a film is tough, but the power of film to tell a story is special."
The power of story-telling through film inspired him to develop the animated film Nascent in 2015. It was named Best Animation at the Singapore Short Film Awards the same year.
Mr Chong and Mr Gan so enjoyed creating animation together they formed Blotch, an art collective with 10 members, after their national service.
It focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration using different mediums, such as design and video, to create artwork.
The results for this year's N.E.mation! will be announced on Feb 19 at the National Gallery Singapore.
The winner will receive a fully sponsored trip to a renowned animation studio in the US, worth over $20,000.
The first and second runners-up will receive prizes worth more than $6,000 and $5,000, respectively.
Director of organiser Nexus, Colonel Joseph Tan, said many students have benefited from the animation training and presentation and writing skills through the story creation workshops.
He said: "N.E.mation! began as a platform for the youth to express their thoughts on Total Defence through one-minute animation clips.
"We hope that N.E.mation! can continue to grow as a meaningful platform for our youth to communicate what Total Defence means."