Since the very first time experiencing N.E.mation! 5 five years ago, I have always been amazed by the creativity and determination of all the teams in every N.E.mation! challenge. And they only seem to get better and more creative every year! The sky's the limit for these impressive kids!
What is N.E.mation! you ask? Well, N.E.mation! an annual digital animation competition organised by the good people at Nexus for youths to express their thoughts on Total Defence. These students, having no prior experience in animation before the competition, have been able to produce amazing video clips that were screened on free-to-air television! This year, the theme is "Together We Keep Singapore Strong", and as always, the winning team will win a trip to visit renowned animation studios is the USA!
This year, good things come in pairs, because I will be combining forces with my Man Man, Colin Chang, a.k.a. The Minute Man SG, as the ambassadors of our 2 teams! [The Man: "Hello Everybody!!!"] So throughout the rest of the N.E.mation blog posts, whenever you see square brackets with italic words in it, it's Colin speaking!
So without further ado, let's introduce the M&M [The Man: "That's short for Mint & MinuteManSG!"] teams!
Team Cedar3 #NE10C03
Our first team was a team of bubbly girls from Cedar Girls' Secondary School! Say hello to Tanya, Shyn, Kayla and GL from Team Cedar3! [MinuteManSG: "Cedar rocks!"]
The girls shared with us an interesting story on how they got their group name. Initially when they were submitting entries for the qualifying rounds, they were using group names that represented their school. E.g. Cedar1, Cedar2, Cedar3, Cedar4 etc. And after they got into the finals, they didn't know that they could actually change their group name, so they stuck to Cedar3!
But I think it's fated because they were the 3rd Cedar team, and they picked ambassador number 3 (ME!) during the drawing of ambassadors, and guess what is my favourite number? 3!! So it's no surprise that our group chat is called...
[MinuteManSG: "Why is 3333333333 smaller than 3? I don't understand??!!"]
It's a girl thing, you won't understand.
When we first got to their working area, there was no a single soul in sight. [MinuteManSG: "They must be eating snake!"] But before we could draw any wrong impressions of them being lazy and "eating snake", James brought us around the back of their working area to another room at the back, where we saw this...
The girls were busy tracing and drawing out some of their props using a projector!
[MinuteManSG: "What happened to your camera? Is it spoilt?"]
No, we intentionally blurred out the pictures so that we won't spoil the surprise for our readers when the video comes out! [MinuteManSG: "Ohhhhh..."]
[The Man: "Say cheese!"]
Anyway, while Tanya, Shyn and GL were busy drawing away, Kayla was in charge of the BBQ!
[MinuteManSG: "Wah! Still got food! I thought no food and drinks allowed?"]
Well, actually there wasn't really a BBQ, but she was given the very important job of making sure the projector didn't turn into an actual BBQ!
Keeping the projector cool is hard work...
[MinuteManSG: "I guess we can call her the projector's biggest fan!!"]
OMG... *Rolls Eyes*
We managed to peel them away from their work for a short chat to get to know them a little better!
Our first official proper photo together! Yay!
Chatting with girls from Team Cedar3...
Did you know that these girls were one of the youngest teams among this year's finalists? Not to worry girls! Don't worry about who is younger or older, just take it as all of you are finalists in this years N.E.mation! 10 competition, and every single one of you are standing on equal ground!
They even shared with us their timeline and schedules required to complete the project. Having only 3 weeks to produce a full length animation clip from scratch is really no joke, and I admire the passion and dedication these students must have to make it come true!
During the chat, we asked them what did they want to achieve at the end of this competition. The girls shared with us that they'd love to make more friends, sweethearts :)
As we were nearing the end of our session, we spotted the girls trying to move a huge piece of wood into their working area. They were having some difficulty trying to get it in without damaging the protective plastic sheets on the floor...
...so naturally, our 2 muscular men came to the rescue! Woohoo!
[MinuteManSG: "M&M Movers to the rescue!"]
That's James, I used eye power instead...
That's James, I used eye power instead...
And to end it off, here's a little teaser for all of you. Can you guess what they have drawn here? It's going to be a part of their completed project!
[MinuteManSG: "I know! I know! It's some branches from a big starfruit tree!!"]
Cedar3 regularly pens their updates HERE.
Maybe they'll tell you what they've drawn.
Team ZLS #NE10C10
Our second team that we were introduced to was Team ZLS from Guangyang Secondary School!
[MinuteManSG: "Guangyang Secondary rocks too!"]
Lutfi was not in the picture because he was overseas,
but don't worry, we'll take another full group photo next week!
They too had an interesting story on how they formed their team name. The original trio who came up with the idea that got them into the finals were Zhi Xiang, Lufti and Shao Jun. So they took the first letter from each of the names to become Team ZLS!
They have a new unofficial Team name though, it's ZLSS.
[MinuteManSG: "But where did the last S come from? Why the sudden plural form?"]
Well, after getting into the finals, they enlisted the help of another of their schoolmates, Shofia, to help them with their drawings and animations! Hence the unofficial name ZLSS is formed.
[MinuteManSG: "Oh! Why don't you share how they met for the first time!"]
Oh yes! Shofia was previously from another team sent in by Guangyang Secondary, and both their teams were working in computer labs that were side-by-side, but divided by a glass panel. So the teams wanted to wish each other good luck, but because they were separated by a glass panel, they actually typed in their good luck message on someone's phone and used that to communicate through the glass panel! That's so smart and creative!
After a quick introduction, team ZLS guided us through their storyboard. I can't believe how creative our students can get these days! They portrayed their story in a very different and interesting way! This shows how much our students can achieve if we just give them enough space to explore and get creative! For someone with an attention span as short as mine, it's a miracle I stood and listened to the entire story with amusement.
Shofia also showed us how they used the Wacom tablets to bring their characters to life on screen! It was so interesting that I had to have a go at drawing something, even though I can really draw!
Can you guess which one was drawn by me?
[MinuteManSG: "Wow! That's a cute drawing of a girls head! Impressive!"]
Hahaha. Well, actually I only drew the heart shape and coloured it in with my name. The girl's head was actually drawn by Shofia! She's so talented right?
[MinuteManSG: "Oh. In that case, I'm taking back my compliant and giving it to Shofia."]
Here's a preview of some of the characters that you will be seeing in their completed video. I love the ah gong and ah ma the most!
If you realised from the pictures, team ZLS are a little shy and they don't readily jump into photos! But did you know that although Zhi Xiang seems like the smallest and quietest member of the group, he is actually the group leader of team ZLS?
[MinuteManSG: "This just proves that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover!"]
By now, you should have been able to guess that their clip has something to do with soccer. And it was made even more evident by the soccer ball that was sitting under one of the tables of their working space. All the boys in the team love playing soccer and Shofia loves watching!
So it was only fair that we asked the boys to show of some of their soccer skills! Colin sportingly volunteered to pass the ball around with Shao Jun...
Shao Jun displaying his soccer skills with a fancy flick
[MinuteManSG: "Phew. Ok. I think that was enough exercise for 1 day."]
It was so much fun to see them pass, flick and juggle the ball with such skill and ease.
Their storyline is really very creative and we can't wait to see the end product. We are sure that this is going to be a very impressive video!
And of course, how could we just had to end the session with the mandatory wefie! Everyone say Lufti!!
Members of Team ZLS pen down their thoughts HERE.
The Legendary Milo Thief
During our chat with the teams, we heard rumours of an illusive Milo Thief, who would steal packets of ice milo from the N.E.mation fridge. However, no one has been able to spot this sneaky fella or catch him in action... until now...
While we were preparing to leave, from the corner of our eyes we spotted a blurry image zoom past behind us. With my quick reflexes, I whipped out my camera and managed to snap a couple of photos using the slo-mo mode... and managed to catch him red-handed!
[MinuteManSG: "What the... You didn't tell me about this..."]
Although we couldn't identify him due to his disguise and lack of clarity in the photos in the photos, I'm sure we will be able to apprehend him next week!
[MinuteManSG: "Well... Er... I think... I know that I... I mean... this guy should not have stolen the ice milos from the fridge, but... Er... I think we should give me... I mean him... a chance to explain himself. He probably has a very good reason why I... I mean he... had to resort to stealing..."]
And of course, a very special Thank You message to James!
Oh, and if you are wondering how we managed to snap some of these lovely photos with all 4 of our arms in the picture, well, the ever helpful James from Animagine kindly volunteered to be our assistant cameraman for the day. Thank you so much James for taking these wonderful shots as well as gracing us with the honour of being able to come back again this year to be team ambassadors of N.E.mation! 10!
Don't forget to stay tuned for more updates as we check on how our teams are progressing every week! See you next week!
For more stories, videos, photos and updates on N.E.mation! 10, visit https://nemation.sg/.