Friday, November 22, 2013

[Mint.Music.Lifestyle] The Home Of N.E.mation! 8 Is Haunted By A Teddy Bear?!

I was KPO-ing around the home of N.E.mation!8 Top 10 Finalists at Nanyang Polytechnic when I had a strange encounter with a teddy bear as I was interviewing one of my teams - TeamUnicornsAndRainbows;) from Orchid Park Secondary School.

But first, lend me 5seconds of your time!
Click on this link and support 2 groups for me in the N.E.mation! Facebook App.

The names to LIKE are:

  • UnicornsAndRainbows;)  from Orchid Park Secondary School (Last picture on the left)
  • Synch from Kent Ridge Secondary School (2nd last picture on the left)

Thank You Million Times!

Back to my strange encounter, here's how it all begins…

ABOUT N.E.mation!

N.E.mation! is a digital animation competition organised by Nexus for youths to express their thoughts on Total Defence.

Running its 8th edition this year, more than 9,900 students participated since its inception in 2007. With training and guidance, students with no prior experience in animation have been able to produce clips of broadcast quality to screen on free-to-air television. Some of these clips were even selected for international animation festivals and won several awards.


N.E.mation! 8 is back with the theme "Because You Played A Part".
Notice that I stood in a position just enough to cover the word 'You'.
I'm trying to imply 'Because 'Mint Leong' Plays A Part'.

Let's call this competition NE8 (short form easier to type...)

From DIY worm-making during N.E.mation! 5 to becoming one of the NE8 Ambassadors, I've been constantly keeping up with the latest updates of this competition. The stories, the animation styles and the production from these finalists get increasingly exciting every year! From the way how these animation clips were professionally done up, you'd never believe some of these contestants are as young as 14 years old!


The NE8 Ambassadors

Hey N.E.mation!, I'm exhilarated to be back and even though the tiniest bit, I'd do my very best to play my part as one of the N.E.mation! 8 Ambassadors together with Colin, Karen, Yingzi and Sarah. For the next 3 weeks, we'll be making visits to the home of the NE8 Top 10 Finalists. Each of us are assigned to 2 of the teams to find out more about the students and their works.


I was chosen as the blogger ambassador for these TWO teams:

Team 09, UnicornsAndRainbows;) 
Team 07, Synch
(Remember to vote for them if you haven't HERE)

On a side note: You know what's the lucky thing for me?  The working area of both teams are next to each other and both teams have the SAME instructor, Instructor Jade. Both teams are so sincere and willing to share. Team UnicornsAndRainbows;) and Synch ROCK MY WORLD!!! 


Getting To Know Team UnicornsAndRainbows;)

So the story goes on, I made my first 'home visit' to Team UnicornsAndRainbows;) on Tuesday to find out about their story for NE8.

This team of 4 girls are from Orchid Park Secondary School.
Any other students of Orchid Park Secondary School reading this now?
Link your friends up to support them okies! They are representing your school in this final race for the winning title!

Oh yah, here's something about their Team name.
You HAVE TO add in the emoticon ;) at the end of UnicornsAndRainbows, HAVE TO.

From left: Ching Gje, Trish, Xin Pei and Yumi.

Isn't this fated?
I was supposed to draw lots during team selection and when 'UnicornsAndRainbows' came up in my team list, I knew I'd definitely hit off well with them.

I've always love fantasies, fairytales and rainbows.
So much so even my favourite roses are in rainbow colours!

One year anniversary

One year anniversary

Now I'm also in love with UnicornsAndRainbows;) and their story of colour-spreading, heh-heh. The girls are so jovial, you can hear their laughters from the other side of the production room! I'd call their work area 'HAPPY ROOM' from now on because anyone who steps in will be able to immerse in their happy vibes!

The girls LOVE anime~
One of them even pasted her favourite anime poster to keep her motivated, is she Trish?


The only anime I followed is Naruto.
Am still following the manga.

Alright, I'm getting to the teddy bear part soon!

PART I: Storyboard Sharing

The girls took turns to share with me their story of kindness and love via their storyboard.

The scenes in their video will be shown in black and white until someone does a kind act. This act will trigger colours to spread and eventually paints the scene.


Xin Pei sharing the scene she's working on about a lost girl who was helped by a passerby to find her family in a shopping mall:


There's the teddy bear!
The lost girl hugging her teddy bear looks normal for now.


Wait until you watch the video of how the eyes of the teddy bear moves later.

Ching Gje ( I call her by her chinese name, Qing Ru) showing me her part where a soldier helps another soldier in times of need:


Their story makes me ponder about our current society.
I was on my way home yesterday night when I pressed and hold the elevator button for a family of three who was coming out of the lift. The mother was in her 30s, followed by her 2 children who looked in their teens.

NO ONE mentioned a word of thanks.
NO ONE smiled except me.

It's such a simple kind gesture yet long forgotten by most of us.

These kind angels must've realised and hope to convey the message to the public….
I can't wait to watch their final product in January 2014 and pray it gets aired on TV.

The girls are only 14/15 years old and already so sensible.

PART II: Converting Sketches Into Digital Images

Now that they have an important message to convey, the 2nd part is to convert the sketches into digital images.

Image courtesy of N.E.mation! 8

Actors are first invited to act out the scenes.
Then frame by frame, the team members will trace out the images of these actors and their actions.


Trish demonstrating image-tracing on her tablet:

They have to trace out and draw 24 frames just to make one second, ONE SECOND of video clip.
Doesn't that mean they have to draw 24images X 60sec = 1440 images within 3 weeks?!
Then paint it with colours, effects, make transitions…

Thankfully Instructor Jade is kind enough to suggest and prepare a schedule for them:


So good, there's even Buffet time for the girls!
Eh no, it's BUFFER time for the girls just in case they need more time to finish their work, not BUFFET time.


哈哈哈哈, 真是老花~

My first thought was I could really join them if they are going for buffets.
Turns out I wasn't the only one who mis-read the word 'buffer' as 'buffet', Xin Pei too!

Teddy Comes Alive!

Remember the part about the lost girl who was carrying her teddy bear in one of the scenes?


The first digital image of the girl carrying Teddy looks eerie and true enough, the moving images seemed to be telling the story of a runaway girl whose teddy bear came alive!


Watch this video and you'll feel that the eyes of Teddy is moving and staring at you…
*Chills down my spine*

Didn't catch that?
Watch it again, up close!

Actually, making this character into some sort of horror anime movie sounds cool too right?
*inserts musical box + Ju-on music*

But let's do that after your competition!

The girls then brought me to see the REAL Teddy and kept scaring me that Teddy has a soul of its own. It'll move around the lounge at night to gobble up their yummy biscuits in the pantry.

How's that for a Teddy story?


Yeah I know, what's school life without telling horror stories right?
Especially during school camps and school night walks, sometimes sharing these stories bond friends closer together like sleeping close to one another in our sleeping bags~

Yumi decides to be the bravest heroine and hold Teddy:

Ultimate selfie with Teddy.
It is now staring. at. you.

Teddy has the same colour as Bubble Leong, my toy poodle!

Purina ONE Bubble Leong

While most students are spending their holidays watching movies, resting, catching up on their favourite TV shows, these students chose to commit their free time to do something more meaningful: From 9am to 6pm daily, they'll be at Nanyang Polytechnic working on expressing their thoughts about Total Defence through a digital animated video.

The animation clips produced by the top 10 finalist teams will be judged by a panel comprising industry professionals such as Melvin Tan (Senior Animator, Blue Sky Studios). In addition, the public can vote for their three favourite clips come January 2014 at, Facebook or via SMS.

The winning team will win a coveted trip to visit a renowned animation studio in the USA worth S$15,000!

The rest of the students will be getting prizes worth S$600 - S$4000.
The prizes information can be found HERE.


That's not all!

Apart from rushing to meet contest deadlines, each team has to juggle between media filming and interviews, updating their team blog, twitter, instagram and their respective personal time.

Young people given HUGE responsibilities, Impressive determination!
I feel that ALL OF US should give them every support we can by voting for them, don't you think?

Ending this post with an instavideo of the happy girls and I to garner support.
You can find out about the Top 10 teams and get the latest updates via:

N.E.mation! Facebook Page:
N.E.mation! Website:

The girls have their own hashtag too: #NE8C09.
So if you are on Twitter and instagram, look for their #NE8C09 hashtag!

Good Luck, Angels from UnicornsAndRainbows;)
Congratulations for getting into Top 10 and I'd see you next week!

To Yumi, Xin Pei, Qing Ru and Trish: 
Teddy will help me supervise you girls okie. Meanwhile stay kind and look after Synch!
Spread your colours!

Visit my post again tomorrow to enter the world of Synch, the calm and well-reserved team:


Mint Leong on Facebook, Like Here:

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