Saturday, December 6, 2014

Animahenasyon 2014: The 8th Animation Festival from the Animation Council of the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!
Who doesn't love animation?  I haven't met anyone who isn't interested watching one or two of those computer-generated graphics coming to life on any screen size may it be on TV, the cinema house or online. It's actually harder, more expensive and takes a lot of patience to make a blockbuster animated movie compared to a regular movie minus the special effects and the huge Hollywood paycheck of the celebrities.

All of the movie productions nowadays implement the use of digital graphics and animation to enhanced their movies, you can find the works of animation artists almost everywhere especially on mainstream movies. They can create animations that are almost life-like and could pass for the real thing.
Here in the Philippines, some of our local artists share the limelight with other foreign animation experts as they now could also apply the same techniques in our local movies, for example "Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles," which have used the art of digital animation for their special effects and background/foreground settings. The part 2 of the movie now called "Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2" also capitalized on the use of digital animation incorporated in the movie to make an outstanding array of special effects to improve the entertainment viewing experience.
The 8th Animation Festival dubbed as Animahenasyon (Filipino equivalent of Animagination which is a combination of animation and imagination) organized by the Animation Council of the Philippines in partnership with the iAcademy, gathers together experts and enthusiasts in one venue to give opportunities to the youth, and the young-at-heart, to discover and explore the art of animation. The event happened from November 25 to 28, 2014 at the new iAcademy building (formerly the Mondragon building) located along Buendia (Gil Puyat) Avenue.

There were a few booth exhibits from the sponsors located at the 2nd floor of iAcademy where the plenary sessions also take place. iAcademy is a school hat also offers animation courses for its students. The animation festival is open to everyone and not exclusive to students, faculty and staff of iAcademy. In fact, there were several students coming form different colleges and universities all over the country, plus other professional guests coming from all walks of life from the corporate world, to actual animators and related fields of expertise and/or business themselves.

On the second day, I chanced upon a portion of the talks of various producers in different platforms for a session entitled "Picking Producers' Brains: What Are They Looking For" which aims to discover the producers individual processes, the requirements for choosing projects and production partners aside from identifying how they see animation in the future. We've seen several examples of movies, TV commercials, and "teleseryes" where digital animation was used to create a more remarkable end result. The comparisons of the actual raw video materials with the animation-enhanced versions were simply stunning.

This talk was followed later in the afternoon after a lunch break by Jeffrey Linis of ACM SIGGRAPH who discussed "Conference and Content Markets: Building a Competitive Edge" to help aid creatives in distributing their animated projects and works properly. We were able to learn the kind of network that we need to build as content producers and got tips to get our intellectual properties to stand out from the rest.

A toy exhibit from TOEI Animation Philippines Inc., was also on display featuring many familiar and popular animated movies like Dragonball Z, Sailormoon, One Piece, and others.


On the third day, I was able to listen to a speaker from Cartoon Network who shared tips and suggestions on how to effectively pitch to the said network, or any other network with related business. many were interested in actually pitching or looking for a work opportunity at Cartoon Network who hires animators that have great ideas fitting to be shown at the said TV network.

Too bad I wasn't able to attend the talks of Ahn Jae-Hoon and Jacques-Remy Girerd who had talks on "The Korean Animation: A Director's Perspective" and "Finding a Place for Animation in the Cinema" respectively.

Happening simultaneously at different floors and rooms of the iAcademy Building are workshops, free  screenings of animated films from different countries, and a showcase of special programs and exhibitions.

I was able to check out a workshop teaching the attendees the basics of using Blender, an open source 3D graphics and animation software. The instructor was impressive as he was able to quickly create an intricate image from a single cube or cylinder.

The animated movies shown for free to the public are from countries like Italy, Spain, France, Norway, Japan, Poland, Germany, South Korea and the USA.

Some of the movies where Las Adventuras de Tadeo Jones, Komaneko, Kurz and Gut, Green Days, Brave, Despicable Me 2, The Croods, American legends, Voices of a Distant Star, Garden of Words, Kurt Blir Gusom, Les Quatre Saison de Leon, and a lot more.

The main objective is actually to showcase  original Filipino animated works of both aspiring and professional animators in the Philippines through a competition, so several months before the actual animation festival dates, there were already announcement of the competitions.

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