Young animators find inspiration at TV festival

Miao Zhenyang Xu Wei
Jury members form the animation category at this year's Shanghai TV Festival, held a master's class and forums to inspire new filmmakers, imparting knowledge and experience.
Miao Zhenyang Xu Wei
Young animators find inspiration at TV festival
Ti Gong

Jury members of the animation category of the Magnolia Awards encourage the future generations of animators to pursue their dreams.

Aspiring young artists learned from industry experts at the animation master class of the 28th Shanghai TV Festival at the Shanghai Exhibition Center on Thursday.

David Stephan, jury president of the animation category at the Magnolia Awards, along with fellow judges Spencer Ooi and Jia Fou, exchanged ideas with students majoring in animation.

Malaysian animation director Ooi discussed his initial concept of animation as a child.

"In the beginning I drew a dragon on a blackboard at home," Ooi recalled. "My dad immediately went to a photographer and helped me record the moment. Later, every time I wanted to give up, I would look at this picture, and it gave me great motivation."

Stephan said he found a love of drawing when he was 16. "But I didn't take it seriously," he said. "Then I came into contact with animation, which I thought was amazing, and I fell in love with it. All of a sudden and decided to stick with it."

As a professional scholar in Chinese animation, Jia spoke about her original intention to pursue the art form.

"When I studied animation, I didn't have a textbook. My scope was very limited. So I did further research to understand more about this potential career," said Jia.

Young animators find inspiration at TV festival
Ti Gong

Jury members pose with young filmmakers and students at the master class of the 28th Shanghai TV Festival.

Stephan added that the most important thing when learning animation was drawing.

"You have to keep drawing," he said. "Draw any form of any subject. You also need to watch a lot of animation, communicate with people, and get feedback from them. Then, finally, it's time to get your drawing moving."

He also suggested that animation professionals should carry a sketchbook with them to capture everything at any time, to study every facial expression, and the specific actions of characters, so that the static pictures start to move naturally.

Ooi offered strong encouragement to students. He believed that animation was the easiest activity to give up, and the first thing to know before you embark on it is whether you really like it.

"Always hold onto your original intention, but also learn to use your imagination," Ooi added. "Imagination is the most powerful thing, and will be the source of your confidence. Don't take animation too seriously. Serious animation is neither beautiful nor attractive."

Professor Jia proposed that observation is an especially important aspect of the process of animation. She said it's a prerequisite for imagination because animation needs to resonate with the real world and the audience.

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