N.E.Mation is a competition that invovles digital animations. It is organised annually by Nexus. This competition is catered for youths. Youths are requested to create animations that portray their views of total defense in Singapore. Those who qualified to the final rounds of selection are able to catch their works across television and cinema screens in a form of an advertisement.
Currently, this competition's 8th season has a theme called 'Because You Played A Part'.
Additionally, victors of this competition will be awarded with a trip to USA's 'renown' animation studio.
I am always envious and in awe of these creative students who are capable of producing these tediously animated films that could involve hundreds of photo shots or hours and hours of time off in addition to the rigorous demands of academia in Singapore. Their strong creativity - from scripting, to the actual animation via complicated softwares, and lastly the editing - should be applauded.
I'm not knowledgeable in the field of animation (nor do I do active research on it) but it never fails to amaze me how beautifully it can turn videos out to be. I really hope these works can receive greater attention and publicity! After all, this meaningful competition not only speaks volumes about our creativity but also display our patriotism.
In this competition, students get hands on experience with different kinds of animation - stopmotion and 2D animation, depending on which medium the group chooses. The students are allowed free-reign control over their project and theme with guiding mentors to help them get into the top 10. The competition is rigorous and trains the students technically, mentally, and emotionally. With the mad rush to constantly storyboard and come up with new, brilliant ideas, I felt that it was an engaging and challenging experience for me.
The period of the top 10 production was nerve-wrecking. While we made new friends, there were just so many people who made videos that had so much potential. The best part about the community is that the top 10 teams just end up becoming closer to one another and even know other top 10 teams from other batches.
And though the production period was tough, the trip after we won was an eye-opener with an exclusive trip to Dreamworks Studios and Blizzard Entertainment. Perhaps in the future, I too, will become an animator. But for now, that road is but an open door for me.
However, of late, I found the animations deteriorating in terms of quality as well as becoming long and draggy. Previously, animations were often the 'aha!' variety, with an interesting start and climaxing when you suddenly see all the pieces clicking into place and can sit back to fully appreciate the message. Nowadays, all I felt was irritation. This is especially so in cinemas, where I have to sit through what felt like 10 minutes of boring, draggy show. Moreover, the animations can get pretty dramatic and unrealistic at times. Lastly, I found it irritating as the later my show starts, the later the show ends which can mean sometimes missing the last bus home.
The program, in my opinion, needs a new boost. It is becoming commonplace with Singaporeans like us starting to cease to see the novelty of it.
I like that each year, there is a different theme so new ideas are continuously churned out. Videos are always interesting, and animation is pretty impressive considering how the students are newbies to animation. Prizes are also extremely attractive? Want to win a trip to a US animation studio? Join N.E.Mation.
I hope this competition continues in future years. But perhaps they could look into better introduction and publicity amongst schools because apart from the official N.E.Mation website, students know nothing about this competition, which is a pity.