Thursday, July 28, 2005

RGPS : S.A.T 25 - 27 July

It went as quickly as it came.

I awoke this morning at 6.30am, and was about to jump out of bed to get dressed when I realised that there was no need to get up so early - we're not going to RGPS today. We had already wrapped up the workshop the day before.

After four classes and six anxious mornings, this sudden change in routine felt really weird.

And perhaps, a little sad too.

And why shouldn't I? The day before, at the end of the S.A.T Workshop, the P4's suddenly grabbed the company brochures off the table and rallied around us. They held up the bright yellow pieces to us.

"Can you sign this for us?"

"Yes! Sign please!"

"Yes yes, autograph pleeease..."

The sweet little ones. I could do nothing but comply as I was cornered into a chair. Even as I was obligingly signing on the covers of the brochure that I myself had designed, part of me was still pleasantly astonished and trying to figure out what was going on. Chances are, Joshua and I never felt so honored and appreciated before.

Thank you girls, from the bottom of our hearts. You can never imagine what a big encouragment that was.

RGPS 25 July S.A.T [42]

To be honest, the 25 July batch was a whole lot different from the 20 July. There were more chattery and boisterous personalities, allowing us to exercise our mentoring abilities. And there were quite some spills and thrills during the three days, as models had to be re-made and scenes had to be re-animated - all of which didn't happen with the 20 July batch! We were all jittery in our hearts. Where patience waned, we had to inspire. Where enthusiam got carried away, we had to curb and guide... without killing creativity.

I don't think we did, judging from what you girls produced in the end. We were so worried about some of you. For Danica and Jia Ping, I was constantly trying to make sure that they were comfortable, for they were not classmates like the other two groups and thus were keeping silent for the whole of the first two days as far as I could tell. So imagine my delight (and relief!) when you two came through, and with a wonderful little ending sequence as well! Weisiong thinks they've got a little bit of story-telling in their clip, with those progressive sequences, and I agree. Well done girls!

And of course, I'm sure we won't be forgetting the crowd favorite in a hurry, that vomitting worm. Sheryl, Hilary and Monique are really fast workers who can also churn out good, solid, frame by frame material. In all honesty I was extremely suprised when I first glanced at the standard of the 'extra footage' they were making, after completing everything on the first animation-day. They sure didn't spare the frames! Speaking of which, was it Monique or Hilary who was always quoting Joshua, "Frames - the more the merrier!" Well, you girls sure lived up to that. We are truly impressed.

RGPS 25 July S.A.T [46] RGPS 25 July S.A.T [45] RGPS 25 July S.A.T [43]

And to all the rest of our dear students, we appreciate your patience and efforts too! Believe me when I say that each and every one of your animated shorts entertains me in their own unique ways. The hats and eyelashes, the tombstones and the popping eyes, the kissy lips and the bows... the list of of your creativity is long. And the way that each team stretched and improvised our original animation, was inspiring.

RGPS 25 July S.A.T [38] RGPS 25 July S.A.T [32] RGPS 25 July S.A.T [16]
RGPS 25 July S.A.T [11] RGPS 25 July S.A.T [1] RGPS 25 July S.A.T [24]

It's all this and more, that makes me as reluctant as you girls were, to say goodbye and send you girls out the classroom. I wish that we had more time, so we could sit together and I'd go through every single one of your animated clips and show you, by pointing out all the little details, how wonderful a piece of work y'all produced. Yes, I wish we could stay on and do that.

Speaking of which, kids nowadays seem to know and say the darndest things. I recall overhearing this part of a conversation:

"... how I wish they can stay on after this. Then they can teach us how to make more animation!"

"Aiyah, don't be silly. They won't get more money if they stay longer, so why should they?"

For the life of me I do not remember myself being aware of, or even caring about such materialistic truths when I was in primary four.

But to this student (whoever you are), I'm not so sure that my desire to be back with you girls in RGPS is entirely about profits.... not so very sure at all. We're putting our best efforts into our proposal right now, so that we may see you again soon in the Alpha Program. Pray for us.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

RGPS : S.A.T 20 - 22 July

Yay (and phew)! We've completed our very first S.A.T Workshop in school - at Raffles Girls' Primary!

Girls, it was a blast for Joshua, Weisiong and me, spending the past three mornings bringing you into the world of animation!

It was a fulfiling experience for me as I believe it was for you, especially when, at the end, I literally saw your burning enthusiasm for this new art form you've discovered. I was greatly encouraged when a number of the P5's turned up early, and the whole class refused to go when the Workshop ended. It sure looked like passion to me.

And when you renamed the S.A.T from "See & Try" to "Short & Tiny", I knew that you girls had really fallen in love with animation. I promise that we'll do our best in working with RGPS to bring you the Alpha Program which nearly all of you were clamoring for. Pray that it will happen.

To the 20 July P4's, I'm sorry that we didn't have more time to take some proper photographs of you. We were all a little ruffled by the disruption from the double-booking of our room.

RGPS 20 July S.A.T [9] RGPS 20 July S.A.T [3] RGPS 20 July S.A.T [2]

RGPS 20 July S.A.T [10] RGPS 20 July S.A.T [8] RGPS 20 July S.A.T [6]

And to the teachers, parent volunteers, and alumni members who lent their time and support to the children and us, I express my gratitude - Delphine, Audreline, Yin Ling, Angie, Bobby, Ian, just to name a few. The big and little ways in which you helped to facilitate the S.A.T Workshop. Moggie, your nasi bryani went not only to our stomachs, but to our hearts as well (and I'm not referring to cholestrol here, okay).

Principal Miss Tan, thank you so much for dropping in despite your busy schedule - your supportive presence meant a lot to your girls, I assure you!

Though we were initially apprehensive about spreading the one-day S.A.T Workshop over three, we were nonetheless glad to reap the good that came out of it, especially how it gave everyone involved in the Workshop added time to evaluate and appreciate it for what it was. On my end, it was the best, real-life opportunity to observe the effect of our courseware on the P4's and P5's as it worked its function, surfacing both budding talents and areas of weakness in the students. Patience, teamwork and planning skills are just some of the areas in which our students are tested, and I'd be lying if I said it was a 100% passing rate (though I am extremely glad to say that it nearly was). Fine-tuning in terms of our courseware information and logistics will also be done, as mistakes did not come solely from the students.

We're looking forward to more fun with the 25 July batch.

Meanwhile, I'm seriously reconsidering my preference of boys over girls for children.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

We are going to RGPS!

I apologise for the rather long pausity of entries. But well, I am glad to say that it's for a good reason, as we had been running about several places nearly everyday recently - appointments and more appointments!

We are grateful for enquiries and interest from some of the schools that responded. We are in the midst of discussion right now for the implementations of our animation programs at their premises.

And meanwhile, we have produced a small little plaything, a flipbook animation, drawn by yours truly. It had been sent out to school principals all over the island. I hope it's refreshment to the sight, after the endless barrage of hyped 3D graphics these days. It's also a demonstration of the kind of difference that animation principles can bring about to a student's work.

As for our students - put in your utmost attention, and you may just get one from us as a perk at the end of the session!

And on the 20th this month, we will be conducting our very first S.A.T Workshop at RGPS! We're looking forward to offering our best to the little ladies there, and hope to spread the love for the art among them. It's also our very first workshop in a school, and anticipate applying what we have learnt from our previous S.A.T (yes, our mistakes and blunders) and give the young RGPS students an improved experience. And as usual, we'd appreciate teachers / parents / students pointing out our blind spots... and prayers will be also be much appreciated!