Africa is a continent bursting with storytellers, and animation is the ideal way for African creatives to create an artistic product that can impact the entire world by changing perceptions, spreading important social and cultural values as well as bringing an underrepresented continent into the global media eye.
Animation skills are future-proof and can be applied in many fields outside the traditional film industry, including advertising, app and web design, architecture, engineering, gaming, industrial design, medicine, and the motor industry, not to mention growth sectors like augmented reality and virtual reality.
Triggerfish Academy partnered with Goethe-Institut Johannesburg not only to create awareness about animation as a career in Africa, train future animators, and help them make their first animation so that they become part of this growing creative industry but also to contribute to transformation and diversity in this sector.
Therefore, a number of different interventions to stimulate African storytelling and upskill animators were established:
The Triggerfish Academy, https://academy.triggerfish.com/, a free digital learning platform for aspiring African talent was launched. The website features over 25 free video tutorials, quizzes and animation exercises introducing animation as a career and the principles of storytelling, storyboarding and animation. The featured talent share not just their skills but their stories, from how they broke the news they wanted to be animators to their parents, to common myths about the animation industry.
Helping aspiring animators build their reels and become employable
Animators are hired on the basis of their portfolio, not their understanding of theory, so Triggerfish Academy actively encourages people interested in animation to start animating. Therefore, the Triggerfish Academy Facebook group was initiated, where they can share their YouTube animated clips and receive feedback from industry professionals.
Through regular competitions African artists get the opportunity to showcase their talent and build up their portfolio. So far, over 147 entries from 14 African countries were achieved. Competition winners have had their work screened to industry via the Triggerfish Academy social media accounts and at Cape Town International Animation Festival.
Over 1,000 young aspiring artists were reached through 25 different career guidance and training activities, including career fairs, drawing for animation workshops and stop-frame workshops.
Introducing animation as a career opportunity
To raise awareness for this exciting sector and its talent Also For Grownups: Emerging Voices In South African Animation, a 25-minute documentary about the new generation of black animators bringing new stories to the world, was created. Also For Grownups: Emerging Voices in South African Animation is currently screening at festivals and is in negotiations with broadcasters.
Love animation and gaming? Try it out and visit triggerfish.com/academy!