What could you animate in 24 hours?
This year’s 24 HOURS: Animation Contest for Students will be hosted online, from Friday October 15th to Saturday October 16th. The free event challenges students around the world to compete in teams of five. The goal: Produce a 30-second animated film in under 24 hours. Now in its 19th year, this challenge is hosted by animation professor, Aubry Mintz, director of animation and visual effects at Chapman University
Judging the final 30-second films is a volunteer panel of esteemed animation professionals. Interested in joining this year’s challenge? Students can register their team of five using the link below before Wednesday, October 13th.
“We had over 65 schools join us last year, bringing the total number of participating schools to over 125 across the world,” says Mintz. “Our goal was to make students feel united and less isolated, so we created a variety of opportunities to stay engaged.” These opportunities include regular check-ins, Q&As from guest judges, a behind-the-scenes contest, as well as encouragement from the event organizers to collaborate every step of the way.
Who is involved?
Each year, industry sponsors support 24 HOURS with additional prizes and funding efforts. Starting last year, the contest introduced an equipment request program for underserved students. This not only enables participation in the challenge, but also provides tools to aid in virtual learning and art production throughout the year. As a result, 25 participants received equipment in 2020 and the organizers hope that even more students benefit this year. Details for applying will be available on the contest’s official Facebook group.
Generous supporters of the contest have included Toon Boom Animation, CSU Summer Arts, CTNX, ASIFA-Hollywood, Illumination, Animation Magazine, TVPaint, Wacom, CRC Press, DigiCel, Stuart NG Books, Your Animated Journey, Eclipse Tech, Mac Hollywood, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Walt Disney Animation, Blue Sky, Sony Pictures Animation, Netflix Animation, Pixar, Stuart NG Books, and more!
How does it work?
Pending their school’s permission, students may each work from home but must still register in teams of five. Each team requires a faculty advisor from their home school; this ensures that the contest meets each school’s student learning outcomes. Teams at the same school may share faculty advisors.
All teams start at the exact same time, and must submit a YouTube link of the completed films before the deadline: Saturday October 16th at 4PM PST. Afterwards, late submissions are not accepted. Teams must plan ahead and troubleshoot issues, such as unsent emails and broken YouTube links. Prizes are awarded to the top seven winning teams by a panel of industry professionals.
Participants can find official rules and eligibility requirements here.
How did it all start?
In 2002, Aubry Mintz challenged his students to work through the night to see how much they could accomplish. After sunrise, five students remained — impressing Mintz by what they were able to produce. The experiment then became the 24 HOURS Animation Contest for Students, offered annually for students in search of a challenge.
“It brings out the best in students,” says Mintz. “Working in teams of five challenges artists to work collaboratively. Sometimes this creates tension and obstacles that the teams must work together to overcome.”
“Although this contest sounds crazy — it is a rapid speed lesson in animation production. The top films are as good as completed student films that take over a year to produce. It’s a chance to set personal goals and work outside of a classroom structure.”
Looking for more information about the contest? Participants contact email@example.com, join the 24 Hours contest’s Facebook group, and find the registration link here. Looking for inspiration? Be sure to watch all of the winning entries on YouTube.