Issue 93, December 2010
Kudos for student filmmakers
Twins from the School of Art, Design & Media win the Encouragement Award at a top regional animation competition in Tokyo.

It was originally a 30-second film, produced by School of Art, Design & Media undergraduate Henry Zhuang for an assignment.

But a year-long labour of love from the fourth-year animation major and his twin brother, Harry, who is in the same course, saw it eventually evolve into a four-minute-and-13-second-long film, which recently won an Encouragement Award at a reputable regional animation contest, DigiCon6.

Their stop-motion film Contained was one of five Singapore finalists at the regional leg of the contest, held in Tokyo in November. In December, the film was aired at The Gallery Theatre of the National Museum of Singapore, as part of the Animation Nation 2010 DigiCon screening.

Harry shares: “We were surprised to hear that we had won, as we were not even aware that the festival was going on then. We had entered the film in the competition but were too busy with schoolwork to keep track of the outcome.”

The film tells of a man’s obsession with a red flower on an island, which eventually leads to him being trapped there. Harry explains the premise, saying: “Everyone has their own obsessions, but sometimes these can be so overwhelming that they trap us.”

Going the extra mile to express themselves
The twins, whose interest in animation was piqued by the computer games of their youth, had expanded on Henry’s project as they felt that the original clip was too short to showcase their creative ideas fully. Says Henry: “We were not exactly sure what we wanted to express at first, but believed that we would find it along the way.”

To pursue their goal, the 28-year-old brothers worked on their piece at every available opportunity during their spare time. The effort was not in vain as they learnt a lot about both film technique and themselves, says Harry.

Now, the Zhuang brothers – who are on Media Development Authority of Singapore scholarships – have set themselves another goal: to start their own production house after they graduate.

© Corporate Communications Office