24 HOURS Animation Contest Has Record-Breaking Year

2015 proved to be the biggest year of the annual event. In its 13th year, the contest included a record-breaking 525 students participating from 24 schools from around the world! Sponsored by ToonBoom, CSU Summer Arts, Digicel, Focal Press, Wacom, CTN, ASIFA-Hollywood, Stuart Ng Books, Dreamworks, Blue Sky, Laika, Animation Magazine and Film Roman/Starz, the event was kicked off with an introduction by event chairman Aubry Mintz, which included a role call of all the participating schools and an explanation of event rules.

The theme “Imagine if technology was introduced at the dawn of humankind” was announced, and Students immediately began working in teams of 5 to complete 30-second animated films from scratch.

The students’ marathon session was overseen by their instructors, who were allowed to observe their students, but not offer direct help other than finding ways to motivate the students to complete their films (and occasionally making runs to keep the creative binge fueled with pizza, snacks and energy drinks).

Judges for the event included Steve Hickner (DreamWorks Animation), Mike Roberts (Shadow Machine), Sam Michlap (DreamWorks Animation), Sarah LaPenna Onheiber (Rockstar Games), and Leasa Epps-Eisele (Film Roman). Films were evaluated on storytelling (was the story clear, entertaining and related to the topic), art direction/animation (how was the production quality of the film), creativity (how did the team creatively interpret the topic) and completion (was the film complete). Prizes from the sponsors were awarded to the 5 top scoring teams:

  • 1st place – 36.8 point average – Potty Squad CSUF
  • 2nd place – 36.4 point average – Oxizone Children Sheridan College
  • 3rd place – 35 point average – Trinket Films – Sheridan College
  • 4th place – 34.6 point average – Squad 69 – Ringling College of Art and Design
  • 5th place – 34.5 point average– Cartoonista – Academy of Art San Francisco

To view the announcement of the winners, take a look at the video below.

“I find that some of my students work so hard for this contest that it opens their eyes up to their own potential and they inject this work ethic into the rest of their semester,” stated Mintz. “As long as they keep coming back, I’ll keep running the contest!”

The record-breaking year included 22 registered schools, 105 teams and 525 students! Participating schools included:

  1. Academy of Art University (San Francisco , CA)
  2. Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH)
  3. CSUC (Chico, CA)
  4. CSUF (Fullerton, CA)
  5. CSULB (Long Beach, CA)
  6. CSUN (Northridge, CA)
  7. Griffith Film School (Queensland, Australia)
  8. Kansas City Art institute, (Kansas City, MO)
  9. Kendall College of Art and Design (Grand Rapids, MI)
  10. MTSU (Tennessee)
  11. Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
  12. Queensland QUT (Brisbane, Australia)
  13. Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota, FL)
  14. Rowland High School (Rowland Heights, CA)
  15. Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX)
  16. SJSU (San Jose, CA)
  17. Seneca College (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  18. Sheridan College (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  19. South Dakota State University (Brookings, South Dakota)
  20. UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  21. USC (Los Angeles, CA)
  22. Woodbury University (Glendale, CA)

The Genesis of The Annual Event
The 24 HOURS Animation Contest for students was created by CSULB Professor/Head of Animation, Aubry Mintz in an effort to motivate his students to work a little harder.

In 2002, he challenged his senior animation class to animate into the night and promised to stay until the last one remained. 5 tired students stayed through the night working hard on their animation assignments, and at 6am they all watched the sunrise. Mintz was so impressed with the accomplishments that his students were able to achieve in a condensed amount of time that he decided to make this an annual tradition and 24 HOURS was born.

Word traveled fast about this motivating contest and participation has grown every year. 24 HOURS is now a successful international competition with 525 students from 22 schools participating in the US, Canada and Australia in 2015. Mintz is now raising the funds to host an “iron chef” style final round where the finalists will compete under one roof. If all goes to plan, he hopes to have this competition in May 2016. More details of the contest can be found by joining the 24 HOURS Facebook group.

Event Photos
If you want to see photos from the event, they are available at the Animation Educators Facebook Page.