2016 Master Lectures
At last year’s KDIAF, we had nine great Master Lectures. They were【The Present and Future of Korean Animation】,【Gobelins and The Animation Industry in France】,【Retrospective Exhibition of Spanish Animation】,【Silence within Noise-An Account of the Chinese Animation in the 21st Century】,【Industry Forum: The Animation Industry in Taiwan】,【Xiong and Siddhartha】,【Developing and Distributing the Short Film ⟪Bear Story⟫】,【Production of Animation Story】and【The Development of Magic Lantern】. The below are the summary of each lecture. Let’s look back and remember our time of learning. At【The Present and Future of Korean Animation】, Chang Hyung Yun represented Indie-AniFest and came to TNUA. At the beginning, he shared the journey of his animation learning. Originally studying politics, Chang determined to pursue his dream as an animator despite of the discouragement from his friends. Then, he introduced us the history of Korean history. Not until 1988 did South Korea Government started to value the importance of animation industry. Since 2000, the animation industry in South Korea has gradually become independent and started to develop feature films, television cartoons and short films. At【Gobelins and The Animation Industry in France】, we got the chance to know Gobelins, the top animation institution in France, and the animation industry in France better. Gobelins, L'École de L’Image has been founded for 50 years. It is not a college but a vocational school. Its goal is to let its students being able to enter the industry right after their graduation. The employment rate of its alumni is 86%, and the employment rate of animation department is highly 100%. According to France Government’s attention to animation industry, French animation has become one of the strongest among the Europe countries, especially for 2D animations. Despite of this progress, men still dominate the animation field. In order to handle this problem, Gobelins intentionally control the portion of sex when looking for new talent. Moreover, they encourage female students to try for leading roles like director. Carolina López Caballero spent several years organizing the Retrospective Exhibition of Spanish Animation. It was the first time ⟪From Doodles to Pixels: Over a Hundred Years of Spanish Animation⟫ being screened in cinema in Asia. Caballero not only shared the experience of curating, but introduced the circumstances of Spanish animation industry through her story of learning animation. In the past, there were no animation schools in Spain. If you were interested in animation, you could only study abroad or look for a teacher in animation studios, which is the main reason why Spanish animations were deeply influenced by Disney. In recent years, with the help of the government and the growth of animation industry, Spain now has more than 50 animation institutions to train new animators. Xue Yanping is the professor of the animation department of Communication University of China. In the first half of the lecture, we watched Silence within Noise, a series of documentary films interviewing several animators in China. As to the second half of the lecture, Xue shared some stories of his students and his points of view to animation industry. China doesn't lack animation workforce. The real problem is how to make use of money and employees to manage a company as well as to understand the tendency of the Chinese audience. On the other hand, Xue thought children animation as the animation type worthy of investment. As long as there is a child, the industry goes on. As a consequence, we should be careful about the contents of children animation, for we are making influence on innocent children. Despite the fact that Xue only spoke for a half of the lecture, the documentaries actually had spoken for him. At【Industry Forum: The Animation Industry in Taiwan】, the lecturers spoke of “animation service” and “animation product”. Beside making animated films, the animation industry can work on “the product” at the same time. Those products can be apps of game, comic books, stickers for communication apps, and so on, in order to promote the brand. At the last few minutes, the forum discussed the long-exist problem of the animation industry in Taiwan, including the lack of producers, money and the most important support of the government and the entrepreneurs. How do Taiwanese animators succeed under these circumstances? Aside from a brain for business, the investment from entrepreneurs and the government policy are crucial. Hopefully, the activities concerning animation can bring enough attention for the animation industry in Taiwan. This Xiong and Siddhartha screening is the premiere in Northern Taiwan. The film is also the first 3D animated feature film of the director, Kang gen ho. The story is a semi-autobiography of Kang himself. He tries to take us back to Tamsui of fifty years ago, and at the same time, showing the importance of Buddhism to the director’s childhood. Last year, Bear Story won the 88th Academy Award for the Best Animated Short Film. In Fact, back in 2014’s KDIAF, Bear Story won its first trophy—KuanDog Prize from KDIAF. Owning to this success in the world, KDIAF invited the director, Gabriel Osorio, to come back to KuanDu and share his joy. The story was inspired by Osorio’s grandfather, who went through the overwhelming coup of Chili government. Being changed many times, Japanese storyteller and European toy vendor was added into the design of the main character. The team once thought the film could not be finished. After four years of handwork, Bear Story was completed, and finally received great recognition. Osorio explained that there is no limits to storytelling, so one should never forget the core idea of the work. With no doubt, the production team of Bear Story simply demonstrates how by remembering the message, “nothing can be the reason to breaking up a family.” Animator Chen-Yi Chang has once worked in Disney and Dreamwork, taking part as a leading role for the production of Mulan and How To Train Your Dragon, for example. Having these experiences, Chang used the brief lecture to talk about the knowledge of Storytelling. Every art media express itself by striking the heart of the audience. Animation is not an exception. In the world of animation, the audience understand and grow with the character. When the character of the story changed, maybe a seed is also buried in our mind, ready to grow and bloom in the future. At【The Development of Magic Lantern】, Roger Gonin introduced “Magic Lantern.” It originates to 17 centuries. It was a creation utilizing the theory of light, composing of a concave mirror, light (like candle-light), one to many lens and photographic slides. At the second half of the lecture, Gonin introduced Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival to us. The knowledge for magic lantern allows us to understand more about animation history. Through Kang gen ho, Gabriel Osorio and Chen-Yi Chang, we realize the importance of story. And when a story comes from the director’s heart, it is sure to strike others’. When overviewing the first five lectures mentioned above, we can have a glimpse of each country’s animation industry. New ideas and new techniques require time to grow. In some countries, animation industry is thriving. On the other hand, some countries just begin to sprout. As the Hokkien saying goes,”Jia Gin Lung Po Wa (Eat too fast and break the bowl),” meaning one should not hurry but do things step by step. Learning the history of other countries, can animation industry in Taiwan find its way to thrive? After this recalling of 2016’s master lectures, hopefully everyone can feel excited for this year’s. See you all during the festival, KDIAF awaits.