Fresher's Week: The 2016 Great Animation Quiz and the 2016 Animation & VFX Hunger Games

As our new cohort of first year students settle into the work at hand we take a moment to reflect on the week that was... that is the week that was the week before last.... that is week that was the week of The 2016 Great Animation Quiz and The Animation  & VFX Hunger Games!

Our new cohort of eager animation and visual effects artists spent the morning putting their sleepy grey cells to work answering some of the worlds toughest animation questions. They were expected to not only recognise some very obscure and rare animation characters, but we also expected them to remember dates, names, and even the significance of "A113".  Like true troopers they took hold of their sleepy selves and gave themselves a metaphorical shake, rising heroically to the challenge. By the end of the quiz they were ready and raring to go for the next task. A big well done to the winning team for their display of superior brain power in this event.

This was followed by The Great Animation Pitch event. Each team was required to deliver a pitch for an animated children's TV series that was "extremely unlikely to ever be made." Some topics were, very wisely, off limits. The students were given a handful of plasticine and 30 minutes to come up with their winning ideas. The teams presented their pitches to the judges, together with accompanying visual aids, which were sculpted in perfect detail using quality clay products. Congratulations to the winning team for their inspiring and very topical pitch.

And then they thought that the fun was over... but it was not... not quite... not yet.

As the afternoon approached ripples of excitement and trepidation resonated throughout the campus as word got around that the students would later be required to compete in the 2016 Animation and Visual Effects Hunger Games.

At a little after lunch-time the the tributes gathered in the studio and listened patiently while they were briefed on the highly-complex-and-convoluted-but-nevertheless-really-really-well-thought-out rules of the game.

Each team was required to retrieve items of food (not real food, heavens no, the students would never come back if we did that) which had previously been cunningly placed in strategic locations around the campus. The winners would be the team who returned to the studio at the end of the game with the ingredients for the best sandwich.

The base teams sat anxiously around the game map in the studio and were given clues which they passed, via social media, to the foraging teams who ventured forth holding their team sigils aloft... well mostly aloft, some of them held them at a little below chest height.

Teams were permitted to acquisition items of food from other teams via a system known as 'tapping'. There were tears and there were cheers as the game's twitter feed started to fill up with images of foraging and tapping successes. Half way through the afternoon the heavens opened as thunder and lightning ripped through the Penryn skies, and many of our new recruits found themselves having to swim for their lives (or at least that's what it looked like they had been doing when they returned to the studio.)

There was excitement and there were thrills, and at around half past tea-time the teams returned to the studio with their foraging spoils The winning team had the (pictorial) ingredients for a rather scrumptious Daffy Duck sandwich, with salad, accompanied by a Pingu chocolate bar.

I suspect that it was largely the chocolate bar that swayed the judges.


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