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Our First 24 Hours that Defined Exceptional Minds History

On October 15, 2021, Exceptional Minds Academy participated in the 24-Hour Animation Contest of 2021, competing against other schools, colleges, and universities in the United States and Worldwide. This event happens every year in the fall. A team of 5 students volunteer to take part in this challenge to make a 30-second animated short in under 24 hours. It was a difficult challenge that required teamwork, collaboration, flexibility, and animation skills when animating a short based on a theme. The 24-Hour Animation Challenge event begins on a YouTube live stream when the head of this event gives a speech explaining the rules of the challenge and prizes and rewards for winning. Then the head of the 24-Hour animation competition tells everyone the theme of the 30-short we have to animate. When doing this challenge as a group, you could use any type of animation program and style the group wants, whether it is 2D animation, 3D animation, or Stop-motion animation. This competition was comparable to the Animation Olympics, mainly for art students.

When I participated in 24-Hour animation for the first time, I had a basic understanding of what it would be like due to my observing the competition at Cal State Fullerton years ago. I wanted to experience it for the first time, so I volunteered with 4 other people: Doron Tuvia, Kate McSpadden, Leona Tate, and Charlotte Snare, to partake in this competition. When we participated in this Animation Contest, we created a team name for ourselves. Our team name was the Determinatorz. On that day when the competition started, the theme we were given was, “What is the new normal after Covid?” We first quickly discussed how to show that theme as an animation. Then each of us had a task to do like character designing and storyboarding. Then, after the designs and boards were approved, we started animating using adobe animate and harmony in that small room from our previous location at the academy. Our animations were compiled and edited in Premiere with sound and music and uploaded to the 24-Hour animation online link. While working on that group project, we were given food provided by the Exceptional Minds Staff and Charlotte. When it was over, we all went home to await the results.

In that challenge, there are several things I wished we could have done to improve our experience, which might help us improve better in the future. For example, we could have stayed longer in our work location regardless of the curfew or even slept there so that way we could have more time to clean up and work on our animations. I could have practiced using Adobe Animate more before the contest, and maybe we should have started animating sooner during the contest. What I think we should improve on was probably telling a much clearer story next time based on the theme. It would be very beneficial if we had a person in our team who could specialize in creating original music and/or good sound effects. Cleaning up animation was challenging, and I wish I could have drawn clearer lines so that we didn’t have to do too much cleaning up. Regardless of these certain challenges, the participants of the 24-Hour animation were given a studio tour of the Exceptional Minds Studio by Howie Hoffman. It was a great experience to witness the animation studio, and personally, it was a great honor to be able to work with talented people like Doron, Kate, Leona, and Charlotte in my team and represent Exceptional Minds. Next year, you may ask me if I want to participate in this 24 Animation Contest again. I would say that I don’t know, but I might consider it.


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