Ministry trains animation educators
Nineteen animation educators from six tertiary institutions recently completed the second module of a Train The Trainer programme in animation, conducted by instructors from Capilano University in Vancouver, Canada. The four-week programme, the second in a series of three modules, was an activity of the Youth Employment in the Digital and Animation Industries (YEDAI) Project of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology.
"The objective of the Train the Trainer is to enhance the effectiveness in the delivery of local animation training programmes," said Margery Newland, YEDAI Project.
"We are very happy that we were able to continue the Train the Trainers Module 2 programme with the same cohort of participants and trainers from last year, as this provides continuity and strength to the Programme. The local training institutions have been extremely supportive, as was our collaboration with the trainers and Capilano University."
Don Perro and Adam Sale, animation instructors and programme coordinators at Capilano University, made the return trip to Jamaica to guide the participants through the second module, which equipped them with the effective teaching strategies, techniques and methodologies in the fundamental principles of 2D and 3D animation. This year, the participants were engaged in an experiential learning format based on skills application and mirroring an industry-based production experience.
"An important goal of the Train the Trainer programme is to prepare trainers for international co-productions that will require Jamaican animation artists to thoroughly understand production procedures," explained Robert Reid, animation specialist in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology.
"This year, we changed the scope to train instructors in a production setting. It was important that production-related training was carried out to impress upon the participants the necessity to be highly organised in managing assets and disciplined in managing time and schedules," said Sale, speaking at the programme's closing ceremony.
He revealed that during the training programme, the participants were required to work on two animation projects - 2D and 3D. He said that small productions like these were designed to test the mettle of the participants and that only production-related training could provide the trainers with the tools, skills and strategies that were required for successful delivery of an animation project.
At the closing ceremony, the participants presented their animation projects, which were at various stages of completion. Sale was careful to point out that to deliver two animation projects in the time frame was a mammoth task and commended them for their presentations. The participants worked in groups, with each person adopting a different role typical of the animation production process - from director to animator, editor, compositor and other roles in between. The instructors took on the roles of production manager and creative director, teaching production skills, as needed, to small teams and individuals.
The animation Train the Trainer programme is one of a number of initiatives implemented as part of YEDAI, a USD$20-million project funded by a five-year loan from the World Bank, the purpose of which is to contribute to efforts to address the issue of youth unemployment in Jamaica.
The animation industry has great potential to generate employment for talented young Jamaicans in various aspects of the business and earn hard currency for the country.
"The Train the Trainer programme ensures that Jamaica's animation instructors gain the competence, confidence and experience necessary to deliver short- or long-form curricula to incoming cohorts of students in vocational/skills training programmes, as well as certificate, diploma or degree programmes," said Reid.