Triggerfish, in partnership with Goethe-Institut and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, has launched Triggerfish Academy, a free digital learning platform for anyone wanting to understand more about the career opportunities and how to get started in the field of animation.
The website features 25 free video tutorials, quizzes and animation exercises introducing animation as a career and the principles of storytelling, storyboarding and animation, as well as several additional resources to help guide aspiring animators into a career in animation.
“The South African animation industry is growing – and so is the demand for skilled animators globally,” said Noemie Njangiru, head of Culture and Development at Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, pointing to the success of recent Triggerfish projects like the Oscar-nominated Revolting Rhymes; Mama K’s Team 4, recently announced by Netflix as their first original animated series from Africa; and this year’s New York Children’s Festival and Shanghai International Film and TV Festival winner Zog.
Njangiru also highlighted the opportunities for animation outside the traditional film industry, within fields like advertising, app and web design, architecture, engineering, gaming, industrial design, medicine, and the motor industry, not to mention growth sectors like augmented reality and virtual reality.
The course was created by Tim Argall, currently the animation director on Triggerfish’s third feature film, Seal Team. He’s roped in many of the South African animation industry’s brightest stars, from Malcolm Wope, character designer on Mama K’s Team 4, and Annike Pienaar, now working at Illumination in Paris on Sing 2, to Daniel Snaddon, co-director of the multi-award-winning BBC adaptations Stick Man and Zog, and Faghrie Coenraad, lead dressing and finaling artist on the Oscar-nominated Revolting Rhymes, as well as Triggerfish head of production Mike Buckland. The featured talent share not just their skills but also their stories, from how they broke the news they wanted to be animators to their parents, to common myths about the animation industry.
“As kids, animation is part of our lives, so we don’t really think about the idea that animation is actually somebody’s job,” said Argall. “When I was a kid, I loved animation and I loved to draw. I remember when I was about 12, I thought: ‘I really want to see my drawings come to life. I want to be an animator.’ But I had no idea where to even begin.”
Triggerfish Academy is his attempt to make it easier for the next generation of African animators: an accessible starter kit for anyone considering a career in animation.
“By the end of working through this course, you’ll have all the background you need to know whether animation is a good choice for your career,” said Njangiru.
Aspiring animators can also use Triggerfish Academy to learn how to write and animate their own short story, then post their animation on the Academy’s Facebook group for feedback and advice from professional animators.
Triggerfish Academy is set up so that youth can play with it directly, but it’s also been designed to double as an activity plan for teachers, NGOs and after school programmes to use. Schools, organisations and other animation studios who are interested in using it can contact Triggerfish for additional free classroom resources.
Triggerfish Academy is just one of a number of Triggerfish initiatives to train and diversify the next generation of African animators, like sponsoring bursaries to The Animation School; the Mama K’s Team 4 Writers Lab with Netflix; the pan-African Triggerfish Story Lab, supported by The Walt Disney Company and the Department of Trade and Industry; Animate Africa webinars; Draw For Life; and the Triggerfish Foundation schools outreach programme. For more information, visit www.triggerfish.com/academy.
Watch and embed an intro video:
About Triggerfish Academy
Triggerfish Academy is a free digital learning platform for anyone wanting to understand more about the career opportunities in the field of animation. It’s been realised within the initiative “Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs)” by the Goethe-Institut South Africa with support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). By strengthening and networking local CCIs, positive and commercially viable “African narratives and productions” are being supported (through animation, gaming, fashion, music, etc.).
Established in 1996, Triggerfish is a Cape Town-based film and entertainment company. The studio has produced two of the top five highest-grossing South African feature films of all time: Adventures in Zambezia (2012) and Khumba (2013), and is currently producing a new feature film, Seal Team, and Netflix’s first African animated TV series, Mama K’s Team 4.
In collaboration with Magic Light Pictures, Triggerfish has also animated four multi-award-winning BBC Christmas adaptations: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man (2015), The Highway Rat (2017), and Zog (2018), as well as the Oscar-nominated Revolting Rhymes (2016), based on the Roald Dahl classic.
For more information, visit https://www.triggerfish.com/ and follow the animation studio on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the Goethe-Institut
The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute. With a global reach, Goethe-Institut promotes the German language abroad and foster international cooperation. By providing information on Germany’s cultural, social and political life, Goethe-Institut conveys a comprehensive picture of our country.
Goethe-Institut’s cultural and educational programmes promote intercultural dialogue, enable cultural participation, strengthen the expansion of civil society structures and promote global mobility.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and the Goethe-Institut promote the emerging market of cultural and creative industries in Africa and in the Middle East.
PR: Showmax, Triggerfish, Tulips & Chimneys