Every now and then I spot a cool animation contest online. Previously I participated in one that Spline Doctor's held this past May. I also put together a whole short for LG film fest in the fall of '09 which my friends Katie and Sean helped me complete. The short for the LG contest was embarassing to me when it was completed... I put as much time into it as I could but there was not enough time to get something done that I was much proud of. Though I did like pieces of it. Check out a background here (which is STILL my twitter account wallpaper) and a very small animation test here. I also started but couldn't finish an 11 second club entry for December 2009. This past February I put a solid two weeks into a proposal to participate in the latest round of NFB's Hothouse program. I remember not leaving the house for 5 days straight just coming up with ideas and working like crazy on that one. I wasn't accepted into that program. Which I was happy about in the end actually. It's frustrating though, to put so much time into a project that you don't "win". I can't say I don't learn something with each project though. At least now when I work on my short film I am going to "win" because I can put the time and heart into it that I want to.
So I've discovered a new contest! This one definitely has hoop jumping. There is a fixed theme, duration and music track. Though I think you can edit the music a bit. And the deadline is fast approaching. Well... the first deadline. There are three. If your first animation is chosen to be a finalist, you have to create another piece and if you make it out of that round there is a third and final animation to be created. The prize is pretty sweet... so... I dunno. I have taken 3 days off Pickled so far to work on a idea. I feel like I am slightly crazy. I keep working on my contest idea and I figure that if I can't keep up with the work schedule I've made up, then I'll scrap the whole thing. It's like "sane until proven crazy". My ideas tend to be very "big". Coming up with short film ideas is tricky for me, I tend to come up with epic ideas and try to trim them down when I need short ideas. At least if I don't win this contest I have a really cool new story idea! I would love to develop it. It's very action/sci-fi.
I would say that the bonuses of entering a contest are coming up with new ideas, developing your brainstorming/creative process, practicing your craft, having other people see your work, making connections, getting feedback, feeling inspired by yourself and other entrants, learning to time manage and having a new piece of work for your reel or to show your mates. And possibly earning something like a grant or a professional critique of your work or a link to your work on someone's website. My biggest complaint about spending so much time on contests is that I never get to exercise. :P I am going to exercise a lot when my short is finally done.