Thursday, December 1, 2011

Article from Straits TImes Digital Life about Godaizer.

Below is an article in the local newspaper.  I wished they put a link to the making of

Its much funnier then the short.....

"Copyright 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Limited
All Rights Reserved
The Straits Times Singapore
November 30, 2011 Wednesday


Childhood dream brought to life;
This animator gave up working on Avatar so that he could finish his own short film about a hero robot. GRACE CHNG reports

NATIONAL WINNER As a young boy, Mr Hillary Yeo imagined robot monsters fighting in Redhill and destroying his Tiong Bahru neighbourhood whenever he looked out of his bedroom window. Then a hero robot would appear and defeat the monster. He brought his dream to life when he created Godaizer, a 12-minute animated short film. In September, it won him first prize at Digicon Singapore, an animation competition organised by Nanyang Polytechnic. This was the national-level shoot-out for Digicon6, the Asian animation contest held by Tokyo Broadcasting System to encourage regional animation efforts. Godaizer shows a grandfather and his engineer grandson running a maintenance warehouse for old robots which were retired after all the monsters were defeated and imprisoned.

The idea for Godaizer came from the Japanese animated robot and gongfu movies he watched on TV when growing up. From Tokyo, where he went to receive his prize recently, Mr Yeo, 35, who lectures in animation at Lasalle College of the Arts, told Digital Life: 'I started Godaizer to learn about the making of an animated movie. I want to know how to direct and produce, prepare a script and story board, draw up a production schedule, budget and a whole lot of other things.

Besides, I teach animation; I should be able to tell my students what it takes to make an animation movie.' Work began in 2007 and took about three years. He wrote the script, directed the movie and produced it with the help of about 20 friends and a $40,000 grant from the Media Development Authority.

His passion for animation was ignited when he was studying at the Singapore Polytechnic. A computer science lab assistant showed him some computer graphics and he was hooked. 'It was more interesting than the electrical engineering course I was doing,' he said. He completed his diploma studies in 1996, earned an advanced diploma in computer animation and visualisation the following year, and in 1999, received a master's degree in computer animation at Bournemouth University in Britain.

He freelanced before joining Weta in Auckland, New Zealand, which created the special effects for the Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Avatar. There, he honed his skills as a texture painter, bringing characters and objects to life by giving them different textures, skins and colours. Regrettably, he had to give up working on Avatar in 2008 as he had to return home to finish Godaizer, according to the terms of the MDA grant. 'Godaizer had become an unhealthy and compulsive obsession consuming all my life, like a gnawing itch that just needed to be scratched. I really needed to give creating and developing my own stories a shot while I was still young and had the drive,' he said. He taught part time at Lasalle for two years while completing Godaizer and is grateful to his current boss, Mr Chris Shaw, for giving him the studio space to complete the movie.

The key challenge, he said, was portraying the relationship between the engineer and his grandfather. He explained: 'I didn't want just two fighting robots. I wanted to show the human relationship. The grandson looks after his grandfather, keeping him company and helping him to maintain the robots. When the monster breaks out of prison and goes on a rampage, the granddad backs the boy's desire to get Godaizer out to defeat the monster.' He won a prize of US$1,500 (S$2,000) and a trip to Tokyo to receive his award. Godaizer was chosen from 40 entries. Mr Yeo's next project: a live-action movie about zombies.

November 29, 2011"