07 Jun 2021 | BY Karl Pontau

Epic ACG Fest, Stoking Passion for Animated Stories

Storytelling is a powerful tool that mankind has been using for thousands of years. Our brains are wired to comprehend stories. Studies show that we only retain about 10% of what we read the first time on a bulleted list, compared to 70% of what we hear in a story. Be it oral tradition or digital animation, a good story can communicate information, pull at heartstrings, and inspire action.

I recently witnessed animation’s versatile storytelling potential and was reminded of the spark that initially ignited my passion for animation. Last week I was pleasantly surprised when Eric Ling, who works for the Maeya Cultural Exchange Group, reached out to me on Facebook. He wanted to know if I’d like to be an animation judge, award presenter, and give a short speech at the upcoming Epic ACG Fest in Albany, CA!

As I watched each submission, the effort, time, and love the creators poured into their work was easy to see. It takes a monumental effort to bring a world to life in an animation. One has to study physical movements, human behavior, and a myriad of other subjects in order to make their work believable. Animations take a long time to create. Often, teams of people spend months or even years creating the final product. Most of all, animation takes passion. The immense effort and long hours cause even experienced artists to burn out if they overexert themselves. Being passionate about animation helps keep one’s flame alight during challenging times. But that’s not all the festival submitees possess.

Making an animation is one thing. Showing to the world requires something more. Most people would agree that a singer taking the stage to serenade in a lounge or melt faces in an arena is courageous. Most people would also agree that an actor or actress pouring their heart out on stage or screen takes courage. Well, animation requires similar courage to release one’s work to the world, often to the harshest critics of internet comment boards. I saw that courage in all the people who made themselves vulnerable in order to share their work, learn from the feedback they received, and grow as artists and individuals.

At the time of writing, the awards have yet to be handed out. So, who knows how this story will end? If you want to find out for yourself, check out the festival for yourself! You can learn more and buy tickets at: http://eacgfest.org/Home.html

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