Names of Recipients:
Mr. Ho Wei Siong
Mr. Ellery Ng
Mr. Joshua Ngiam
With the advancement in graphic technology, the quality of animated releases over the past several years have been rising at incredible levels. From movies to short clips, the idea of creating animated characters and scenes appeals to many creative individuals locally. However, if one is interested to go into animation, their basics should be established, and their passion strong. Animagine Pte Ltd is a training facility that helps passionate and creative individuals take the steps towards an animation career.
Established in 2005 by Mr. Ho Wei Siong, Mr. Ellery Ng, and Mr. Joshua Ngiam, Animagine provides a wide range of courses for those seeking a start in animation. These includes the See-And-Try (S.A.T.) workshop, the Alpha Program, the Young Animators Program, and even conducting courses for school’s IDA’s Infocomm CCA clubs. Animagine has also conducted a competition, N.E.mation!, where youths can express their notions for Singapore’s Total Defence concept. In addition, they have also developed a suite of products that facilitate the animation process, namely the stop-motion solution AniMakerTM, guided flipbook Flipz!, and the animation light box.
The journey to Animagine started back in 2004, when the three founders saw the National Day Rally. All studying animation in Nanyang Polytechnic at that time, the founders drank in PM Lee’s Speech, where he promised to drive the media industry. Greatly inspired, the founders, already with intentions to establish a facility when they graduate, initiated plans to do so. Wei Siong explained, “We discovered that there was a missing gap in school, and we started researching how animation can help individuals. We found that they can actually impart life skills and 21st century competencies to self-motivated learners.” With this intent, Animagine was thus born.
From then on, the three founders worked hard to put Animagine on the map. But first, they had a few hurdles to cross. Wei Siong explained, “We were trained as animators, but we were not businessmen. There are many things in business we are not familiar with, and we had to learn from zero. Everything from sales to marketing, right from the ground up.”
One other thing Animagine had to face was the lack of understanding what animation was all about. Joshua elaborated, “Many in Singapore are not open to the idea of creative training.” “Especially since we are going into schools to teach our courses, we had to educate MOE about the subject of animation. What is different about us is that our specialization is on animation. Other enrichment training companies may also teach other things like Speech and Drama, but we have chosen to focus on just animation.”
Indeed, their dedication to their craft has paid off. Some of their students mentored by them have gone on to win competitions locally and overseas. This includes the Global Junior Challenge 2007 in Italy, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013, the local Phoenix Awards in 2008 and 2009, and more.
As young entrepreneurs themselves, the founders know the hard work and sacrifices it takes to make a business work. We have hence asked them for some advice for new business upstarts. Ellery thinks that money should not be the only goal. “Don’t do it just to try to get rich. Not that you can’t, but just don’t make that as your main motive. The new business model is to give first before you can earn first. Hence, you have to press on and believe in what you do.”
Joshua adds, “Be careful of your accounts, you have to keep them clean from the very first day.” Wei Siong, on the other hand, thinks passion is the most important element. “Go with your passion. You must believe you can change the world, that you can make a difference.” He also adds, “All businesses provide some form of value to the clients. So you have to know, what is the value of my own offering?”
The three founders, by working seamlessly together, have propelled Animagine to the position it is today. Their success has inspired them to make exciting plans for the future. Wei Siong shares some of that with us. “We now have our own products, books, syllabi and software. Our next step is actually to go into web-based technology. That way, we can also look into regional expansion, licensing our training so we can expand to places like Brunei and Australia.”
Ellery further added, “Although our main focus in on schools and students, we have actually started applying what we have established into adult learning. We have done some corporate training with companies such as the Far East Group, Seng Choon, and more.”
With a clear plan of action ahead, Animagine looks ahead to its brightest future yet. We have no doubt they will continue to provide high standards of quality learning, and accumulate prestige and prominence for the years to come.
68 Kallang Pudding Road
T| 6749 0737
F| 6749 0739