Jamaica Training Workshop
In July 1991, a training workshop was organized by UNICEF in cooperation with Disney Feature Animation, the Jamaican Information Service and held at CARIMAC, the University of the West Indies. Artists from Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Haiti and St. Vincent were trained during an intense two-week period. The workshop had the following goals:
- train 17 local artists who had substantial talent in drawing and comic strip art, in methods of adapting their skills for animation
- produce a short pencil-test for a film on a relevant social issue for the Caribbean
- establish plans for networking animation productions in the Caribbean and for further training of artists
During the first week of training, each artist, all of whom were accomplished illustrators, designed a character that they felt could communicate social messages effectively in their individual countries. The artists were then shown how to color and paint animation cels and how to construct a storyboard on a given theme. Each night, popular animated films were screened and discussed, highlighting the range of issues that could be covered by animation techniques.
Johnny Sad Boy
During the second week of the workshop the group produced a fifty-second spot in the form of a pencil test. The spot was about child abuse and its goal was to draw attention to this sometimes hidden problem. Johnny Sad-Boy or Child Abuse, as it was originally titled, was taken from the pencil test stage and completed at two additional training workshops held in Barbados. At the first of these workshops, Disney Feature Animation collaborated by sending their top ink and paint artist to conduct the training. It was during this week that the pencil test was transferred to animation cels and painted in full-color.
Johnny Sad Boy was screened on television throughout the Caribbean for the UNICEF International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) in 1993 in 19 countries, and has since been shown regularly as a public service announcement throughout the region.