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Animation Lockdown 2024 FLASHBACKS EDITION

Come join us for the May long weekend for an animation making challenge!

satirical show of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover but with Hamishes. Erin Saunders, 2024
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Visit the event website to learn more


May 16, 2024May 20, 2024

Long-Weekend Animation Challenge!!


2011 10th ave SW, Calgary AB T3C 0K4


Lockdown INFO

Join us for our 17th annual Animation Lockdown: FLASHBACK Edition. Make a brand-new animated film from start to finish during this production event! 

We open our studios and make sure all our gear is available to members so that participants can jam into the studios, get inspired by peers and collaborators, connect over some sweet grub, and get weird in those weirdo hours!

Participants will enter the studios on Friday night, and leave Monday afternoon having created incredible new animated films eligible for amazing prizes at our local premiere screening on June 29th, 2024 at cSpace!

For the fourth year of partnership, the Quickdraw Animation Society will be participating nationally with the 48 Film Festival. This partnership won’t change the legacy of QAS’ own Lockdown. However, it does mean that TWO SHORT FILMS from each participating area will be selected for an in-person screening in Spring 2025 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto!


This year’s theme is FLASHBACKS!

The Quickdraw Animation Society is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year and looking back, boy, has the society gone through a lot. Four decades of stickin’ it to the man, fighting for the art of animation to be taken seriously, and for a community of animators to thrive while sharing resources, opportunities, educating, and cheering each other on.

Our history informs our decisions, it can be exciting, or sad, may even keep us up at night, or be completely nonsensical! But our history is who we are. What we have experienced. And as a society we have a pretty amazing collection of experiences.

Flashback to...

  • The time QAS was on the Big Breakfast television show celebrating what we do at the society and why we have 2 cats that live at the studios.
  • Wizard animator Bruce Bickford demanding that a room of 20 QAS members be quiet as he painstakingly animates little clay figurines morphing into each other. “SHHHhhh”
  •  Moving the immovable object, that is the Oxberry Camera Stand columns down the stairs of old Quickdraw.
  •  During COVID, running a festival online for 2 years, Animation Lockdown via ZOOM, online classes… Ok maybe don’t remember that
  •  The time the cops got called on QAS for the use of pyrotechnics in Tank and Colton’s epic Kaiju film.

Does your FLASHBACK talk to you in the SENSORY MEMORY PROCESS - a poetic response to color, light, sound, and smell?

Or, does your FLASHBACK fit more in your SHORT-TERM MEMORY PROCESS  - like when you stop, smile, and completely forget what you were doing whenever you think of how a bunch of brain doctors and research scientists formed an animation society in 1984 just because they liked cartoons.

 Or maybe the LONG-TERM MEMORY PROCESS: aka when you see an un-numbered animation frame, and your palms suddenly get sweaty and you're forced into an intense intrusive memory of the time you dropped your 400 frame traditional animation on the floor and had to spend hours reordering it?

This year’s Lockdown theme encourages our participants to stop, take a breath, and respond to how far we have gone with films based on Quickdraw's history.

Participants who follow the FLASHBACKS key will be eligible for prizes, awards and to potentially have their film included in an upcoming documentary about QAS!

As always, we encourage you to interpret FLASHBACKS in your own way - narrative, non-narrative, abstract, or whatever! It doesn’t have to be a QAS inspired flashback, or you could decide to not follow the key at all. No matter what you choose to make, the Animation Lockdown is an opportunity for members to focus in on their project, collaborate with their peers, and get fed tasty food!

 Flashback examples:

More examples over at TV TROPES 


This year’s Animation Lockdown will be held in-person and on-site, from Friday, May 17 through Monday, May 20, 2024 (Orientation and onboarding will be Thursday May 16th 7PM - 9PM)

We are excited to share the studio together!

  • TEAMWORK: Making an animation over a weekend is tough, get your friends or family to help! Give them a task, get them to hang out! Some jobs we recommend giving to your pals are: Voice actor, Prop creator, Character Designer, Colorist, Background Artist, and/or in-betweener.
  • 1x SECRET CAMERA TECHNIQUE: We will announce the specific technique  on the first day. You must use this technique for at least one shot of your film.
  • 1x SECRET EDITING TECHNIQUE: We will announce the requirement  on the first day. 
  • 1x SECRET LANGUAGE: Details to be unveiled on the first day!
  • 1x SECRET AUDIO REQUIREMENT: You must incorporate at least 1x clip into your film, however you wish. You do NOT have to use the full track, or make the audio the main focus!

Films that do not incorporate the above theme and technical requirements, or are not finished and uploading by 6pm on Monday May 20 2024, may not be included in the screening and will not be eligible for the National 48 challenge and/or prizes.

We strongly recommend that you find at least one person to work with during the QAS Animation Lockdown. From our experience films have a better chance of getting completed when animators can share the work. Even if it is your niece, neighbor, friends or family this can really boost morale in the dark hours of animation! If you are a solo participant that would like to work with others, please indicate so in your registration and we will try to pair you up with teams of 2-4 people. 

QAS Staff will be on-site/available during the entire event for help, tech assistance, and moral support.

The Lockdown is intended to be an in-person event, but you are allowed to work from your own home studio. If you do decide to work from home, please indicate in your registration. Understand that home-studio workers are still expected to come in-person to the orientation on Thursday, and Saturday/Sunday dinners, and deliver your film in-person on a physical hard drive. We cannot provide rental equipment for those working at home, as that equipment is reserved for all in-person participants, so if you choose to work from home you must have access to everything you need. 

Participation is limited to Producing Members who are local+. You must be a current Producing Member to play, and if your membership is expiring soon you will be asked to renew your QAS membership.

By “local+” we mean we can only support Calgary-Mohkinstsis-area animators, Alberta artists, and the QAS global diaspora. This is NOT a worldwide event, we do not have the capacity to host this event for new folks from away who do not have a previous connection to our Society. Reach out if you want to participate but aren’t sure if you are eligible.

Animation experience isn’t necessary, but is highly recommended – this isn’t an intro to animation workshop. New animators, students, and those just starting out are welcome, as are experienced animators wanting a new challenge. Some familiarity with your production method of choice is recommended as well, since we won’t be able to teach you a new software skill over the weekend. We will troubleshoot and advise as best we can.

Older youth (13+) are welcome to participate but must have adult supervision. If we get enough youth we may recommend they team up. Anyone under 18 is advised to have their guardian contact us in advance of registering.

Quickdraw aims to create a safe and welcoming space for all members, and we want our participants to reflect the diversity of our community. We strongly encourage Indigenous peoples, official language minorities, people with disabilities, racialized people and women to register. If you may encounter physical, mental, financial, or other barriers to participation, please let us know and we will do our best to support you.

QAS reserves the right to cancel or refuse registrations, cap the number of participants, or remove participants before or during the event. Signing up is not a guarantee you will participate. We’ll try our best to accommodate everyone, but disrespectful behaviour, harassment, or otherwise unchill actions towards other participants or QAS Staff will get you removed from the event.



Until then, go to THE SIGN-UP PAGE to see a full breakdown of costs for our lockdown and keep pressing that F5 key until registration is launched!


This is a long-weekend event, broken up into three distinct phases. How you manage your time is up to you.

  • Email Erin to confirm what gear you need for the Lockdown event. This can include requesting specific studio space, but understand that we need to share.  
  • Any questions, email:
  • We will host an in-person orientation to introduce the Lockdown, meet each other, and reveal the KEY (aka technical requirements) on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 7pm. The requirements will also be sent out over email.
  • You can start animating after 7pm Thursday once the challenges have been released. Take the time to do your pre-production, start storyboarding, watch online tutorials, get supplies, choose your music track, etc.
  • Bring in your gear/be assigned your gear and workspace, get set up, take a pretty picture!
  • QAS Staff will be in-house 10am-6pm, you're free to come in anytime in that window!
  • Get ready and start working on your pre-production!
  • QAS Staff will support work sessions and tech support 10am to 8pm for each of the four days.
  • Participants have these four days to complete the bulk of their animation. You’re welcome to keep your own hours, work all night, etc. but support will only be available during the times listed above. (We have to sleep sometime…)
  • QAS will provide dinner on Saturday and Sunday - let us know your dietary restrictions when you register!
  • Online resources, cloud storage, and video chat services will be available to participants 24/7. After hours will not be moderated, so use at your own risk.
  • You should aim to have most of your animation production finished by end of day Sunday. Leave yourself time for sound, editing, and troubleshooting!
  • QAS Staff will be supporting participants 10am to 6pm on Monday
  • Final, rendered films WITH SOUND are due at 6pm on Monday May 20, uploaded (or uploading) to QAS FilmDrop server at HQ


Again, any films that haven’t begun uploading by 6pm on May 20, 2024 may not be screened, and will definitely NOT be eligible for prizes.

During the Animation Lockdown we encourage you to join us at HQ to share your daily updates, meet other animators, and hang out - we will be offering dinner on Saturday and Sunday plus plenty of snacks and chances to meet fellow animators participating!


We will award the following prizes at the in-person screening on JUNE 17, 2023 at cSpace's Studio Theatre.

Exact prizes are a surprise! But they may include sweet merch from our partners, free QAS classes, or even cash money. Details will be announced to participants on the first day of the Lockdown. But these look killer on a CV or film festival submission! So reach for the sky, flex your muscles, and bring your A-Game! The Lockdown is GO!


Top-scoring film, weighted 1 (ok) to 5 (amazing)


2nd top-scoring film


3rd top-scoring film





1920x1080 version of the 2024 lockdown poster, text reads "MAY 17-20, 2024



Four Hamish's in suits with a border of giraffes in a St. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band style with pinks, reds and oranges.


All participants in the lockdown are expected to follow the set standards listed in our Code of Conduct to ensure a safe space for all members.

The Code of Professional Conduct indicates the expected standards of professional conduct for participants of the Animation Lockdown but is not an exhaustive list of such standards. In the event that the set standards are not met by a participant, they will be given up to one warning depending on the circumstance of the misdemeanour. If participants continue to ignore the set standards, they will be removed from the lockdown and all equipment/software shall be returned immediately. In such a case, they will NOT receive a refund. Quickdraw has no tolerance for ignorance or misconduct. We pride ourselves on being a safe space of inclusivity and community which applies to our online services, workshops, classes etc. 

Click here to read the terms