MANILA, Philippines--How many artists did it take to produce the 90-minute animation movie, ?Dayo,? one of the finalists in the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival? According to executive producer Jessie Lasaten, over 500?and it took them two years to come up with the finished product.
When the script of Temi Abad Jr. and Eric Cabahug was first presented to the MMFF screening committee, the entry was rejected. There were concerns that the project would not be completed on time, plus there was no category for animation in the festival. The committee also asked the project proponent, a first-time producer, to prove that his company, Cutting Edge Productions, was financially viable.
Lasaten said that his company had started work on ?Dayo? long before the deadline for submission of proposals for the MMFF. It would take a more detailed presentation before the committee finally accepted the film as an entry. By the time the 60 prints for the movie were finished, its investors had already poured in $1.3 million?and they still had to allocate additional funding for merchandising and miscellaneous expenses.
Lasaten?s objective is to recover half the investment in the local market, the rest in the international market.
For ?Dayo,? Lasaten wanted to use full orchestration, so he spoke to his friend, Gerard Salonga, to lend a hand. Thus, music for the movie is provided by the 35-piece orchestra, FILharmoniKA (?Tunog 70-piece, because of overdubbing?), under the baton of Gerard.
Gerard?s sister, Lea Salonga, who also contributed her singing voice to Walt Disney?s ?Aladdin? and ?Mulan,? is doing Lasaten and Abad?s theme song (?Lipad?). ?It?s about believing in dreams and making them come true,? explains the composer.
The story of ?Dayo? is quite simple. An 11-year-old boy, Bubuy (voiced by Nash Aguas), must travel to the fantasy world of Elementalia to rescue his grandparents (Noel Trinidad and Nova Villa) who have been abducted by mythical creatures. He is helped in his mission by a friendly vegetarian manananggal (Katrina Legaspi).
In Elementalia, he will encounter the Yoda-like character, Lolo Nano (Peque Gallaga), a cigar-smoking female kapre (Laurice Guillen), a cool rocker tikbalang (Michael V), and Elementalia?s head guardian (Johnny Delgado).