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1st Pinoy 3D film half a decade in the making

By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:44:00 12/19/2010

Filed Under: Cinema, Entertainment (general)

The way AmbientMedia?s Charles Rapaport recalled it, making ?RPG: Metanoia,? the country?s first 3D animated film, was a labor of love that took at least half a decade to complete.

?It was a five-year journey of hard work combined with creativity,? Rapaport recounted.

Local animators, holed up in an office in Alabang, took hours, days and months to finish a one-minute segment, he explained.

?If we actually put together all the footage that we have, we?d have a three-and-a-half-hour film,? Rapaport related.

This was where judicious editing came in.

(Actual running time of the movie, an entry in this month?s Metro Manila Film Festival, is 105 minutes.)

The film?s first five minutes were unveiled to the public recently and its voice talents, young Kapamilya stars Zaijian Jaranilla and Mica de la Cruz, couldn?t contain their excitement to watch it.

AmbientMedia teamed up with Thaumatrope Animation and Star Cinema (ABS-CBN?s movie arm) for this landmark project.

?When it was first pitched to us early last year, we were immediately taken with the idea of producing a 3D animated film that is made purely by Filipinos for Filipinos,? said Malou Santos, managing director of Star Cinema. ?We wanted audiences to see that we can make a good film using the latest technological tools and the Filipino way of storytelling.?

Rapaport said that RoadRunner, another ABS-CBN company, did ?an impressive job in stereoscoping.?

?Stereoscopic 3D is when you split an image into two (for the left and right eye) to simulate how the human eye perceives depth,? clarified Manet Dayrit, managing director of RoadRunner. ?The 3D glasses interpret the image to simulate that depth.?

?The quality of the local artists? work is amazing,? Rapaport said. ?We hope this film will open more doors to the world for Filipino animators.?

Producers reportedly spent P100 million in making ?RPG: Metanoia,? which was graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

Its director, Luis C. Suarez, described it as ?an amalgam of different Role-Playing Games (RPGs) with Ragnarok as main inspiration.? ?My nephew loved playing ?Ragnarok.??

The child stars of the animated flick are no strangers to RPGs as well. Jaranilla plays Warcraft and Rug Force; dainty De la Cruz, Counterstrike and Crossfire.

Rapaport sees ?RPG: Metanoia? eventually spinning off its own video game, apart from the usual merchandising line of yoyos, T-shirts, toy rocket launchers, Frisbees, etc.

More than anything, the producers see this film as a chance to showcase Pinoy creativity.

?Long before there were Pinoy animators in Pixar, Filipinos have been working for Hanna-Barbera cartoons in the 1950s,? said Rapaport. ?Filipinos got the talent; now we are going to show the world that we can do anything.?

E-mail: bayanisandiego@hotmail.com

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