(Dayo official teaser trailer)
I got excited because I have never been to an animation studio ever in my life and that’s why I really prepped up to be early for the studio tour in Cutting Edge Studios at Greenbelt Mansion, Makati. The studio tour is for the promotion of Dayo, the first Filipino all-digital animated film. The place was filled with toys, which they really need to keep their imagination “child-like” 🙂 .
It is a story of a boy named Bubuy whose grandparents were abducted by bad creatures from Elementalia. Bubuy then meets this vegetarian “manananggal” named Anna who brought her to Elementalia, an enigmatic land home of the lower Philippine mythological characters. Lower mythological characters, meaning they are the ones who are considered in the “lower” stratum of hierarchy in Philippine mythology such as “Nuno sa Punso”, “Kapre”, “Tiyanak” and many more. The only way Bubuy can save his grandparents was to collect the ingredients for the magic potion that “Nuno sa Punso” asked him to look for. The saga continues as Bubuy faces the different challenges in Elementalia. The story itself is just simple, easy to grasp. The movie isn’t just for kids, it’s also for adults. The writers made sure that the adults will be able to relate to the jokes so that they wouldn’t feel that they’re being dragged by the kids they accompany into something that they wouldn’t want to watch. Another interesting thing here is that while we were watching some scenes in the movie, it actually captured the Filipino identity. Filipinos can easily identify their “Filipinohood” on the locations and object that were actually utilized on the film most especially on Bubuy’s house. The movie itself isn’t a “stranger” to us, though the presence of the elementals are there.
Dayo wasn’t the first animated film to be done digitally, it was actually Adarna however at that time they combined the traditional animation with digital animation. As for Dayo, the digitalization starts from storytelling to editing. Of course human ability is still needed for drawing of the characters but the equipments they use are cintiq screen tablets wherein artists can use pressure sensitive pens to draw. They were so cool! Ehem, those are the actual equipments that Disney or Pixar animators use while they’re doing their animation. Everything here was Filipino made and done inside the Cutting Edge Studios. No work was outsourced outside the Philippines ( well they have to outsource work on their satellite offices in other regions of the Philippines). This is one of the issues that Filipino digital artists faces; that they are never credited on the art they do since most of the animation that is being done here are just for foreign purposes.
Also one thing to wait for is the soundtrack. The official theme song is “Lipad”. There are 2 versions of it, one is being aired now in NU 107 ( which is the rock version) and as for the film version, it’s Lea Salonga who sang it accompanied with Filharmonika, Gerard Salonga’s orchestra.
Did you know that the film actually started to be done 2 years ago? Starting from the conceptualization until the post production, it took them about 2 years to finish this project. The estimated cost of making this film is about $1 M, a very risky venture but I’m sure that Filipino audiences will be able to appreciate it. The film is due to be done by October or November and of course to be shown in the upcoming 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival on December. This will be the only animation entry in the film festival and this is something that everybody can watch out for. Popular Filipino actors and actresses will be voicing the major characters in the film such as Michael V., Laurice Guillen, Pokwang, Noel Trinidad, Peque Gallaga. Nash Aguas will be voicing Bubuy and Katrina “Hopia” Legaspi will be voicing Anna, the vegetarian mananaggal.
You can visit their official website at www.dayothemovie.com