RPG Metanoia lead modeler Leon Enriquez (left) and lead animator Paul Eliscupides (right).THOMASIAN multimedia artists introduced a breakthrough in Philippine cinema in the form of a full-length 3D animation film ,RPG Metanoia, one of the entries in the 36th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) last December.

Among the alumni who showcased their animation expertise were lead animator Paul Eliscupides and lead modeler Leon Enriquez, both products of UST’s Industrial Design program. UST Advertising Arts alumni Ana Katrina Pangilinan, Voltaire Cada and Alan Escio, Architecture alumnus Alexander Matias and Aylwin Velez, who studied information and systems management in UST, were also part of the production.

Enriquez and Eliscupides said the movie took four years to make.

“We were all pressured to meet the expectations of the viewers,” Eliscupides said. Their film had to be at par with the ones being shown in the Hollywood. But then, they realized that instead of mimicking their animation style, they had to create something that is distinctly Filipino.

Generating revenue for the project became a big concern, since creating an animated film costs a lot. The production was anxious whether Filipinos would patronize the film.

It was also understaffed, requiring multi-tasking among the modeling and animation teams.

“During the modeling phase, the animation team were helping the modeling team, and vice versa,” Enriquez said.

But the effort was worth it, watching their work on the big screen and seeing their names roll more than made up for the difficulties.

“During the making of the film, when we saw that our animation is working flawlessly, we felt motivated to go on,” Eliscupides said.

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Enriquez and Eliscupides advised students who plan to make animation their career to be passionate in what they are doing.

“You must also keep in touch with the latest technology in animation. Never stop learning,” Enriquez said.

RPG Metanoia won the Third Best Picture, Best Theme Song and Best Sound Recording in the festival. It has also been rated “A” by the Cinema Evaluation Board, which entitles it to a 100 percent amusement tax rebate. The film was a joint project of Ambient Media, Thaumatrope Animations, and Star Cinema.

The film is about the adventures of Nico and his friends as they save the world of Metanoia, a massively multiplayer online game, from a computer virus that alters the behavior of its players through subliminal messages. In addition, the film also sends a message that there is more to childhood than just playing computer games. John Ernest F. Jose


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