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‘Animahenasyon’ showcases original Pinoy animation content

(Manila, Philippines, December 10, 20120) — Niko Salazar’s Marianing, an eight-minute animated film about a mysterious man named Marianing who avenges the death of his wife who was killed by aswangs, bagged the grand prize in the recently concluded “Animahenasyon 2012: 6th Philippine Animation Festival.” The animation festival, organized by the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI), was held at the School of Design and Arts of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.

Marianing was inspired by the life of Salazar’s grandfather as a supernatural healer and a local legend in a small village in Leyte. Salazar was the director, writer, lead animator, production and sound designer, and picture and sound editor of Marianing, which was produced by the School of Design and Arts of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. A total of 127 entries competed at the annual animation competition. Categories ranged from animated shorts and series, animated television commercials, demo reels, and animated music videos, among others.

Aside from the competition entries, the festival also screened special programs from France, Spain, Japan, Germany, UK, USA, and Australia. Animahenasyon also featured veteran artists who shared their insights about working in the animation industry.

The Philippines has long been a choice destination for animation outsourcing, holding credentials to projects of world famous animation studios such as Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, HBO, Marvel Comics and Japanese anime studios.

“The animation was all drawn on paper, the background was painted traditionally using Chinese ink and everything was processed in my computer up to the final piece,” Salazar said, “Sometimes, I would only sleep for two hours. Some nights, when it was necessary, I wouldn’t sleep at all. I am quite a methodist and that’s what drives me to put soul in my work. But it was all worth it.”

‘A powerful and playful storytelling medium’

Animation is an effective medium to expose animators and artists. The evolving technology specialized for this field has enabled Filipinos to express their creativity in design and storytelling. “There are so many platforms where you can showcase your material. Before, we only had TV and Film. But because of the advent of mobile devices, there are a lot of venues that need content today,” said Benjie Marasigan, festival director and faculty member at the School of Design and Arts, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.

“Animation is a powerful and playful storytelling medium. It has been a big influence to a lot of people all over the world,” said Grace Dimaranan, president of ACPI, a partner association of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP). “The festival has been instrumental in inspiring young artists and launching the careers of renowned animators, and honoring the pillars of art in this industry.”

Career opportunities abound in the animation industry, according to Dimaranan. “There’s a lot of demand for animation for TV content. The most important thing for an animator to have is skill. Whether you’re a diploma graduate, high school graduate or an undergrad, you can get in a studio as long as the skill is there and you can follow the industry rules and standards,” she said.

A convincing portfolio is one important tool for an artist. Studios would also require candidates to take exams based on the job they applied for. There are three forms of animation namely: 2D animation, 3D Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), and 3D Motion Capture. Animation services fall under three stages of the animation cycle, pre-production, production, and post-production. Michael Kho Lim, executive director of ACPI, said that you don’t have to be an artist or an animator to be in the industry. “There’s always room for everybody. There are business and production management areas for non-artists,” he said.

The potentials of the animation industry

“Love the craft you’re doing. If you love what you’re doing, the it’s not work anymore,” said Marasigan. “If you want to become an animator, you have to draw, draw, draw, draw, draw.”

Though Animahenasyon’s objective is to promote Filipino content, much of the industry, especially when outsourced, would require the animators to adjust to a certain standard of style. Animation takes patience and requires you to be a team player. Marasigan noted, “If you’re working on Captain Planet, your style has to be Captain Planet. You have to be a team player.”

“The creative industry is potentially one of the big growth industries in the Philippines,” said Alejandro Melchor III, deputy executive director for ICT Industry Development of the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO).

International research firm MarketsandMarkets projects that the animation and gaming market will hit $242.93 billion in 2016 from 2010’s $122.2 billion. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also reported that the Philippine animation industry earned $142 million worth of revenues last year.

In 2010, the estimated number of artists employed in the industry is 10,000, which has increased from 3,000 in 2004. According to ACPI, the industry aims to produce 25,000 industry ready graduates by 2016. Government agencies such as Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have developed programs to provide the necessary training and incentives to entice students to explore potential careers in animation.

About the Business Processing Association of the Philippines
The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) is the enabling association for the IT-BPO and GIC (global in-house center) industry in the Philippines. BPAP serves as the one-stop information and advocacy gateway for the industry. With approximately 300 industry and support-industry members, including five associations—the Animation Council of the Philippines, Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Software Industry Association—BPAP plays a pivotal role in sustaining rapid growth of the IT-BPO and GIC industry by working to ensure an enduring supply of high quality labor, supporting service innovation, and providing country visibility.

BPAP assists investors in setting up operations easily and quickly in the Philippines. Relevant research, introductions to key government and industry officials, and a series of briefings at each step of the investment process ensure a seamless development process. On-going support is provided through a wide variety of initiatives, including programs for HR development, business development, and on-going knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.

About the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc.
The Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI) is a non-stock and non-profit organization whose member companies specialize mainly in, but not limited to, either 2D or 3D animation. It is an organization recognized and supported by the Philippine government whose aim is to promote the animation industry globally with the intention of creating an identity for the Philippines to be considered amongst the preferred countries that service the animation industry.