Five years ago, 30 animators started working on a project that aimed to be the first 3D animated film produced in the Philippines.
As a result of their hard work, viewers will be treated to a visual feast through RPG: Metanoia, a film depicting the adventures of Nico and his barkada in the real and online world.
To make its premiere more kid-friendly, the screening of RPG was held at around 3 pm yesterday, December 12.
Kids and kids-at-heart trooped to Cinema 3 of SM Megamall to watch the first Filipino full-length CG-animated feature film in 3D co-produced by Ambient Media and Star Cinema.
As one of the eight films competing in the 36th Metro Manila Film Festival, RPG will open in cinemas starting December 25, 2010.
It has been graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and rated General Patronage by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
Prior to the screening, guests had the chance to have their pictures taken at a photo booth.
ABS-CBN Chairman and CEO Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III were among those who enjoyed having their photos taken at the photo booth while waiting for the movie to start.
Other Kapamilya network executives present were ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio, Star Cinema head Malou Santos, and senior vice president for TV entertainment production Linggit Tan.
International singer Lea Salonga and child star Xyriel Manabat were not part of the movie, but they were spotted during the screening as they lent their support for this landmark film.
Zaijian Jaranilla wore hand wraps and carried around a yoyo just like Nico, the lead character of RPG that he voiced over. The nine-year-old actor said that he is proud to be part of this movie.
"Masaya po ako kasi napalabas na po ang movie namin at marami pong pumuntang mga tao. Pati po kasi dumating sina Ma'am Charo at Sir Gabby Lopez, ang mga bossing po."
He exclaimed, "Maganda ang RPG: Metanoia kasi ito po ang first 3D animation movie sa buong Pilipinas!"
The other young cast members attended the event dressed up just like their characters in the 3D animated film.
Eugene Domingo, the actress who voiced-over the mother of Zaijian's character, also graced the premiere along with the other cast members Aaron Junatas, Basty Alcances, Jairus Aquino, Mika dela Cruz, Ketchup Eusebio, and Igiboy Flores.
Aga Muhlach and Vhong Navarro were unable to attend the premiere. Aga couldn't make it because he had just finished shooting scenes for his upcoming movie with Angel Locsin.
Optical Media Board chairperson Ronnie Ricketts also attended the premiere with his wife Mariz.
Actress Angelika dela Cruz and news anchor Ces Drilon were among the special guests that night.
SHOWCASING PINOY HUMOR. Lea Salonga gushed about the film that was co-produced by her husband, Robert Chien of Ambient Media.
"ABS-CBN executives were right behind me and I could hear that they were so enthusiastic and for them to react that way makes me feel so proud," revealed Lea.
"I was completely absorbed into the story and the film. When I watch some films, I sometimes say, 'this is so corny, I'm tuning out.'
"But with this, even when it's quiet, I'm still interested. Even the songs and the soundtrack, bagay na bagay talaga sa pelikula."
The songs featured in the movie have been compiled in a 10-track album called RPG: Metanoia The Album. It includes songs such as "Bawat Bata" by the APO Hiking Society and "Ako ang Bayani" by Jett Pangan.
When asked to name her favorite scene in the 3D animated film, Lea said, "For me, I liked it when they highlighted the very Pinoy games like sipa, tumbang preso, and piko...
"I think that part was really fantastic. And when the kid said, 'what's piko?' I'm like, 'Oh no!'"
The crowd inside Cinema 3 of SM Megamall cheered when this particular sequence was shown during the premiere screening.
Does she think that the film is at par with other 3D films created by foreign companies?
"I think so. It can definitely compete outside of this country and I'm hoping that audiences outside the Philippines will get to see RPG.
"This is very special since it's a very Filipino movie in its sensibilities and its humor. But I think it's something that the worldwide audience will enjoy," says the international singer.
PROUDLY PHILIPPINE MADE. RPG: Metanoia director Luis Suarez proudly pointed out that this movie was completely done by Filipinos for Filipinos.
"Everything was done here. Sound design was done in Ambient Media and sound mixing sa Roadrunner. The music was done by Gerard Salonga and performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra," said Direk Lui.
There are a lot of Pinoy elements in RPG. In fact, the villains in the story wear masks that look similar to the masks used by soldiers in the Moriones festival in Marinduque.
Direk Lui revealed, "Moriones talaga ang inspiration ko kasi they represent the loss of identity mo pag online ka sa game. Nung bata ako, takot na takot talaga ako dun, e.