Ilonggo 2D Animators aim high
By Ronelo Ladiao
Citylocal newspapers: The News Today, Sunstar Iloilo,The daily Guardian, The Daily Informer, News Express and Yuhum Newsmagazine.
“There’s no better life than living your lifelong passion,” says 21-year-old Robert Lorenz Gustilo, one of the 35 talented graduating second batch of Professional Assistant 2D Animation scholars at Western Visayas College of Science and Technology. Like the rest of his fellow animators born with unique gifts, Robert is both skilled to draw Anime (Japanese style of animation or Manga), realistic or portraiture and has interest in doing Western or American style of animation (inspired by Walt Disney, Looney Tunes, Cartoon Network, Marvel or DC Comics).
Since last year, this breakthrough project that geared towards the empowerment of the upcoming Ilonggo animators was a visionary effort of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) under the leadership of its Secretary General Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco in collaboration with the Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI). With TESDA’s effort to provide effective programs and employment opportunities to many less privilege Filipinos, the 3-months Professional Assistant 2D Animation was included in the list of courses they presently offered. TESDA is responsible in accepting applicants with potentials in 2D Animation after they passed the level 1 examination provided by ACPI that decides who among them will be granted with scholarships. As TESDA’s scholars, these youngblood Ilonggo animators were also given the privilege to be called as “president’s scholars” since this is one of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s major priority to provide better job opportunities and alleviate poverty according to TESDA-Iloilo Director, Lorena Yunque.
After completing the course requirements and graduation, the scholars will be given a series of examinations by ACPI to choose who among them will be absorbed for employment or recommend to some international animation companies abroad.
The first batch of 2D Animators composed of day and night class had undergone training since November last year and graduated last April 11 this year are already starting their career by accepting freelance projects that involves advertising and commercials.
“As 2D Animators, it is our goal to promote the Ilonggo talent globally which I believe could open a doorway for better jobs to many aspiring animators,” says the 20-year-old Marx Ydroy Silva, member of APEX Animation and Creative Studios. For him, patience and perseverance works well when you’re an animator since it involves hard work and sleepless nights to finish even just a 5-minute animation. Their newly-founded animation studio is composed of day class animators from the first batch of graduates who are all are busy finishing their entries (entitled “Kamalig” and “Medalyon”) for ACPI 2D Animation contest next month. The first batch group project, an animation version of the historical “Barter of Panay” recently gained attention on national TV due to its cultural relevance, highlighting the promising potential of the Ilonggos in the expanding animation industry.
Likewise, the second batch of 2D Animators that started their training last April this year will hopefully graduate later this month. Supposedly, they are only required to be trained in In-betweening (IB) and Clean-up (CU) tasks that are both involve in only one department of an animation studio out of 10. But their animation instructors decided to train them further in scriptwriting, storyboard-making, character creation, digital inking (involves using Adobe Photoshop for coloring and Cartoon Television Program or CTP for line testing), and composting (combining of scenes) that makes up the whole 10 departments.
Presently, the second batch of animators is stretching their patience and talents by finishing a group project which is a 5-minute fantasy-inspired yet informative animation of WVCST symbolic statue aside from their respective individual projects. The plot of their group project will revolve around the adventures of TASI (reverse of ISAT, old name of WVCST) inside the school after he was turned into a real boy for one day. On the other hand, their individual projects will involve each one of them to create their own cartoon character, script, and storyboard and animates it. They were even preparing to make their own entries for ACPI later this year and had already started to build a website to post their outputs. Some of them are planning to pursue advance 3D animation after graduation.
“Though animation takes years of training before you can master this craft, our 3-months 2D Animation course inspired us to pursue our continuous training even after graduation with hopes to prove our worth,” 24-year-old Leonard Salvarino uttered while finishing his drawings on top of his lightbox (a bulb-lighted-wooden-box with round plastic flatform used by animators in drawing). As the elected president of night class animators, he never gets tired reminding his classmates about their project deadlines and inspiring them to work together.
Likewise, the day class of second batch animators always looks up to 19-year-old Jonah Buenvenida when it comes to decision making and suggestions how to improve their outputs as their class president. With his passion and optimism for this craft, he has these sensible words to share: “I believe Ilonggo animators are unique because we have a rich cultural heritage that could inspire us in animating wonderful stories, historical events, folklore and legends. Ilonggos are also diligent, hardworking and creative”.
For Bryan Jandonero, an 18-year-old computer programming student has decided to quit schooling for a while just to focus his attention in 2DAnimation. For him, becoming an animator is tough and challenging.
“Imagine this; I need to draw 24 frames of step-by-step action to animate a cartoon character every second required in a Western or American style of animation to make the movement smooth after it is scanned and line-tested in the computer. But for Japanese Anime, it is much easier to draw because it only requires four frames per second,” he quips while sharpening his pencil.
“But they say we need to adapt to the Western style of animation because this is much more in-demand and profitable these days among Filipino animators,” he added.
“Aside from having an opportunity to express our creativity, I enjoy our bonding and friendship that will make us stronger to face any challenges that will come our way,” reveals Janelyn Minerva of day class, a 21-year-old Information Technology student of WVCST. Aside from enjoying her usual responsibility in the scanning department, she also takes charge of making sure his batchmates had their snacks and coffee especially during late evenings of working together at school.
WVCST community as an educational institution has already proven its outmost trust and confidence to the excellence of Ilonggo artists never fails to show full support to this worthwhile project that will put not only the
Iloilobut the whole
Western Visayasin the limelight. This project will not be realized and succeed without the active support of WVCST administrators headed by Dr. Luis Sorolla, Jr. (President), Dr. Marjorie Caipang (Vice President for Academics), Prof. Edwin Fos (Vice President for Administration) and the whole faculty and staff.
Though it takes a lot of courage, patience and passion to teach, the WVCST Computer Department led by Maureen Nettie Navarrosa (Department Head), Rolly Gambol (Project Manager), and 2D Animator Instructors Randy Tolentino, Maricel Blitanas, Paul Penuela, Carlo Sira, Manfred Von Magat and Roslin John Robles never hesitated to give a sense of direction for these upcoming Ilonggo animators. Presently, there are already more than 80 2D Animators that included the first and the graduating second batch to work for a special project in the near future.
With today’s growing popularity of Filipinos in 2D animation internationally, foreign animation companies are determined on hiring Filipino animators due to their competitive quality of works. In fact, Filipino animators had contributed a lot in some
Hollywoodanimation movies and cartoon series in the past but were not given proper credit or recognition.
Now with the present boosting of Filipino talents in the animation industry, the Ilonggo animators in particular, are starting up something good and catching up with the challenges of globalization.
Every dream has always been entailed with sacrifices and risks before it can be fulfilled. But after a dreamer proved its worth, he will finally realize that every dream is worth fighting for at the end of the day.
But for now, these hopeful Ilonggo 2D Animators needs to spend more sleepless nights making their imaginations come alive, keep their pencils sharp and stay beside their lightbox if they wanted to bring their lifelong passion to the next level.