Producer explains why celebrities are cast in Pinoy animation projects

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2021 02:09 PM | Updated as of Jun 16 2021 02:59 PM

MANILA – Rocketsheep Studio, which is one of the producers of “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story,” turned to social media to explain why they cast celebrities instead of professional voice actors for their animation projects.

Its post is in response to the series of tweets made by Inka Magnaye, who expressed her wish that animated films would give Filipino voice actors a chance.

“All these film actors are great, but they already have their films and teleseryes and they’ve had more than their fair share of work. So I hope that the next animated projects will ACTUALLY CAST VOICE ACTORS simply because that is OUR REAL,” Magnaye said.

“Ang dami nang films and tv shows in the Philippines, but when it comes to animation, we barely have projects na nga like this where our MANY WONDERFUL PINOY VOICE ARTISTS CAN SHINE, binibigay pa sa film actors. Support ALL Filipino talent. I promise you, WE ARE WORTH IT,” she added.

In its post, Rocketsheep Studio said the hot take that local animations should cast voice actors instead of celebrities is “incredibly ignorant of the reality of the state of Pinoy animation.”

“The reason why we have to cast celebs is simple, money... you know that elusive thing people need to make art?” it said.

“Animation is very hard & expensive to make. A single animated film or show season costs multiple millions of pesoses & takes a minimum of 3 years to produce & we do not have that kind of money on our own. We do not know of any person working in Philippine Animation that has gotten wealthy doing original work. Only huge studios that do outsourced service work for bigger corporate studios like Disney, Toei & Dreamworks are able to make money out of animation locally. We the Indie Studio survive off Instant Pancit Canton & we need the money of business people to make stuff,” it added.

 

Rocketsheep Studio also noted that a “live action romcom with famous actor scan be made in span of six months for the same amount if not less” unlike an animated film or show which takes so long to produce. 

“It’s a very tough sell to financiers. Why fund something that takes so long when a faster option to make money exists? The few business folks that do buy in mitigate their risk by attaching popular names. It’s a very practical & logical compromise. We need their money & they need some kind assurance that it won’t go to waste,” it said.

While saying that voice acting goes hand in hand with directing, Rocketsheep Studio said “performance quality is subjective & is not the point of this post.”

“We are simply explaining the NECESSITY of Celebs. Even the great Makoto Shinkai casts Idols & Actors for his films because his name alone is not yet a guarantee for return of investment to the money people.”

According to the film producer, Filipino animation is still at its infancy.

“It is still being tested for its viability as a sound business venture. That is why in the 100 years of the existence of Philippine Cinema, less than a dozen animated films have been made. Studios like us barely survive doing what we do. We do not know of any Pinoy Animation creator that is rolling around in money. Even the creators of something as hugely successful & popular as Trese cannot quit their day jobs just yet to do that full time.”

Nonetheless, the studio said they also yearn for the time to arrive that tapping celebrity voices will no longer be necessary.

But in order to be sustainable industry for now, “we need Celebs to create a future for Pinoy Animation that more of us can be a part of.”