Why 'Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story' took over 3 years to finish

Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 27 2020 01:15 PM

MANILA – Filmmaker Avid Liongren revealed it took over three years of work before the animated film “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story,” starring Angelica Panganiban, Sam Milby and Robin Padilla, actually came to life.

In a virtual interview on Monday, Liongren shared the challenges they encountered in making the movie.

“Production took three years but if you include writing and failing in securing money, that would be four years. The first time we had a screenplay, we joined this festival grant where we proposed the film. We were a semi-finalist and we were presenting to a bunch of smart, academic people. Natuwa sila sa concept and I showed them a teaser,” he said.

Why 'Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story' took over 3 years to finish 1

Liongren said the panel they presented to were onboard until they asked them about the statement or the advocacy which the film aims to champion.

“Naloka kami. Gusto lang namin magpatawa. It took another year to get our act together na hahanapan namin kung para saan ang pelikulang ito. And then three years of steady production na siya,” he said.

Liongren said the coronavirus crisis also had an impact in making the movie but they are fortunate because animation is something that can strive during a pandemic.

“We were working through the lockdown and swerte kami na we were able to dissemble the studio, pinauwi lahat. Nung nakakadama na kami na medyo magugunaw na ang mundo, ‘Uwi niyo na ang mga computer and ayusin natin ang mga internet connection niyo.’ We all worked remotely. It was very challenging kasi I’m used to looking over someone’s work and telling them what to do. Dito, we had to write down everything and be more concise in communication,” he said.

When asked how they came up with the story of “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story,” Liongren said it was actually inspired by talk radio.

“Alam mo kapag sumasakay ka ng taxi at 11 p.m. tapos may mga tao na tatawag sa radio para ikwento 'yung problema nila in life tapos papagalitan lang sila nung DJ, 'yun ang pinaka-inspiration niya. Ang pinaka-climax niya, dahil sa daming problema ni Nimfa, napatawag na lang siya sa radio at pinagalitan lang siya nung DJ,” he said.

As for how the characters look, Liongren said everything was done by their art director.

“Very Sanrio 'yung original na approach. It was too cute so we upgraded the look to what it is now. We had about a year before we started production. It was a year of just trying out different ways to do the film,” he said.

Why 'Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story' took over 3 years to finish 2

They also did not have a problem in coming up with the perfect cast, noting that it wasn’t some complicated process.

“We partnered up with Spring Films. Sila 'yung mas maraming kilala sa mga artista. It was very simple. We already have archetypes for the voice. So Nimfa, we needed someone na tunog malandi pero palaban so si Angelica since bilog din ang mukha niya kamuka ni Nimfa. It was very easy,” he said.

Based on its official synopsis from Netflix, “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” follows Nimfa (Panganiban), the pretty pussycat is a perfume sales kitty at a department store. Her boyfriend Roger (Padilla), the macho mongrel, is a janitor. Nimfa meets Iñigo Villanueva (Milby), the rich business dog, and their chemistry ignites. 

The rest of the movie will show if Nimfa and Roger’s love will keep them together or if Iñigo’s high society charms will tear them apart.

“Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” is the first animated Netflix film from the Philippines. The adult-animation film is set to premiere in the streaming platform on the October 29.