Direk Wincy Ong‘s San Lazaro was one of the more off-beat films that premiered in this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival. But the mix of awkward comedy and supernatural horror was only one of the elements that made the film so endearingly strange.
The opening credits, however, are something else entirely.
Although San Lazaro, is a live-action feature for the most part, the opening credits do a fantastic job of literally flooring the audience with a fully animated sequence.
Rendon Labador, the animator behind the scene, revealed that this was exactly Direk Wincy Ong‘s intention. “[Direk] wanted it to look different. He wanted it to look foreign. Pambulaga sa premiere night,” Labador went on to admit. Having a fully fleshed out story board along with a list of detailed animation notes also helped in bringing the sequence to life.
Quix Maiquez, graphic designer from Burnwater Design Studios and artist behind the sequence, gave us a bit of insight on what it was like putting the sequence together:
[Direk] Wincy gave me creative freedom with regards to the art direction, and gave me a list of things and themes that he wanted to see in the designs. His most important request was to imply the horror feel with a touch of humor, and make the art feel ‘Filipino’ enough.
Maiquez went on to cite everything from Batman Under the Red Hood, Detroit Metal City and (the most apparent) Lemony Snicket as inspirations for the sequence.
The music was done by Mikey Amistoso from local indie-pop band Ciudad, and Jazz Nicolas from Itchyworms.
The opening sequence for San Lazaro is an entry in this year’s Philippine Graphic Design Awards Show. Watch the full clip along with all of it’s quirkily animated glory below.