Among the achievements of Voltes V: Legacy is its Filipino-made VFX, courtesy of Riot Inc.
While Voltes V: Legacy is based on a Japanese anime, the adaption is a 100% Pinoy-made effort. While some local productions have earned a bad reputation for being half-hearted efforts, especially when it comes to special effects, GMA was determined to not fumble the bag on this project. The network gave the producers a blank check to make sure that this ambitious live-action adaptation of the seminal anime was going live up to the hype.
And as can be seen by the show’s reception, the hard work was worth it as viewers witnessed an adaptation unlike any Philippine TV has seen. Voltes V: Legacy has a few things going right for it, with the highlight being the show’s breakthrough in VFX. And the best part about it? It was all made by a Philippine-based team, Riot Inc.
LOCAL VFX POWERHOUSE
While Riot Inc. isn’t a familiar name to many people, the production house is responsible for important work in the local VFX scene. Riot was established in 2003 as a visual effects boutique meant for CG efforts for shows and commercials. Over its two decades of operation, the post-production house has offered numerous services, from color grading to VFX, motion graphics, animation, and more.
Watch a commercial on TV, and you’ll find at least one advert that Riot worked on. Remember that viral RC Cola commercial in 2020 where the mom lifts her head to reveal a bottle of cola? Yeah, you can thank Riot Inc. for that. But some of the Makati-based studio’s most important work can be found on TV shows. Over the years, they’ve worked on the VFX of some of GMA’s biggest fantaseryes like Mulawin, Darna, and Encantadia. Now, they’re bringing their game-changing skills to a game-changing series, Voltes V: Legacy.
BRINGING VOLTES V: LEGACY TO LIFE
While the show only premiered this May, Riot’s involvement with the show spans over a decade. It was in 2009 that the seeds of the series were first planted before a pitch tape was made in 2014. “Over the years, we poured our hearts and souls into this project, working tirelessly to turn our vision into a reality. And in 2014, we hit a major milestone when we finally created the pitch tape that would help us share our vision with the world,” shared the studio in a Facebook post.
“Looking back on that moment now, it’s hard to describe the mix of excitement, fear, and hope that we felt. We knew that we had something special, but we also knew that there was a long road ahead of us. We had no idea what the future would hold, but we were determined to see our project through to the end.”
Doing the VFX for a series that carries a significant cultural cache among many Filipinos is no easy feat. Not only is Riot working against history, but also the reputation that local VFX is not up to standard. It was an air of negativity they disproved. They brought to life moments beloved by many fans of the anime, such as the iconic volt-in scene.
“As we bring Voltes V to a new generation of fans, it’s important to stay true to the original anime while also making it feel fresh and current. To achieve this, we’ve updated the animation to take advantage of the latest technology, creating a visual experience that is both stunning and immersive,” they revealed on getting to work on the volt-in scene. “We’ve also worked closely with the original creators of the series to ensure that the story and characters remain faithful to the original, while also incorporating modern storytelling techniques to engage and inspire a new generation of fans.”
As for Beast Fighter Dokugaga, the Riot team faced a few hurdles in bringing the first Boazanian beast fighter to take on the Voltes V team to live action. For starters, they had to change its wings to be retractable, allowing the robot to move with ease during combat. And in one scene where Dokugaga lifts a ship and throws it at the tanks, Riot Inc. spent an entire month working on it to get it right. They approached this project with a fine level of detail, and it shows.
SUPPORT LOCAL TALENT
Not only does Riot Inc.’s involvement in Voltes V: Legacy shows that Filipinos have the talent to deliver quality effects, but also giving them the proper time and resources to do it will yield stunning results. While the cast may take most of the spotlight for this adaptation, Riot Inc. also deserves their flowers for the show because, without their impressive work, Voltes V: Legacy would not be what it is today. It’s about time we show the post-production team some love.