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'Si Juki The Movie': Big budget animation at work

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak
Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, February 7, 2017 | 10:35 am
'Si Juki The Movie': Big budget animation at work

The character has grown into a university student who has a unique personality. (Falcon Pictures/File)

At least 17 voice actors are involved in the making of Si Juki The Movie, including singer/actress Bunga Citra Lestari, Tio Pakusadewo, Butet Kartaredjasa, Agus Kuncoro, Nikita Mirzani, singer Wizzy Williana, announcer Jeremy Teti and psychic/actor Ki Joko Bodo.

The lineup of comedians includes Indro Warkop, Pandji Pragiwaksono, Tarzan, Arie Kriting, Mongol, Mudy Taylor, Babe Chabiita, Jaja Miharja and Maya Wulan.

However, the production house has yet to reveal the voice of the main character — who happens to be the favorite comic character of Kaesang Pangarep, the youngest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Faza Meonk, the animation content director, who will also make a cameo appearance, promised more excitement in Si Juki’s adventures compared to the comic series, printed or online.

“I chose to go with 2-D animation to keep the movie visually similar to the comic version,” he said at recent press conference. “For the story itself, we will deliver something colossal and epic that will be so much different from the comic, the story of which is based on daily occurrences.”

Individual: Little Juki stares at his friends' remote control toys with envy. Since he was a kid, Juki has been taught not to follow the crowd and to have the confidence to be different. (Falcon Pictures/File)

(Read also: Local comic character 'Si Juki' now available as Facebook sticker)

Animation director Daryl Wilson from Bandung-based Kumata Animation Studio said the production team would comprise more than 100 individuals, including voice actors, storyboard artists, character design artists and visual artists.

“It’s a challenging project. The biggest challenge is actually visualizing the titular character himself because he has unique facial expressions in which the eyes are always squinting in both directions.”

Bunga Citra Lestari, also known by her acronym BCL, said her involvement in the film served as a new challenge in her almost 15year acting career.

“I need to be in sync with other characters while I don’t appear as myself in the film. I learned a lot from the senior actors here,” she said.

“I could tell that this film has been very well prepared because the production has started even though it will only be released much later this year.”

Poster for Si Juki The Movie(Falcon Pictures/File)

(Read also: 'Si Juki' discovers its intellectual property value)

Senior comedian Indro concurred with her, saying he enjoyed working with seasoned actors. “It’s a quality film and I’m glad to be in it. I believe this film will hit commercial success upon its release.”

Falcon’s in-house producer Frederica said that besides the local production team the film’s musical soundtrack would be arranged in Prague.

“The production will be on par with Hollywood. It will require a big budget as well. If Hollywood animation is family entertainment, we hope Si Juki can be just as entertaining for a family’s choice of movie in the holiday season,” she said.

As the Indonesian animation scene grows, Si Juki The Movie will be the first on such a commercial scale and filmmaker Lance Mengong believes the country has the potential to lead the industry in the region.

“Much of our talent is hired for foreign productions, but only a select few have entered international competitions despite their potential,” he said in a separate event.

All together: The crew and cast of Si Juki The Movie pose together for the press in a briefing announcing the start of the animation film project. The film is slated for release by the end of this year.(Falcon Pictures/File)

To encourage animators and creators to display their work in competitions, Lance organized the Indonesia Animation Festival (Inamafest) last December, which was initiated by professional animators, to scout young talent.

The winner of the best animation in the professional category was Oky Gho (Setengah 5); Fieranny Halita (Acquiescence) won best animation in the non-professional category; while the student category was won by Odena Animation (Reform).

Animation studio Manimonki won best animation for ad support, while Enspire won best production design with its work Escape.

The best character design award was handed to Patrick Effendy (Plentis Kentus), best director went to Stephanie (Nj*ng), best script to Fajar Ramayel (Wacthenstaad), while Gerald Karman won best music and best editing for his work Different.

“Of 217 animation works we received, most were submitted by non-professional creators or students. And their work impressed the judges. It was the first festival and we have seen great enthusiasm from the animators. We hope to see more talent in the next festival in August.”

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