Creativity Meets Opportunity | Introducing Digitank Studios
INTRODUCING DIGITANK STUDIOS
Most production houses tend to start small during their start-up phases but that wasn’t exactly the case for Digitank Studios. Franco Alido, CEO and founder of Digitank Studios, was about to produce Senior Year (2010) for acclaimed independent film director Jerrold Tarog when he was faced with the task of needing a company name to handle the film’s business aspect. This opportunity would serve as the proverbial light bulb moment that would soon transform Digitank Studios into a concrete idea.
Actors’ blocking with Senior Year Director, Jerold Tarog
Senior Year shoot at Elizabeth Seton School gymnasium
It was a gamble for everyone involved but as soon as an audience was able to see Senior Year in its entirety, the audience reaction alone was a clear sign that the risk had paid off. Add to that the fact that the film would later win a number of awards and was able to be shown in film festivals around the world.
Digitank Studios initially started with a team of five
“All I needed was that team at first. So I got some projects from – the smallest one from BSP to Obagi, I sourced it out from my friends, from my contacts. They were the ones who helped me also in distributing the whole projects in cinemas.” says Franco.
This original team also laid the groundwork for what the studio would become, from creating and designing the whole studio up to planning the production system. Things would soon pick up once the company would begin working with Yahoo. Digitank was involved in producing over 100 videos for Yahoo! Philippines and eventually that would evolve into a partnership with Yahoo! Southeast Asia. Digitank Studios would then become media producers for Y! She Rocks, Y! OMG, Y! Purple Thumb, Y! Beauty Talk, Y! Hot Plate, Y! Pitong Pinoy, and Y! Celebrity Buzz.
Yahoo Shows Produced by Digitank Studios
WHEN A FIRE STARTS TO BURN
The company would take its 1st step into television production with the cooking and traveling show, Market to Master. Digitank Studios collaborated with the show to help produce Seasons 2 until 4. “One of the projects that I’m really proud of is Market to Master…From having the 2nd season in the kitchen in my house, then traveling around the Philippines for the 3rd season, that was a really great experience…
Behind the Scenes of Market to Master Season 2
Fishing with Chef Hylton at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte for Episode 1 Market to Master Season 3
Shooting Episode 1 of Market to Master Season 4
It was a milestone because we were able to produce 3 seasons of quality content. It really broke barriers in terms of cooking shows on that channel” says Franco. Digitank Studios then took another step forward with Bella, a lifestyle program that was catered to women audiences. This proved to be a period of growth for Digitank Studios as the company produced the show on its own and was then aired on the Lifestyle network.
Bella – Monsoon Episode shoot at Kawayan Cove, Batangas City
With ambitions to continue growing at a pace to keep the company a credible contender, Digitank Studios is currently looking at more collaborations and opportunities to produce high quality content. The company has been branching out to video animation, providing information graphics for Fusion 1st Philippine Music Festival, Globe Telecom, SM Cinemas, Ideaspace Foundation and Muntinlupa City for Good Governance. Digitank Studios has also become an active force in covering high profile events like the HipHop International Philippines National Competition 2015, Wanderland Music Festival 2015, KPOP Best of Best in the Philippines, Metrowear Fashion Icon: Francis Libiran, Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival, URCC, and FUSION, the county’s 1st all OPM concert.
Digitank Studios Reel 2015
AHEAD OF THE PACK
The company believes that its edge over other production houses rely on its openness to use non-traditional systems and techniques to get the job done – “ Everything here at Digitank is customized for the people, and at the same time it has a business structure that really adapts to how we really work” as stated by Franco. There is an air of collaboration between everyone in the company that feels genuine. While most production houses tend to concentrate one aspect of production, Digitank Studios specializes in all of its aspects. The company will take care of its collaborators from conceptualization to distribution to ensure that the content produced is the best that it can be.
Digitank Studios Team up with Francis Libiran and Arsi Baltazar for Metrowear Fashion Icon: Francis Libiran TV Special aired on Lifestyle Network
LOOKING FOR 2015
Ever since it was founded in 2010, Digitank Studios has pursued a simple idea with a single-minded focus: providing high caliber media content for an international market. For 2015, the company will continue what it has always been doing but with the added focus of producing its own original shows and content. This move reveals an incredible amount of ambition for the company whose previous approach was seemingly low key and low profile but this might be the next step for Digitank Studios to take their goals to another level.
fearless and passionate in creating original content | Franco Alido
It’s a well-established fact – the digital age has made it easier for creatives to make a name for themselves. And while many producers and filmmakers today have used technology to stand out from the crowd and build an image, Franco Alido, CEO and founder of Digitank Studios Inc., is trying to fuse the digital age with his ambition to create a network of homegrown content fit for a global stage.
Whereas most production houses begin by taking baby steps (events coverage, AVPs and the like) before taking on bigger projects, Digitank Studios came to be thanks to a huge leap. After studying in the International Academy of Film and Television and working for a production house afterwards, Franco wanted to put up his own company. But it was when Jerrold Tarog, director of indie films Mangatyanan (2009) and Sana Dati (2013), approached him to produce Senior Year (2010) that he finally took the risk.
Franco says that it was the experience of producing Senior Year (2010) that reminded him of why he wanted to produce films in the first place – “When (viewers) got out of the movie house their reactions were priceless. Even the lolas, even the Grade 2 kids, everyone was laughing in the cinema, everyone was cheering. Doon ko masasabi na, ah ok, eto yung rason why I’m into this kind of craft.”
Franco says that the experience of producing Senior Year (2010) and the success that came after – Senior Year was screened at SM and Ayala cinemas,as well as hit local festivals and went on a worldwide tour – served as a stepping stone for everyone in the team. It was also the beginning of Digitank Studios.
Senior year screening at Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard
Senior Year Cast and Crew Private Screening at SM Mall of Asia Cinema 1
“I needed to create a company name so I could get into the business venture of Senior Year. I approached my friends, I asked them for a little bit of money. Some of them gave support, some of them didn’t. I wasn’t expecting anyone to help,” Franco says. And with just one computer, and eventually a solid team of 5, Digitank was born. After that, the team started taking more projects, eventually being the primary team behind Yahoo! Philippines and Yahoo! Singapore’s online videos.
Yahoo! OMG – Melay Cantiveros Interview
Yahoo! Singapore: Beauty Talk Season 2
But Franco’s, as well as Digitank Studios’ vision, was much bigger – “When you say Digitank, I want it to have the impression of modern new filmmakers, young, creative, out of the box, and at the same time massive, strong, unbreakable,” says Franco. “With that vision of Digitank, it was very clear for me that I wanted to create quality, original content. And then it also hit me that I can actually create a network – a network that would produce all these kinds of original content, because I believe that we Filipinos can really create those kinds of series that we see abroad.”
Digitank Studios wishes to offer the full package to its clients – all stages of production from conceptualization, pre-production, production, post-production, to distribution. “What we offer to our clients is that we are going to be taking care of them throughout all stages of production,” Franco says.
Chef Hylton Le Roux’s Market to Master Season 3 shooting at Calle Crisologo, Vigan
Armed with a creative team who share the same vision, Franco believes that 2015 is the year that Digitank Studios will pursue their vision. After learning from the challenges they faced producing top Lifestyle Network Show Chef Hylton Le Roux’s Market to Master, a travel and cooking show, as well as Bella, a lifestyle show for women, he says that they are now applying everything they learned from creating these previous projects. “Now, we are producing 3 different shows for Digitank Studios and we made sure each concept is customized to really relay a message across to our viewers and to make sure they have a takeaway.”
Bella shooting episode 1 at Kawayan Cove, Batangas
For the past 5 years Digitank Studios has been creating original online content for the international market and big brands like Yahoo!, Adidas, URCC and Francis Libiran, covered events like Malasimbo and the Fusion Music Festival, and produced quality TV shows like Market to Master and Bella and TV Specials for Lifestyle Network and Metro Magazine. With a clear, global-oriented vision and with Franco Alido at the helms, Digitank Studios is ready to take 2015 head on.