CONTENT No Longer a Fantasy for Unitel
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Back in the Nineties, when you had a TVC production requirement, most agencies and clients’ top-of-mind choice would have been Unitel and for post-production, Optima. A no-brainer as head honcho Tony Gloria was (and is) way ahead in vision and technology.
Recently, Unitel branched out into feature films, producing award-winning box-office hits such as the satirical “Crying Ladies” and “La Vida Loca”. FHM’s sexiest cover girl, Angelica Panganiban, then sizzled on screen with “Santa Santita”. They then tried their hand at drama, creating the internationally acclaimed “Inang Yaya”, starring Maricel Soriano. In such a short time, Unitel productions established itself as the producer of world-class quality must-sees.
Now, Unitel is morphing into a multi-production and multi-communications service company, introducing several sub-companies like Straight Shooters which has made a name in commercial production; Gener8, which is into events and activation (their most recent projects were for Coca-Cola and Chowking); Engine Room, their CG arm; and Unitel Entertainment, which specializes in branded entertainment. The latter’s recent acquisition of Lino Brocka classics is Tony’s contribution to the preservation and survival of the local film industry.
Passionate about technology, Tony feels that he has to constantly re-invent Unitel to “be ready and relevant in the future. We can’t rest on our laurels as a production house. We can’t just be guns for hire.” Always on the lookout for trends in the global technology scene, Tony attends international technology conventions every chance he gets.
He surmises, “to survive and remain on top, I have to re-educate myself. I have to be able to tell clients that they don’t need to go to a BTL or events company; they don’t need to hire a post house; they don’t need to look further as we can provide those services now.”
Filipino comic books hold him spellbound. In fact, he raves about Arnold Arre and Budgette Tan’s (of Harrison Communications) creations. Now in the works is a TV series based on Arre’s novel, Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat (The World of Andong and His Amulets), a hard-hitting action-fantasy story of a Filipino superhero. In the pipeline are “Andong Agimat” video games and merchandising items.
“I am entranced by and excited about seeing ‘Andong Agimat’ on Philippine TV. ‘Andong Agimat’ is Unitel’s testament that we are now capable of doing content,” Tony proudly says.
In fact, in one of his exploratory talks with a Korea-based content company, he very recently discovered that the well-received koreanovela franchise, “Jewel in the Palace”, is based on a historic event.
“That only goes to show that even the telenovela viewers value substance and may indeed be cultured.”