It started as a small studio formed by founding partners, Paul Basinillo and Vic Del Rosario, back in 2015. Now, Epik Studios is at the forefront of content creation both locally and internationally.
It began with the vision of creating a comic-to-content business model that would cater to the Filipino fanboy market, much like the way Marvel or DC is structured. Epik Studios started their work with the reboot of the classic comic and movie franchise, Pedro Penduko.
As if re-imagining a title created by National Artist for the arts Francisco V. Coching is not challenging enough, the Epik Team tackled the reboot head-on by going back to its original comic book form.
First published under VRJ Books, and released in National Book Store, Pedro Penduko instantly became a hit by topping the sales charts just a few weeks after hitting the shelves.
Joined by group head Dennis Crisostomo, a Marvel artist, and director Paul Alexei Basinillo—also the creators of “Republika”—they carried Pedro Penduko to new heights by doing the rounds locally through the Asia Pop Comic Con 2016, the 37th Manila International Book Fair, and Komikon 2016. And they even brought the very first comic book to launch in the biggest comic convention in the world stage—the New York Comic Con—and L.A. Comic Con.
“Now, Epik Studios has close to 50 original and re-imagined titles including lead titles: ‘Bernardo Carpio’ The Cursed Giant, The Nature Goddess ‘Maria Makiling’, The Sea Siren ‘Osyana’, and Wind Warrior ‘Habagat’, and their nemesis ‘Apo Dautan’, ‘Grago’ the Beast, ‘Bandido’, ‘Alakdana’, and ‘Sildado’, created in one Epik Universe called ‘Engkantos’. Also, there is the National Heroes with Supernatural Powers ‘Republika’,” according to Direk Paul.
“We also added to our library some of the existing Viva Franchise like ‘Totoy Bato’, ‘Bad Boy: Land of No Return’, ‘Bagets: Reboot’, ‘Ninja Kids V2’, ‘Kagat ng Dilim’, ‘Magic Kingdom’ to be re-imagined in order to share it to a wider and younger audience,” he added.
To add to that, Epik Studios has also been acquiring popular titles such as: Manix Abrera’s “Kikomachine Komix”; Stanley Chi’s “Men are from Q.C., Women are from Alabang”; Epik Writer Rhadson Mendoza’s “Seen 1:43” and “Bakit List”; Epik Writer Regene Estolatan’s “Wizard’s Tale” Trilogy—all of which are targeted to be produced by Epik Studios through either film or OTT platforms in the next decade.
“We are not just a comic book printing company like what most people think, but we are also a full-scale multimedia creative hub that will produce all of these content and turn them into actual movies, series, TV shows, merchandising, e-gaming, apps, and more,” Paul quipped.
Hence, the partnership with a telco media giant took place last June 14 at the Cignal Launchpad in Pioneer, Mandaluyong City.
Hosted by Paolo Del Rosario and Phoebe Walker, an award-winning actress and also one of the lead starts of the TV adaptation of award-winning graphic novel by Mervin Malonzo, “Tabi Po” the Series that was aired in SARI SARI Channel on Cignal TV, which by design was also directed by another award-winning director, president, and chief content officer of Epik Studios —Direk Paul Basinillo. The said series which is currently available for streaming in Cignal Play garnered unbelievable numbers to its credit—a 4,000 percent increase in viewership when it first aired on October 2017.
Through an exciting 8-minute video presentation, Epik Studios presented their long-term plan, showcasing current workds and future titles. Joined on stage by partners Jane Basas, president and CEO of Cignal; Atty. Ray Espinosa, president and CEO of Mediaquest; director of Pedro Penduko, Treb Monteras; and lead superhero and multimedia prince, James Reid.
“With people patronizing our comic books, especially the millenials, we are confident that our future films and projects will garner support. Our company believes in supporting local talents with world-class ideas. We believe that culture is future,” added Basinillo.
The partnership of Epik Studios and Cignal powered by entertainment giant, Viva Entertainment, will produce its first movie “Pedro Penduko: The Legend Begins” this 2018 and for release in 2019.
Asked how he felt being selected as the lead actor, the handsome lad simply said, “I’m excited! I can see myself in this role. You have to get a copy of the comic book, it’s very different and I like it.”
Meanwhile, Monteras, the director of award-winning movie “Respeto”, answered when asked what they can offer in the new installment that “Alam naman natin ang mga nangyayari sa Pilipinas at sa mundo, in this world where there’s good vs. bad, the world needs a hero.”
Also mentioned during the event was the plan to produce a stand-alone movie for multimedia princess, Nadine Lustre, under the banner of the Nature Goddess “Maria Makiling”, together with other Epik original titles.
Meanwhile, Ms. Jane Basas gave a short story about how Cignal is pivoting towards content creation and mentioned that with the partnership, Epik Studios is at the forefront of a major shift in new media and content distribution and creation.
With the advent of streaming services and the demand for online content, Epik Studios geared up and ready to go full-speed.
At the end of the event, we asked Direk Paul for a few more words and he simply added, “This momentous occasion would not be possible without the hard-working team behind this Epik company, so I would like to thank our partners and supporters from Cignal led by Ms. Jane Basas, Atty. Ray Espinosa, and Ms. Siena Olaso. And from Viva, Boss Vic Del Rosario, Vincent Del Rosario, Val Del Rosario, Enzo, Verb, Jas Luis. And our Epik team: Dennis Crisostomo, Regene Estolatan, Jerome Jagonia, Allison Aviado, Rhadson Mendoza, Jim Jimenez, Randy Monces, Lui Antonio, Michael Bartolo, Charles Santino, Fritz Casas, Noah Salonga, Jen Quintela, Jethro Mata, and Danyel Santos. Together with God’s grace, we will make awesome content. This day is indeed a historic day and together, let’s make it EPIK!”