After four years of big investments and hard work, Opal Production studio completed “Mercy Street” movie, the first 3D animation feature made in Romania with stereoscopic animation technique, 100% autochthonous, developed by Ştefan and Alexandru (Ducu) Buzea, the film director and respectively the character designer and animator.

A part of the film production funds were provided by the National Center of Cinematography after winning the screenplay competition, another part was provided by European funds for creativity, and the most part – by the film’s producer, Radu Nicolae. The film lasts 74 minutes, and the actors Cristi Iacob, Ionuţ Grama, Marius Stănescu and VladRădescu used their voices to give life to the characters.

The film with an award-winning screenplay was produced with NCC funds, European funds and Opal Production investments.

“Mercy Street” is the story of a 10 year old little boy, Lorenz, who discovers a secret passage to a secret world beneath our world, which will take him into a great adventure meant to save the music of the world from the hands of evil genius Marcus, who wants to use it to gain immortality.

The screenwriter Alex Bordeanu won the first place at the contest NCC in 2010, with the“Mercy Street” script, which has now become the first 3D animation feature film made in Romania.

“The film was made with a lot of difficulties in funding.In the first phase, we relied on the funds obtained from the National Centre of Cinematography, but they represented only a maximum of 25%. Advertising agencies, European funds, various friends came to help and they helped as they knew better.

All sorts of unexpected and unanticipated problems occurred during production.For example, in the middle of production, we changed the software, which required the conversion of all images. Not to mention the fluctuations in electricity, which can’t be fully absorbed by UPSpower systems and give us short black photograms on pictures. The only thing you can do is to get through the entire frame processing all over again.

Moreover, there is no adequate infrastructure for developing an animation feature film. For example, the sound for animation is much more complex and creative than the sound for a usual film, but there are no studios you can call to have competing offers,”says Radu Nicolae, the owner ofOpal Production studio and the film’s producer.

The animation technique developed by Ştefan and Alexandru (Ducu) Buzea

The director Ştefan Buzea and his brother, Alexandru (Ducu) Buzea, character designer and animator of “Mercy Street”, both with an experience of over 25 years in the field, used a unique animation technique, created by them.

The visual construction of “Mercy Street” animation film is based on in perspective detachment of animation. This technique uses the principle of multi plan shooting and provides the perfect support to get the stereoscopic effect that turn this movie into a 3D stereoscopic movie.

“Each item or object in the movie setting was drawn in the 2D classic style, and then imported into a 3D software (Autodesk Maya), where is placed in perspective, then each object or element is texturized in a 2D image processing software (Adobe Photoshop) using a graphic tablet. Thus arranged in the 3D space, the items or objects of settings recompose the scenery generating perspective, multi-plan construction and then stereoscopy”, explains Alexandru (Ducu) Buzea.

“Mercy Street” will be released in theatres on 15th of April, in Bucharest and in the country.

For more information on the film and the production team, please visit www.mercystreetfilm.ro, and the Facebook page awaits you with the Mercy Street application, an educational game with two characters, Burricone and Coccolino, two cute, mischievous and speaking cats.

(p) – this article is an advertorial