Studio Ghibli in Philippines made possible by pre-debut photoshoot in General Santos

January 27, 2021 - 2:13 PM
Studio Ghibli photoshoot
Gwen Mendevil in this pre-debut photoshoot taken by Ric Sherwin Versoza of Vintage Dream Photography. (Photo from Ric Sherwin Versoza via Facebook)

A pre-debut photoshoot that recreated the films of Studio Ghibli, one of the most acclaimed animation studios in the world, caught the attention of local social media this week.

Vintage Dream Photography, a studio based in General Santos City, shared the birthday pictorial of Gwen Mendevil with themes patterned after the symbolic scenes of movies such as “The Wind Rises,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Whisper of the Heart.”

Mendevil also dressed as Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”

The creative photos were taken by Ric Sherwin Verzosa while the debutant’s hair and makeup were credited to Jonathan Balara.

As of this writing, the 73-piece photoshoot album on Facebook has earned a whopping number of 4,300 shares, 4,900 likes and reactions and 571 comments.


Verzosa also juxtaposed some scenes from the animation movies to that of Mendevil’s photos.

“Some of the symbolic scene on the Studio Ghibli Films that we get inspiration from,” the photography studio said in the caption.

Verzosa also shared the dreamy Studio Ghibli cinematography-inspired photos in his Twitter account.

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio best known for its feature films. Majority of which have been highly acclaimed in the movie industry due to their visuals and riveting plotlines.

These include the Academy Award-winning “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Grave of the Fireflies,” “Castle in the Sky,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” among others.

Video essayist and filmmaker Asher Isbrucker notes that Studio Ghibli’s biggest asset is its use of “immersive realism.”

“Every visual element in the film must be created from scratch, there’s nothing there before it’s drawn. This is where Ghibli excels,” Ishbrucker said, as quoted by Dazed Digital.

“Their animators demonstrate a mastery of technique and attention to detail with every single scene, to really bring the world of the storyteller’s mind to life,” he added.

“Anime may depict fictional worlds, but I nonetheless believe that at its core it must have a certain realism. Even if the world depicted is a lie, the trick is to make it seem as real as possible. Stated another way, the animator must fabricate a lie that seems so real, viewers will think the world depicted might (possibly) exist,” Ishbrucker further said.