About this project
It was the show that launched a generation of childhoods – a rocket-powered blend of action, adventure, and explosions. A world brought to life with sophisticated marionettes, scale models and pyrotechnic effects all realised in front of the camera.
... And we're going to bring it all back with brand new classic style episodes based on original 60s audio recordings.
A NOTE FOR JAPANESE FANS: サンダーバードが好きな方へ このページの下の方にプロジェクト情報を日本語で載せました。ご覧下さい。ご質問がありましたら、是非日本語でも英語でも聞いてみて下さい。宜しくお願い致します。スティーブン・ラリビエー
A NOTE FOR FRENCH FANS: Si vous avez des questions, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter en français.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary we want to make a new, classic style episode of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's legendary puppet series Thunderbirds using original audio-only stories recorded in the 1960s.
Technology has moved on in five decades, but our goal is to produce an unashamedly retro episode made with many of the same 'Supermarionation' techniques used to bring the puppets and models to life in the 1960s.
This special anniversary production, supported with the blessing of ITV, Sylvia Anderson, and the Gerry Anderson Estate, will be made by the team behind Filmed in Supermarionation – the criticially acclaimed documentary about Thunderbirds released last year.
BASE & STRETCH GOALS
Our base-level goal for this project is for us to turn one of the mini-albums into an authentic, half-hour, 1960s style adventure. Reaching further goals will allow us to build more sets, more puppets and more models in order to produce the other two adventures. Obviously, these adventures were orginally produced for the audio medium only. However, we shall be adapting and embellishing these stories to create exciting new episodes for film. So yes, there will be explosions!
WHAT ARE THE MINI-ALBUMS?
The mini-albums were one of the ways you could enjoy old and new adventures with International Rescue in the days before home video. Whilst many of the albums are narrated soundtracks from television episodes, three special stories were produced exclusively for audio.
FAB - THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
When reports come in from the Himalayas of kidnappings carried out by the Abominable Snowman, International Rescue sends Lady Penelope to investigate. She soon reveals the dark truth and finds herself a prisoner of The Hood who will stop at nothing to get the secrets of the Thunderbird machines. Can International Rescue save Penelope in time?
The prequel! In this story set before the first episode of the television series, Lady Penelope and Parker head to Tracy Island in order to discover more about International Rescue. There, they witness the Thunderbird craft in action for the first time. This is unashamedly a celebration of Thunderbirds' best technology!
LADY PENELOPE INVESTIGATES... THE STATELY HOME ROBBERIES
Stately homes across England are being targetted for their precious jewel collections. The villains will stop at nothing to complete their task. Their next victim? Lady Penelope. Can she and Parker thwart their diabolical plan?
Pledging money to this Kickstarter is the only way you can access our rewards and guarantee yourself a copy of our completed Classic Thunderbirds production and photo magazine. These limited edition packages will not be made available in shops or online stores.
MULTIPLE REWARDS – If you would like to pledge for a number of rewards, or for multiples of the same reward, simply manually input your total pledge amount and drop us a message so that we can make a note of what you would like. Get in touch if you have any questions!
In addition to being offered the chance to purchase exclusive discs of the finished production (available region free on DVD and BLU-RAY and in both NTSC and PAL for DVD), we are also offering Kickstarter backers several exciting opportunities including:
- A 48 page, retro-style magazine crammed with rare and previously unpublished stills from the original 1965 series of Thunderbirds.
- Tickets to our invitation-only celebrity premiere.
- Props and costumes from the production.
- A once in a lifetime opportunity to visit a working Supermarionation film set.
Although any production can encounter slight setbacks, we hope to fulfil all rewards by Christmas this year. With a screening date already set, we'll be working hard to ensure that you'll have your rewards during Thunderbirds' 50th anniversary year.
NOTE: Further reward levels will be unlocked once we reach our target and continue on to stretch goals!
If you have any questions about the rewards, additions, or changes, then please message us during the campaign. We're here and we're listening!
STEPHEN LA RIVIÈRE - Producer / Director
Stephen was the director, producer, co-writer and co-editor of last year's criticially acclaimed documentary 'Filmed in Supermarionation' which was based on his book of the same name. Stephen has worked as a director, producer and writer for twelve years. Apart from leading the overall project, Stephen will also direct the first episode.
ANDREW T. SMITH - Associate Producer, Script Editor
Also a writer and filmmaker, Andrew was the associate producer, co-writer and co-editor of Filmed in Supermarionation. His current film, Cartoon Carnival – which he is producing and directing – unearths the early pre-sound history of animation.
JUSTIN T. LEE - Post-production, Graphic Designer, Puppeteer
Justin has worked in post-production as a visual effects artist and animator for many of the world's leading brands. A lifelong Thunderbirds fan, Justin left behind advertising to come and join us on Filmed in Supermarionation where he undertook no end of roles, including designing all the beautiful artwork that accompanied the film.
DAVID ELLIOTT - Supervisor, Director
David Elliott, who was a director on the original Thunderbirds, will be part of our crew! He will work in an advisory position, helping us to ensure authenticity PLUS, if we reach our stretch goals, he will be directing an episode for us – his first episode of Thunderbirds in 49 years!
ANDY ROLFE - Set Design and Construction
Andy worked with Gerry Anderson on several projects and also worked on Filmed in Supermarionation, where he was responsible for some incredible recreations of the original Supermarionation sets. He other work includes beautifully detailed 1/3 scale props and sets for films like Wolfman, Casino Royale, and Skyfall.
DAVID HICKS - Director of Photography
Filming anything in 'Supermarionation' is a tricky art. Because everything is in miniature, everything has to be filmed in a very precise way to give it the necessary sense of scale. David was the Director of Photography on the puppet sequences for Filmed in Supermarionation and will be bringing his expertise to us again for this project. He will also be working on the next generation of Gerry Anderson shows, Firestorm.
BARRY DAVIES and CHRIS KING - Puppet Construction
Barry Davies is a master at producing studio-standard Supermarionation puppets. He learnt directly from Thunderbirds' Chief Puppeteer Christine Glanville, and his services were engaged many times by Gerry Anderson. Aside from building the puppets, Barry will also be creating and installing the mechanisms in the head. No radio control here - we'll be using 60s methods! The accuracy of Barry's engineering and artistry will add to the authentic feel of this episode.
Chris King is also an expert at producing Supermarionation puppets. Aside from his own creations which are indistinguishable from the original screen-used puppets, he is a master at restoring Supermarionettes that have survived from the 60s. Chris will also be creating characters for us - most notably The Hood. The original puppet is missing in action, but thanks to Chris we now have a beautiful sculpt indistinguishable from the original.
MAMAS PITSILLIS - Model Construction
Mamas is an expert model builder and well-known to Anderson fans for his incredible recreations of the original studio miniatures. Mamas will be working to ensure that the models of the Thunderbirds craft we use will be as accurate as possible.
JAMES FIELDING - Unit Photographer
Our journey will be documented for Kickstarter backers by photographer James Fielding who also worked on Filmed in Supermarionation. James will be capturing much needed publicity shots to help make this a celebration to remember.
MORE NAMES TO BE REVEALED DURING THE COURSE OF THE CAMPAIGN! THEY'LL BE WORTH WAITING FOR...
What is Supermarionation?
'Supermarionation' – a portmanteau combining the words 'Super', 'Marionette' and 'Animation' – was coined by Gerry Anderson in 1960 to describe his sophisticated puppets. Whilst other television marionette heroes were constructed of papier mâché, Supermarionation involved the use of characters with beautifully sculpted fibreglass heads (with multiple heads featuring different expressions to fit the mood). Most significantly of all though, these puppets could talk in time with the dialogue via a system that converted individual syllables into electrical impulses that allowed the characters' mouths to open and close.
The special effects unit were pioneers in their field. They developed their art of shooting effects entirely with miniatures until their efforts were the best seen on television and film. Many of the team – including Academy Award winners Derek Meddings and Brian Johnson – went on to produce the visual effects for motion pictures such as Superman, Alien, Star Wars and James Bond.
We will be embracing these classic techniques. For Thunderbirds 1965 we will have:
- Real puppets
- Real models
- Real sets
- And, of course, REAL EXPLOSIONS
- Oh - and the proper tungsten wire they used in the 60s, just in case you thought we were going to use nylon as in the video!
Every element of the production will be undertaken by professionals who are experts on how the original show was made.
日本の皆さん、こんにちは。スティーブン・ラリビエーです。 去年、私は、ジェリー・アンダーソンとシルビア・アンダーソンの特撮人形劇作品についてのドキュメンタリー「Filmed in Supermarionation」を製作しました。 「サンダーバード」は勿論、「海底大戦争スティングレイ」、「キャプテン・スカーレット」など、皆さんよくご存知の作品についての物語です。
ドキュメンタリー制作にあたって、私たちは、かつてのスーパーマリオネーションの技術を蘇らせました。そして、サンダーバードのレディー・ペネロープやパーカーやブレインズが登場する新たなシーンを撮影しました。 その時、私たちは、全員が同じことを考えていたのです。 それは、かつての技術で、新しいサンダーバードのエピソードを作ることができたら、そんな素晴らしいことはないだろう！ ということです。
Risks and challenges
It's going to be a hectic few months, but having already produced projects that were 'Filmed in Supermarionation' before, we are confident that we will be able to handle this production with the utmost skill and efficiency.
A few members of our crew are very busy, and so their availability may be an issue depending on timing. They've all very kindly agreed to do their best to fit this project in if they are busy on other projects, but if they are unavailable they will be replaced by another, equally skilled and talented industry professional. As such our cast and crew are correct at the time of publication but may change.
We will do our best to avoid delays though - after all: we're doing this to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a great TV series.
WITH YOUR HELP, A VERY SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WILL BE GO!
Thunderbirds™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1964, 1999 and 2015. All Rights Reserved.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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