FIRESTORM PILOT GREEN LIT!
We've reached our base goal, but now we need your help to make the full pilot episode!
Now that we've passed our base goal, it's time to look at making the pilot as exciting, beautiful, and action-packed as possible.
Having achieved the £57k level, we'll be able to build a beautiful interior set of the control room of Storm Force 9's OCEAN STORM, and include an extra scene.
We'll be decimating Black Orchid's technology centre on this island base. Mike Tucker and Steve Begg will construct - and then destroy - this island base as Storm Force 9 attempt to slow down Black Orchid's progress.
When trying to destroy Black Orchid's island base, Sam Scott comes up against two black orchid security drones. We'll now be able to design and build the drones, and shoot this "security alert" sequence that precedes the destruction of the base.
Due to their complexity, and the intricate work required to build them - the new Ultramarionation puppets are one of the most costly parts of producing the minisode, and now we've smashed through our £77k stretch goal, we'll be able to build an additional character and involve them in an action scene!
Fancy seeing another beautiful vehicle? At £91k we'll be able to build a new miniature, and film it in action - effects and all!
Extras and Upgrades
Want to add a reward to your existing reward package? We'll be adding various options throughout the campaign. Just pick the extra or upgrade you want, and simply add that amount to your total pledge.
At the end of the campaign you'll receive a questionnaire which will enable you to specify the rewards you want to receive.
If you'd like multiple reward packages then just total up the packages you would like and pledge that amount. You'll be able to specify your package(s) via the survey at the end of the campaign.
You can also add an unsigned print of Lee Sullivan's Firestorm comic strip for £40.
We need your help to make a brand new series from the creator of Fireball XL5, Space: 1999, Thunderbirds and many more cult TV series - Gerry Anderson's Firestorm.
You may not be aware of Gerry Anderson's name, but we're almost certain that you'll know several titles from his list of hit shows over multiple decades. They include 'Supermarionation' puppet series like: Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and The Secret Service. Live action shows like Space: 1999, UFO, and Space Precinct. Carrying on with his incredible creative ethos, we want to bring the next Gerry Anderson project to the small screen...
Let's Make 'Firestorm' in Ultramarionation!
This project's aim is to raise enough funding to make the necessary models, sets, and puppets, and to pay for the production of a minisode of Firestorm - in all its Ultramarionation glory!
As part of development we put together this brief puppet POV teaser trailer, which is just a hint of things to come...
Firestorm was originally conceived and developed by Gerry Anderson in 2001 under the title 'Storm Force'. The series was eventually bought by a Japanese production company and developed as an anime series. By the time it reached the screen it was quite different to the original series Gerry Anderson had envisaged, and we want to go back to those original concepts and develop them as a true Gerry Anderson production.
Firestorm will see a return to several elements that we think are essential for a real Gerry Anderson project:
- Practical effects - yep, that's REAL explosions
- Physical sets
- Beautifully detailed miniatures
- and yes... puppets!
Harking back to the wonderful world of Thunderbirds, we're calling this updated combination of elements: Ultramarionation.
BASE & STRETCH GOALS
Our base-level goal for this project is for us to produce a minisode of Firestorm - to introduce you to some of the characters, and the story and to show potential distributors and investors what the show will look like. Beyond that we hope to make a pilot episode, or even a full feature-length pilot if we manage to reach one of our top stretch goals.
Our milestone funding levels are to produce:
1) The Minisode - a 5-8 minute minisode introducing some of the characters and storyline
2) The Pilot Episode - A full 22 minute pilot episode setting the scene for the rest of the series.
3) The Feature Pilot - A 45 minute pilot episode where we can get to know the characters, expand on the background and story of the Firestorm universe and show off some incredible effects and fantastic miniatures!
Rather than jumping directly from one stage to another our stretch goals will allow us to add new scenes and characters - so every penny really does count for this campaign, and will be used to make an even better episode.
By the end of the 22nd century mankind has pulled itself up by its bootstraps. The wars and political disputes that were so common throughout the 21st century are long behind us, and man has finally taken responsibility for his own actions. The Earth in 2200 is very different from the one we worried about in 2014 - environmental, social and humanitarian crises are a thing of the past, and things have been that way for nearly 50 years. But in 2202 a new threat emerges.
Terrorist activity surfaces on several continents. At first the world governments deal with them quietly, without any real public awareness but the activity becomes better and better co-ordinated and more widespread. Soon the Continental senates decide to take action, and they invest vast amounts of resources into forming Storm Force - an organisation designed specifically to investigate and neutralise this new threat.
Supplied with the most advanced technology available Storm Force begin operation Firestorm to bring down the terrorist group known as Black Orchid. But as the 9th division of Storm Force (SF9) begin to make progress, they discover that Black Orchid is only a very small part of the picture, and that they themselves have had to make an impossible choice...
Filmed in Ultramarionation
Ultramarionation is a brand new method of filming based on the foundations of the Supermarionation techniques developed by Gerry Anderson and his pioneering teams through the 1960s, used in series like Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, and the iconic Thunderbirds.
With Ultramarionation we are taking the very best aspects of those incredible shows - the physical sets, marionettes, breath-taking model work, and practical effects and tying them together with modern film-making technologies.
The characters from the classic 1965 Thunderbirds have become iconic, and these new puppet characters are a true homage to the beloved Gerry Anderson style. They will be built in the originally engineered proportions that were seen in productions like Fireball XL5, Stingray and Thunderbirds, but with a new degree of complexity and technical ingenuity that was unavailable in the 1960s.
To undertake this important part of the project we are working with Mackinnon and Saunders - a company known throughout the world for their stunning puppet work.
As part of the return to physical and tangible film-making, we'll be producing incredibly detailed miniature vehicles which will populate the Firestorm universe. You'll also see a return to the functional complexity which is such an enjoyable part of shows like Thunderbirds.
Explosions are cool. Really cool! There's something magical and fascinating about watching something being blown to smithereens - and knowing that the set was actually built for that purpose. So Firestorm will see a return to the practical effects of those pioneering days in the 1960s and 70s - originally created by Derek Meddings, Brian Johnson and their talented teams.
The Production Team
A team with a passion for all things Gerry Anderson
We're very lucky to have some amazing people already involved in this project, and this is just for the initial phases. We're hoping that even more people will join us as we move into the next stages of production.
The crew selection for Firestorm is based primarily on finding technical and artistic crew who worked closely with Gerry Anderson on past productions, or those who have a true love and understanding of those aspects that made his productions so special. A high degree of devotion to the legacy is a must for creative staff on this project.
Steve Begg - Effects Supervisor
BAFTA award winning effects supervisor best known for his recent work on the Bond films (Skyfall, Casino Royale, Goldeneye), Wolfman, Tomb Raider, Batman, Batman Begins, and Aliens but also a long-time Gerry Anderson regular - working on everything from Terrahawks to Space Precinct and New Captain Scarlet.
Steve is the original concept artist and designer of almost all the craft in Firestorm, and we're thrilled to have him on board.
Eric Chu - Concept and Design
Best known for his beautiful redesigns of the spacecraft and Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica, Eric has become part of the Gerry Anderson fold with his excellent poster designs, digital paintings and concept work for new Gerry Anderson productions.
Mike Tucker - Model Effects
BAFTA award winning, and Emmy nominated model effects artist, best known for his work on Doctor Who and Red Dwarf. Mike's "Model Unit" was responsible for the BAFTA award winning effects on the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode in 2013.
Peter Tyler - Director of Photography
Peter is an Emmy nominated DoP who has a fantastic CV including Aliens, Legend, Baron Munchausen, Neverending Story, Doctor Who, Star Cops, and Red Dwarf.
Bill Pearson - Model Supervisor
Bill is a top model maker, best known for his work on Alien, Moon, Gravity, Casino Royale and Red Dwarf. He went into effects because of his love of Gerry Anderson shows, and was model designer on Gerry's 1994 series Space Precinct.
Mackinnon & Saunders - Puppets
With over 30 years of experience Ian Mackinnon and Peter Saunders’ talented team have had the privilege of bringing some of the world’s best known animated characters to life - from Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and Fifi and the Flowertots, to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox.
Their Gerry Anderson connection runs deep - Ian Mackinnon had his very first paid job working on the 1980s pilot show Space Police, and the company was also responsible for the puppets in Gerry Anderson's Lavender Castle.
From concept maquettes, mould making and armatures to costume, hair and paint, their team will always go the extra mile to ensure the characters that are produced create the maximum impact on screen.
Ken Palkow - Puppet handheld props
Ken is an incredibly well-known and respected Hollywood prop maker - known for making weaponry and handhelds for movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past, RoboCop, Elysium, Man of Steel, Star Trek Into Darkness and Oblivion. Ken's attention to detail and artistry is second-to-none.
Mark Woollard - Director
Mark worked with Gerry from the early 1980s right up until his last project (New Captain Scarlet - 2005) and beyond - working with Gerry to develop his new ideas until Gerry's Alzheimer's Disease stopped him working in 2011. Mark's Anderson credits include Terrahawks, Dick Spanner, Space Police, Space Precinct, and New Captain Scarlet. Mark is also an experienced animation director - recently directing Little Charlie Bear for Annix Studios.
David Elliott - Consultant Director
One of the original members of the AP Films team - best known for directing on Thunderbirds - David Elliott returns as a consultant on the Firestorm project.
Steve Kyte - Character design
Steve's name is inextricably linked with Gerry Anderson productions, and in particular Firestorm. His work includes strips and covers for Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and many more. He was also the original character designer selected by Gerry Anderson in 2001, and we're thrilled to have Steve back on board for the new series.
Michael Okuda - Visual Consultant
Best known for his contributions to the Star Trek Universe (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager) - Michael is the man behind LCARS - the famous fictional computer system used throughout the Enterprise D and other Starships.
Andy Rolfe and Peter Seymour-Howell - Set construction
Andy is a lifelong fan of Gerry Anderson's work, and worked with Gerry on several projects. Fans may have seen his work on Captain Scarlet: SIG, and the recent documentary - Filmed in Supermarionation - where Andy was responsible for some incredible recreations of the original Supermarionation sets. He has also built incredibly detailed 1/3 scale props and sets for films like Wolfman, Casino Royale, and Skyfall.
Peter has over 20 years experience building highly detailed models/sets and SFX for TV and film including many blockbusters such as Bond, Event Horizon, Harry Potter and Wolfman. He has experience working in various roles from senior model maker/technician/engineer to buyer to Art Director. Peter remembers enjoying the original Gerry Anderson shows as a child and is looking forward to being involved in bringing that magic back through Firestorm!
Justin T. Lee - Post production (and teaser production)
Justin led the unit that produced the fantastic Firestorm Teaser Trailer, and his work will be familiar to anyone who has seen the beautiful graphics features in Filmed in Supermarionation. He's a post-production genius, and will be leading post-production work on the minisode.
Peter Greenwood - 2nd Unit/Additional Voices
Peter is another lifelong Anderson fan, As a voice artist he headlined the Thunderbirds radio campaign in Australia in the 1990's previous to that he worked for Disney on "The Rescuers Down Under" and recently "The Pirates Of The Caribbean", as well as voicing a number of the key monsters for "Power Rangers" and "Big Bad Beattleborgs".
Peter was also the driving force behind taking Firestorm to Kickstarter in the first place. So, thanks for that, Peter!
Dave Low - Design & Brand
Dave has been tied to all our recent projects - from the 2013 Gerry Anderson rebrand (and its iconic A logo) to Gemini Force One, and beyond. He's a massive Space: 1999 fan, and works closely with me to get the right look and feel for our projects.
And of course, yours truly - you can read a bit more about me in the creator bio section.
The Voice Cast
Nick Tate - Best known as Alan Carter - hero Eagle pilot from Space: 1999 and son of John Tate who voiced multiple characters on Thunderbirds. Nick is making his return to a Gerry Anderson production for the first time since 1976.
Nicholas Briggs - Nicholas will be familiar to many as the voice of the Daleks and Cybermen in Doctor Who. A lifelong Gerry Anderson fan, Nicholas joins us as the voice of Ocean Storm's AI system "REMUS".
Shane Rimmer (Scott Tracy - Thunderbirds) and Matt Zimmerman (Alan Tracy - Thunderbirds) have also confirmed they will be making cameo appearances in the pilot episode!
All voice cast announced so far have committed to Firestorm, but of course their appearance in the pilot is subject to their availability and other factors beyond our control.
More of our voice cast will be announced during the campaign.
New Firestorm vs Original Firestorm
The Firestorm series produced in Japan in 2003 was heavily adapted for the Japanese market, and produced in anime - a style which limited its potential success in the Western market, and was of course voiced in Japanese.
For the new Firestorm project, we are reverting back to Gerry Anderson's original scripts, series bible and story outlines. We're also using a team that Gerry would have used himself, and using techniques that are entwined with the Gerry Anderson universe. We couldn't make it much more of a genuine Gerry Anderson production without the great man himself being at the helm.
We're very lucky to have the blessing of those involved with the original production in Japan, as well as being rights owners of the new series. That means nobody else can interfere with what we're doing. Like Gemini Force One - we're able to keep this project pure and true to Gerry's original vision.
Our rewards will be produced and despatched in 2015. We're aware that some of you may wish to purchase additional items as gifts for friends, or as extra items for yourself. To help with this - at the end of the campaign - backers will receive an email from BackerKit. BackerKit allows you manage your backer rewards, and allows backers to add individual items to rewards packages.
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!
How will the money be used?
Anderson Entertainment have already spent a considerable amount on development to get Firestorm to its current state. This means that we are ready to enter pre-production immediately at the end of the funding period. The graphic below shows estimates of how funds raised during the campaign will be spent, but whatever happens, we will use the funds to make the best possible pilot episode we can.
Where do we go from here?
From experience (with last year's Gemini Force One project) we know how powerful an influence a really successful Kickstarter project can be for a Gerry Anderson idea!
After Gemini Force One was successfully funded, we were able to sign a global 3-book publishing deal with Orion - and that was due almost entirely to the incredible support the project received from Gerry Anderson fans all over the world. Firestorm will be no different.
It's our hope that through sheer weight of numbers and a public show of support we will be able to show financiers, distributors and TV execs all over the world that a new Gerry Anderson TV show will be overwhelmingly popular - and will entertain new generations of viewers for decades to come.
Risks and challenges
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.
As with all projects of this nature, it is possible that there could be some delays during pre-production, which could have an impact on delivery times for the minisode and associated rewards. We'll keep all of our backers up to date, and do everything we can to minimise delays. However we're confident in our abilities to deliver after the successful funding and completion of our 2013 Kickstarter project Gemini Force One.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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