Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Firestorm Kickstarter Campaign Is Go!

     Today is the big day!  The Firestorm Kickstarter campaign starts now!  The age of Ultramarionation has begun!

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm launches on Kickstarter
Anderson Entertainment today announces the launch of Firestorm on the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter at 9:30 am on 30 September 2014. Fans of iconic Gerry Anderson shows like Space: 1999, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, UFO and Thunderbirds will be able to back the project to help fund the pilot episode in return for special limited edition rewards from props and collector edition DVDs, to set visits and film credits.
Firestorm is a Gerry Anderson concept that was originally produced and released by a Japanese company as an anime series across Japan and South East Asia in 2003. This new version of the Gerry Anderson concept has been redeveloped from Gerry’s original synopsis and story outline documents.
Once funding from the Kickstarter campaign has been successfully raised, a pilot episode will be made with a new filming technique called ‘Ultramarionation’, the next stage in evolution from the famous ‘Supermarionation’ technique of Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, using a combination of puppetry, practical effects, physical props and sets, and model miniatures.
Jamie Anderson, Managing Director of Anderson Entertainment and son of Gerry Anderson, MBE, says, “Developing Firestorm ready to be filmed in Ultramarionation has been an absolute joy. Film-making methods like practical effects, the expert use of miniatures and puppetry were pioneered by the incredibly talented teams at AP Films and Century 21 on shows like Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Space: 1999 and Thunderbirds and it will be my pleasure to bring them back to the screen for a 21st century audience.”

The campaign is aiming to raise a minimum of £49,000 to produce a 5-8 minute minisode introducing some of the characters and storyline elements of the series.  It also features various ‘stretch goals’, so if more money is raised, it will allow for further development of characters and storyline, introducing further scenes and explosions up to a 22 minute pilot episode if £135,000 is raised and a full 45 minute feature episode if £342,000 is raised.
As Mr Anderson sums it up, “It's my hope that generations of Gerry Anderson fans from all over the world will join us for this project on Kickstarter and help us bring the UK’s own Walt Disney’s next project - Firestorm - to TV screens in the very near future!”
For further information, see www.GerryAnderson.co.uk/Firestorm


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Behold Firestorm! A New Gerry Anderson Project We Can Kickstart!

     2015 may well be remembered as the year of Gerry Anderson!  We'll not only celebrate the 50th anniversary of his most famous creation, Thunderbirds; we'll see the premiere of the new Weta produced series Thunderbirds Are Go!  We also have The new Gemini Force 1 novels as well as the Stephen La Riviere documentary Filmed in Supermarionation!  As Gerry Anderson fans, we have a lot to celebrate.   We even have the opportunity to help launch a new Anderson Entertainment project.  I'm talking about  Firestorm, a project that could bring the classic ideas of Gerry Anderson and Supermarionation into the 21st century.
     Firestorm actually began life in an unlikely way, as a 2003 Japanese animation series produced by Gerry Anderson and his business partner John Needham.  The series featured traditional hand drawn animation for the characters and cgi for the hardware.  It certainly had elements one would associate with classic Anderson shows,  but it felt a bit off.  Although the show utilized Gerry's ideas; they weren't fully utilized.  It felt like something crucial was missing.  It lasted 26 episodes and it wasn't even well received by its Japanese audience.  The series might have vanished into obscurity except for one thing;  the concept was good.  It just needed the right people to make it work.  The right people and the right format.
      Anderson Entertainment have  made the decision to give Firestorm another chance at life.  Utilizing the latest creative technologies Firestorm Could rise from the ashes with advanced practical miniature effects and puppetry techniques.  To do this, Anderson Entertainment needs our support.  On Sept 30th a Kickstarter campaign will commence to raise funding that will help make Firestorm a reality.  Until now I've never felt compelled to contribute to a Kickstarter campaign as there were no projects I felt strongly about.  I will definitely contribute to Firestorm.  I want very much to see this series done the way Gerry Anderson intended; his ideas and concepts intact.  I believe it's worth the effort.  I've included a link below about the project as well as a promo featuring Space: 1999 actor Nick Tate.  I will post more info as it becomes available.  For perspective I've included an episode of the Firestorm anime series. 

Nick Tate Firestorm Promo
   Episode 1 of the Firestorm anime series

Tonight Doctor Who Series 8 Episode Six: The Caretaker!

     Tonight's episode brings us the half way point in Series 8.  This week Clara's boyfriend Danny Pink has his first encounter with The Doctor and the TARDIS.   This proably won't go well.  Add to that an alien stalking the halls of Coal Hill School.  Series 8 has been great so far and I hope this episode will continue the trend.  I've included the trailer below.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tonight Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 5: Time Heist!

        I'm reasonably certain we all enjoy a good bank heist story.  I certainly do.  Set that heist story in the Doctor Who universe and you just know it'll be cool!  I'm certainly excited.  Even more exciting is the reference to Abslom Daak!  Daak was a comic strip character in Doctor Who magazine in the 80s.  A psychotic criminal turned Dalek killer!  His image appearing briefly on a screen in this episode would make the character canon with established Doctor Who events.  That's awesome!  So far Series 8 has been very good and expect tonight's episode will continue this trend.  I've included the trailer below.  Enjoy!

Abslom Daak as seen in the episode!

Abslom Daak Graphic Novel

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy 6th Anniversary To The Project Sword Moonbase Blog!

     Monday Sept 15, 2014 marks the 6th anniversary of the amazing Project Sword Moonbase Central Blog.  The Moonbase blog is THE place to go to for articles and photo features on Project Sword, Spacex, and Gerry Anderson related toys and models.  So, to Paul Woods, Bill Bulloch, and Mike Burrows, the fine gents whose blog I love; I salute you!  Here's to many more excellent years ahead!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Alpha 2014: The Biggest Space:1999 Convention In The UK!

      I do love Space: 1999!  In the 70s it was the SF show with everything a kid like me could want, cool spacecraft, horrific monsters, and exciting adventure.  To this the show's iconic Eagle Transporter remains one of my all time favorite TV spacecraft designs.  This weekend UK fans are celebrating their love for Gerry Anderson's epic SF series by attending Alpha:  2014; the biggest 1999 convention ever!  Mike Burrows of the Project Sword Moonbase Central Blog is there enjoying the con as we speak.  I can't wait to hear about the vent when he returns.  Although I couldn't attend;  I can still celebrate!  For your viewing pleasure I've collected some 1999 goodies from Youtube!  Enjoy!

The Complete First Episode Breakaway

A very cool stop-motion Space:  1999 fan film from 1979

A cool feature on a surviving 44 Inch Eagle miniature

A very interesting look behind the effects of Space:  1999 with Brian Johnson

Tonight Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 4: Listen!

     After a rollicking adventure last week in Sherwood Forest; The Doctor and Clara movie in the suspense and horror realm with this week's installment, Listen.  The Doctor has dealt with Daleks, Cybermen, and The Weeping Angels, but is even he a match for the legendary Monster-Under-The-Bed!  We'll find find out tonight.  I've really been enjoying Series 8 and I'm certainly looking forward to tonight.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Starbase Olympia Report: Prelude To Axanar!

      This week's Olympia Report is a little different yet so very cool!  In addition to some great images from Dan Foster's wonderful Trek collection, I also have a little film to present here.  To call what you are about to see a fan film doesn't do it any justice whatsoever.  This film is so well made I would put it alongside the very best Trek episodes or films.
      Prelude To Axanar is presented as a documentary you might find on the 23rd century equivalent of The History Channel.  It depicts a dark time in Federation history when Starfleet had to wage a war for survival against the Klingon Empire.  Brought to life by well-known actors and featuring amazing visual effects; this film is certainly worth 21 minutes of your time.  It's a chance to see the classic era of Star Trek in a fashion the original television producers could only dream of doing.  Dan advises me this was a crowd funded project and could lead to a longer feature project.  I would certainly love to see more.
     In honor of the classic series I present a gallery of images from Dan Foster's collection of the grand lady that gave form to our dreams of space exploration and aventure.  Enjoy the film and the model pics!

Tonight Doctor Who Series 8 Episode 3: Robot of Sherwood!

     Well, the third episode of Series 8 is upon us!  This week the Doctor and Clara find themselves in Sherwood Forest alongside legendary thief and hero Robin Hood.  Considering the title, I suspect a robot will play a part in this story.  Last week's episode was a fun romp and I certainly look forward to tonight's adventure.  Have a look at the trailer below.  Enjoy!

Travel Channel Cancels Toy Hunter?! This Is Insane!

     This morning, my Wendy and I were watching The Travel Channel and we realized we hadn't heard anything lately about a fourth season of Toy Hunter.  I quickly went to Wikipedia and noticed they had no info about upcoming episodes either.  I immediately jumped to the Twitter feed for the Toy Hunter himself, Jordan Hembrough; and my worst fears were realized.  Tweet after tweet about the show's cancellation.  The Travel Channel did the unthinkable and cancelled a great show with so much more left to give.
     For those who don't know, Toy Hunter followed the cross country adventures of Jordan Hembrough, the owner of a New Jersey toy store known as Hollywood Heroes.  Jordan made his way through the attics, basements, and garages of our country searching for rare and awesome toys to sell in his store (see link below) and at major pop culture conventions.  His show gave a voice to toy collectors the world over.  He showed that toy collecting wasn't something meaningless or stupid.  It's a way of reconnecting with the better parts of our youth and our pop culture.
     I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Jordan at the 2013 Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington.  He is every bit as awesome in person as he was in the show.  Meeting him was a major highlight of the trip for me.  I'm really going to miss the show.  
     Toy Hunter was my only real reason to watch The Travel Channel.  I can't relate to anything else on that channel be it bizarre culinary offerings or exotic airport layovers.  Then again, I seriously doubt losing me as a viewer is foremost on the mind of anyone at The Travel Channel.  Still and all, they dropped the ball with this decision.

Me and The toy Hunter himself at the 2013 Emerald City Comic Con !