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Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm is GO!

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm was successfully funded on Kickstarter and is now in pre-production. If you missed the Kickstarter you can still support the production of the pilot episode via BackerKit. Click here to pre-order a limited range of special items.

Firestorm on Kickstarter

Practical Effects and Puppets

Firestorm will be made in Ultramarionation – a unique combination of techniques that are entwined with the Gerry Anderson universe: practical effects (real explosions), physical sets and props, model miniatures and, of course, puppets! We believe that the tangibility of legendary Gerry Anderson productions like Thunderbirds and Stingray was a major part of their success, and why so many generations have enjoyed and continue to enjoy those wonderful shows. We want to see a return to in-camera effects and film-making, and that’s one of the things we hope you’ll love about Firestorm!

Gerry Anderson's Firestorm puppets Sam, Nagisa, and Commander McAllister

From Genuine Gerry Anderson Roots

The series is based on the series originally developed by Gerry Anderson and his then business partner John Needham, before it was produced as an anime series in Japan in 2003. We’ve gone back to Gerry’s original notes, scripts, synopses etc. and redeveloped the show from those original Anderson elements.

With an Incredible Crew

We have many, many talented people working on the project – most of whom worked with Gerry himself, or have a love and understanding of those elements that make a true Gerry Anderson production.

Firestorm Ocean Storm Tornado launch

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is one of the best known crowdfunding websites in the world. Creatives take their projects to Kickstarter to say: “Hello World! Here’s a thing I want to make. Do you want me to make it?”. Backers answer in the affirmative by pledging towards the project. In return the backer receives special rewards connected to the project, that are generally not available to the wider world.

You can find out more about Kickstarter and how it works over at their website: https://www.kickstarter.com/hello

Why did you use Kickstarter?

For lots of reasons! You may be aware of our previous successful Kickstarter project which raised the necessary funding to complete Gerry Anderson’s final novel series – Gemini Force One. The project exceeded all of our expectations, and we thrilled to be supported by so many fans all over the world. Their enthusiasm and support directly led to getting a publishing deal with Orion which meant we could publish the first book, but also complete and publish the second and third books in the series. We know now that a successful Kickstarter project can get the attention of the movers and shakers in the industry.

We’ve showed the Firestorm project to a number of distributors, channels, financiers and TV executives during its development and the response has been fairly similar throughout – excitement at the premise, but uncertainty about the use of puppets and in-camera effects. “Wouldn’t CGI be easier?” they say. It may well be easier, but we don’t think the end product would be anywhere near as wonderful if we went down that route. We want to make Firestorm in as practical and tangible a way as possible – physical sets and props, practical effects, miniatures, and puppets. We hope that Gerry Anderson fans all over the world will want to see a new series made that way too!

What’s with the “S” everywhere? Surely it should be an “F” for Firestorm?

We’re very fond of the S. It’s there for two reasons. Firstly the S is a logo inside the Firestorm world. Our heroes in Firestorm are all operatives working for Storm Force 9, a division of Storm Force. The S stands for Storm Force! Firestorm is the operation that Storm Force are undertaking, so the S features in the Firestorm logo, and inside the world. The second reason is for authenticity. The S was always a feature of the original Firestorm series’ logo, so we wanted to keep it that way.

  • Adrian Bird

    looking forward to seeing this develop, will pledge as much as I can when it goes live, good luck to you Jamie and the rest of the crew

  • Wellesley Watkins

    I’m worried about the use of puppets and can understand why TV executives are a bit uncertain about it’s usage. If the new ‘Thunderbirds are go’ series turns out to be a smash hit by using CGI, won’t that be the template for future kids/family based Sci – Fi programmes? Therefore, Firestorm may seem old hat.

    • We think that the tide is turning, and that viewers want (and will thoroughly) enjoy tangibly-made TV & film. We’re already seeing it with the return to practical film-making with the new Star Wars. That’s not to say that CG is a bad thing – it’s absolutely wonderful, but we believe there will always be a place for this type of show. Of course only time will tell! 🙂

      • FreeThinker

        Agreed, CG is too often over used. Practical is the way to go! This is Gerry’s forte.

  • Dean Waterfield

    There is both great cgi and cgi that really sucks!!

  • Darrell Andrews

    I am sooooo glad you’re not going the CGI character route! I’m not saying it would be bad, I just believe too that the time is right for puppets to make a return; I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I truly believe that with today’s advances in animatronics, stringless, part-animatronic, part puppeteer controlled characters could once again be the next stage between live action and animation. I know it can be done! It’s all practical and real, the sets, the characters, even many of the visual FX hopefully, but it is this realistic element that will capture the imagination of both young AND old. Again.

  • Richard Cave

    Do you need a matte painter, I am available and willing,

  • Is FireStorm Gonna Be Different Than The ThunderBirds?

    • Yes Vaughn. Obviously it will have somethings in common with Thunderbirds because it’s a Gerry Anderson project, and because of the film-making methods we’re using, but it’s a very different story!

  • Lori Smith

    Do you plan to employ or dialogue with any creatives who worked on Team America World Police? The puppets were beautifully designed/built with excellent facial-expression options; the bodies certainly would have performed better if not for the problems they had with the overbuilt sets. That film also used live activity for all effects instead of resorting to CGI. The main issue as I see it is that T.A.W.P. has so very recently set a standard for viewers laughing at the puppets, so I’m wondering if you’re planning to somehow work above that, or are going to work with it.

    • We chatted at length about the fact that TAWP has essentially turned TV marionettes into something we laugh at. As such, we’ve been careful to differentiate Ultramarionation puppets from those used in TAWP. Lots of elements of those puppets were changed to add to the comedy – including the non-weight-bearing and flimsy nature of the bodies. Firestorm characters will be wait-bearing, and move in a significantly different way 🙂

  • Matt

    Fabulous to see the commitment to physical filmmaking. Good CGI has its place but it is just ‘one’ possible style. Personally, I’m in my 20s – so not old – and am already sick of studios assuming that I want cg in everything. I think it would really help everybody if they stopped thinking about techniques as new or old and simply just thought of them as different and equally valid creative approaches that can conjure unique feelings and moods in the audience. Indeed, the industry should be experimenting more than ever – not limiting itself stylistically.

  • Dash_rendar

    I think the quality of sci fi shows in general is lacking and there is a huge gap in the market for this type of show ! I look forward to seeing the finished product. P.S- you guys should try and get a spot on the news. After all the Anderson name is iconic in the U.K (as it is worldwide) ! You’ll no doubt get the backing you need and more.

  • Matt Kootchi

    As a big Gerry fan – I would love to have a bash at writing the theme if you dont already have one? Please email me info@goodluckyrecordings.com Regards Matt Kootchi

  • Micky Bister

    I’m allready an backer of the Kickstarter Firestorm project (early bird). How can I updgrade my pledge? Are there any offers for upgrader?

  • rj.tempest

    Any news how about the project is moving on ?
    I’m not getting any younger and cannot wait to see the new ideas on the screen.

  • AlexDraco .

    I too find the use of puppets to be commendable, in our modern era where CGI have invaded every and all aspects of special effects. Not saying we should ban CGI completely, of course, since they’re still highly convenient in certain situations, but as Guillermo Del Toro himself said, if there is a possibility to achieve what you want with traditional physical effects, go for it !

  • Bernhardt Le Mechant

    Smart move going with puppetry. TV is awash with CGI/3D rendered characters, a lot of for childrens programming that looks really cheap. Using puppets is really going to make your show stand out. But most of all…. you need an awesome theme.. at least half the budget should go into that! (Joking of course). Good luck guys, if the Japanese thought it was hot property, it must have something going for it.

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