Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Part 1: Fire & Ice Rekindled

Director Robert (Sin City) Rodriguez recently announced that he will be creating a live action version of the 1983 animated film Fire and Ice.

The announcement was accompanied by a few pieces of preproduction artwork showing the characters of Teegra, Larn, and Dark Wolf, painted in the style of fantasy artist Frank Frazetta (1928-2010).

The original movie Fire and Ice was co-produced by Frank Frazetta and Ralph (Fritz the Cat) Bakshi. Here’s the trailer. 

My first job in the movie industry was working as a background painter for that film. I had the opportunity to paint hundreds of scenes of jungles, volcanoes, swamps, and forests into which the rotoscope cel-animated characters would perform.

I’d like to take the next few posts to share some memories about that project.

Part 1: Fire and Ice -- Rekindled
Part 2: Fire and Ice -- Frank Frazetta
Part 3: Fire and Ice -- Tom Kinkade
Part 4: Fire and Ice -- Ralph Bakshi
Part 5: Living Inside Paintings

Wikipedia on the original Fire and Ice.
See Justin Sweet's concept art for the Rodriguez film


Billy Guffey said...

Looking forward to it, James. Thanks for all you do.

Super Villain said...

really looking forward to it too! i've been egarly awaiting a fire and ice post for years!

frazetta, gurney and kinkade! YIKES, too much power!

arturoquimico said...

When the grandkids come over, I have to quickly put the Frazetta and Vajello reference books in the closet... thanks for keeping the Gurney Journey family friendly yet filled with the artisty and dynamism also found with those two artists.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the live-action will be CGI intensive, but it seems like motion capture would be the most logical step from rotoscope, and have more potential to deliver something truer to Frazetta's art (and possibly mask some wooden or campy performances by actors, which this genre is prone to).

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I was very excited when I first heard this announcement and saw the concept art. After Frazetta's death, there were all sorts of announcements about movies that dealt with characters he helped define like Conan and John Carter and I thought with all the new computer technology and plethora of "visual" directors in Hollywood that we'd have all sorts of movies honoring and homaging Frazetta's unique style.

Well, Conan really didn't do that and it doesn't look like John Carter is shooting for that either, but if the concept paintings are to be believe, Fire and Ice might just be the film I'm looking for, and RR is the ideal director for such an undertaking after his panel lifting work for "Sin City".

Unknown said...

I don't know if you will know or remember him but Dave Hoover, one of my teachers who recently passed, worked on the original film. When I asked about you he told me you were always hunched over with a giant beard doing your work. This post reminded me of him, and I am sad, he wont get to see this.

James Gurney said...

Cashburn. Sorry to hear the news about Dave. "Hunched over with a giant beard?" Maybe he meant "beer."

robh said...

can't wait...want posts now :)

Unknown said...

haha, It is possible.

CandlePhoenix said...

I actually just rented the original from netflix and was surprised to find you in the special features portion of the dvd! i had no idea you worked on the film. I love it though, and now am eagerly looking forward to the reboot!

SE said...

That Robert has a face of a man-child.
The Sweet's painting is sweet; been my lapy's wallpaper for over a month now. But I'm still not bought yet on this new F&I movie. I need to see a trailer first.

Arnaud said...

Great! I can't wait to hear your memories about this experience (How did you land the job? Was it easy?), and about Frank from a reliable source. We always hear about Frazetta the legend, but I'd like to know more about the man and the artist. Did you learn something from him? Was he the genius we like to think he is? I remember reading an interview where he said that among the artists who worked on the movie, a couple stood out, and you were one of them.