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New TV Series 'Ice Planet' Becomes Video Game

by Rainier on Oct. 11, 2006 @ 3:19 a.m. PDT

SpaceWorks Entertainment and Circles & Lines have signed a deal with Toronto’s Fast Motion Studios to work with CGI studio, Optix Digital Pictures to create Ice Planet, a new live-action motion-capture/CGI sci-fi television series and video game enterprise, starring Michael Ironside.

Plato Fountidakis, CEO of Fast Motion Studios explained that motion capture technology is often married with CGI platforms for feature films, “But this is a first for live action television,” he said. “We’ve seen it done successfully in animated TV series, but the cost and the time has been prohibitive for live action, until now.”

The 22-epsiode, one-hour series will begin production November 17, this year and has devoted two studios to green screen setups to accommodate CGI shoots as well as motion capture photography and wire work.

“We have the luxury of a studio space large enough to accommodate this kind of dedicated setup,” said Ice Planet Executive Producer and SpaceWorks CEO G. Philip Jackson. “Sophisticated, big-budget, feature film sequences can be shot and processed simultaneously as we shoot conventional scenes in our adjoining studios,” added Executive Producer Hendrik Hey.

Fast Motion will be using the new VICON Motion Systems software, usually employed by console video game developers, for this ground-breaking application, Fountidakis said. Footage captured and rendered with this method will also be used by developers of the Ice Planet console game, slated for release at the conclusion of the series’ first season.

SpaceWorks Entertainment’s new 63,000 square-foot studio in Scarborough, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto in Canada. The prep stage is nearing completion as the studio will house the majority of scenes being shot for the series as well as some footage to be used by designers of the franchise’s video console game.

In addition to interior sets, a half-acre of exterior land will be converted to the threatening landscape of the Ice Planet thanks to the production’s crew and the CGI magic of Optix Digital (Toronto, Frankfurt).

SpaceWorks and Circles & Lines are also pleased to announce three key appointments to the production team: John Calvert, Anna Bourque and Gord Barnes.

“We are very fortunate to be able to secure such talent for this unique project,” said Ice Planet Executive Producer and SpaceWorks’ CEO G. Philip Jackson. “Their collective experience in science fiction brings this project to a new level,” added Hendrik Hey, Executive Producer (Germany).

JOHN CALVERT: Perhaps best known for producing such TV sci-fi classics as PSI Factor, William Shatner’s Tek War and Earth: The Final Conflict, John most recently worked with Britney Spears on her TV project Brave New Girl.

“This is an exciting project to me not simply because of the challenge involved in a project of this size and tying in a video game, but also because of the amazing team we’ve been able to put together.”

ANNA BOURQUE: The Emmy-award-winning writer has also served as a creator and head writer for such shows as Life of Crime, Freaky Stories, Twitch City and Material World. She has also taught writing and series development at Toronto’s prestigious Canadian Film Centre.

“I love being involved at the beginning of a series, especially one as promising as this, since you have the opportunity to create not just the characters, but an entire world.”

GORD BARNES: One of the most sought-after Production Designers in the business, Gord has created the worlds of such sci-fi films and series as PSI Factor, In the Mouth of Madness and Tracker, as well as such popular Hollywood titles as Billy Madison, American Pie 5, Gilmore Girls, The War Next Door and The Skulls II and III.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work on such an ambitious project. This bold new TV series allows for maximum creativity in creating the environments of an entire planet as well as a spaceship that is unlike any ever seen before.”

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