Ice Pond Studio was founded in 1992, as a full service
graphic design firm. As of recently the design firm also began to specialize
in high end 3d animation.
About Floyd Bishop
Prior to founding Ice
Pond with Tom Bisogno and Rebecca Rabinowitz, he was a character animator
on "Ice Age"
at Blue Sky Studios
in White Plains, New York.
Floyd Bishop: Well, officially,
Ice Pond began in 1992. The company was founded by Rebecca Rabinowitz
as a full service web and graphic design studio. Not only have we been
able to work with our friends from "Ice Age", but we've also
met some very talented people during the past year and folded them into
the group. The studio is on Ice Pond Road, which is where the name comes
Tito A. Belgrave: You mentioned you were employees of Blue Sky Studios at one point in time, how has that experience helped you with your new ventures?
Floyd Bishop: First off, I was not at Blue Sky for very long. In fact, I've now been at Ice Pond longer than I was at Blue Sky. Tom, however, goes all the way back to before Blue Sky, to the MAGI/Synthavision days. (remember "Tron"?) The body of work that Tom and some of our other crew members were involved in helps to open doors for us. It helps people see from the start that we know what we're doing.
Tom was also with Blue Sky for it's early formative years, so we have that as a bit of a guide to know what worked and what didn't for them.
I've also met some of the other founding members of Blue Sky that had
been out of the company for some time when I started there. Their stories
of the early days (not only of Blue Sky, but of computer animation itself)
are very inspiring.
Floyd Bishop: At first, it was
a little tough getting work because we really didn't have any "Ice Pond"
work to show. No one really knew what we could do as a group on our own.
Now it's much easier.
- She heads up the studio and manages all the web and graphic design projects.
Tito A. Belgrave: What services does Ice Pond Studio offer?
Floyd Bishop: We do everything, literally. We can do everything from filling in gaps in an existing production pipeline to doing an entire project ourselves from start to finish. We have creatives from every phase of production from initial story and storyboards to the final edit.
With the winter weather we've had here in New York, we've also discussed
going into snow removal, but no official decision has been made yet.
Floyd Bishop: Well, actually we've
worked on a few different "GI Joe vs Cobra" commercials for ReelFx.
The first CG "Joe Vs Cobra" commercial was our first big job as Ice Pond.
For that commercial, we were asked by ReelFX to model and do materials
for Cobra Commander and Destro. Later, on the second commercial, we were
given more characters and expanded duties, including rigging. We did a
few more characters for a third commercial, but that's still under wraps.
|Image: Merriweather Sailor character created for a "top secret" Ice Pond project.|
| Tito A. Belgrave: What are
some of the current projects you're undertaking at the moment?|
Floyd Bishop: A lot of our commercial projects have not been publicly released yet, so I can't talk about those. As for the Ice Pond projects, we have several ideas for both series and feature film application. We're currently working up 30 seconds of animation for each of our ideas. It's a lot of work, but it builds up our reel and makes a great "proof of concept" piece when we pitch. Think of them as trailers for films we'd like to see made. We've just started pitching them around, and they've gotten a warm response, but no greenlights...yet.
Tito A. Belgrave: Currently you're working on your first short film entitled "Bass Hole" what can you tell us about this project?
Floyd Bishop:"Bass Hole" is a five minute short that came out of a two sentence idea I had. I actually wrote the title first, and then a loose story that supported it. The story crew met on a Saturday soon after that and we knocked out the bulk of the story that day. It was an intense twelve hour session of coffee, story boarding, and more coffee, but it flew by. When we were done, we had what we think will prove to be an entertaining short.
I went after guitar legend Junior Brown to compose the music for the piece. After Junior heard the story and saw some of the concept art, he signed on to the project. If you're familiar with the style of his music, you already know the mood of our short film.
Tito A. Belgrave: Is there any specific intent for Ice Pond Studio to create this short?
Floyd Bishop: I want to tell a funny story with great characters and nice visuals. The story of "Bass Hole" is one that everyone can relate to on some level, and hopefully the people who see it will get a kick out of it and laugh a little at themselves.
I also want to show what Ice Pond can do on it's own from start to finish. It's a lot different than working on someone else's project. We have complete freedom to do what we want with this, and I really think people are going to like the result. The fun we're having shows in the work I'm a big fan of the humor in the cartoons from the 1950's, and we're trying to get that same feeling with this piece. Kids will laugh and so will adults, but for different reasons.
|Image: Watch for this smooth talking catfish to appear in the Bass Hole movie short film.|
Tito A. Belgrave: Does Ice Pond Studio have a projected
release date for Basshole?
The geographic area we're in has a pretty active Maya community as well. If there is something we're not quite sure how to tackle, odds are that there will be someone at the next user's group meeting that can help us out. It's a great way to share information and techniques. If there's a user's group in your area, GET INVOLVED!!
Tito A. Belgrave:
Outside of Ice Pond Studio, what keeps the crew occupied?
Everyone else is pretty active in their own way. There's a lot to do
in and around New York city.
Tito A. Belgrave:
Thank you Floyd and the crew at Ice Pond Studio. Its been a pleasure learning
about your work and Studio. I wish you all the best in the future.
From the Director of Community Development, Tito "Lildragon" Belgrave
I hope you enjoyed this feature interview with Floyd Bishop of Ice Pond Studio. Be sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming short film Basshole! Where I'll also be publishing a follow-up interview on Ice Pond Studio's first animated film. Until then, salud!
- Lildragon -
Ice Pond Studio
Official Basshole movie website