ICEMAN is a documentary for the NBA looking at the life of George Gervin, AKA the Iceman, who was once named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
Directed by One9 (L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later (2017). Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America (2019), ‘ICEMAN’ includes references to George’s struggles with drug and alcohol abuse over a few decades, and One9 came to us to provide some animation that might represent aspects of this troubled past in an appropriate but visually striking manner. One9 wanted to emphasise the psychological angle rather than show any on-screen drug or alcohol abuse and was keen for these animated sections to provide a change in pace and bring a moment of calm in contrast to the content being portrayed.
We created a couple of animated portraits showing George, one when he first began his career and the second later in his life, around the time of his overdose. We used a montage effect within George’s silhouette to add further imagery, designing a third low-lit silhouette to represent his supplier. This figure was animated in 2D, then digitally painted to take on something of the art-worked but harder-edged photographic style we set up for the overall look.
“One9 has a keen eye for mood and pace and knows how to both create intense visuals and when to strip a scene down to its essence for full effect. It was a great opportunity for us to explore this digital painting animation technique further and get to grips with capturing well-known figures’ historical likenesses and bringing them to life in a stylised graphic setting.”