Rocket House Pictures
It's best to describe Rocket House before I tell you about my involvement in it. Rocket House Studios has the humble beginnings that all great organizations have. Gio Toninelo, writer, animator, filmmaker, turtle herder and film curator began with a strange concept called “Pond Patrol.” started back in September 2005, as a serialized Internet drama, narrating the weekly adventures of Corporal John U. Harris as he uncovered the secrets of Mulberry Ridge Pond. For two straight years the series earned more than 62,000 hits per month and spawned a streak of articles and features in several internet websites across the world. also hosted a successful 35mm Photography Show in 2006 and fathered the GI Joe Stop-Motion Film Festival in 2007.

The GI Joe Film Festival highlights up and coming filmmakers, as well as masters of the craft and has already attracted award winning films in the past years. Under the direction of festival president Gio Toninelo, the GI Joe Fest has became one of the hottest and fastest growing stop-motion festivals in the country.

The GI Joe Stop Motion Film Festival is the nation's first festival dedicated to screening works by stop-motion artists who use GI Joe figures (12", 8" -sigma 6- and 3 ¾ sizes) as main characters or actors.
One night in early spring, 2009, Gio and I were enjoying bourbon and talking about the next evolution of stop motion animated films. During the first couple of years of the GI Joe Fest, Gio had seen thousands of films ranging from the feature length variety to single scenes lasting only seconds. He suggested a movie premise, a 1945 Belgium scene with two soldiers and a sandwich. As I listened to him, I kept thinking about how the make the scene funny, after all, we were talking GI Joe dolls. Drawing from my own experience in the military, I thought of a conversation two men in a foxhole might have. When I submitted the screenplay for “Pastrami on Rye” I felt a certain level of fear, I mean, this was Gio Toninelo filmmaker, writer, friend. Fortunately, he loved it. Over the following weeks, he was able to put together a very different GI Joe animated film. Most of the films in this medium are action scenes with little to no dialogue. “Pastrami on Rye” was the exact opposite. Since its completion, “Pastrami on Rye” has been in The Denver Underground Film Festival where it won best animated short in 2009. And most recently, it got an acceptance and a showing at The 2010 Vail Film Festival.

The film played during the GI JOE Fest at 92YTribeca in New York in May 2010.

"Resort to Ice" completed in 2012.  Enjoy the trailer: