The film chronicles the life and career of Rob Van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice) and the song that became a global #1 hit.
Emmy nominated, Addy and Telly award winning writer, producer, director and actor Frank Licari teams up with thirty year music industry veteran, and first-time director, Helen Murphy, to bring you this compelling story of Rob Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice.
The film is co-directed by Khoa Le and the film was executive produced by Murphy, Licari and Le, edited by Ed Cunanan and assistant edited by Frank Bull with cinematography by Egor Morozov.
Helen Murphy is a thirty year veteran of the music and entertainment industry. Among other accolades, Helen is ranked as one of Billboard’s 2020 Power 100. Murphy is the CEO of Anthem Entertainment and former CFO for Warner Music Group, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Murphy is a seasoned strategic financial and operational executive with broad, top-level experience in media and entertainment, playing a key role in shaping major corporations as well as managing their key infrastructure. Prior to founding IMS, as EVP and CFO for Warner Music Group (WMG), she played a pivotal role in Time Warner's sale of WMG for approximately US $2.6 billion; creating the world's largest privately held independent music company. She orchestrated WMG's exit from the recorded music manufacturing business, selling its DVD/CD manufacturing and physical-distribution businesses to Cinram International for US$1.1 billion. In 2012, Ms. Murphy was the lead external negotiator for Sony Corporation and Mubadala Development Company to acquire The EMI Music Publishing catalog for $1 billion and to negotiate a long term administration deal for the Sony/ATV Catalog with Mubadala.Prior to joining WMG, Ms. Murphy was CFO for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSO), where she led the company's highly successful initial public offering. At Westvaco Corporation, Ms. Murphy was CFO and initiated and completed a $650 million acquisition, reduced the company's capital spending and developed the strategic planning function.
Frank Licari has written, produced and directed over 200 live and filmed productions across four continents including six feature films, three network television shows, hundreds of live theatrical productions including five Off-Broadway plays, dozens of musical concerts, comedy events, commercials, corporate videos and webisodes.
He is the co-writer/producer of the film, Walt Before Mickey (Netflix, Amazon, Itunes), a former Blue Man with the Blue Man Group, the host of On The Town on PBS and an actor who has guest starred on Network and Cable TV: The Hardy Boys (HULU), Mayor of Kingstown (Paramount+), The Chosen (Peacock) Blue Bloods (CBS), The Resident (Fox), Graceland (USA), Jessica Jones (Netflix), Bloodline (Netflix), Burn Notice (USA) and appeared in the feature films, American Made (Tom Cruise), Papa (Giovanni Ribisi) and Saw:Spiral (Chris Rock, Samuel Jackson). For the past 17 years, Mr. Licari has written, directed and produced the Palm Beaches Showcase of Films Festival.
He is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA, AEA and ACTRA.
Vanilla Ice was born Robert Matthew Van Winkle on October 31, 1967 in South Dallas, Texas. He was raised by his mother, Camilla Beth (Dickerson). His father left when he was four years. He has German and English ancestry on his mother's side.
During the late 80s Ice made a living by washing cars. He observed the culture and dancing of some of his peers, and later signed up at a local nightclub as a performer. He was a natural at rapping and dancing and needless to say, the audience loved him. He later got the nickname "Vanilla Ice", because he was white.
In 1989, Ice signed up with SBK records and released his first LP, "Hooked", which contained the single "Play that Funky Music" that was sent to radio stations to play. The single wasn't a huge success, and "Hooked" received poor sales. Later, in 1990, a local DJ decided to turn the "Play that Funky Music" record and play what was on the other side. That single was "Ice Ice Baby", which sampled "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie. Contrary to "Play that Funky Music", "Ice Ice Baby" was a huge success, and radio stations everywhere received requests to play the song. Ice re-released "Hooked" as "To The Extreme", which contained "Ice Ice Baby", and it sold over 15 million copies and holds the record for the highest selling rap record ever.
"Ice Ice Baby" was on the number #1 spot for 16 weeks, and so was "To The Extreme". Ice then released "Extremely Live", which contained music from one of his concerts. It sold 500,000 copies and reached Gold status.
Later in 1991, Vanilla Ice made an appearance in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) and then later scored his first feature film, Cool as Ice (1991).
In 1994, he released another album called "Mind-blowin'" which introduced Ice's new image. "Mind-blowin'" didn't last long, since SBK records went bankrupt. Ice nearly died of an overdose of drugs, and was revived by one of his friends. He later married, and had two children.
In 1998, Ice made a comeback with his next album, "Hard To Swallow", his first nu-metal release, produced by Ross Robinson. The album was a far cry from his earlier works, and featured explicit language. There was even a rap-metal version of "Ice Ice Baby", called "Too Cold". Although the album only sold 100,000 copies, it was well-received by fans. It was followed by "Bi-Polar", "Platinum Underground" and "WTF", which combined nu-metal, rap-rock and hip-hop music with other genres, including country and reggae.
More recently, he has had his biggest mainstream resurgence, hosting the series The Vanilla Ice Project (2010-2019). He has also returned to film in various Adam Sandler films and is currently working on another television series project.
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