Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience

Transformers News: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience

Sunday, December 9th, 2018 11:56AM CST

Categories: Movie Related News, Editorials
Posted by: notirishman   Views: 14,716

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Our very own Jon Bailey (known as jON3.0 here on Seibertron) was able to land a role in the Bumblebee film as Shockwave and Soundwave! Jon has voiced Optimus Prime in Ask Vector Prime, Combiner Wars, as well as numerous Bumblebee movie trailers, Siren and Shockwave in Botcon 2015's script reading, AND the Crossovers Anakin toy (as well as many, MANY, non-Transformers projects, i.e. Honest Trailers). Today, we have a word from him on his experience on working on the film:

jON3.0 wrote:I am beyond thrilled to be the voices of Shockwave AND Soundwave in the Bumblebee movie. It’s been a childhood dream of mine to voice a Transformer(s) in an animated series and/or movie since I was 5 years old. You may already know that I voice Optimus Prime for various Hasbro things if Peter Cullen is busy, doesn’t want to do it, or for budget reasons. It was a great honor being Optimus for Combiner Wars. Shockwave has always been my favorite character and Soundwave is just barely second and to voice such an iconic moment in the film is insane!

My agent submitted my character demo (which features Prime from CW) to Paramount and they hired me to fill in as Optimus Prime for the Bumblebee movie which I was STOKED for! I knew up front that once everything was finalized, they would bring Cullen in. Working with Travis Knight was really cool. He told me if he could talk like Optimus the way I could, he would use that voice all the time. Before you record for a job like this, they always show the scene first. I’m watching the unfinished animation of the opening scene of the movie on this awesome mini-theater in sound stage at Paramount which is totally surreal and I’m seeing the Cybertronian seekers and Shockwave, Soundwave, Ironhide, Arcee and the other classic characters I’ve loved since 1984. Even as unfinished animation, I was totally blown away. I literally fanboyed on Travis Knight about how amazing it was and how it’s what I’ve always wanted to see in the Transformers movies (he’s a true Transformers fan by the way).

I recorded 4 sessions at Paramount, most of them to voice Prime. In the waiting room for different sessions, David Sobolov, Steve Blum, Grey Griffin and I talked shop while I’m trying to keep my cool. Here I am, sitting at the GROWNUP table. Before the fourth session, I received an audition for all the characters in Bumblebee and I had my heart set on booking it. We were asked to pick 4 or 5 but I did them all. I ended up auditioning 3 different times but never found out why. Never heard back from the auditions so I assumed I didn’t book anything, but at least I gave them my best shot.

When I booked the last session, I was only booked to fill in for Optimus again, but I was told I would record scratch (temp voiceover) for other characters, so I figured I still had one more shot. That was the same day Steve Blum was there. Someone came out to ask us which characters we’d booked before and of course Steve is like “Yes. Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Yes...” so I’m thinking I don’t have a chance since I’ve only ever actually BOOKED Optimus. I was only given 2 or 3 characters to record. When I got into the session, I was determined to at least try to do the others because some of them were my favorites. After I asked Mr. Knight if he wouldn’t mind if I tried the other characters, he was kind enough to allow me to record them. After I recorded a few, he said “Dude! You’re blowing my mind here! You sound just like them!” Greatest compliment ever. They had a montage of clips from the G1 cartoon queued up before we recorded each one to make sure they were as accurate to the cartoon as possible which is so cool to see up on a big screen with great sound. We had a fan chat about how Soundwave’s vocoder effect was originally done (he had me record two versions of the voice in two different pitches to better recreate that effect). I also told him about Corey Burton’s David Warner impression was how he came up with the original Shockwave voice. By the end of the job, I had recorded Ratchet, Ironhide, Wheeljack, Soundwave and Shockwave, with no idea whether or not anything would end up in the final movie, but I was confident that I had gave it my all.

A couple of months ago, my two youngest kids and I got to see an early version of the film and all the voices I had done, INCLUDING Optimus Prime, were in that version of the movie which blew my kids’ minds. It was definitely one of the most memorable moments of my entire life. We still didn’t know if that meant any of the voices I did were in the final film or not, but I took it as a good sign.

My agent finally gave me the great news at the end of October. I had joked with Travis Knight that if there were any other voices they needed at all, whatever they wanted, I had to get in the movie somehow and he chuckled, “Don’t worry, you will.” At the time, I took it as “one day it will happen.” It really did and I couldn’t be happier.

My goal has never been to voice Optimus Prime one day, even though it was Peter Cullen’s Optimus Prime voice that inspired me to become a voice actor. My goal was always to work with Peter Cullen on a Transformers project and I finally crossed that off my list, even though I never thought it could possibly happen. It was an incredible experience and the movie is really great. It’s got the G1 look & action I’ve always wanted to see with the charm, humor & heart of Iron Giant. My name is up there on the big screen between 2 of my favorite voice actor heroes, Steve Blum & Grey Griffin. I am eternally grateful to my agent, Paramount, the other actors & Travis Knight for their kindness and the opportunity to make a lifelong dream become reality.


Jon Bailey can be found here:
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
His website: epicvoiceguy
Credit(s): jON3.0
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Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997791)
Posted by whip_it on December 9th, 2018 @ 12:24pm CST
Giant Purple Griffin wrote:This movie had no real problems, but there also wasn't really anything to blow you away, whereas the Bay movies were more of a mix of very high highs but also low lows. It seemed like a pretty "safe" effort. The story was pretty predictable and kinda cliche and there wasn't much super memorable, except maybe the brief Cybertron fan service at the beginning. I think the critics will consistently consider it good, but not amazing, so it will probably get the highest tomato meter score of the series.

I think the 2007 movie is still the best, but this was definitely better than the last two efforts. I'm not sure where I'd rank it further from there as far as my personal enjoyment. It's kind of tough to compare it to the Bay films because it was such a different approach, for better or worse (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse).

To use baseball analogy, the Bay movies are like the power hitter that hits a lot of homers, but also strikes out a ton--you take the good with the bad. This movie felt like a solid contact hitter with no power.


exactly

This movie had no real problems, but there also wasn't really anything to blow you away
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997793)
Posted by whip_it on December 9th, 2018 @ 12:24pm CST
15ngcs1 wrote:you mean more about humanity? cause that's what's been missing from the past films.


i want to see transformers movie with little to none human intervention
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997795)
Posted by SlyTF1 on December 9th, 2018 @ 12:30pm CST
whip_it wrote:
15ngcs1 wrote:you mean more about humanity? cause that's what's been missing from the past films.


i want to see transformers movie with little to none human intervention


Same. I thought the humans in this movie were way more annoying than in any of Bay's movies.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997796)
Posted by Black Bumblebee on December 9th, 2018 @ 12:30pm CST
Ha! Good on you, Jon! That cemented it for me that I will "have" to see this movie in the theaters.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997798)
Posted by Giant Purple Griffin on December 9th, 2018 @ 12:39pm CST
I geeked out at the Shockwave voice. I didn't know that was in Jon3.0's repertoire. Well done ;)^
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997806)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on December 9th, 2018 @ 1:32pm CST
Congratulations Jon! I think it’s awesome that I’ll be able to say “I’ve interacted second- or third-hand with the voice of Soundwave from the Bumblebee Movie!” :lol:

I’m glad that your dream is being fulfilled, you’re such a genuine person and you deserve it!
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997810)
Posted by dragons on December 9th, 2018 @ 1:56pm CST
I will see this movie and judge for myself if I like movie or not I never take strangers and movie critics reviews on movies critics love movies that have high scores I did not like them what where they revevenant, blade runner 2, infinity war I am looking forward to avengers 4 end game
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997811)
Posted by william-james88 on December 9th, 2018 @ 2:05pm CST
Giant Purple Griffin wrote:I geeked out at the Shockwave voice. I didn't know that was in Jon3.0's repertoire. Well done ;)^

He's quite the talented guy. While many know him for his epic voice, he is a voice actor first and foremost and has a pretty wide repertoire. I am super glad he was given a chance to show thst to the world in the biggest platform imaginable and its super cool to know that it also happens to be through a dream project.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997855)
Posted by Deadput on December 9th, 2018 @ 4:17pm CST
whip_it wrote:
15ngcs1 wrote:you mean more about humanity? cause that's what's been missing from the past films.


i want to see transformers movie with little to none human intervention


Wouldn't be a Transformers movie if it didn't take place on Earth, there is absolutely zero point to the franchise if it takes place off world because what justifies them Transforming in the first place since their not in disguise?

Transformers are only impressive when they have humans to compare themselves to.

SlyTF1 wrote:
Same. I thought the humans in this movie were way more annoying than in any of Bay's movies.


Yeah no

There is no reality or perceptive where this is true, there is no way anyone in that film was more annoying then say Leo or any of the awful stereotypes in the past Bay films.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997857)
Posted by SlyTF1 on December 9th, 2018 @ 4:25pm CST
Deadput wrote:
SlyTF1 wrote:
Same. I thought the humans in this movie were way more annoying than in any of Bay's movies.


Yeah no

There is no reality or perceptive where this is true, there is no way anyone in that film was more annoying then say Leo or any of the awful stereotypes in the past Bay films.


I thought Leo was funny. In this movie, the human scenes just felt like a barrier that would pop up to keep the movie from getting on with the action.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997859)
Posted by Deadput on December 9th, 2018 @ 4:34pm CST
SlyTF1 wrote:
I thought Leo was funny. In this movie, the human scenes just felt like a barrier that would pop up to keep the movie from getting on with the action.


Because screw establishing your characters so people can actually get emotionally invested to just get to the mindless action.

More action doesn't equal a better movie.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997864)
Posted by dragons on December 9th, 2018 @ 4:46pm CST
I some times see him on regal rewards video before movie plays and Mitsubishi commercial
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997866)
Posted by SlyTF1 on December 9th, 2018 @ 4:51pm CST
Deadput wrote:
SlyTF1 wrote:
I thought Leo was funny. In this movie, the human scenes just felt like a barrier that would pop up to keep the movie from getting on with the action.


Because screw establishing your characters so people can actually get emotionally invested to just get to the mindless action.

More action doesn't equal a better movie.


If their aim was to get me emotionally invested in those characters, they failed. I wanted them to hurry up and get out of the way so I could see giant robots rip each other to pieces.

Also what's the point of spending so much time establishing characters like the family if there are never any stakes involved with any of them? There was one scene where they were in danger, but it was played for laughs. No tension whatsoever.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997867)
Posted by Deadput on December 9th, 2018 @ 4:55pm CST
SlyTF1 wrote:
If their aim was to get me emotionally invested in those characters, they failed. I wanted them to hurry up and get out of the way so I could see giant robots rip each other to pieces.

Also what's the point of spending so much time establishing characters like the family if there are never any stakes involved with any of them? There was one scene where they were in danger, but it was played for laughs. No tension whatsoever.


Because people have families and it would be weird if they weren't around at all? They exist for the main character's life and her character arc, a family doesn't have to be in danger to be worth existing.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997889)
Posted by SlyTF1 on December 9th, 2018 @ 6:14pm CST
Deadput wrote:
SlyTF1 wrote:
If their aim was to get me emotionally invested in those characters, they failed. I wanted them to hurry up and get out of the way so I could see giant robots rip each other to pieces.

Also what's the point of spending so much time establishing characters like the family if there are never any stakes involved with any of them? There was one scene where they were in danger, but it was played for laughs. No tension whatsoever.


Because people have families and it would be weird if they weren't around at all? They exist for the main character's life and her character arc, a family doesn't have to be in danger to be worth existing.


The problem isn't that they exist, it's that I felt they spent too much time on them for them to have no real payoff. For instance, in Age of Extinction, it was relevant to spend a bit of time on Tessa and Shane, because they were characters who were involved with the movie from beginning to end. They contributed in battles, their lives were put in danger. Cade's entire character arc revolves around those two.

In Bumblebee, they spend a lot of time on the family just so they can accumulate to a single joke near the end of the movie. The scene ends, and it feels like they were in the movie just so the could build up to that one joke. That's my problem with them. The movie spent so much time on them, yet they contributed virtually nothing. I feel the same way about the bullies and that whole arc.

If it were me, I would have made the majority of the human scenes about Charlie and that other guy, trying to figure out what they were going to do about Bumblebee. And have that guy involved in the final battle a little bit more too. Have him and Charlie have to work together to achieve a certain goal. Again, just like they did with the human characters in Age of Extinction. I forgot his name, but that guy was another character they spent a lot of time on, just so they could make a joke about him at the end.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997926)
Posted by 00Stargrave00 on December 9th, 2018 @ 8:33pm CST
I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m excited for a fresh take.

This guy’s story is like my dream since I was a kid too - I love doing voices and always loved doing a Peter Cullen impression like the intro from Voltron. Does anyone have any ideas how I can get started? I’d love to do a cartoon TF voice someday crimeny that’d be the coolest.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997958)
Posted by 15ngcs1 on December 9th, 2018 @ 11:54pm CST
SlyTF1 wrote:
Burn wrote:What's this? The biggest fan of the movies is not spewing praise like always?


Bay's absence was definitely felt. The movie lacked the sense of scale and "epicness" he brought to the table. There were a handful of scenes I thought were going to build up to an awesome payoff, but then they'd just cut back to an overly goofy joke or something. And the music was terrible. Completely laughable, especially the military theme. It made them feel like cartoon characters instead of a real threat.

But I will say the fight scenes were probably the best in the series. Too bad they were just so few and far between. I definitely liked the movie better than The Last Knight, and it wasn't a bad movie. Just didn't blow me away like I wanted it to.


Yeah I can see you're definitely a Bay fan. They chose to make a smaller scale movie with way less unnecessary explosions. That's what the movie critics are praising for and what this franchise needs. And they are actually loving the humour and heart in this film. Regarding the music and the score? It's the 80's! 80's music is great music and the score, especially the military theme, is supposed to sound like those Spielbergian Amblin movies like E.T! I think it's very fitting! And regarding your cartoon character comment, the Transformers are originated from cartoons/animation!
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997959)
Posted by 15ngcs1 on December 9th, 2018 @ 11:56pm CST
Giant Purple Griffin wrote:This movie had no real problems, but there also wasn't really anything to blow you away, whereas the Bay movies were more of a mix of very high highs but also low lows. It seemed like a pretty "safe" effort. The story was pretty predictable and kinda cliche and there wasn't much super memorable, except maybe the brief Cybertron fan service at the beginning. I think the critics will consistently consider it good, but not amazing, so it will probably get the highest tomato meter score of the series.

I think the 2007 movie is still the best, but this was definitely better than the last two efforts. I'm not sure where I'd rank it further from there as far as my personal enjoyment. It's kind of tough to compare it to the Bay films because it was such a different approach, for better or worse (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse).

To use baseball analogy, the Bay movies are like the power hitter that hits a lot of homers, but also strikes out a ton--you take the good with the bad. This movie felt like a solid contact hitter with no power.


So far it's 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997961)
Posted by 15ngcs1 on December 10th, 2018 @ 12:01am CST
RodimalToyota wrote:I went to the advanced screening last night. I will summarize my thoughts, with no Spoilers.
This was just a solid good movie. It felt very warm and kind, with that feel of the G1 messages we all remembered from the cartoon.

The siege on Cybertron is about 4-5 minutes, it shows a absolute ton of characters in G1 form.
Every bot in the movie is completely recognizable during every scene, no confusing bay verse camera work and shoddy action scenes.

Human characters: Charlie is very relatable and has flaws, making her great character to grow with Bee.
Cena’s character does a great job at portraying the military aspect without being over the top.

Humor: Great Humor! Lots of fun pokes at bad story writing, and obvious flaws with past movies. Bee conveys a lot of emotion with his body language and ends up being very silly at the right times.

EasterEggs: Lots of Easter eggs from the G1, and the original animated movie.



Reboot / Soft or Hard? While there is a few characters and a human character which are Bayverse. Those movie completely restarted the Transformers history...AGAIN. There is nothing in BumbleBee which allows it to give any of the other movies credibility story wise. (Not that they had a good story) There is only two things that point to the 2007 movie, and the rest pointed to a whole new story. So my opinion is that this is a medium reboot, they took S7, Simmons, and Bee’s Camaro mode (Although it was a modified 70’s Camaro and not the one we saw in the 2007 movie) The rest of the film follows it’s own narrative. I hope this fully starts a new continuity. Travis Knight really put his heart into this movie and it shows.

Even if you don’t, or never liked BumbleBee before, you will love this movie.


This just shows great direction from Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings), exceptional acting from Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, The Edge of Seventeen), great acting from John Cena and Jorge Lendeborg Jr, great writing and editing from Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) and Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen).
Re: Bumblebee Movie voice actor Jon Bailey talks about his experience (1997963)
Posted by 15ngcs1 on December 10th, 2018 @ 12:07am CST
whip_it wrote:
15ngcs1 wrote:you mean more about humanity? cause that's what's been missing from the past films.


i want to see transformers movie with little to none human intervention


but it's set on Earth, it'll be weird if there's no humans. plus making a movie set only in Cybertron with a lot of transformers and all that visual effects stuff for a live action movie will be extremely expensive.

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