Jeff Kline and Steve Blum Live Chat Recordings
Monday, February 6th, 2012 11:25pm CSTCategories: Cartoon News, People News
Posted by: El Duque Views: 26,760
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Posted by kookookajew on February 6th, 2012 @ 11:59pm CST
Posted by New Omen on February 7th, 2012 @ 5:13am CST
It's a shame Barricade seems to have been left out this season. I loved his and Prowl's prime designs for the universe game. I'll keep my fingers crossed anyhoo.
It's always fun to listen to Steve Blum. Thanks for the recording, I enjoyed it while I ate breakfast.
Posted by Sabrblade on February 7th, 2012 @ 1:55pm CST
Q1. Will Starscream spend any of season 2 with the Autobots, stay independent, or come back to Megatron?
A1. Cannot answer that now. But they will say that allegiances are always shifting in this show. so, there will some back and forht like in season 1. Blum adds in that "Starscream is slave to no one."
Q2. Since Steve Blum played Barricade in War for Cybertron, is there any chance of seeing him in Prime?
A2. Unlikely for now, but you never where the show will go.
Q3. How does Rescue bots compare to Marvel superheroes in terms of story, style, message, etc.?
A3. Jeff Kline is only mildly familiar with the Marvel superhero stuff. He's assuming the question's referring to The Super Hero Squad Show. With Rescue Bots, they're trying to created a softer, safer, adventure show instead of a "good vs. evil" battle show all the time. But Kline does not know much about The super hero squad show specifically.
Steve Blum, having played such roles as Wolverine on that show, however, adds in that The super hero Squad show is whole different kind of thing, a whole different animal. It's sort of a silly, almost "chibi" version of the Marvel universe, in which the actors get to do play and things they were never allowed to do before in some of the heavier Marvel original-type series. for that, it's such a departure, whereas Rescue Bots is really a natural transition to attract a new audience to the Transformers universe. That's what's different, but they're both "fun," according the Blum.
Kline chimes in saying that Prime is more of a mature "big kids" show, and Rescue Bots is meant for bringing in new, younger audiences to the franchise, and to give them something while the elder audiences have Prime, the movies, and video games.
Blum adds that he's been getting lots of letter from parents who were sitting down to watch Rescue Bots with their kids for the first time and were very excited to be able to share that with their kids, since it was hard to take the young ones to the more intense movies.
Q4. Author spoke with Lacey Chabert recently and she mentioned that the entire cast records together. how was that arranged and what does it add?
A4. "Radio-play style", Jeff Kline has done that for every cartoon he's worked on. You get a lot more natural acting, more reaction, better ad-libs, the cast looks forward spending that time together. It's "playtime" for the actors. But it does make scheduling difficult, but they do try to make it work. And it's pretty casual.
Q5. Why doesn't Transformers: Prime have onscreen episode titles?
A5. They would spend so much time trying to be clever with those episode titles that they would probably take away form other parts of the show. And it would potentially give away some little piece of what the story is going to be or some little turn, so they'd rather just go into it clean and not foreshadow anything.
Q6. When starting a new show based on characters from previous animated series, how important it is to use little reminders to the other series, i.e. - Sparkplug?
A6. You always want to honor what came before and give the audience "Easter eggs" where you can, but you definitely don't want to be beholden to those earlier series because you can't assume that everyone coming to your show has seen those earlier shows, and you want to hopefully want to throw your show to as broad an audience as possible. So, they as fans themselves try to drop in little references, but they try not to do too much of it because they don't want the audience to feel like they have to have a familiarity with Transformers previously to come into their version of Transformers.
Q7. Give an idea of how season 2 will differ from season 1?
A7. Uh... it's gonna have a "2" after it! Can't say it onscreen. But, it's gonna be ACTION-PACKED and will have so much more we haven't seen yet. The CG gets better to the point at which they can do things visually that they they couldn't do in season 1. At the very least, even better CG.
Q8. Are there ample opportunity in season 2 to include classic characters we haven't seen on the series yet, without sacrificing the solid balance of core characters?
A8. "Ample opportunity"? Maybe. In CG, they're somewhat limited, because, unlike a cell show where they could just draw a new character whenever they wanted to, it takes a lot of time to "build" a new character, especially when you're building three pieces at a time (the bot, the vehicle, and the transformation). They also like that their ensemble is relatively small, they like that they "have to" spend time with these characters and really dig into them. But, yes, there will be some new faces, good and bad, in season 2.
Q9. How much did the live action films affect the development of Prime?
A9. Quite a bit. Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, who wrote for the first two movies, are executive producers on Transformers: Prime. It was decided early on that the most recent and most far reaching version of Transformers that the audience knew was the movie version, and so they started there visually. Though, they didn't try to duplicate it and brought in some stylized changes, but strictly from a visual perspective, they referenced more of the movies than any previous cartoon series. From a storytelling perspective, however, they get to really focus on the characters and dig into them and their relationships with each other for thirteen hours across a season, which is a big difference between television and a 2-hour feature film.
Q10. Are there special guest spots coming in season 2 of Transformers, famous voice actors, or famous actors.
A10. Huge, massive possibilities for that. Yes. They try to think of who would be a great voice for a character, they check their scheduling, and almost no one says "No" to a guest part in animation. And they may be familiar with Transformers, so it's a nice place for them to go.
Q11. Is there much more confidence going in to season 2? do you have a better idea of what works for the show and what doesn't?
A11. Chuckling at implications of things in season 1 that didn't work. A lot of lessons are definitely learned along the way. For them, it was more about what they were capable of doing visually than it was about the storytelling. What they can use and reuse. A lot of what they learned in season 1 will be reflected visually in season 2. and, fro ma writing perspective, they're writing more toward what they know they have, what they know they can do, as opposed to starting with "anything" and having to scramble at the last second to try to make it work.
Blum has already recorded all of season 2. He didn't find many things new with the recording of season 2 from season 1. It's more of a continuation of a great thing for him, and one season to the next is just digging in deeper, knowing the character better, knowing the cast better, and the chemistry just gets better as they go. By season 2, they had it down.
Q12. To what extent did Chris Latta's portrayal of Starscream in the first generation series inform Blum's own?
A12. Blum thinks Latta did an incredible job doing that. He tried not to take too much from Latta's performances originally because Latta set his own standard and Blum's way of working is really just to kind of bring his own thing to the table. He didin't even listen to Latta's performances when he auditioned for the role. He did much to do honor to it, but not to emulate it. It didn't influence him in any particular way, except for when Blum's Starscream is getting beaten up to the point when he has to go into the high-pitched voice.
Q13. That last series, Animated, introduced the idea of a Starscream clone army. Would Prime Starscream go for that?
A13. Sounds like something Prime Starscream would do. Makes sense, without giving something away.
Q14. Since the recording for season 2 is now "in the can" (so to speak), would Blum be contributing to promote the series in other ways?
A14. Blum will be appearing at a convention this weekend in Kansas. He always mentions TF: Prime and Rescue Bots to get the word out.
Q15. Talk about Rescue Bots and how it came into being, and why it was put on an island.
A15. Rescue Bots came into being because, from a storytelling perspective, the feeling was that TF: Prime, the movies, and video games were all skewing towards a slightly more older audience, and that there was this huge group of potential fans who knew of the property through brothers and sisters and the media, but who actually couldn't really partake in it. So, Hasbro wanted to do toys that were simpler "one-touch" transformation instead of the "seemingly impossible" transformations for adults. when Jeff Kline saw the designs for those toys, he became a fan of creating a Transformers show that could be a safe destination for a slightly younger viewer.
As for putting it on an island, there were a couple of big things that had to get figured out because they were gonna do Rescue Bots side-by-side with Prime even on the same network. so, they really didn't want to create two completely different mythologies, they wanted to have the mythologies somehow cross with each other, but without dealing with the ongoing war and potential destruction of the Earth, the constant battle of good vs. evil, in a younger skewing Transformers series. so, they spent a lot of time frying to come with a new series that live side-by-side and not contradict Prime, but would feel in and of its own. So, by putting it on this island, they can say that the war is still going on on the mainland in Jasper, Nevada, but that it doesn't really impact this island most of the time.
They will do some crossover with some classic Transformers characters onto the island, but the island is really to separate setting of Rescue Bots from the setting of Prime. And, in order to keep up the disaster count to keep up the show for several seasons, they made the island be a testing ground for "twenty seconds into the future" science and technology, allowing for science to go awry to let the Rescue Bots get involved in things that are more "fanciful" than "scary" or "life-threatening". Like, an upcoming episode has "flying lobsters vs. killer dogs", or something like that, trying to keep the stakes high, the adventure high, and need for rescue high, but not necessarily scaring the audience.
And the moment that really clicked with them that they had their own hook was when they decided that the Rescue Bots would have to pretend to be manmade robots instead of being sentient aliens. So, that, combined with the island, made for great storytelling elements to make this show work. Very long answer.
Q16. How will the Unicron and Orion Pax episodes be topped for other landmark episodes going forward especially since the bar has been set so high so early?
A16. That's the challenge of doing any series. But, Kline promises us that season 2 goes furhter and probably does top what they did in season 1. hopefully in some places where they deliver expectations and surprise us where they go with them, and also in some places where we don't see it coming.
Q17. Asking Steve Blum to give a few lines about Heatwave and tell what he likes about the character.
A17. Heatwave's a bot of few words, but he does get to say, "Rescue Bots, roll to the rescue!" and that's something for Blum that was like the fanboy ultimate, as he's been a fan of the franchise for so many years, and just to say something that was sort of in the same vein as Optimus Prime ordering the team to roll out was really exciting for him.
As for what he like about the character, it's kinda fun being in the leadership position, to actually be responsible for something and to be for the greater good. Blum's played a lot of baddies and dark superheroes in his career, so it's nice to be going for the greater good and to be working with comrades in such a great environment. He likes the science aspect of the island since he was a science geek as a kid.
Q18. Who would they love to have as a guest actor on Prime or Rescue Bots?
A18. They don't want to say a name since they're often trying to pursue their top choices, but there will be some guest voices on both. These guests mostly come form wish lists of who they loved hearing growing up and who they'd like to hear with the main cast.
Q19. Jeff Kline mentioned the separating of he world of Prime from the world of Rescue Bots. do they take place in the same continuity despite the differences of style?
A19. Absolutely! They are designed to take place in the exact same continuity. When Optimus shows up on the island, he is temporarily leaving HQ in Jasper to come to the island, and not staying very long because he has to get back to fight a war. It is very important to them that the two shows take place in the same continuity despite their differences.
Q20. Heard rumors of a Transformers: Prime theatrical movie at some point. Is that a real possibility that is being explored?
A20. It is a real possibility, but they don't want to take it any further than that, as there are so many things that have to go right for it to happen. but, they did screen the final episodes of season 1 at a theater called the Arclight, and people were sort of surprised at how feature quality the show looked on a big screen. Season 2's going to look even better. So, maybe that's how people got the idea of making this show into a movie. But, they suspect that, as long as they're working on the TV series, they'll focus on that and maybe a movie would be like some thing that comes after the series.
Q21. Fans appreciate the strong female characters in Prime, will we see female Rescue Bots?
A21. Heatwave could use a little love. The answer is "Probably." But, this may be old news to for a lot of you, but there's an age where little boys won't play with what they perceive to be girls things anymore. And then they get older and are okay with girls things again. So they walk that line a bit with Rescue Bots, but they've tried to put in a strong female presence like with Dani and some other female character coming down the pike as well, so they'll try to keep a balance.