Transformers Prime Q&A: Writer's Assistant Mairghread Scott
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 10:42am CSTCategories: Cartoon News, People News
Posted by: El Duque Views: 39,943
Kelly Paradise asks: Hello, Mairghread! First off, great episode. “Stronger, Faster“ is one of my favorite episodes of “Transformers Prime.” What tricks of the trade do you suggest for somebody interested in writing for animated series?
Mairghread Scott: I think the most important thing to remember about writing is re-writing. Only about 20% of my time is writing a brand new script. 80% is tweaking, honing and cutting to make what I wrote better. When it comes to writing animation, the secret is movement. Live action TV is largely people standing around talking. In animation, your characters can do anything while talking, so try to add movement however you can (chases, fighting, even just walking from place to place).
Amber Whetstine asks: What inspires you for the episodes you write?
Mairghread Scott: I usually try to start with emotions when I write. Using "Stronger, Faster" as an example: I noticed the Autobots rarely attack the Decepticons head-on because they're so outnumbered. It's a smart strategy, but it seemed to me that it must be frustrating sometimes. You're whittling away at your enemy instead of having one big, satisfying fight. I thought Ratchet would probably be even more frustrated, because he's usually not even in the field; he's healing the others so they can return to this drawn-out battle. "Stronger, Faster" became a way for me to explore that frustration and Ratchet's desire for a single, decisive victory. Also, I thought it would be cool to have an Autobot tell off Optimus.
Catherine Martin asks: “Stronger, Faster” is one of my favourite “Transformers Prime” episodes! Do you think the events of the episode have had a permanent effect on Ratchet?
Mairghread Scott: Of course our Story Editor (the fabulous Duane Capizzi) could answer this better, but I like to think my episode had the most impact on Optimus. Ratchet does gain a certain confidence from the events in "Stronger, Faster," but it's the first time someone really calls out Optimus for not being more aggressive toward the Decepticons. I think of this episode as the seed for Optimus' duel with Megatron in "One Shall Fall."
Matt Spada asks: What have been some of the biggest challenges with writing the show? What characters do you feel need to be more deeply explored? Has it been difficult to work on a show with characters that are over 20 years old and are viewed in a specific way?
Mairghread Scott: The biggest challenge in writing our show is the fact that we're CG, so we have to be very careful about introducing new characters, sets and props. On the bright side, it has pushed us to build stronger main characters instead of just using endless new Bad-Guys-Of-The-Week.
On your next question, I actually worked really hard in Season 2 to explore Miko more deeply. I know she's a bit polarizing for the fans, but it takes guts to stand up to Megatron (especially when you're ankle-high). In Season 2, I really tried to dig into that fearless part of Miko's character.
As far as our characters’ history, I enjoy working with pre-existing characters. Sure, we can't incorporate the entire history of each Transformer, but I find it more interesting to deepen a character that already exists, rather than just constantly inventing new characters.
Haley Franklin asks: Hey! Is it fun writing for Transformers Prime? I bet it's very interesting to come up with ideas and actually put them into an episode.
Mairghread Scott: It is super fun writing for “Transformers Prime!” My favorite part is watching the actors record my script. My happiest moment in "Stronger, Faster" was when Ratchet is trying to get Bulkhead to spar with him. Jeffrey Combs (who plays Ratchet) was so into it he actually started to tap Kevin Michael Richardson (who plays Bulkhead) on the shoulder. If actors start getting into it, you know you've done something right.
Thanks to everyone who asked questions! Roll Out!
Credit(s): Transformers facebook page