My 10th year of BotCon
(griffin's 2009 BotCon report)
Panelists - Odis Van Austin (sound FX), Matt Youngberg (supervising director), Derrick Wyatt (creative designer), Marty Isenberg (writer), Claire (colour stylist season 3), Breanne (designs), Ben (director), Arenio (director).
Brief intro by Hasbro's Greg Lombardo, to tell the audience that this
was just the cartoon panel, and that any toy related questions are to be
asked at the Hasbro panel the next day.
He also confirmed that the Animated Cartoon has now definitely ended, but details on the toyline will be discussed in the Hasbro panel.
Started with a screening of 16 Animated shorts, some of which were included
on the DVDs as bonus clips. They were done by a company called 4C.
- Optimus entertaining the kids at the party.
- Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Sari with the mime artist.
- Bulkhead and Grimlock playing fetch.
- Prowl jumping the line of Autobots in cycle mode.
- Ratchet repairing Bulkhead with Sari.
- Megatron, with Starscream behind him pulling faces.
- Starscream day-dreaming that he is Decepticon leader and all the Decepticons, including Megatron, serving him as he sits on the throne.
- Lugnut's Big Punch, to make Blitzwing's swimming pool.
- Blitzwing and Lugnut hypnotized by themselves.
- Ratchet narrating the characteristics of Optimus.
- Optimus narrating the characteristics of Megatron.
- Optimus narrating the characteristics of Bulkhead.
- Sari narrating the characteristics of Bumblebee.
- Bumblebee narrating the characteristics of Ratchet.
- Bulkhead narrating the characteristics of Prowl.
- Starscream narrating the over inflated characteristics of himself.
How the Animated cartoon started...
Cartoon Network approached Marty in 2006. He wrote a 'bible' of basic ideas and concepts, plus wrote a sample/pilot script (Nanosec).
They then have a meeting for thrashing out story ideas for the assigned number of episodes. Ideas are allocated to episode slots, and since the 3-part opening 'movie' was a late addition, they had to add another 3 episodes to season 1.
Writers are then brought in and assigned to stories/episodes. Drafts and edits are done until CN are happy with the result.
Casting is next, and the voices are recorded (apparently very early in the process).
Animation is done after the voices are recorded in Animated, but first they need to design everything. Not just the characters in both modes, but also backgrounds and props.
Character designs were a collaboration between Derrick Wyatt and Hasbro's Eric Seibenaler.
Colours then need to be worked out, in several settings for each item/character - day, night, fire, shade, etc...
Same occurs for the designers of the backgrounds and props.
Storyboarding is done, mostly by the JP animators/directors, and sent back for revisions or approval by Cartoon Network.
Finally the animating is done.
And then the non-dialogue sound effects are worked out/created/borrowed, recorded and added.
They didn't know that Season 3 was going to be the last season when they started it, but they were wanting it to be big anyway.
Sari as a protoform was not finally decided on until the writing of the end of Season 2. Until that time it was left vague so that it could go either way if necessary.
The big chin fetish? Derrick Wyatt wanted a more cartoony look.
Other characters Wyatt wanted to use - Blot, Deathsaurus, Dia Atlas, plus many others he couldn't list.
Matt Youngberg wants Human Animated toys...
Marty recalled the tale of Wreck-gar for those who are new - was a fan of Monty Python so wanted Eric Idle to voice the role, but Eric was doing broadway at the time, so their next logical choice was Weird Al, who sung the song Gen1 Wreck-gar was dancing to in the 1986 movie.
Spittor's 'voice' was just digitized frog noises.
Prowl's death - they were told to allow for the possibility that they wouldn't get a fourth season, so wanted to give the series a big ending by killing off a major character (other than Optimus).
Someone asked if all the other Earth TFs with spark crystals died like
Starscream did, by Prowl summoning them to him. They said there was no
confirmation of any additional deaths, but it wasn't the intention of that
scene (so it is assumed that they are all still alive).
(I guess if IDW continue an Animated comic, some of these loose ends could be dealt with)
Apparently the Dinobots don't have sparks or spark crystals, so that scene didn't affect them anyway.
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