(griffin's 2005 BotCon adventure)

- SATURDAY 24th SEPT - 1pm - G1 VOICES -

The Original Series (Generation One as the fans call it), was represented at this convention by a first timer (Michael Chain) and a second timer (Wally Burr - first time was last year at BotCon 2004).

Michael Chain voiced the roles of Hoist, Powerglide, Raoul, Red Alert, Skids.
Wally Burr was the Voice Director (tells the Voice Actors what to do and how to do it), plus did a few lines of minor characters or to fill in for a missing Voice Actor.

From left - Wally Burr & Michael Chain.

Michael is now a writer and a musician.

They described the difference between "Prelay" and "ADR".
Prelay is when the voices are recorded first from the script, and then the animators draw based on what is recorded (particularly the mouth movements to match the timings of the recordings).
ADR is Active Dialogue Replacement, and is recorded after the animation is drawn... often with imported cartoons that just need re-dubbing into the local language.
The Prelay is preferred by Voice Actors, because they can be more free with the expression and timing of their lines, because ADR has to fit the timings of what is already drawn, and that can prove challenging for Voice Actors to fit lines in that the writer misjudged the length of.  Prelay can also allow for ad-libbing of the lines and expressions (where allowed by the Voice Director or Producer), and get a better feeling from the recordings, as the Voice Actors would often be recording together. (ADR is solo recordings, often in a booth recording the same line several times until it fits the timing of the animation.)

Wally Burr noted that the Soundtrack and Voicing of cartoon episodes is only about 3-4% of the total budget, and yet it is an element that fans seem to have a big interest in... to hear the character voices live at conventions.

(the usual question by someone asking for tips to get into the voice actor industry... met with the usual groans from the audience)

Burr - talked about having to deal with Celebrities on the 1986 Movie, which was a new experience, as they had to be treated differently, and usually recorded their lines on their own.
Orson Welles was a challenge, as he was very intimidating and difficult, as he didn't let people "direct" him.  He also wanted to know the motivation of the character Unicron before he would read the lines.
Apparently Welles would drive an old Pontiac (car) to the recording studio, but would have a limo transport his wheelchair.  It seemed to be an amusing story, as the Limo turned up first and only had his wheelchair inside.
Burr responded to the eternal question about if Orson Welles died before he recorded all his lines, and if someone else did the rest... according to Burr, Welles died 4 weeks after he had finished his lines. (of a heart attack)

Burr mentiond the process of casting for cartoons, and how he gives the Voice Actors tips and descriptions of the roles before they start.

Chain - Wally was hard to work for, but it was good because he knew what he was doing, gets the right results, and is probably the best Voice Director in the industry.

The inspiration used for the voicing of Michael Chain's characters...
Red Alert - Richard Nixon (American President)
Hoist - John Houseman (Actor)
Powerglide - Ralph Kramden (a character from the 1950s TV show The Honeymooners)

Michael did one example line of one of his characters (I can't reall which one though).  I didn't attend the second session, so he might have done some more then..

Saturday Panel (Burr - Chain) (image from FunPub's website)

Sunday Panel (image from FunPub's website)


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***All pictures in this convention report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, have the source credited/noted.  If you want to use/borrow any of my photos, please credit the source as well. I try to take as many of my own photos as possible, and usually only resort to using others if I failed to get something, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

OZFORMERS - The Australian (and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way back in 1996)
BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au