(griffin's 2005 BotCon adventure)

- SATURDAY 24th SEPT - 3pm - 1986 MOVIE -

The making of the 1986 Transformers Movie - hosted by Paul Hitchens (fan and collector of the Movie, and owner of the Spacebridge website).

I attended both sessions of this panel, which had some different things in each, so everything is all combined into this page.

I don't think photos were allowed of this Panel, as I don't have any... and I'm not even sure if this photo was from the panel (it was a process of elimination from the other photos and panels)
If it is from this Panel, I think Paul Hitchens was the one in white.

They started off by showing a Movie trailer, and some character drawings & bios.

The design process for the Matrix was shown.  The Matrix design was decided late, and as such it looked different in the Comic adaptation (the comic was based on an earlier version).

Other differences from the early scripts to the finished animated movie...
- The Exosuit was just a spacesuit in early designs, and as such, Spike is shown wearing a spacesuit on moonbase two in the first two issues of the comic. (the exosuit shows up in issue 3 by both Daniel and Spike, so it might have been known by the time they were drawing that issue)
- Autobot City was named Fortress Maximus, which ended up in the Comic Adaptation, but in the finished movie it didn't have a name at all.
- Blaster's cassettes were originally going to be - Cubbie (lion), Stripes (tiger), Stinger (scorpion), and Bolts (biped).
- Ultra Magnus death scene on Junk - as seen in the Comic, he was written to be quartered by the Sweeps, but was changed to be less gruesome on screen (the on-screen movie still has sound effects and events just before and after that suggest the scene was redrawn very late).

Actual Deleted Scenes (may just be deleted from script or storyboards stage, and not actual animation that was deleted)...
- Prime Verse Dirge during Autobot City battle - when Optimus arrives and starts charging down the Decepticons and then transforms to shoot at them, Dirge jumps him and Optimus smashes him... leading onto his confrontation with Megatron.
- Red Alert shot during Autobot City battle - after Optimus arrives, Ultra Magnus drives in with Red Alert, Sideswipe & Tracks on his trailer. They all transform and fire their missiles at Devastator, breaking him up into the individual Constructicons... who then fire back as six Decepticons, outgunning the Autobots.  As the Autobots retreat, Red Alert is shot (and assumed dead).
- Bonecrusher at Starscream's corronation has a line "he didn't", which comes after Rumble says "what'd he say his name was?" when Galvatron destroys Starscream.

The Credits - three characters were listed in the closing credits but didn't have any lines or appear in the finished cut of the Movie... so, where were they in the script?
- Dirge had a line while inside Astrotrain.
- Inferno had a line when the shuttle departs (I guess at the beginning of the Movie)
- Gears is still a mystery, as there doesn't appear to be anything in the script

Two swear words were added just to bump up the rating from G to PG, because it would statistically earn more at the theatres if it had a PG rating (more of a family movie than a kids movie, and theatres would be more likely to screen it all day instead of just in the morning for the kiddies)... but then they ended up being cut from the final theatrical version of the movie in the US anyway.  (I guess they got the higher rating they wanted without the negative publicity from parents if those bad words were there.)
(The UK version which we got here in Australia had "damn" still in it, because it is only a swear word in America.)

Apparently the music score by Vince DiCola was done early enough for the some scenes to be storyboarded (between script and the actual animating), including the Fishing and return to the City scene, and the Autobot City Battle scene.

Some test footage from the Takara promo trailer was shown (drawn very early, with some of it not being used in the final version of the movie), of a more powerful/armed Autobot City, as well as a Diaclone coloured Ultra Magnus (dark blue/red/black instead of light blue/red/white).  The opening scene of Unicron eating Lithone was longer, and when Unicron transforms at the end of the movie, the Matrix was missing on Galvatron (because it's design was yet to be finalised).
Snarl was in the test footage (along with a blue Swoop) but was then left out during the animation phase because they lost the character guide-sheets to know how to draw it. (I guess either the guide-sheet showed up during the animation phase, or some of the animators were familar with the Dinobots from drawing the regular cartoon to know how to draw him in, because Snarl does appear in a couple of scenes - animated shows and movies are drawn by many people, so different people would have drawn characters for different scenes and it is up to the editor or director to catch the errors).

The Stan Bush music Video for "The Touch" was shown. (Saturday)
The Weird Al Yankovic music Video for "Dare to be Stupid" was shown. (Sunday)

A photo of Robert Stack (at the premiere party?).

For the proposed Unicron toy (that never happened), it would have had 10 lines from the Movie as its electronic gimmick.

Storyboards to the final climax were shown to the audio of that part of the movie.

Some movie posters were shown (including ones from other countries), as well as some character art and other storyboards from the movie.

As an incentive for theatres to promote the Transformers Movie, there were prizes for the best theatre display (I think it was noted that it was $5000).
A postcard giveaway at theatres was proposed, but didn't end up happening.

The Movie was not drawn for widescreen or theatre ratio.  It was drawn to about TV ratio and then cropped for the theatres... but then cropped again when released on Video or TV.  (some DVD releases have since had full-frame versions)
Some example shots were shown from one of the scenes with a Shuttle (I only wrote down "the shuttle scene", which isn't much help), to show the difference between the original storyboard, the original full-frame at theatres, and the trimmed down version seen on TV.

The next panel of the day was the last, and was a repeat of the Rarities panel, which was covered on Friday at 10am.

Jump ahead to the Awards Dinner.

Or - Return to Saturday 24th

Or - Return to main index page

***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