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BOTCON  -  SORTA  NEAR  CHICAGO
(griffin's 2015 BotCon adventure)


- SATURDAY 20th JUNE - 4pm - FRANK WELKER -


This was the feature panel of this year's convention, but unfortunately there isn't much of it to tell to those who didn't attend.
Usually the Hasbro presentation is the most popular, but based on the almost-full panel room for Frank Welker, I think it just beat it this year.
Even though the convention organisors had expected or hope that this drawcard guest would result in a completely full Panel room, there were still a fair few seats at the back that were empty.

They actually began by emptying the room of all but the Golden Ticket people, so that they could make sure that the people with the Welker VIP passes were able to get first seating (behind the Golden Ticket people).
Considering it was an extra $200 for the VIP pass, they should have been given preferential seating over Golden Ticket people, especially considering that it only meant sittiing 2-3 rows further back. (I was a GT holder, and would have been okay with that... and I would have seen it as being fair since the VIP people weren't getting much for their $200 that the GT people didn't get.)
While the room was empty, they removed the table from the stage and just put out two stools, for Frank Welker and his interviewer (a guy called Frank Todara).
By the time everyone came back in, Frank Welker was introduced and came out at about 4.10pm.  He left at 4.40pm.  Since his questions were submitted by fans before hand and the best one chosen, the interview only lasted 30 minutes... but I think most would say that it was worth it.  Being the first fan convention to have Frank Welker and witnessing it, is something that can only happen once.

For those who missed it, there is this video on Youtube of the panel.


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There isn't really a lot to mention as he didn't seem to have too many questions of any significance.
Hopefully there is a youtube video out there of this interview, as he performed some voices, including an evil Optimus, Megatron, Soundwave... and various non-Transformers characters.

He finds Villians more fun (as do most Voice Actors it seems), and just loves doing Megatron.

He is the go-to guy in Hollywood for Animal noises.  If you've seen a movie with an animal in it that has made any noises, it is most likely by Frank Welker.

One of his early inspirations was Bulwinkle (the moose).

He mentioned that 80s stories were faster than cartoon stories today... now they make more time for detail and story. (or they just pad out stories now because writers are just short on new ideas)

He was specifically called up for the role of Galvatron in Age of Extinction. (he was already doing Soundwave, but didn't originally get the role of Megatron because he didn't sound evil enough to Michael Bay)

Current projects include something with Scooby Doo, and a movie staring KISS.

He did a little skit of his Gen1 Megatron and Soundwave meeting his Curious George (a cartoon monkey), and... well, it didn't end well for the monkey, who was a sticky mess under one of the robot's feet.

A couple of standing ovations later, and he was wisked out of the building in a hurry (to prevent fans mobbing him).  I wonder where he ended up staying during the Convention, so that he wasn't found by fans staying in any nearby hotel.

(his face and jovial behaviour kept reminding me of the old guy in the movie "The Last Starfighter" for some reason)

As a little side-story... For those that don't know, I emailed Frank Welker's agent last year before BotCon 2014 to see if he was ever willing to be a guest at BotCon because there are fans dying to see him and the convention would be in his home state that year.  And the amazing thing was that I got a reply from his agent saying that Frank read my email and was surprised and excited about the thought of fans wanting to see him.
I didn't hear anything more after that, but seeing him signed up to three conventions this year (including BotCon which I had asked him about), it makes me wonder if I was the catalyst for him finally taking the step to attend fan conventions, and making sure BotCon was his first one.
I guess I'll never know... but it is nice to dream that I helped make it happen.

You're welcome. :p


That was the last panel of the day.

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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)
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
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To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au