Transformers Prime's Executive Producer answers your questions!
Each week, we’re taking questions for the cast and crew of the hit animated series "Transformers Prime" from fans of the official Transformers Facebook page. Check out this week’s Fan Q&A with Transformers Prime Executive Producer Jeff Kline!Janice Anderson asks: My four-year-old Transformers Prime superfan, Jackson, would love to know when Season 2 will begin!
Jeff Kline: No specific date yet, but keep an eye out for more news soon. We do know it will be "early 2012." I’m hoping that means late January or early February, but the truth is that the folks making the series are often so narrow-focused—with nearly an entire season in various stages of production simultaneously—that we tend to not be as up-to-speed on scheduling or promotional agendas as you might think!Kapricia Arabella asks: Out of the all the characters in the show, which one do you feel is the most like you?
Jeff Kline: I’d like to say that Optimus Prime and I are practically twins…but that would be overreaching. The truth is, when a writer is crafting an ensemble, he/she often puts a piece of himself or herself in each and every character. Might be a detail of backstory... a goal...a fear... or a quirk. Because, in general, it’s easier to write dialogue for a character you already have something in common with.Jocelyn Simmons asks: I read in a commentary on the upcoming Season Two that Raf voice actor Andy Pessoa's voice is "changing"... If it's true, is he going to be replaced, or are you guys going to roll with the punches and make Raf grow up with him?
Jeff Kline: We’re definitely not going to replace Andy. We love Andy. And we’re very happy that, despite our best efforts to medically stunt his growth (kidding!), Andy continues to mature—and tower over many of us in the production office. Bottom line: Andy is a strong enough actor that he can hit that slightly higher, younger-sounding voice register even when it’s no longer his normal speaking voice.Ben Maddison asks: How important did you feel it was to get back Peter Cullen and Frank Welker for the two iconic rolls they play?
Jeff Kline: Everyone here at Prime, and at Hasbro Studios, felt it was vitally important to try to put the “band” back together. We weren’t certain either actor would be interested, but—thankfully—both responded to the material and, I suspect, the opportunity to work side-by-side once again.“Scribble TheAppaloosa Pony” asks: With such a huge selection of Transformers to choose from, many of them being fan-favorites, how do you go about selecting which characters get the honor of starring in Transformers Prime?
Jeff Kline: We knew we wanted to keep our ensemble relatively small, both for production reasons and so that we would have the ability to really dig into these characters in a way that only television allows. If I remember correctly, we started with three of the "must-haves" (Optimus, Bumblebee, Megatron), and then tried to surround them with ‘Bots and ‘Cons that complemented rather than duplicated their personalities, attributes and histories. We knew we could never please everyone; each fan has his/her favorites, and the Transformers universe is huge. So we all came at it from the perspective of, "Who will allow us to spin the most story?" vs. "Who has the highest ‘Q’ Score?"