#SDCC – Transformers Prime Panel

On Thursday, July 21, The Hub TV presented its Transformers Prime panel at Comic-Con. ASM was present at the panel in the form of Daniel and Amy Lipkowitz, and the following report is based off Daniel’s live comments, the folks at The Allspark, The Hub’s Twitter feed, and Phil’s own musings:

The Hub staff present at the panel were Executive Producers Roberto Orci and Jeff Kline, as well as Dave Hartman, Duane Capizzi, Therese Trujillo, Vinton Heuck, Brian Lenard, Jose Lopez, and Mike Vogel.

Mike, who runs development as Hasbro Studios, started the panel by showing preview/clips of the show. After that, the Hub people gave us general items about the show and Hasbro Studios.

  • Had half the time of other CG shows to create, and was more complex
  • When they went to visit Hasbro Studios, it didn’t so much exist yet. Had to set up and find partner studio.
  • They were working out of Bob and Alex’s lobby for the first month.
  • Everyone went above and beyond to launch both show and studio. Entire crew was geeks and fanboys. Passion was amazing.
  • Hartman made up a lot of TF stories — thank him for zombie robots.
  • It’s a complicated process on picking characters — some couldn’t for some reason or another.
  • Therese Trujillo is line producer — meets with EPs and key team members to figure schedule & budget.
  • First line producer they ever worked with who treated SDCC like Christmas.
  • Big design challenge? Trying to decide the direction. There were hours and hours of drawing to find big elements of character personalities, going through many variations.
  • Looked at iconic elements of G1, Animated, movies. Also designing transformation that works for animation, story & toys
  • Designer was worried about response to Soundwave, Ninja in the shadows. “Fans will kill you!”
  • Fan: We love Soundwave! ::applause::
  • Jose did an amazing job of capturing the essence of each character.
  • There’s a disconnect because the show starts with the robot, yet the toys start with the vehicle.
  • They had to learn to work together to create both robot and vehicle.
  • What surprised them about the show? Emmy nominations, how cool Arachnid, quality of animation from Polygon.
  • Combs as Ratchet, how quickly cast fell in love with each other. Cullen and Welker literally love each other, trickled down to rest of cast
  • Cast hang out together all the time.

It was then time for some Questions and Answers.

  • Another miniseries in second season? “Five parter nearly killed us.”
  • Multi-part season ender. Multipart S2 opener leads into a season long arc.
  • Steve Blum gives a little “No!” in Starscream’s voice.
  • Any other G1 voices? “It’s a possibility!” [Implied yes?] (This got retweeted by The Hub itself. Innnnteresting…..)
  • Hub crossovers? MLP? “Zombie ponies? Okay.”
  • Bumblebee can’t talk because he’s a little horse.
  • Regarding the dark tone of the show — anything network has said “No” to? ::cackling:: “Pony crossover.”
  • “The network has let us do anything within reason in service to great stories. “
  • “Cliffjumper is very dead, but he can still show up in flashbacks. Not gratuitous, but emotional.”
  • Be patient for more backstory.”
  • Guest writers from past of TFs ? BW voice actors? Yes, maybe someone in there.
  • Gary Chalk and Scott McNeil were the ones the questioner mentioned.
  • “We like the same things you do.”
  • More females? “How about an effeminate man, does that count? I think we’ve done some of those already.”
  • Exo suits or combiners? Hard to animate, but Yes to combiners.
  • Dinobots? “We make long term plans. Those guys or one like them are part of long term plans, so keep watching.”
  • Core cast and guest stars or expanding cast? CG limits cast count, yes we’ll expand cast.
  • The hope is to keep growing the group!
  • Teasing 1 death of a major character between now and beginning of S2.
  • They then showed a teaser video, talking about the “Covenant of Primus” and “shadow of a rising darkness”.
  • “I awaken.” “He is coming.”

Then the panel ended. Thanks to Daniel for the live reporting, and thanks to The AllSpark and @HubTVNetwork for filling in the gaps!

UPDATE!  The teaser video is online! If it doesn’t load below, go here: http://www.ign.com/videos/2011/07/21/transformers-prime-sdcc-footage?objectid=80393