Wednesday, January 7, 2009

AllSpark Almanac feedback!

I'm plugging away, writing The AllSpark Almanac guide to Transformers Animated. I wanted to get some feedback on a few issues.

1: I'm going to be interviewing some of the people involved in the writing and art for the show. What sort of questions would you like me to ask? Is there anything specific that you've wanted to know about how the show was put together, or details about the show you wanted clarified?

2: I'm going to have a few pages for production elements - things like sketches, lighting, early concepts, storyboards, music. What are you most interested in seeing?

Let me know, I want to produce the book that you guys want to read.

50 comments:

Babe Mause said...

1. I'd love to know about the process of re-imagimimg characters. Mr. Derrik Wyatt posted couple of such pictures with Lockdown(http://derrickjwyatt.blogspot.com/2008/05/evolution-of-lockdown.html) and Prowl (http://derrickjwyatt.blogspot.com/2008/09/hey-everybody-its-prowl.html) of his blog, and it would be cool to see the same process with other characters. But I'm interested not only in appearance transformations but in overall ideas. Like how Prowl and Jazz ended up being ninjas, how Ultra Magnus became supreme commander of autobot troops, how they got the idea of making Blackarachnia to be mutated Elita-1 etc. What thoughts were behind such changes?

2.Of course it would be awesome to see everything in the list, but if you have to choose only some of the stuff I vote for sketches, early concepts and music.

Carlos said...

STORYBOARDS PLEASE!!! I hadn't even thought of that and I'd absolutely LOVE it :)

As for the questions... I'd like to learn more about the creative process, like how many people meet in Hasbro's secret base to decide which characters will make it into the new show/season/comic, how many are writers/artists and how many are "marketing brains", how do they make decisions about the final designs... etc etc etc :D

Once again, I can only wish you the best of lucks with this book. You guys rock.

fortmax said...

I'd like to know about the treads on Bulkhead's earth robot mode model.

J. Michael Biggie said...

I concur with the Babe and Carlos. Concept art and storyboards all the way!

Shawn said...

Sketches of some transformers Mr. Wyatt has done that aren't in the show, such as his sketch of Kickback on tfw2005, would be nice.

They could or could not be intended to be in the show, it's just nice to see more character with the animated style.


http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/interviews-27/derrick-wyatt-interview-166415/

Anonymous said...

Could you ask him for picture of unused concepts ? Like the Lugnut with bolts in his neck or the early Blitzwing?

Amethyst Ed said...

The design sketches are my favorite! I love seeing the progression of the characters...

More Dinobots.

More Megatron.

And more Ultra Magnus.


Season 4???

Jason said...

I'd like to know a bit about what's literally on-screen...

From previous statements we know that the show is produced in High Def, but only broacast in SD 4:3. Last season CN started broadcasting Venture Bros, ATHF and Frisky Dingo (at least) in widescreen, but TF:A didn't make that transition -- why?

Normally this would mean the DVDs would be the full widescreen experience when released, but the TF:A DVDs seem to be ... 4:3.

What's happened to our widescreen high def TF:A?

Shawn said...

Yes, like anonymous said, it would be nice to see some more of Lugnut's designs.

Psychomud said...

Along the same lines as people keep mentioning.....

1) What is with the huge CHINS?

1.5)I'm used to it now, but - who and how did this unique feature come about?

2) It seems the animated version is going the way of the "multiple Primes" like the japanese stories have been for years now. Why use this concept of multiple Primes?

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in knowing more about how the TF:A writers not only create/develop their characters, but also their script writing process and how they generate character dialogue. How do the writers, before the voice actors get the script, preserve each characters' unique identity without running the risk of everybody sounding identical?

Anonymous said...

The main thing im after is some background on the setting such as the cause of the great war, just what is it that made Decepticons and Autobots different and a clearer picture of Cybertronian society.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a size scale of the Autobots and Cons. Profiles for all Season 1 thru 3 characters.

Daniel said...

I'd like to know why Prowl was a member of a Space Bridge maintenance team.

Joe Murphy (Broin) said...

1: How do you balance the freshness and energy for new viewers, the winks and nods to previous incarnations and shows, and the needs of the story itself?

What episodes were difficult to write? Which wrote themselves?

2: I'd love to see backgrounds, and (of course) the evolution of character designs.

the other jeff said...

I'd like to not only see early concept designs, but would like to hear the reasons that the particular changes occur.

Thanks for asking us, Jim.

Police Box Traveler said...

Well, i have suggestions myself; One would be to stop using supervillians that are lame. I have no problem with a few of them, but I'm sorry, a little girl on a flying robot unicorn is VERY difficult to have on screen while trying to prove to your friends that the new Transformers series is oh so cool. Another suggestion, have the Dinobots DO something? We waited two seasons and the most we got was Optimus and Grimlock teaming up...after that, there was nothing. I think we were expecting them to be in that battle royal at the season 2 finale. Oh, also, bring back the Starscream clones, Omega Supreme and Blurr please.

Lastly, i have a couple questions; When is Optimus going to be THE leader of the Autobots? And, where is the Matrix of Leadership?

Worldbuilder Robin said...

When a sereis is started a "writer's bible" us usually created that outlines the general background of the world and the characters in it. I'd love to see some or all of that bible, and how it's changed since the series started.

Anonymous said...

Im surprised anyone still has interest in this. The cartoon and the toyline both have been progressing very slowy, if at all. I for one am bored of it and tired of waiting around. My interest is in the Universe line.

M@TtHeW said...

Behind the scenes sketches and roughs of all our favorite characters. Different versions of characters. Especially Animated designs of characters that never got to see the light of day. Here's a great chance to see all of what could have been. I'd really love to see more Transformers in the Animated style I can't get enough! Rough pencil sketches are a must!

Story Boards!!! I wish you could do a whole book on just the story boards. I love seeing the pencil drawings more than the polished work.

More Omega Supreme please please please please!!!

M@TtHeW said...

Oh yeah... Writer bible stuff would be fab!!!

Marius said...

I love the show and I got a question. The ending of the episode "Black Friday" was very ominous. I would like to know if we can expect Meltdown, or any other human villains for that matter, to return in season 3?

Silent_Magnus said...

A more detailed look at the Elite Gaurd and the autobot society/military/government.

It's kind of confusing talking about the Elite Guard when we really don't know what exactly their role is, and how much of the military is made up of its members.

Vincent said...

Design sketches and concept art, please!!

MetaRidleyX said...

I would love to see what exactly is inside Wreak-gar's backpack at any given time.

Anonymous said...

I wanna see concept art of every single character in the show. And then some concept art of potential characters that didn't make it (like Oil Slick had he not been made into a toy and eventually the show)

Anonymous said...

I would love to see alot of production quality pictures..references for characters, back and front..alt modes, cybertron modes..stuff like that.

Storyboards are awesome as well!

Can't wait to get my hands on this book, it will be great! :)

PyroniusRex said...

1. I would like to see sketches on Hydrodrive Bumblebee and I'd like to know if it has anny significance to the story.

2. I'd like to know how the other 2 Dinobots will be included, and see some prototypes on them.

3. Something on the Omega Sentinels possibly the name of the Elite Guard's giant one.

Lastly, I want to know if Oil Slick is even an important character, or just a randomly made figure?

P.S. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

(1) i'd like to see how the g1 models were turned into the Animated models. especially Prowl.
(2) will Soundwave show up again? we know he lived from the end of his episode.
(3) Matrix of Leadership? who has it?
(4) it'd be funny to see Ultra Magnus in "powered convoy" colors. that's the 2nd thing i want the most out of my questions.
thats all! i have high hopes for #4!

Anonymous said...

Would there possibly be a Nemesis Prime in the show?

Anonymous said...

EARLY CONCEPT ARTS ARE ALWAYS THE BEST!!!! People get to see the progression to the forms that we now love and adore!!!

swarlock said...

Were the clones of Screamer a nod to the original Insecticons?

And how many Primes will there be in The 3rd season?

Hopefully the book won't cost too much when it's published.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Growing up with Beast Wars, I wish Transformers Animated would have more characters from that series. Seeing the Maximals and Predacons as a sub group would be nice. Just have Primal Prime as the Maximal leader and Razorclaw as the Predacon leader.

I would also think it would be fun to add the BW character Dinobot to the show. Have him getting Grimlock confuse would be fun. Or adding Rattrap or Tarantulas could be a nice touch. Just something to think about. Tarantulas could be a partern to Lockdown and Rattrap could be an Autobot spy.

Anonymous said...

A full list of all G1 references in the series. Character names, colors, alt modes, personality traits, voice actors and style of voice, and the small things like the ep 1 intro clip, yellow hardhat guys, spike/carly/daniel etc. Would be awesome to see in a presented manner all the detail to throwbacks that were made. Basically, any and all connections to G1 in one spot.

Anonymous said...

I'd like episode lists, and tech spec style bio pages with things like stats, first episode appearance, and such like that.

Tom said...

I would like to Sideswipe make an appearance & also Rattrap as well.

gauge0001 said...

Well obviously there is going to be plenty of interviews, concept art Character profiles, ect. and even photos of the toys themselves, but to be honest what I would like to actually see is Background and landscape art, you know the paintings/backdrops that the actual animation cells get attached to, I wanna see what goes into that creative process, I have always loved background art because that is truly what brings it all together side from the soundscore obviously :) did they use actual character 3d modeling or anything to that effect?

I'm hoping this is more than a single volume book because there is so much that goes into creating a cartoon show. There's Writing, storyboarding, casting, editing, animation, design, sound scoring, etc. and I myself am an amature animater and am very deeply intrigued about what kinds of effort goes into the creation process of a cartoon like this.

Please make it as colorful as possible with plenty of nicely rendered images not the fuzzy smeared looking stuff in the Ark books. (a good example is Simon's Furman's Transformers Guide)

Rag said...

Wreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-GarWreck-Gar.

So, any chance of some Wreck-Gar?
anything - concept art, processes and what-not.

Anonymous said...

In Transformers Animated, I'd like to know when Optimus Prime will start to act like the Iconic Autobot Leader he should be.

Chuck Ritchie said...

SKETCHES!! All sorts of artwork please!! Early concepts, unused designs, unused characters, you name it! ^_^

MetaKathro said...

I would love to see concept sketches of the cast both human and transformers. And ask the crew how they went about choosing the voice for certain bots like swindle and such. Other than that i would like to know how the music came to be. thanks :3

Anonymous said...

Bring back combiner devastator and more dinobots, autobots are to small and short, compare to the deceptacons. i want to see more taller autobots, optimus is to small compare to megatron i want to see a taller optimus prime and also the retro revovler big gun he carriers retro still. bring back the matrix! autobots need more laser pistol no hand held weapons. i want to see more lasers.

monkeytoad said...

Fill the book with as much rough Derek Wyatt concept drawings and sketches as possible. Large format and baeutiful. Alternate color models and unused characters is a must! The more the merrier me.

Anonymous said...

Show could be better with more autobots laser guns,more dinobots bring back devastator the arielbots need to see bigger autobots the current size makes me sick to see ! optimus prime need to be big as megatron. also would like to see optimus with his gun again and more seibertron episodes.

Anonymous said...

Guys this isn't BEG JIM TO BEG SHOW STAFF TO PUTT YOUR G1 GARBAGE IN IT, you're supposed to say what you want to see in a interview.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see some stuff about Jetfire, Jetstorm, and Safeguard please.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to see something that shows the characters' scale. Like how tall they are compared to the other characters, or to an average human.

monkeytoad said...

I agree with the last caller, scale character lineups! Please, do a fold-out long lineup of everybody, even blackout and omega, or multiple scales.

Have you seen the original STAR WARS CHRONICLES book? With the black and gold stripes? Great book. They have a great fold out section of everything in the star wars universe. Starting with humans/Rancor scale, then humans to small ships, then small ships to large ships, then large ships to death star and cloud city. It's awesome. And I would love to see this with the humans to smaller bots, smaller bots to bigger bots, bigger bots to ships, ships to cybertron, cybertron to unicron. Oh wait... wrong universe. ; ) Anyway, I promise not to ask again.

Flashdisk said...

Flashdisk

Am I right in my understanding, that you're asking us to put what we would like to see in the AllSpark Almanac?

If so, I'd really like to see the culture of cybertron. What are their social classes? What are the different parts of their society? Some of their important organizations? How much they have expanded through out the universe.

Maybe some information on what happened during their great war. Or some history of the animated universe.

Some information on future earth would also be great.

It would be great if you could collaborate with the writers of Animated to flesh out the Animated universe. Add information that can be used later in future story lines. Such as who are the Vok in the animated universe etc.

Just my opinion. Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, looking forward to Allspark Almanac already. Can't get enough TF sourcebooks.

For my two cents, I always like to see development work; early sketches, character designs, alternative modes, and as well as characters also how the environment/city was developed, populated and given a look.

The TF:Animated toy line is an absolute triumph - the quality of the toys is remarkable, they're highly poseable but most of all they look like the characters from the show. I gather that the show and toy line was developed simultaneously to ensure the best result, and it paid off. This could be the basis of an interview question perhaps.

Finally for me, I'd like to know what sort of decisions were made to set the show in a future society rather than stick to a modern day setting.

Anyway, good luck and can't wait to see the book in stores.

Cheers