Thursday, November 01, 2012

Frank Welker Talks Transformers Prime, Cullen

In a new interview with Collider, Frank Welker talks about his career, voicing Megatron and working with Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime). The interview is to help promote the 26 hour Transformers: Prime marathon airing on the Hub now. The full interview is here highlights below.

- Works 3 days a week, more or less from 10 to 4:30, calls it the "Voice Over Diet" since he skips lunch and lost 10 pounds. Limits days for "throat recovery rate (when I do monsters etc.)"

- "With Megatron I tried to do something that would sound different than just a big robot or evil sounding dude. I fiddled with the scratchy sound and multiple voices and settled in on the original G1 voice. For “Transformers Prime” I keep the DNA from G1 but move the voice around to make it a little different, plus with the CGI and slower building story line I am able to add subtle strains to the voice giving me a lot more latitude."

- He does not have a problem with big name actors doing animating but would prefer casting be done "on a merit basis...whoever is best for the part, and I don't believe most of the audience really know or cares who is doing a lot of these voices...the rare exception is Transformers..."

- Welker did not have a problem with Hugo Weaving recent comments, saying "I think he was just being honest, he was not familiar with the franchise and therefore had no affinity for the project."

- On getting Megatron for G1 cartoon series: "It was a general casting call. There were all these drawing on the table and the sign said pick three…of course I picked nine. I managed to get 7 regular roles right out of the gate. Megatron was attractive from the drawing and the description. I had been playing so many cute, sweet parts that the evil “Leader of the Decepticons” really stood out and was very appealing. The voice came to me very quickly. I was happy to get the show let alone “Megs” and all the other characters."

- "Peter makes me smile the moment he comes through the door. He is the real deal, talented, big-hearted, with a fabulous basement wall echoing laugh. I try constantly to evoke his rumbling larynx. We have been friends for eons. Though we don’t see each other a lot outside work, we appreciate the time we do spend together in the studio and working. ..The G1 cast was so great and now the Prime group it’s like getting two families in one life!!! We still shake our heads in disbelief that we were lucky enough to get a franchise like the “Transformers” and still be going strong after all these years!"

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