Botcon 2007 - Panel: Peter Cullen

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Tony_Bacala, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Tony_Bacala

    Tony_Bacala Car Robots Professional Administrator

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    Use this thread to discuss Botcon 2007 - Panel: Peter Cullen Images and Information.

    Full Botcon 2007 gallery here: Botcon 2007

    UPDATED Saturday 3:45 pm EST
    ams reporting in following the Peter Cullen panel... I tried to capture everything that was being said, so it's very "stream of consciousness". Enjoy.



    Cullen walks in to standing ovation, Hasbro leadership offers their thanks to Cullen for his work

    Cullen expresses his appreciation, the tenacity of the fanbase, stubbornness, that with the influence of some heavy guys like Brian Goldner, DeSanto, etc... fantastically talented guys, it's an honor to represent these guys. I'm glad I am Optimus Prime.

    (silly voice) Welcome to the 22nd Annual Burger King convention!



    Turns it over for questions

    Now that you're a movie star, how does that feel?

    Fantastic, never experienced anything like this in my career, being a part of what everyone would like to be a part of , energy, excitement, being OP is an honor, but to see the statues, and the truck, picture appearing in newspapers, less anonymous, have to be careful about what I say in public


    What is it about being OP that you enjoy more than anything?

    OP has had such a major effect in a good way on so many people, if I never did another thing in my life, I could say at least I helped to be able to be here and say thank you for the support is what I enjoy the most


    When you first went in, did you have any idea it would become this big?

    No idea, kind of interesting, didn't fall into the general mill of cartoons, new different, proud to be a part of it, the script, the humanity of it, very excited when I got the part, first went to the audition, looked at this robot... a truck? what's he going to sound like? (makes truck sounds) Read the character breakdown and realized this was an important leader... found out not too long after that I had the job


    What would Optimus Prime say about Botcon?

    (Prime voice) My name is Optimus Prime. This is Hasbro. This is one of the greatest Botcons I have ever attended (/Prime voice)


    Could you hold up my flag so I can get a picture?

    (pictures will be at the end)


    Thanks for being here. Nice to see the guy who voiced my childhood hero is such a gracious gentleman himself. What was different from the voice in the cartoon and the voice in the movie?

    Nothing really different... it was like slipping into a pair of old comfortable shoes, gosh I forgot how good these feel. Especially with the movie and working with Bay and working with a big screen by myself, the first time I saw a completed movie Picture of Optimus, speechless... Jackie Gleason, homina homina... I said to Bay, that is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen - is the whole movie like that? No I did OP the way he was at the beginning, if it's not broke, don't fix


    A character called 30-30 from Bravestar is a favorite of mine, how did you break into voice acting?

    As a kid I could make sounds, when I was on the farm, I could impersonate the animals, trucks, tractors, made people laugh, realizing you could make people happy, I continued on--after being an on-camera actor on stage and on screen, if I only did voicework, I could still raise my family and make a career How do I make the sounds? they must have dropped me on my head or something


    When you heard about the movie, did you know you wanted to be a part of it, and why are you the only one who is a part of it from the original cartoon?

    Film business is strange, nothing is ever secure, to come back to op after so many years was a good thing


    Did they get your input on anything?

    No, in the hands of the writers, nothing more secure and wonderful than to feel the trust and safety in the hands of the writers--all I had to do was read... sometimes there are a few ad libs


    (Asks to hear Transform and roll out - Cullen does)


    Were you able to interact with the other va's?

    No, worked alone with Bay in a small studio with a big screen... it was very lonely (Eeyore) Yep it was lonely


    Asks to hear what a Nemesis Prime (evil Optimus) might sound like? (does a silly voice)


    At 2004 Botcon, you told us you pushed back on Wally Burr and said "no, Prime wouldn't do that" - did that happen with the movie?

    No, Michael understood what was necessary with the character--outside of humor, giving him some humor made him more real in his relationship with the human characters, understands emotion, compassion, some of those things The audience laughed when he asserted his funny (Prime voice) my bad (/Prime voice)


    Did you update the voice for the big screen?

    The voice is bigger, still OP, but he's a 40-foot statue-thing, relating to a small person... got to have that bigger sound, and it works. (movie Prime voice) Are you Sam Witwicky (/voice) I liked it, thought it was great


    There's a rumor there will be a new cartoon series? Any chance we're going to hear you in it..

    No, it's in the early stages


    Any chance of hearing you in a sequel?

    I've been told that if there is a sequel, I will be in it.


    Do you ever see trucks and think, that's me?

    I started drooling when I saw the truck - man I want that, flames and all


    There are overtones of John Wayne in OP. Anyone else you integrated in?

    There are phrases that belong to John Wayne... OP has a richer sound, but if you give OP a John Wayne line, he's going to sound like that (combo John Wayne/Prime voice) "listen, and listen hard bumblebee"


    There were many great voice actors, any memories of them?

    Sessions were fantastic... 14 guys standing in front of 14 microphones, that many actors can get out of control and it's hysterical... Wally Burr would ask for scream, and someone would say, don't you save any of this stuff?


    Did they display the cartoon in front of you?

    No, just scripts


    Are there outtakes?

    Yes, Frank Welker could make a coffee cup laugh, he's a walking sound encyclopedia Scatman, Chris Latta, I sure miss them, Chris was a beautiful man and I miss him. God love him.


    Were there different techniques involved in the video game, what was the directing like?

    Working alone, two directors, many many lines, all one liners, it's going to be a pretty special thing to have Prime talk to you personally, it's what I would have wanted as a child playing a game (acts out a scene where he's Prime talking to a child)


    Did you audition for Ironhide?

    Yes, in my first audition for Bay, Bay's assistant started reading the part for Ironhide, I said, do you mind if I do that? (acts out a Prime/Ironhide conversation


    Did you get the part for Ironhide in the movie?

    No.

    Well who did?

    (laughs)


    Back in G1, were there any other va's that helped to form Prime, influences from other characters?

    True story, when I read the breakdown for optimus prime, character traits, leadership, drew from people I knew, my brother, officer in the marine corp... when he came back from the Vietnam, he was a man, compassion, dignity, honor, when I saw the leadership qualities of OP, I just did my brother. Larry is 6 inches taller, 13 months older...


    Done a lot of characters, when challenged, how do you embody the character?

    Sure everyone has tried to do a voice, a sketch of the character, physical look, neck, chest, fill that so it's believable, that a sound like that would come out of it, add an accent, slurring a word, try to make it entertainingly funny. Kept that solidarity, sense of understanding and control, and pride, I think.


    Talking with some 5th graders, mentioned going to meet Prime, they didn't know about G1 Prime, but reminded them about the movie and they were excited--safe to say you will still be doing this in 20 years. In the months leading up to the movie, many people were unsatisfied with the movie designs, Michael Bay killed my childhood--how do YOU think the designs compare to the original.

    If you take out the emotional factor, the new one is incredible, but the emotional factor is going to be there for the old fans--and me too. Think he just put on a suit. I really like it, like the new look, very powerful.


    With increased fame, any chance of typecasting?

    I'll take whatever work comes, if there's more Prime's sure, but Prime won't sell used cars, no way.


    Heard a couple of one-liners in the new movie from the old movie, any memories? Any Autobots you'd like to see?

    OP is OP, he has not changed in the series compared to the movie, he is the same. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings... Prime has 10,000 moving parts, ILM/Dreamworks, these guys are absolute whacko geniuses... my jaw drops... so it's expensive, if they get a good showing/success on the movie, they'll do more characters for sure.


    You did Eeyore, Venger, what are your other favorite characters, other fond memories?

    I love doing them, some are really fun, always had a good time, signed an autograph today for Rude Dog, a bulldog with a British accent, like a distinguished butler (does voice) He was fun, anywhere where you can get outside the box is fun.


    The original Superman was big... will OP be as big?

    Superman was my hero, would tie a safety pin and a cape, got my first concussion, took me about seven attempts to realize I couldn't fly... I thought Superman was great, never dreamed I would play a hero, but here we are, and I'm very grateful for it


    Have you ever been pulled over by the cops and used the Optimus Voice?

    (Laughs)no i don't think so, but not a bad idea... I was pulled over many years ago when I was a bit rowdier than I am now, did the voice of Roger Crawford, captain Ben Matthews in Highway Patrol


    What is your feeling about having been such a big part of so many people's childhoods?

    I love my work, love working, to know I've been on a show people have liked, and get asked back, good indicator that it has made people happy, and that makes me happy


    Do you get a more positive reaction from heroes or from villains?

    Not really crazy about bad guys, didn't get Venger, probably wouldn't have done it


    What do you feel is the voice actor's <couldn't hear>

    Grateful and proud, Prime stands for so much good, a legacy I will always be proud of... extremely grateful for that opportunity, luck was there, and here we are today


    After 23 years of seeing Prime voiced by you, what was your feeling about the lips?

    A little bit surprised, saw it first on the MTV awards, a little different


    Were they capturing your lip movements during the recording?

    Yes, they had a camera on me for all the sessions.


    What are your personal thoughts about Ironhide and Prime?

    All positive. I wish I was Ironhide


    Any likes or dislikes?

    I like him.


    What was your relationship with Chris Latta?

    An intense, talented, great guy that went too soon, we all miss him, a lovely man, terrible things happen and they happened to Chris, much too young, very talented, to watch him work, to see the energy he put in to a character, the intensity, he would perspire, he would be soaking wet, that's how much he put into his character, he was great.


    Brian thanked Peter, standing ovation

    Peter: I love you guys
     
  2. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Man, I've been here a LONG time Veteran

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    What a class act. :) 
     
  3. IACON

    IACON "That's Vector Sigma?" TFW2005 Supporter

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    Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are both my heros!

    Thanks Tony for the transcript.
     
  4. Runamuck

    Runamuck Swindle Knows Best

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    Sounds like a class act, indeed. One day I will meet him!
     
  5. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    :thumb 
     
  6. Galaxy Convoy

    Galaxy Convoy Well-Known Member

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    Got that right. It's too bad they can't do a panel with both Cullen and Welker.

    Give it to him! :thumb 
     
  7. Soundwave84

    Soundwave84 Banned

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    That was amazing awww man i wished i had of gone to Botcon this sucks
     
  8. frenzy.mp3

    frenzy.mp3 Boisterous Ruffian

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    Peter Cullen...

    Wow. Why can't there be more people like him in Hollywood let alone the world.

    He'll go down in history.

    Quote me on it. /\_/\
     
  9. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Great read.
     
  10. Sector Seven

    Sector Seven ∞ GΣΣK™

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    He's just so damn cool. Thousands of us adore him - nay - hundreds of thousands of us - and he's like a humble uncle that comes to visit for Christmas. :) 

    I gotta ask, though - who the hell asked if he was voicing Ironhide, too? :stick: 
     
  11. MilkManX

    MilkManX TF Comicbook Fan

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    Awesome. After seeing the movie I would love to shake that mans hand. He did an amazing job.
     
  12. smangerbot

    smangerbot The Holy Zombie Jesus TFW2005 Supporter

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    awesome.
     
  13. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    That would have been so awesome.
     
  14. Incepticon

    Incepticon Double Agent

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    Any and every time I read an interview with Cullen, I smile ear to ear. One trait I admire most in people is humbleness and a devout instinct to talk positively about everyone else *except* themselves - and that's what Cullen displays each & every time he's interviewed. I love that you can just tell how nice of a man, a human being, he truly is. If anyone deserves the long overdue mass recognition, praise, respect & adoration, it's Peter Cullen.

    And I echo these sentiments about Frank Welker as well. Regardless of how good Weaving might be in the movie, I think it's a crying shame purely out of principal that Frank couldn't be in tandom with Cullen for this new era of Transformers.
     
  15. Codimus Prime

    Codimus Prime Missouri Toy Hunter

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    Thanks for the transcription! Cool dude!
     
  16. CyberWolf

    CyberWolf Collector of Transformers

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    Would like to meet him sometime, maybe next year's Botcon. He sounds like a really nice guy. I watch all the interviews of the game and some clips from past Botcon panels. Heard he got teary-eyed at a convention once when all the fans in the room did a standing ovation. What a great person.

    How cool would of it have been to stand in the same room with those guys back then doing their voice work for the G1 cartoon.
     
  17. IamPRIMUS

    IamPRIMUS God among mortals

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    It would be awesome to stand around with them during G1, but when you're younger you don't think of the voice actor, you think of the character. But still, to hear him speak humbly and crack a joke or two, it would've been awesome to go to Botcon this year... Maybe next year.
     
  18. Inciteful

    Inciteful Hides in the Shadows

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    I agree with what everyone else has said. Mr. Cullen is a class act and a great guy who someday I would like to meet and shake his hand. Hearing his voice and Mr. Welker's voice in the game is just simply SWEET. :thumb  Thanks for the transcript!
     
  19. Op_Prime

    Op_Prime One With The Matrix TFW2005 Supporter

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    Peter Cullen, what a great guy! Reading the transcript makes me want to meet him in person even more, just to shake his hands. I think voice-acting is rather humbling work, which is why lots of voice-actors are really swell guys.
     
  20. swarlock

    swarlock Autobot Supporter

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    Peter's da man. :) 
     

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