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TFW2005 Interviews Generation 1 Perceptor Paul Eiding

Posted on 10-03-2009 at 08:36 AM by Super_Megatron under Interviews
Paul-Eiding
Paul Eiding, best known among TF fans for his work as the voice of Perceptor in the original animated series, recently graced us here at TFW with an interview. Answering questions posed by some of the users on the site, Mr. Eiding mused about the original series, his work in the video industry, and his love of the stage. Read below to check it out!


TFW:
First off, how did you get the role of Perceptor? As he was a character that appeared in the second season, had you heard any buzz for the Transformers series at that time?

Eiding:
Nothing too exciting here. I auditioned along with many others. I was doing a stage play at the time playing 3 characters with different accents, one a Brit. Someone recommended me to the casting director and I got called to audition. I had several friends doing characters so I knew of the show, but honestly, didn’t know too much about the show.


TFW:
What was the audition process like, as a character being added to an already large cast? Do you think the process would have been any different if you had been auditioning at the beginning of the show?

Eiding:
The process, as I remember, wasn’t any different from usual. I was shown a picture of the character and told they were going for an effete proper English accent. Something along the lines of C3PO...”but not really.”


TFW:
Do you have any stories about the recording sessions of Transformers? Any favorite memories or anecdotes about the other cast members?

Eiding:
Early on the sessions took HOURS. Wally Burr, the vo [voiceover] director had very specific sounds he was after, and made many an actor irate by pushing and pushing, and giving “line readings” (actors hate line readings), and having us do innumerable takes grunting, screaming, shouting, etc. We all felt like we were bleeding from the throat when we left the studio. I remember one session we were all voicing Insecticons who were eating buildings, etc. We were all making munching, crunching, slobbering mouth sounds, as if we were devouring metal, etc. At one point, I looked up to see Greg Berger, Chris Latta, Michael Bell, and others, faces contorted, bodies hunched over, arms and hands gesticulating wildly...just as I was doing. The absurdity of what we were doing just hit me as incredibly funny. Simultaneously, others felt the same way, and of course, uncontrollable laughter ensued ruining the take. Were we really getting paid for this?!


TFW:
Was it strange to voice an “intellectual” character in a cast of primarily action-oriented roles? Do you feel you were treated differently because of it, by the other cast members or the director? Has anyone ever given you any ribbing about being “the nerd Transformer”?

Eiding:
I wasn’t treated differently, except for the fact that Wally Burr seemed to enjoy what I was doing and almost NEVER gave me line readings. It’s been kind of a bummer that, as in life, the thinking person hasn’t always been thought of as cool. The bad guys and the ones with “fire-power” are the sexy ones. Perceptor is often considered boring by the uneducated. :-)


TFW:
Perceptor was one of few characters from season 2 of Transformers who survived his appearance in the animated movie and was featured in season 3. Why do you think he was brought back?

Eiding:
Oh, this one’s easy. It’s because of my incredible talent and charm. I became Perceptor and he became me.

Okay, that was all bulls**t.
The real answer is, I have no idea. I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but I ain’t got one.


TFW:
What did you base the voice for Perceptor off of? If you were given an opportunity to reprise the role, would you voice it the same way? Similarly, have you been approached for any other Transformers projects? Are you interested in being a part of the franchise again?

Eiding:
As I said, they wanted a C3PO sort of voice. I also thought he could be an absent-minded professor kind of guy. Never had an audition for ANY of the new Transformers projects. Kind of irritating, but what can you do. I’d love to be involved with the franchise again. The Transformers occurred early in my Los Angeles voiceover career, so it holds a special place in my heart.


TFW:
Many of the intellectual characters you’ve voiced have had extremely specialized vocabularies, but Perceptor stands out as the one with most “techno-babble”. Do you do any background research to learn these kinds of terms? Is there any improvisation in these kinds of lines?

Eiding:
No improv with Perceptor. Some of the sessions were hairy, because we didn’t get the scripts ahead of time. As I recall, we’d get to the studio, get the script, do a read thru, then record. Some of the stuff was tough to wrap my mouth around. The only research I had was my experience doing industrial films (training films) for companies like 3M, Control Data, and Honeywell, when I was living in Minneapolis, Mn. where I worked at The Brave New Workshop, and improv theatre.


TFW:
The Transformers brand has lasted for 25 years and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Why do you think the brand has lasted this long?

Eiding:
Because they’re COOL! C’mon giant robots, who TRANSFORM into other things?! And they have big guns! Well, most of ‘em. Plus, they have a lot of personality. They don’t sound like robots. The fact that some are good and some are bad is also cool. It’s the never-ending tale of good vs evil. Human beings, I believe, are also naturally drawn to mythology, and the Transformers’ is great fun.


TFW:
The character of Perceptor has had some longevity as well, with appearances in the current Transformers comics by IDW, an upcoming re-release of the original toy, and a new version of the character (although heavily influenced by the original) on the Transformers: Animated series. Do you follow characters you’ve voiced, and if so, had you heard about his Animated appearance? What do you think of the Hawking-esque computer voice used for Perceptor in Transformers: Animated?

Eiding:
I haven’t watched TF: Animated. I was too pissed off. I am getting a new Perceptor (the re-released original).


TFW:
Have you heard about Michael Bell's "animated" comic campaign for IDW? If so, are you at all interested in participating?

Eiding:
I’ve heard Mike’s stuff. Very cool. He’s one of my buddies and someone I’ve always looked up to. When I grow up, I want to be Michael Bell! I’ve told him I’d love to be involved any way I can.


TFW:
How does working in live action differ to voice work, aside from the idea of working on a set vs. in a recording studio? What about working on stage? Do you have a favorite medium?

Eiding:
I love what I do, whether on-camera, vo, or stage. On-camera work is wonderful, but I find it a bit limiting. Unless you have a director who wants to work “outside the box”, your roles can be limited by your age, height, weight, and other physical characteristics. Voiceover work is limited only by your talent. I can be a dwarf, a demon, a 90 year old invalid, a 6’4” Marine Colonel, an absent-minded professor, a dimwitted ogre, an number of aliens, and I could go on and on. However, stage work is still my favorite medium. I love the rehearsal/discovery part of the process, the bonding with fellow actors, the immediate reaction one gets from an audience, and the ownership the actor has over the process. Once a show opens, it belongs to the actors and the audience. No one else. I love it.


TFW:
You've played a lot of learned characters over your career, do you think there's a reason for this? How do you approach a role to make it seem "smart"?

Eiding:
I’ve played my share of dummies, as well. I attempt to play every character at the top of their intelligence, whatever that may be. Even the big dumb brutes. My sense is no one thinks of themself as dumb...no matter how thick they may seem to others.


TFW:
Have you ever done a voice that really hurt your throat? Have you ever been forced to change a character's voice because of that reason?

Eiding:
I haven’t had to change a character’s voice...yet. There have been instances that I’ve passed on an audition because I knew it would be a throat ripper. I did a game about a year ago which came close. Don’t remember the name of the game, but it was a monster, named “Baby”. It was always having tantrums...growling, attacking and screaming at the top of it’s lungs. Luckily, most everything was done in one or two takes. Had it been Wally Burr directing, he or I would be dead now. :-)


TFW:
Do you ever ad-lib while doing voice work, and has it ever caused a good / bad result?

Eiding:
Used to get to ad-lib a lot doing animation, back in the day, but not as much doing games. Every once in a while the opportunity comes and I love it. The results are almost always positive because if you’re into your character, “he” speaks through you, so the character can become more fully developed.


TFW:
Is this where you saw yourself when you were young and asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" What would your dream role be? Out of the projects that you’ve worked on over the years, what would your favourite have been and why?

Eiding:
When I was young I wanted to be a musician. String Bass. I’ve always said that my dream would be to do a film role that is appreciated by my peers, in a movie that truly affects society in a positive way, that changes people’s actions for the good, that is both a financial and critical success...and that makes me FILTHY RICH! What do ya think? Too much to ask for? Seriously, my favorite role has been Tevye, in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. I did the show for 11 months, many years ago. For a character man, it’s a show that has everything. You sing, you dance a little, you make people laugh, and you make people cry. Loved doing the show and would love to do it again, before I’m too old. There are many projects I’ve had great fun doing. I’m a very lucky man!


TFW:
Is a voice actor working on multiple projects for the same studio, either simultaneously or in succession, common? Does it depend on the director, the studio, or something else?

Eiding:
Yep, it’s common. I’ve worked on several projects in succession at Sound Deluxe, and others. It can depend on the casting director who brings you in to audition for different projects, the director OR the studio. Some of it is just happenstance. Tomorrow, I work on Starcraft, and just finished working on Warcraft. Next week I’m doing BioShock.


TFW:
Lately, you’ve been doing a lot of work in video games. Is there a reason for this? What are some of the differences you’ve found between voice work done for a show or movie, and for a video game? Is there a particular genre of games you prefer to work in (RPGs, action games, etc.)?

Eiding:
I’m an actor. The games I prefer are the ones that involve story. The more cinematic, the better I like it. I enjoy working with another actor in the studio. It’s always more fun to work off one another. The difference between games and films is becoming harder and harder to define. And that’s a good thing. Games to me are becoming more and more like movies.


TFW:
What was it like working on the Metal Gear Solid series? Were recordings done individually, or in group sessions? Were you able to work again with any of the numerous other Transformers cast members who worked on the games?

Eiding:
I’ve loved MGS. Making friends with folks like David Hayter was a special treat. The first game was done ala radio drama, actually recording with the actors. I’ve gotten to work with David on all the sessions, but not the other characters. Mainly for scheduling reasons, I think. Over the years, I’ve worked with most of the Transformers cast on other projects. I’ve done lots of Pixar stuff with Jack Angel, cartoons with Charlie Adler, Sue Blu, Corey Burton (another hero), Scatman, Jim Cummings, my dear friend Walker Edmiston, Laurie Faso, Linda Gary, Dick Gautier, Ed Gilbert, Danny Gilvezan, Jerry Hauser, Casey Kasem, Mo LaMarche, Alan Oppenheimer, Rob Paulsen (most recently on Ben-10), the wonderful Tony Pope, Frankie Welker, and others. Many of the games are recorded one actor at a time. I always laugh when I find out, after the fact, that I’ve worked with Greg Berger, or Clive Revill, or whoever, on the same project.


TFW:
What is it like working on many of Blizzard’s extremely popular games franchises, such as Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft? Have you been approached for any of their upcoming projects?

Eiding:
oops...I’ve answered this one. It’s been great being involved with Blizzard. Diablo and Starcraft were a couple of my first games. Chris Metzen is still a great guy.


TFW:
Some of your credits are for “additional voices”, what exactly does this mean? How are these roles usually filled, and is this any different from other roles?

Eiding:
Some of the “additional voices” listing on IMDB are incorrect, they were actually, guest stars. The Pixar work, however, is “additional voice” work. It’s basically ADR [additional dialogue recording], but usually there are characters that have actual lines written for them...or lines we get to improv...that either move the story along or add comic relief to the movie. This is different from adding crowd noise or fight sounds or background walla to scenes. Additional voice stuff is intended to be heard as stand alone. For instance, in Monsters, Inc. I was one of 3 trainees who were afraid of little kids. I was also a huge eye, a little business man monster who flies off to work and says something to his wife. Each has their own little moment. Whew...hope that makes sense. The parts are usually filled by members of special ADR groups. I work with one called Lipschtick. We’re all animation vo actors.



Thanks again to Mr. Eiding for taking the time to answer our questions!
Views: 6,064 / Credit: Aernaroth of the 2005 Boards!
Digilaut
Sweet interview, pretty informative.
FMA1987
Wow a very very nice interview
lotussouljah
LOL nice! Always good to know the people behind the voices! I recently watched the episode where Megatron retrieved the Heart of Cybertron and Perceptor, Bumblebee and Brawn had to shrink to get inside Megatron. (LOVE that episode cause Rumble hiccuped!) Perceptor's voice was still fresh in memory and when used as I read through the interview!!

"A cursory evaluation of Decepticon capabilities indicates a distinct tactical deficiency!"
[Wing_Saber-X]
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotussouljah View Post
LOL nice! Always good to know the people behind the voices! I recently watched the episode where Megatron retrieved the Heart of Cybertron and Perceptor, Bumblebee and Brawn had to shrink to get inside Megatron. (LOVE that episode cause Rumble hiccuped!) Perceptor's voice was still fresh in memory and when used as I read through the interview!!

"A cursory evaluation of Decepticon capabilities indicates a distinct tactical deficiency!"
THIS! He's a great character, more so also because he was brought back for the Victory series, and because he was the one who made the schematics for resurrecting Ginrai as Victory Leo!

Regardless of the American voice overs, this was a pretty in-depth and amusing look back at the beginnings of our beloved G1 series which started it all! Kudos, guys for an interview so absorbingly done!

And whadda-ya know, it also coincides with the re-release of the TRU Commemorative Series Edition Perceptor!
Fairlady_Z
Very nice interview. I've always wondered exactly what "additional voices" meant. Though it was just the background filler people, thurns out it isn't that. Good question. Also does anyone know exactly which voice he does in Diablo?

Loved his comment about TFA Perceptor and the G1 rerelease.
brr-icy
nice interview
Solrac333
THE Perceptor.
Oasis
Quote:
Perceptor is often considered boring by the uneducated. :-)
I wish someone had told him about the legions of Perceptor fangirls out there.
GMfan101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oasis View Post
I wish someone had told him about the legions of Perceptor fangirls out there.
Chicks love smart guys....er....robots....or was it because they love microscopes....women....



Great interview Mike
knoted
"I hear its amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hari Kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!"

Yeah, he's a great voice actor.
Nerdicon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairlady_Z View Post
Also does anyone know exactly which voice he does in Diablo?.
He is pepin the healer and he narrates the books of the horradrim. Also he is in Metal Gear solid as the Colonel. He's been featured in many other games as well.
grimlock1972
awesome interview anyone know who he voices in Starcraft?
Aernaroth
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock1972 View Post
awesome interview anyone know who he voices in Starcraft?
Judicator Aldaris.
Superquad7
This is a great interview! Great work, guys!

(I was also very disappointed with Perceptor in Animated. I was surprised as well. He was always one of my favorite voices from G1, and one of the few aspects from Animated I didn't like)
Veloxiraptor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aernaroth View Post
Judicator Aldaris.
"Clearly, Tassadar has failed us. YOU must not."

Paul Eiding is awesome; it's a shame he wasn't involved in Animated.
AniProwl
Great interview with Perceptor's VA. He sounds like a nice guy.
jgoss
that was a great interview.he does sound like a cool guy.
Fit For natalie
Snake? Snake?!? SNAAAAAAKKKKKKEEE!
Autovolt 127
Awesome interview.

Paul Eiding:The only and so far still only real voice of preceptor aswell as Colonel Campbell in MGS and Grandpa Max in Ben10.

Autovolt 127
Awesome interview.

Paul Eiding:The only and so far still only real voice of preceptor aswell as Colonel Campbell in MGS and Grandpa Max in Ben10.



I hope if Preceptor is in TF3, They choose Paul Eiding......
grimlock1972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aernaroth View Post
Judicator Aldaris.
oh cool would have never guess the guy who voiced him and perceptor were the same guy and thank goodness I was afraid he voiced that jerk Mengsk
Aernaroth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fit For natalie View Post
Snake? Snake?!? SNAAAAAAKKKKKKEEE!
YouTube - Fission Mailed
Icespark
This was a great interview! Perceptor is one of my favorite characters; it's great to hear from the actor who provided his voice! I'm glad to hear that he's still interested in Transformers. He seems to be a very friendly person.

I liked his comments about characters' intelligence and how he portrays them. It's kind of interesting how many intelligent characters he's played. Especially to me, comparing his roles as Transformer's Perceptor, to Final Fantasy's Hojo, two completely opposite-minded scientists.

I was also disappointed in Animated Perceptor's voice and was really hoping for Paul Eiding to return; even more so when they said at Botcon that they would be able to hire him again. Perhaps for the DVD release? Wishing never hurts, right?

Thank you very much for whoever managed to get the interview! It was great, and I really enjoyed reading it!
Bathawk
what exactly is a "line reading" I thought it was just reading the script, but it seemed like he was referring to something else?
lowem
Yup Animated Perceptor's voice was such a disaster, need subtitles to understand his lines half the time. So now we know. Eiding = Perceptor, nothing else comes close
Railguard
Awesome!! Now if they could only do a cartoon that actually respected the series and brought back this talent, it would be a good show.
Enigma2K2
Ultra Magnus... a cursorary evaluation of Decepticon activity indicates a distinct tactical deficiency...

In other words, Perceptor..

We're outnumbered!!

WAITAMINUTE!!!!! ROY CAMPBELL WAS PERECPTOR?!?!?
Fit For natalie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bathawk View Post
what exactly is a "line reading" I thought it was just reading the script, but it seemed like he was referring to something else?
I believe it's when the director or voice director tells an actor to say a line of dialogue in the exact same manner as the director. G1's voice director Wally Burr was rather infamous for forcing voice actors to stay in for the maximum 8 hour booking period and to "parrot" lines as how he would say it.
ORIO
Awesome interview. as much I love the speak and spell/stephen hawkings voice of the animated character, I woul'dve much rather of had him!
Omega_Soundwave
Awesome interview. So he voices Aldaris in Starcraft. Who does he voice in Warcraft?
Randomus Prime
Bravo, wonderful interview!
Icetron
Great interview, Perceptor's voice is one of those voices I can remember right away if I think about it. Great character as well.
Chaos Muffin
I like that fp pic of Perceptor you used. Reminds me of running to the bathroom
Aernaroth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fit For natalie View Post
I believe it's when the director or voice director tells an actor to say a line of dialogue in the exact same manner as the director. G1's voice director Wally Burr was rather infamous for forcing voice actors to stay in for the maximum 8 hour booking period and to "parrot" lines as how he would say it.
Pretty much. Its when the director reads out a line for them the way he wants to hear it, and the voice actor is expected to mimic what he did. You can imagine how that can be a bit irritating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega_Soundwave View Post
Awesome interview. So he voices Aldaris in Starcraft. Who does he voice in Warcraft?
Gul'Dan and Varimathras from Frozen Throne.

I'm just going to post these and if people are wondering which characters in what he did, it's probably faster to just check through them, and more complete.

Paul Eiding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul Eiding
Omega_Soundwave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aernaroth View Post


Gul'Dan and Varimathras from Frozen Throne.

I'm just going to post these and if people are wondering which characters in what he did, it's probably faster to just check through them, and more complete.

Paul Eiding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul Eiding
Ah, thanks.

Man, Varimathras sounds nothing like Perceptor. Paul has a very good voice range!
sunstreaker116
Ha ha you know animated is bad when someone who used to be in transformers didnt like it.On with the hate mail!
shroobmaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunstreaker116 View Post
Ha ha you know animated is bad when someone who used to be in transformers didnt like it.On with the hate mail!
I bet many members from G1, Armada and even BW didn't like 'em either and were doing it as their job.

Does that make all series ever bad?
Aernaroth
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunstreaker116 View Post
Ha ha you know animated is bad when someone who used to be in transformers didnt like it.On with the hate mail!
Actually, he said he hadn't watched it, and was pissed off he didn't get a chance to reprise the role of Perceptor. Nice try though.
Runamuck
I need to get my TRU Exclusive Perceptor signed by him now.
Astrotrain85
Nice interview, with a very charismatic actor.

Continue: TFW2005 Interviews Generation 1 Perceptor Paul Eiding Discussion on the 2005 Boards!

 
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