Each week, the official Transformers Prime page is taking questions for the cast and crew of the hit animated series “Transformers Prime” from fans of the official Transformers Facebook page. Check out this week’s Fan Q&A with "Transformers Prime" Writer's Assistant (and writer of the episode "Stronger, Faster") Mairghread Scott after the jump and share your comments on the Q&A.
Kelly Paradise asks
: Hello, Mairghread! First off, great episode. “Stronger, Faster“ is one of my
Favorite episodes of “Transformers Prime.” What tricks of the trade do you suggest for somebody interested in writing for animated series?
: I think the most important thing to remember about writing is re-writing. Only about 20% of my time is writing a brand new script. 80% is tweaking, honing and cutting to make what I wrote better. When it comes to writing animation, the secret is movement. Live action TV is largely people standing
around talking. In animation, your characters can do anything while talking, so try to add movement however you can (chases, fighting, even just walking from place to place).
Amber Whetstine asks
: What inspires you for the episodes you write?
: I usually try to start with emotions when I write. Using "Stronger, Faster" as an example: I noticed the Autobots rarely attack the Decepticons head-on because they're so outnumbered. It's a smart strategy, but it seemed to me that it must be frustrating sometimes. You're whittling away at your
enemy instead of having one big, satisfying fight. I thought Ratchet would probably be even more frustrated, because he's usually not even in the field; he's healing the others so they can return to this drawn-out battle. "Stronger, Faster" became a way for me to explore that frustration and
Ratchet's desire for a single, decisive victory. Also, I thought it would be cool to have an Autobot tell off Optimus.
Catherine Martin asks
: “Stronger, Faster” is one of my favourite “Transformers Prime” episodes! Do you think the events of the episode have had a permanent effect on Ratchet?
: Of course our Story Editor (the fabulous Duane Capizzi) could answer this better, but I like to think my episode had the most impact on Optimus. Ratchet does gain a certain confidence from the events in "Stronger, Faster," but it's the first time someone really calls out Optimus for not being more aggressive toward the Decepticons. I think of this episode as the seed for Optimus' duel with
Matt Spada asks
: What have been some of the biggest challenges with writing the show? What characters do you feel need to be more deeply explored? Has it been difficult to work on a show with characters that are over 20 years old and are viewed in a specific way?
: The biggest challenge in writing our show is the fact that we're CG, so we have to be very careful about introducing new characters, sets and props. On the bright side, it has pushed us to build stronger main characters instead of just using endless new Bad-Guys-Of-The-Week.
On your next question, I actually worked really hard in Season 2 to explore Miko more deeply. I know she's a bit polarizing for the fans, but it takes guts to stand up to Megatron (especially when you're ankle-high). In Season 2, I really tried to dig into that fearless part of Miko's character.
As far as our characters’ history, I enjoy working with pre-existing characters. Sure, we can't incorporate the entire history of each Transformer, but I find it more interesting to deepen a character that already exists, rather than just constantly inventing new characters.
Haley Franklin asks
: Hey! Is it fun writing for Transformers Prime? I bet it's very interesting to come up with ideas and actually put them into an episode.
: It is super fun writing for “Transformers Prime!” My favorite part is watching the actors record my script. My happiest moment in "Stronger, Faster" was when Ratchet is trying to get Bulkhead to spar with him. Jeffrey Combs (who plays Ratchet) was so into it he actually started to tap Kevin Michael Richardson (who plays Bulkhead) on the shoulder. If actors start getting into it, you know you've done something right.
Thanks to everyone who asked questions! Roll Out!
Stay tuned to Tformers.com for more details as they are made available. Your best resource for all the Transformers news and community every day.