Bob Bergen and Gregg Berger Propose Convention for Voice Actor Fans!

02.05.2011

The following is a repost from the All Things Bob Bergen Facebook Group, with permission from Bob Bergen. It was originally published February 5th, 2011. Please scroll down for the most recent updates.

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Bob Bergen (image courtesy BobBergen.com)


Hi all!

My buddy Gregg Berger and I are working on an idea, and I need your opinions:

ToonCon– a fan convention devoted to fans of animation voice actors.

This would take place on a 3 day cruise out of Los Angeles some time in 2012. Guests would include some of the top animation voice actors from some of the top animated series’ and features in the business. Kind of a cruise vacation/con combo!

Itinerary ideas:
-meet and greet cocktail party
-moderated Q&A with voice actors, as well as animation voice-over agent and voice director
-observing a mock animation recording session, directed by a top animation voice director
-as well as all the things involved on a cruise: miles of food, miles of ocean, port of call, ship’s entertainment, casino, etc.

SO-is this something you’d be interested in? The price would be 2 fold: the cruise itself (about $300-$600, depending on the stateroom size you book) and an additional con fee. (not sure what that would be, but I’m thinking around $150-$250..all depends on final budgets)

Gregg Berger (image courtesy myspace.com/voicevirtue)

Let me know your thoughts! There has been a lot of interest amongst the top animation voice actors out there. If this gets a green light I’ll let you know. My goal is to start selling this in the early Spring. And of course, it will get a big push at the San Diego Comic Con in July.

Cruises book up early, and deposits would be needed to hold cabins. Deposits are refundable up to a certain date before the excursion. But cruise lines will only block off the cabins for a limited time, so early deposits are important to guarantee the best prices and availability.

This is all still in the planning stages. But let me know your thoughts. And if this is something you might be interested in pop me a note and I’ll make sure you get first dibs when this goes on sale.

Best!
Bob Bergen
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Exclusive note for Voice Actors in the News readers: Send your feedback to Bob and Gregg via bob@bobbergen.com and mention that you saw the news here and Bob says he will make sure that those who respond from reading the blog will get priority when they begin taking bookings.

** Update: 3.25.2011 **

Well, we don’t have a genuine “update” on this event…yet. But since we keep getting email inquiries about it, I thought I’d at least share a response from Bob from this question we received from “Ken”:

Bob: I [attended] an animation voiceover [event in Burbank, CA]. I enjoyed it tremendously, made great contacts, good experience and got lots of good reference material. I can probably speak for all of us when I say the convention itself is a good idea but considering the negative publicity several recent cruises have received (mechanical problems, bad weather, etc), I’d prefer to stay on land. I’d also find it EXTREMELY helpful if established voice actors like yourself could give us a bit more insight on how to get our feet in the door.

Bob replied:

Thanks for the feedback. This is still very much in the planning stages. The cruise is really incentive for the voice pros. We do a ton of these sorts of conventions and having a paid vacation on a cruise along with the fan con is a big hit. There will be Q&A planned as a part of the con. But it isn’t a workshop per se. That said, I do hope to have an animation agent and casting director on board as well. And believe it or not, a cruise is far cheaper than doing this on land. I know a cruise isn’t for everyone. But my goal is that this is the first annual con of it’s kind. I’d love for the next one to maybe be on the east coast.

And as far as “issues” regarding cruises, what doesn’t make the news is the hundreds of cruises with no issues each year. But the 2 or 3 problem cruises a year, statistically, should not be of concern. Trust me, more people will have problems flying this year than on a cruise.

Bob has promised to provide further updates as things progress.

And on the mention of voiceover workshops, Bob hosts a recurring one in Los Angeles . . . which is usually sold out a year or two in advance, unfortunately. However, he schedules workshop events and performs his one-man show in other U.S. cities throughout the year. Check his appearances schedule on BobBergen.com to see if he’s coming to a city near you. He still currently has spaces available for his May 21-22 workshop in St. Louis, MO. Here’s the Facebook event link for more details.

** Update: Bob is offering a 10% discount for Voice Actors in the News fans/readers for his St. Louis workshop. If interested, contact Bob’s workshop producer Marian at marian@marianmassaro.com and be sure to mention that you read this through Voice Actors in the News.

~ Craig Crumpton
Publisher, Voice Actors in the News


Jess Harnell’s Last Show at House of Blues

09.22.2010

Jess Harnell’s band Rock Sugar performed their last show as the house band at the House of Blues of Sunset Strip on Monday, Septmeber 20th.

The band and their passionate fans hope to get the contract renewed and are asking everyone to write to Malia Rummell at maliarummell(a)livenation.com showing support for the band.

This is; however, not the final concert for Rock Sugar as they have October 2010 concerts scheduled in New Mexico and future dates in development. You can find out more about the band through their official pages on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter (@rocksugarband) and ROCKSUGARBAND.COM.

Here are some recent videos featuring the band via YouTube, including two from their farewell performance at the House of Blues:

~ Ashley Trayder
Staff, Voice Actors in the News


Fans Q&A with Jess Harnell (audio)

08.26.2010

Jess Harnell fans were asked to submit questions for Jess via the Jess Harnell Fans Facebook Group and MySpace fan page. [Fan questions were selected by Voice Actors in the News staff contributor, Ashley Trayder, who is also the administrator of Jess’ fan pages on Facebook and MySpace.]

Instead of typing his replies, Jess took the time to record his answers for the fans. You can listen to the full audio through the Jess Harnell Fan Page on MySpace.

~Ashley Trayder
Voice Actors in the News Staff Contributor


Updated: Transformers Voice Casting News

02.08.2010

All of the following news items come courtesy of TFW2005.com:

Update: 2.07.2010Tony Todd, who voiced “The Fallen” in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, revealed in an interview with Den of Geek that he has already been cast in Transformers 3:

DoG: Are you involved in Transformers 3 do you think?

TT: Yes.

DoG: Definitely?

TT: You want to quote me? What I was told last month, yes. But that’s Hollywood!

DoG: Is there anything you can tell us about it? It’s got to be worth a try.

TT: No! There’s more of it! [Laughs, starts thumping desk and making explosion sound effects]. Something along those lines!

– News of the cast for the Japanese dub of Transformers Animated has surfaced:

> Hiroki Takahashi as Optimus Prime
Voiced Hellscream and Mantis in Beast Wars Second, Gildo and Build Hurricane in Car Robots (aka Robots in Disguise)
> Daisuke Kishio as Bumblebee
Voiced Kicker in Transformers Super Link (aka Transformers Energon)
> Satomi Akesaka as Sari Sumdac
> Norio Wakamoto as Megatron
Voiced Flame Convoy in Transformers Galaxy Force (aka Transformers Cybertron)

And the show’s theme song will be performed by j-pop group JAM Project, which one of the group’s members is known for providing “the opening, ending and insert songs to Japanese Transformers series The Headmasters and Beast Wars Metals. ”

Also mentioned is that fans can expect to see Transformers Animated released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan starting in Fall 2010.

– Actor James Avery revealed in an interview with Unscripted that he will be voicing Silverbolt for the upcoming Transformers 3 live-action movie.

While Avery is most-widely recognized from his TV dad role on the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, he’s voiced several recurring characters in animation on Disney’s Pepper Ann, as Shredder on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Real Ghostbusters, The Legend of Tarzan, Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys, and as War Machine/James Rhodes in Iron Man (The Marvel Action Hour).

– Following up on previous news from Michael Bell that he had auditioned for the roles of Ratchet and General Fowler for a new Transformers animated series — it appears that the role of Ratchet has gone to actor Jeffrey Combs according to a recent news update on his official site:

TRANSFORMERS: PRIME
Debuting later this fall Hasbro in conjunction with Discovery Communications Inc will release a new Transformers cartoon on a new TV channel currently called Discovery Kids called Transformers: Prime.

Jeffrey will be the voice of Ratchet, a very well known character in the Transformers world. There are 26 episodes scheduled for the first season. Exact details of the show are currently unavailable but will be posted here as soon as they are made available.

Jeffrey is quite thrilled with the opportunity to be cast in the role of Ratchet. He’s not able to talk too much about the show this early in the production but did have this quote: “What I can say is that it is an honor and a privilege to be a part of such a prestigious project.”

It should be noted that following the report of this news on Feb. 4th via various Transformers fan sites, as of this posting this news item no longer appears on Combs’ website.

However, the Transformers series has now been confirmed by an article in The Hollywood Reporter which reveals that the series will be computer-animated and that TV/film producers/screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who penned the first two Transformers live-action flicks) will be involved, possibly serving as executive producers.

And I’ll be doing an awards-season wrap-up in a separate post, but I thought I’d mention that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was nominated in 7 categories for the 2010 Razzie Awards “honoring” the year’s worst in film.

Related post: 12.18.2009 — Cullen Voicing Prime for New Transformers Game


Cullen Voicing Prime for Transformers Game

12.18.2009

This article has been updated since it was first posted 12.18.2009. Please scroll down for the most recent news.

On December 16th, Hasbro and Activision issued a press release for the Transformers: War For Cybertron video game which is being developed by High Moon Studios (Darkwatch, The Bourne Conspiracy):

“Transformers: War for Cybertron is an origins story, taking players on a gripping, adrenaline-fueled journey that precedes the TRANSFORMERS characters’ arrival on Earth,” said Rob Kostich, head of marketing, licensed products, Activision Publishing, Inc. “The game transports players to a living, metallic planet where they will battle as giant converting robots in single player, online co-op or head-to-head multiplayer matches that are fully immersive from start to finish.”

“For the first time, Hasbro is working with Activision to drive the TRANSFORMERS fiction forward into new story arcs, demonstrating pivotal moments in Transformers history that defined who they are,” said Aaron Archer, Senior Design Director, Hasbro.

Transformers: War for Cybertron features two distinct storylines: the AUTOBOT campaign tells a story of heroism to save their home planet against overwhelming odds, and the DECEPTICON campaign tells a story of an unquenchable thirst for power to control the universe. For the first time in a TRANSFORMERS title, fans will be able to play the game with their friends through team-based online co-op, or go head to head in a variety of intense, online multiplayer game modes.

Following up on the press release, Transformers fan site TFW2005.com interviewed Archer and High Moon Studios Game Director Matt Tieger, who offered more details on the game as well as some production art.

When asked if any “familiar voices” would be “returning for the game, Tieger responds:

I think there is a law against making a TF game without Peter Cullen. Side note: he is awesome to work with, his voice is undeniably Optimus.

Transformers: War For Cybertron is due for release sometime in 2010 for the Playstation 3, XBOX 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC.

And here’s the debut teaser trailer in HD:

UPDATE: 12.31.2009TFW2005.com reports (via a GameInformer.com podcast):

Many of the G1 actors are coming back to reprise their original roles. A formal announcement will be made at a later date in 2010; however, Peter Cullen is confirmed as Optimus Prime.

UPDATE: 1.13.2010 — IGN has debuted an exclusive 2-minute trailer for the game, with narration by Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime.

Although this is an FMV and not actual in-game footage, a Transformers fan like myself can’t help but geek out at the sight of seeing Starscream, Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Megatron in action. And zOMG!!!111!!! Trypticon and Omega Supreme too!

Megatron speaks in this trailer as well, sounding unlike Frank Welker‘s original and more like a sound-alike for Hugo Weaving, the voice of Megatron in the last two live-action movies.

I don’t know who the voice is, though, and neither Activision nor High Moon Studios have announced any other cast to date besides Cullen. My guess is Fred Tatasciore, who’s voiced similar-sounding characters in the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game (Demolishor, Devastator, Grindor) as well as many other TV series, movies and video games.

If you have any other guesses who the voice might be, please post a comment below.

In related Transformers movie news, Collider.com reports that Transformers 3 will begin filming in May 2010, and is expected to release to theaters in July 2011.

Source: TFW2005.com

Related news: 12.11.2009 — Michael Bell Talks New Transformers Series


Michael Bell Talks New Transformers, G.I. Joe Animated Series

12.11.2009

Voice actor Michael Bell revealed to Transformers fansite Moonbase 2 in a Dec. 8th interview that he recently auditioned for both a Transformers and G.I. Joe animated series Hasbro has in development.

For the TF series, Bell says he auditioned for Ratchet and another character named “General Fowler” and added that the series is being cast by Susan Blu (who served as both voice actor and voice director for three TF series to date).

Bell says he auditioned for the role of General Hawk for the G.I. Joe series: “I’d love to get it. It’s 26 [episodes]. I’d absolutely love to get it, but I’m not going to kill myself if I don’t get it. But I’d love to get it, it’d be great fun.”

Bell did not disclose the actual title of either series during the course of the interview.

You can listen to the complete interview with Bell on Moonbase2.libsyn.com.

Sources: TFW2005.com; MTV.com

Related post: 7.30.2009 — Happy Birthday, Michael Bell!


IGN Interviews Frank Welker

09.16.2009

To coincide with the 9.15 release of Shout! Factory’s Transformers Season 2, Volume 1 DVD box set, IGN.com interviews Frank Welker with a focus on his Transformers work as the voice of Megatron and Soundwave for the original TV series, the 2007 Activision video game, and Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen.

Related post: 7.13.2009 — Transformers G1 DVD Complete Box Set Features Voice Cast Reunion.