July 15, 2011 11:55am PT by Philiana Ng
'Transformers: Prime' Digs Deeper Into the Autobots' and Decepticons' World (Exclusive Video)
Transformers: Prime, an animated series airing on kids channel The Hub, is the latest incarnation in the popular Transformers franchise by Hasbro. But it's the people behind it that make the series stand out.
"We had never done animation but the idea of learning about that with a partnership that we already had with Hasbro, we thought, 'This is a new way for us to learn some new stuff,' " co-creator and Cowboys & Aliens co-writer Roberto Orci, who often partners with Alex Kurtzman on projects, explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "The second reason was there were a lot of things that we wanted to do in Transformers that we couldn't do because they're different mediums. Film requires different things and live-action requires different things."
Orci expressed interest in "spending more time with the title characters, which are the Transformers," something that was next to impossible in the big-budget features. Knowing that he wasn't an expert in animated TV, Orci turned to a veteran of the medium: Jeff Kline, who worked on G.I. Joe: Renegades, Dragon Tales and My Friends Tigger and Pooh.
"From the day I came aboard, we had less than a year to get on the air. Most CG series have a two-year production cycle," co-creator Kline told THR. "To get a five-part miniseries done in less than a year and to go right into episodes about two months after was pretty impossible, which means we'll never get ahead. We're always trying to catch up to ourselves."
Kline boarded the project after Orci and Kurtzman -- who penned the first two Transformers films -- called him up on the phone asking if he'd be interested. "Initially I thought I was going to come out and give them some advice and then two years later, I'm still here," Kline said with a laugh. "One of the things that made it harder but also more satisfying was, this was the first production for Hasbro Studios so there was no infrastructure."
"We literally started from ground zero," he said, adding that they "were working out of the lobby of Kurtzman and Orci's company" during the first few weeks.
Since Transformers: Prime's launch on Nov. 29, 2010, the animated series has performed well in the ratings. A second season will begin airing in late November.
THR has the exclusive first look at Saturday's episode of Hasbro Studios' Transformers: Prime, which airs at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on The Hub, along with three first look photos. Check them out: