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TRANSFORMERS

About The Production
When Spielberg first described the story to Bay, it was simple: It's about a boy and his car that just happens to be an alien robot. A great hook, to be sure, but generating an entertaining, engaging story necessitates more than the kernel of an idea; its success rests in the hands of talented, ingenious writers.

John Rogers, who has written comic books himself, took a first crack at the story. In hopes of calming the nerves of fervent Transformers™ fans, he went online to reassure them that the filmmakers understood the devotion that kept the franchise alive long enough to be worth making into a movie. With that sense of respect and dignity, he approached the story, following DreamWorks' edict to write a human tale.

"I had to start with human characters that could be expanded into larger roles,” Rogers explains, "and at the same time show the global scale of the story in the three or four different plot lines that eventually intersect. The idea was a worldwide conspiracy in the form of an action movie where all these people's lives come together in the middle of the movie. So I started with Sam Witwicky and his love/hate relationship with his beater car; a group of soldiers who find some weird technology; and some scientists who are investigating that technology. That was the basic spine of it.”

Next up were writing partners Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, both of whom are the perfect age to remember playing with the toys as kids, watching the television series, which ran from 1984 to 1987, and seeing the animated 1986 movie, "The Transformers: The Movie” written by Ron Friedman and directed by Nelson Shin.

Orci likens playing with the toys as "the ultimate peeka-boo” game for eight-year-olds. "What is it, a truck?” he says, "No, it's not a truck. Oh my God, it talks! It's a robot. It's the ultimate jack-in-the-box with a constant surprise. And from a more sophisticated approach, you'd imagine all your toys coming to life. You imagine befriending all the technology around you. That was a cool concept in 1984, and it still is now.”

Kurtzman agrees. "The idea behind the toy is that everything around us, our cars, and all technology, are sentient,” he explains. "Every thing has emotions and feelings but we don't know it because they are in disguise. This seemed like a good jumping off point for a movie.” "Alex and Roberto are very skilled at drawing strong characters,” says di Bonventura. "Once they came aboard, the project quickly found its feet.”

"The Transformers™ may be robots on the outside but they all have very human souls,” says DeSanto. "It's important not to lose that in the translation. As always it comes down to the classic good (the Autobots®) versus evil (the Decepticons®) with the future of humanity at stake.”

"The writers really helped narrow the choice of robots,” says Bay. "At the beginning I had some very elaborate plans for these newer robots called ‘Combiners,' but ultimately it became too cost prohibitive to create them just in terms of manpower, let alone the technology to make them look real.” "Steven wanted to make it an even five against five,” Bay continues, "so that's where it took off.”

The filmmakers spent time watching the 1980s "The Transformers” television show as well as the animated movie until they were very familiar with the first generations of robots.

"It became obvious that we couldn't make a movie without Bumblebee™, Optimus Prime® and Megatron®,” says di Bonaventura. "After that we took a poll amongst ourselves, found out who were our favorites and then asked fans who their favorites were. From there we put a list together that encompasses most peoples' favorite Transformers™. We know that people are going to feel, ‘Oh I wish they'd have put in that one or that other one,' b

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