More Than Meets the Eye

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With the Transformers movie coming full speed ahead, Kris Oprisko, writer of the IDW published movie adaptation stopped by to chat about the book, then to transform and roll out!

BROKEN FRONTIER: First, let's start off with a small introduction of yourself. You're mostly known for your IDW licensed property work, how did you become involved with the company and how did you get the lucky job of working on their licenses?

KRIS OPRISKO: I'm one of the four original founders of IDW, from way back in 1999. I'd worked with my partners Ted Adams, Alex Garner, and Robbie Robbins at WildStorm Productions in the 1990s until we decided that it was time to branch out on our own. At IDW, I continued to do what I enjoyed, handling creative service jobs and, especially, writing comics.

BF: What is it like working on properties that come from outside of the comic world? Is there more pressure to make sure it works? Are there more people looking over your shoulder and giving story input?

KO: In the world of licensed properties, each job is very different. The way the properties are handled can be very strict and particular, or looser, with greater latitude on our side. On this particular job, since it was an adaptation of a movie it was a bit of a different animal. My mission here was pretty clear cut – to get across on the printed page, in an exciting and compelling way, what appeared on the screen.

BF: If you could, take us through the process of doing a movie adaptation. Have you gotten a chance to see the film or did you just get a script to work from? Was it a bit of a double-edged sword in that you were exposed (and in a way spoiled) to the movie before it got to mass audiences?

KO: Again, it depends on the project. In this case I did not actually see the film itself, because the lead time in comic publishing meant that many of the CG effects were still being worked on while I was writing. I did, of course, have access to the script and to many images of the in-process film. As far as being spoiled, I sure was – I got to read the script while still in the "top-secret" phase, which was totally great. And now I'll get to enjoy it all over again on the screen!

BF: Specifically, what is it like working on the Transformers? Were you an old fan of the property? Any fond memories or favorite Transformers stories from your youth?

KO: I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that wasn't a TF fan at some point in his or her childhood. The thing I remember most about the figures, other than their obvious overall cool factor, was their ability to confound adults. All us kids could transform the toys with a few deft flicks of the wrist, but when we gave them to an adult we'd watch in glee as they struggled in vain to figure out how they worked. It was always fun to stump the grownups!

BF: I know. I realized how old I had gotten a couple weeks ago when I tried to transform some of my old ones and couldn’t figure it out.

Did you have a favorite character that you were really looking forward to writing? Did that character live up the internal hype?

KO: Well, Optimus Prime of course, but I'm also a fan of Bumblebee and he's got a great role in the film. The real pleasure was the unexpected one… the human characters, who are much more than window dressing and added another whole dimension to the story.

BF: Any character you wish they put in the movie that wasn't there?

KO: I was pretty happy with the cast they included. But there are so many Transformers I think everyone could come up with one or two more they would have liked to seen in the movie somehow. I was always a bit partial to Grimlock myself.

BF: How was this experience with Transformers? Will there be more than meets the eye in your future?

KO: The whole process of writing the Transformers Movie Adaptation has been great from start to finish. The movie script was exciting and full of action, and the opportunity to work on a Transformers project gave me a chance to work with characters that I've enjoyed my whole life. I'm really happy with how the project has turned out and I know comic fans and TF fans alike will enjoy the result. Who knows what the future holds, but I will always leap at the chance of working on the Transformers!

Transformers: The Movie Adaptation #1 goes on sale this Wednesday through IDW Publishing.

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