Love it or hate it, the Transformers film franchise isn't going anywhere, and while their stories may not always hit the mark, the action has always been a defining aspect of the series. That and the giant transforming robots, of course.
Visual effects artist Jarom Sidwell had the amazing opportunity to bring one of the original film's most iconic villains to life. Sidwell is best known for his work on hit blockbusters like The Avengers, Avatar, and The Hobbit, and we recently had the opportunity to sit down with him to talk about his time on Transformers and how he brought the Decepticon, Frenzy, to life.
During the humorous retelling of his time on the film, we were also able to gather some insight on his new VR video game DvG: Conquering Giants, and it turns out that the game's more cartoonish look was a big change for Sidwell as he is used to working with photo-realistic effects.
Sidwell had many other stories to tell us that showcase his abilities as an artist and the amount of passion he has for his new project, DvG. The full audio interview can be heard in the podcast player below, and for anyone interested in more stories from the world of The Hobbit, give a listen to another episode where we interview Gimli himself, Johnathan Rhys-Davies!
Comic Brooks: I'm a huge Transformers fan. Can you tell me how difficult it was to bringing those robots to life?
Jarom Sidwell: In DvG, we went with a more cartoony route, but in visual effects and film, we went the photo-realistic route. One of my favorite memories is when we worked on Frenzy, the little robot in Transformers. We wanted him to feel real and look real.
At the time, a lot of my job was to act like Frenzy, so I worked with Dan, the animation supervisor, a brilliant artist and exceptionally skilled. He would have me jump off tables and act like, "you're going to get your head back right at this moment, and you're going to run off because you're so excited after Witwicky knocked your head off." He's like, "make your best robot impression."
I felt like a robot. Then the animator would take the reference that I had done like a robot; we would mimic that because we're matching my shoulder movement with my arm movement, with my neck movement all at once to make it feel real.
Darth Lexii: Do you plan on having any expansions for DvG?
Jarom Sidwell: We plan to partner with Virtuous VR Gaming and my Gandalf Bill on other games in the future. Whether those be virtual reality games or mobile games, I don't know. Nothing is concrete yet, but we hope to make this a genre where it's a wholesome, family-friendly game that everybody can enjoy.
*This article has been edited for clarity*
DvG is a reimagined immersive experience that puts players in the shoes of a young King David, a shepherd boy. Featuring a vastly detailed world of exploration, the player must protect their flock from predators like wolves, bears, and lions before taking on the giant, Goliath himself.
DvG: Conquering Giants will be available on November 23rd through Steam and Oculus. Also, make sure to check out the game's official website for more information!