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View Full Version : New[ish] Ron Friedman Interview.


inflatable dalek
2014-01-29, 03:30 PM
Via Kris Carter (not that one, or that one) on Facebook a couple of weeks ago I'd meant to start a thread on at the time but forgotten to until receiving the Australian blu ray of the film through the post.

There's an impressively OTT amount of ego (he compares his writing on a toy advert cartoon to Game of Thrones. Twice), and he's very dismissive of pretty much everyone he worked with on Transformers and Joe, but it is nice to see him finally getting some right of reply at Dille's oft repeated claims that the final work was pretty much all his work rather than Friedman's:


http://toddmatthy.com/2013/12/31/he-killed-optimus-prime-an-interview-with-ron-friedman-writer-of-transformers-the-movie/




[I've not read the early drafts of the film that went up online a couple of years ago, but based on synopses they seem far closer to the final film than Dille has made it seem the case over the years, various additional subplots and changed moments but all the broad strokes in place. Anyone who has read willing to confirm/refute that?]

Heinrad
2014-01-31, 01:11 AM
Well, tried reading it, but the ego kicked me out of any enjoyment.

It's nice to see that he's finally getting out there, but the fact that his memoir, what appears to be his telling of his life story, is titled I Killed Optimus Prime, might say the most about this guy.

inflatable dalek
2014-01-31, 01:46 PM
To be fair, it's a better title than I Put Duke into a Coma...

Ryan F
2014-01-31, 02:01 PM
Despite the ego, it's clear from the interview that he actually put some thought into his scripts, and treated the job with a bit of respect - unlike Filnt Dille, who IIRC treated the cartoon as hack work.

Looking through his IMDb credits, this guy has a long history in the business and wrote for a lot of much-loved shows: Bewitched, Starsky & Hutch, Charlie's Angels, Dukes of Hazzard etc.

To succeed in Hollywood you probably need to have a bit of an attitude. It's no wonder he bigs himself up so casually - in order to sell scripts to the studios you need that "I'm the daddy!" attitude, I think.

Good find!

inflatable dalek
2014-01-31, 02:16 PM
As far as I'm aware he was a bit of a mystery in fandom terms (as you point out, he had a substantial career outside of cartoons so it's likely he was both too buzy to pay attention to and not in need of the convention work from fandom as some others) before he started selling scripts a couple of years ago, and this is still the first substantial interview on the subject I've seen with him.

Certainly I've no problem with writers being a bit full of themselves (many of my favourite authors do not make good interview subjects for that very reason), and with other people having spent most of the last two decades taking credit for the work he's actually formally credited for I can see the desire to come out swinging, even if some of the claims are clearly ludicrous.

It's interesting that Floro Dery gets repeatedly ripped apart by fans for his arrogence when his claims, however grandly put, basically boil down to doing the job he's actually credited with, but Dille has pretty much gotten a free pass over the years for his "I really wrote the film" claims despite the lack of supporting evidence.

True, his story consultant credit comes before Friedman's is indeed suggestive, though considering both the labyrinth nature of how credits listing works in Hollywood and the fact it may simply have boiled down to the producers falling out with Friedman and wanting to snub him it doesn't necessarily prove anything.

That's not to suggest Dille didn't make a huge contribution to the final film, but with no firm proof on his side (conveniently the script he wrote first that was supposed to have been folded into final film no longer seems to exist) and at least one early draft script on Friedman's side it's not quite as simple as one man's word against another.

Note to self: Must read that script before I do the film in a fortnight...