Getting To Know DR. SMOOV: A Transfan Original
Recently I was given the opportunity to interview this very talented fan! Talking about his work in voice acting and writing.. His projects and websites with Randall Ng! Then also talk about his personal feeling concerning cartoons of the eighties and toy collecting. It has been a great honor to know both DR.SMOOV and Randall Ng for years and I thank them both for helping me with this interview. In the near future I’d also like to do an interview with Randall talking about his projects and fan life as well!
Now On with The Interview..
Getting To Know DR. SMOOV: A Transfan Original
It’s been over four years now since..’The Rude Awakening of Optimus Prime’ was first uploaded onto You Tube it’s popularity quickly grew as fans laughed at Optimus Prime’s surprise to waking up to a nightmare reality one that of course was humorous. Giving Bumblebee a new name as well as Kup!
Getting to know the Transfan
Screamers: DR. SMOOV, to start off this interview.. I’d like to step back to the eighties and talk about how you were first introduced to Transformers. In other words share your first memories when it comes to both the toy line and cartoon. So in saying that..How were you first introduced to the cartoon and toy line?
DR. SMOOV: I remember that I knew some kids that had some GoBots toys and I thought those were so cool, and a kid in my school had one of those “transforming robot” watches! I was a faithful Saturday morning cartoon watcher, and one day I saw an animated commercial for the “Transformers” comic book “coming soon from Marvel comics!” I was interested in this right away! Shortly after that, I saw the first episode of the “More Than Meets the Eye” miniseries.The first airing of the first episode- I was there!!! Yeah!! And I was hooked immediately! It was one of the best cartoons I had ever seen, and I remember being completely in awe of Soundwave’s “vocoded” voice! Not only was it the coolest sounding voice I ever heard, but I thought it was fitting for a “Robot” character to have a voice like that. Really presented a feeling like he was a “killer robot from outer space” and helped give the series a classic Sci-Fi feel!
Screamers: I take it you collected Transformers as a kid, do you still collect today?
DR. SMOOV: My brother and I had a sizeable collection of Transformers when we were kids. Still have all my original Transformers, however a lot of them have heavy “battle damage” from all the wars they fought throughout the 80′s!
I would say I’m a moderate toy collector- I stop by the store from time to time and see if there’ are any new cool action figures (Star Wars or GIJoe mostly) that I want to add to my collection. I had bought a few figures from the Transformers RID line when they were out- I had to be able to form Omega Prime, and I needed Ruination to be able to battle him! (plus I never had all the Combaticons when I was a kid, so I could never form a real Bruticus without having a couple Protectobots in the mix for arms or legs.)
These days, I don’t really need to buy that many Transformers because I get so many for free now- I recently got an awesome Masterpiece Skywarp and Music Label Soundwave as a gift from Randall Ng, and another friend of mine got me an original G1 Shockwave. I’d say those are my favorite recent additions.
Screamers: Your Favorite Transformer Character?
DR. SMOOV: Definitely can’t narrow it down to just one, but top fav’s are (all G1) Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, Starscream, Wheeljack, Jazz- simple as that!
Screamers: Your Favorite Transformer Toy?
DR. SMOOV: When I was a kid, I had so much fun with Metroplex! I think it was partially because I had so many of the Autobot mini-vehicles, so you could make them interact with his city mode. And he was so much bigger than all the other Transformers I had, (I always wanted Omega Supreme) so since we didn’t have Omega, he was always the Autobots’ “Big Gun” in our hometown battles.
Screamers: Favorite Transformer Episode? [We’ll keep it G1 of course]
DR. SMOOV: I’ll just say that “The Key to Vector Sigma,” a 2-part episode is one of my favorites! I always loved episodes that dealt with the mythology of the race or the history of Cybertron. This story introduced and explained “Vector Sigma,” the super-computer that gave Transformers life. We got to see both Megatron and Prime use it to create new Autobots and Decepticons.
Screamers: You’re not only a Transformer fan though.. You’re a G.I. Joe fan correct? So in saying that I’d like to ask, how long have you been a G.I. Joe fan?
DR. SMOOV: I remember watching the original run of the “A Real American Hero” 5 episode miniseries on Saturday mornings when I was very young. So I’d say I’ve been a “Real American Hero” GIJoe fan since the day it came out!
Screamers: Have you collected any of the Joe toys?
DR. SMOOV: I had G.I.Joe toys before Transformers even came out. My first Joe toy was the MOBAT tank I got for X-mas, that came with Steeler (straight arm.) Santa also gave me Grunt (also straight arm from the ’82 toyline.) My brother and I had a big collection of figures and vehicles. These days I only buy the figures if I come across any cool ones.
Screamers: Do you have a favorite Joe character?
DR. SMOOV: Can’t narrow it down to just one. My top fav’s are Cobra Commander, Destro, Snake Eyes, Doc, Baroness, Storm Shadow, Scarlett, Duke, Roadblock, Zartan, and Wild Bill! “Whoo-hah!”
Screamers: Are you a fan of any other eighties cartoons or toy lines? If so can you list a few of your favorites?
DR. SMOOV: I was and still am a fan of many of them- Star Wars, M.A.S.K., Masters of the Universe, GoBots, Thundercats, Voltron, TMNT, The Real Ghostbusters, Robotix, LEGO, Superfriends- any of the DC and Marvel characters and cartoons- huge fan of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man.
Screamers: Now that I’ve talked to you as a fan I’d like to talk a little about your voice acting work, your videos and your plans for the future. With video spoof’s such as Rude Awakening, Heavy Metal Fight and SOS Wheeljack. May I ask what first inspired you to make these videos?
DR. SMOOV: Well, I’d been shooting and editing videos since I was 13 years old, and by 2006 I had already been making a living for about 6 years in Hollywood doing Producing/Directing/Editing professionally- only I didn’t have the equipment to do any video editing at home. So once I finally got my home editing setup up and running, I was eager to do some creative projects. I had always wanted to do something with Transformers footage- I had the idea for “The Rude Awakening of Optimus Prime” years before- since I was a kid even because it’s based off the kinds of commentary that my friends and I would talk along with the episodes when we watched it as kids.
Over the years there were people doing projects on the internet that inspired me- I remember listening to RadioFreeCybertron’s “Transformers: The Movie” parody. I loved how everybody was doing their best imitations of the characters and really enjoyed the way they were parodying the movie and pointing out all the absurdities of the story and characters!
Then there were the Fensler parodies of the “Knowing is half the battle” PSA’s from G.I.Joe that were so hilarious and well done, those became instant classics for me! (and everybody else!) Then when the My Way guys did “Juggernaut Bitch” that just cracked me up over and over again, those guys were so funny! So I finally got my home editing setup and I knew it was time to make some videos of my own and do something with all the ideas and imitations that I had been working on since I was a kid. And it was 2006, which just happened to be the year that Optimus Prime
was revived in the original series, so it was a perfect time to create “The Rude Awakening of Optimus Prime!”
Screamers: The voice acting and scripts, was it all done by you or had you brought in friends to help with the projects?
DR. SMOOV: For the mashups, I wrote all of those myself but I did have inspiration and feedback from close friends and I would rework the drafts. I did at least 2 or 3 drafts on the scripts for all of those. I did about 90% of the voices myself but would bring in a couple friends occasionally for minor parts or voices that I can’t do.
For the more recent computer animated projects I’ve done with Randall Ng, like the “Energon- O’s” series, the writing is really 50/50 between Randall and myself. One of us will initiate an idea and we’ll both go back and forth writing and revising each other’s drafts until we are happy with the script. Then I will record the voices and soundtrack while Randall models the characters and animates. We label the collaborations “NGSMOOV” (Randall Ng + DR. SMOOV)
Screamers: Do you have a favorite Video Spoof?
DR. SMOOV: My top fav’s are RadioFreeCybertron’s Transformers: The Movie parody, Fenslerfilm PSA’s, Juggernaut Bitch, and Vader Sessions!
Screamers: When it comes to voice over work with these original characters, which would you say is the hardest to do?
DR. SMOOV: I’m always trying to practice and improve my G1 Megatron- I don’t know if I’ll ever quite get it though because Frank Welker is such a remarkable talent with an amazing versatility and range- you’d almost have to have an extra larynx to be able to perform the complexity of his voices- he’s practically inimitable!
I’m just thankful I can perform something that is at most Welker-esque and I just focus more on trying to capture the essence of the character that was so brilliantly portrayed by Frank Welker.
Screamers: Do you have a favorite when it comes to doing these voices?
DR. SMOOV: They are all so fun to do! But then again, it sure is fun being Wheeljack!
Screamers: Having now done some professional work, for both the Joe and Transformer conventions as well as other projects, what can we expect to see from you next?
DR. SMOOV: I am always busy will multiple projects at a time, and we have some big NGSMOOV projects in the works, so I’d just say to stay tuned to our youtube channels-DRSMOOV, randomusprime, and ngsmoov!
Screamers: Speaking of the Joe and Transformer conventions, can we fans look forward to seeing you at one of these ‘Cons’ in the near future?
DR. SMOOV: I’ve attended several SD Comic Cons and Botcons in the past so I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be attending more in the future!
I’d like to thank DR. SMOOV and Randall Ng once again for this interview and helping me with this project. To learn more on both these two great talented fans and to see their videos check out these links!
Find The Boys On YouTube!
www.youtube.com/randomusprime (technically Randall’s page, but it’s the place to find the Energon-O’s series)