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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

pity poor Michael Bay

If this isn’t the quote of the year (as spoken to the London Times), then I dunno what is:

Look, it’s easy to go shoot an art movie on a winery in the South of France. But people have no idea how hard it is to create something like Transformers. How many people it takes to devise it. These movies are a totally different animal.

Weep for Michael Bay. All those arthouse directors? They’ve got it easy. Michael Bay’s got it tough.

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  • JoshDM

    Aww, poor Mikey. It takes a lot of effort to push out a piece of shit as big as Transformers.

  • doa766

    what’s more suprising is that this article is on a website that gave a positive review to Transformers

    anyway, in practical terms is much more difficult to make Transformers than Lost in Translation or Let the right one in, the difference it’s in the writting process

  • “How do you sleep at night?”
    “On top of a pile of money, with many beautiful ladies.”
    “Just asking.”

  • amanohyo

    doa766 is right; Bay is telling the truth. From his perspective, his movies are much more difficult to shoot and they do require a lot more people and coordination. Bay should have added that all the sound and fury in the special effects studios almost never translates to a good movie without a competent script, but I guess it takes a competent director to recognize that fact.

  • amanohyo

    Ha! Michael, I used that McBain quote today at wotk and no one knew what I was talking about… makes me feel old.

  • Why should you feel old just becauase they’re out of touch? ;)

    Though I’m relieved someone recognized it here. :D

  • MaryAnn

    in practical terms is much more difficult to make Transformers than Lost in Translation or Let the right one in,

    Yeah, it’s so much harder to be a hack Hollywood throws tons of money at than an artist making a film for a small audience on a limited budget that won’t get any kind of proper promotion, that won’t play in most cities, and most people won’t watch because they don’t want to read subtitles.

    Yeah, Bay’s really got it tough.

    Look, I gave a positive review to the first *Transformers.* That doesn’t mean I don’t think Bay is being a whiny ass baby here. Bay is never going to have to fight a studio to retain his artistic vision. Bay is never going to have to fight a studio over budget. And he’ll be sobbing over his lack of Oscars poolside at his Beverly Hills mansion.

  • doa766

    when I said that movies like Transformers are harder to make than smaller, artistic films I wrote that I meant “practically”

    if that’s too hard to understand let me use another word: logistically

    actions scenes require huge amount of preparation and coordination between hundreds of crew members and the cast, and green screen scenes are a fricking nightmare to shoot and it’s harder for the actors because they don’t have anything to interect with

    I don’t know how much of those logistic issues are actually done by Bay or by his army of producers and assistants but it’s still very hard to make big budget actions scenes

    for talented and experience filmmakers working with a good script is not that hard to make small, story/performance driven movies

    that’s not to say that I have a positive opinion of Mr. Bay, I hate him and all his movies with all my heart

  • Muzz

    Mr Bay is right in one sense. They would be enourmous pieces of co-ordination and artistic effort from a lot of people. His mistake is that he seems to be speaking as though he is some essential piece of that mechanism. Truth is it’d still work without him and in all probability make better movies.

  • I agree with the basic premise of what Bay says here; if you listen to the “Armageddon” commentary on the Criterion Collection disc, you get a pretty good idea of how hard it is to make a movie that so many people think is so bad. Trying to deliver “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” by release date on the tight schedule they had was an unimaginable feat, especially considering all the post-production work that ILM had to do.

    And I don’t think Bay is taking a shot at arthouse or indie directors; he’s clearly talking about “A Good Year,” which was, indeed, a movie on a “winery in the South of France” that Ridley Scott made as a lark in between huge-budget blowouts. I wouldn’t exactly call that an “art” film, but I suppose it is when compared to, say, “Bad Boys II.” My guess is that Bay fancies himself as the next Ridley, which I guess he could be if he stopped making films based on toy franchises and put his slick visual style to better use.

    I’m no Bay acolyte, by the way, I’m just a guy that appreciates the kind of logistical nightmare that people like him face.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    And I don’t think Bay is taking a shot at arthouse or indie directors

    But he did say “art movie”, which sort of implies he’s talking about art movies. I don’t understand why he’d be so bent out of shape over A Good Year, considering that barely anyone remembers it was ever released; I think Michael Bay’s just the sort of person who has a kind of twenty-years-out-of-date idea of art movies as an endless parade of Jean de Florettes.

    I’m sure that making Transformers offers plenty of challenges, but as others have pointed out, he can always delegate to one of the eight hundred assistant directors that these blockbusters always have. A lot of action movies have credits for “action directors”, who step in to direct the difficult stuff. I’ve never seen an indie film with a credit for “emotionally challenging scenes directed by…” or “long takes shot by…”

  • doa766

    good to see that some people undertand

    Bay is ultimate James Cameron wanna be, but the problem is that he can’t tell differences between his movies and james cameron’s movies

    he seems to think that JC movies are good because they’re spectacular, he has stupid comic relief on his movies characters because james cameron had bill paxton on Aliens, but he doesn’t know why Hudson was great and his are stupid

    so he thinks that every one of his movies is on a similar level than Aliens or T2, and then he gets really upset when critics say his movies are bad because he doesn’t undertand why

    if he understood why then he would have done it different during the shoot

    but once the script and the shooting script are done his movies and james cameron’s movies are just as hard to make, and by actually being able to deliver a finish film he thinks he deserves the same accolades

  • doa766

    Bay thought Pearl Harbor was going to win all the oscars just as Titanic did a couple of years before, he thinkss it’s just as good

  • Paul

    This reminds me of when Dolly Parton was teased about how she dressed by a late night TV show host. She just smiled and said, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”

  • Dr Rocketscience

    Fuck you, Michael Bay. Seriously.

    Look, if he wants to say that the movies he makes are huge productions involving thousands of people all over the world, instead of a few hundred working in close quarters, fine.

    If he wants to inform people of how much of his time and effort in “directing” is spent not on directing actors, but on coordinating all the disparate efforts, okay.

    If he wants to complain that studio pressure for big budget tentpoles with tens of millions of dollars at stake is nerve-wracking, fair enough.

    If he wants to argue that the goals and measures of success for his films is so vastly different than those for small independent films – or even modest studio productions – that comparisons of such success are grossly unfair at best, I can agree.

    If he wants it known that despite criticism for lack of artistic merit, he enjoys the making the movies he makes for the audience he targets, good on him.

    But if he wants to claim that making those other kinds of movies is easy, and whine that making his kind of loud, pretty, poorly plotted, poorly edited popcorn movies are haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard…

    Well, to that I say, fuck you, Michael Bay.

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