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Q&A with Michael Bay

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Michael Bay
I can't really say that I'm a Michael Bay fan, because what is there to be a fan of, explosions? The man's reputation is built on making movies that have no content or plot to speak of, no character development, pretty much nothing but visual effects.

A movie that breaks the golden rule (movies are about people, not things) actually seems like the perfect fit for Bay, and I wonder why he bothered casting actors in the film at all. Why not just go with the flow and start directing all-CGI movies from now on? No story, no heart - it's a perfect fit if you ask me.

Question: One thing I kept hearing from this movie, from the actors is what a great actor's director Michael Bay is, which is a whole new theme we haven't heard before, did you do something different?

Michael Bay: No, listen, the sound byte – press is very weird, because a sound byte gets out there, Michael Bay yells. Listen, I am very similar, I visited Jim Cameron on "Titanic," I'm very similar the way he directs, he's an assistant director, I'm an assistant director of my own sets, I move my own sets, I shoot very fast, I never leave the set, and I love working with actors, I love giving actors freedom, I love improv-ing with actors, it freaks studios out because they're like, "That wasn't in the script, what's this, he's wrecking the movie."

Oh wow, where to begin. The studios freak out because we're not talking about improving lines, but entire scenes, which is why you end up paying $200 million to make a movie that was only supposed to cost $100 million, and a film that doesn't really resemble the script they bought because the additions done "for fun" or to "be funny" completely fracture what normally is a painstakingly crafted story.

The bit about Cameron, oddly, seems apt, but not for the reason Bay mentions. I've heard that for all of the mans Godly talents, Jim Cameron is a control freak on his films, will blow up when primed, and doesn't give a damn about worldly concerns (little stuff, like budgets.) The story of Cameron walking off the set of Titanic for three days, shutting down production and essentially quitting to the face of Fox studio chief Bill Mechanic - that's the stuff of legends. Cameron got away with it because everyone knows he can produce, but Bay? Not the same deal.

If you want to read the rest, be my guest. I shall leave you with this.

Question: Do you ever foresee a time where you might want to do an intimate low budget character study?

Michael Bay: No [..]

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.