“Normally the thought of an independently financed film makes me physically ill. But studios have stopped taking my pitches for movies with human protagonists.”
Guys! Michael Bay ’86, critically
acclaimed misunderstood director of the Transformers series (which he recently bashed) and the occasional Victoria’s Secret commercial, needs your help. Inspired by Amanda Palmer ’98’s crowdfunding success story, Bay has taken to Kickstarter to fund his latest project, Bad Boys III, which you can be assured will feature all the hallmarks of great cinema in the Book of Bay: “10-15 story pyrotechnics, blast-proof camera cranes, chicks with big cans, with minimal-to-no popcorn fare-type elements, like story or plot.” The movie will also feature a scene in which “some guy basejumps into the space between the Statue of Liberty’s tits.” Hey, did you hear about that Sight & Sound poll?
If you donate a dollar, you will receive a personal thank-you email from Michael Bay. If you donate $25 million, you will receive a signed photo of Michael Bay on a sweet motorcycle. Seems like an obvious choice to me.
People call Michael Bay ’86 a lot of things – the Antichrist, a sell-out, even Hitler. In fact, it seems like most of the time when you hear something about Bay, it falls into one of four categories:
- A complaint by critics about the quality of his movies
- Discussion by fans about how his movies are fun to watch
- Acknowledgement by both parties that his movies gross a lot of money
- Use of his name as an adjective to describe a big explosion
This article from GQ entitled “Blow Up: An Oral History of Michael Bay, the Most Explosive Director of All Time” creates a fifth category of its own, featuring quotes from those who have worked with Bay (including chair of the Wesleyan film department, Professor Jeanine Basinger) as they “reveal the secret genius behind a true Hollywood visionary.” The article is fantastic, and really gives you an interesting perspective – or, rather, a number of interesting perspectives – on one of Hollywood’s most controversial directors, and one of Wesleyan’s richest and most well-known alums. Read past the jump for some highlights.
Shia LaBeouf is kinda sorry, too.
Poor Michael Bay ’86. The more he does what Michael Bay does best (namely: bazillion-dollar blockbusters with action, explosions, and Megan Fox), the more he gets beat on. Remember that time he threatened to quit Transformers because the naysayers just don’t understand? “It’s easy to go shoot an art movie in a winery in the South of France,” Bay protested in 2009. “But people have no idea how hard it is to create something like Transformers.”
Now he’s saying maybe the critics were right: Transformers 2 really did suck. Not that it was all his fault—in an interview with Empire Magazine this week, the 46-year-old director sets the record straight:
“We made some mistakes,” admits Bay. “The real fault with [Transformers 2] is that it ran into a mystical world. When I look back at it, that was crap. The writers’ strike was coming hard and fast. It was just terrible to do a movie where you’ve got to have a story in three weeks.”
“I was prepping a movie for months where I only had 14 pages of some idea of whatthe movie was,” Bay goes on. “It’s a BS way to make a movie, do you know what I’m saying?”
Horror of horrors. Michael Bay ’86 is getting out of the Transformers game. Why? Because he doesn’t like negative reviews from critics.
“It’s easy to go shoot an art movie in a winery in the South of France. But people have no idea how hard it is to create something like Transformers. They (the critics) review me before they’ve even seen the movie…After the three and a half years I’ve spent making these movies, I feel like I’ve had enough of the Transformers world.”
Is there more than meets the eye for Michael Bay? Maybe:
“I need to do something totally divergent, something without any explosions.”
You can read more about this shocking turn of events here
This reminds me of the time when Michael Jordan retired from basketball and started playing baseball. And then he played in an intergalactic basketball game with Bugs Bunny, Bill Murray, and Newman against Monstars, wherein he realized that basketball was actually his true calling. Hopefully a similar set of circumstances will allow Michael Bay to see the error of his ways, resulting in an explosively awesome Bad Boys-Transformers crossover.