Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Michael Bay

Please add your comments about Michael Bay on the Fightback. If you don't have an account to post there, let me know and I'll get you one.

I don't think I like Bay at all. For one, his filmmaking is, at best, deeply flawed but, beyond that, he's always issuing frustrating statements, retracting them, revising them, showing all the signs of somebody who doesn't know what he's talking about or, possibly, changes his opinion for money or to curry favour.

Having yesterday whipped up a small publicty storm with his comments about Blu-ray, HD-DVD and Transformers 2, he's now retracted the comments completely. Nikki Finke reported the story but added nothing we couldn't tell from Bay's original statement. Hopefully she'll now get her investigative journalism groove on and find out just what really changed Bay's mind.

Or, to put it another way, did somebody write a cheque, and if so, how big was it?

To somebody with Finke's rolodex it shouldn't take too much digging to find out if Bay was already contracted to Transformer sequels, and what it would have meant for him to pull out, and therefore very possibly reveal his initial threat to be a paper tiger anyway.

Here's Bay's latests statement:

Last night at dinner I was having dinner with three Blu-Ray owners, they were pissed about no Transformers Blu-Ray and I drank the kool aid hook line and sinker. So at 1:30 in the morning I posted - nothing good ever comes out of early am posts mind you - I over reacted. I heard where Paramount is coming from and the future of HD and players that will be close to the $200 mark which is the magic number. I like what I heard.

As a director, I'm all about people seeing films in the best quality possible, and I saw and heard firsthand people upset about a corporate decision.

So today I saw 300 on HD-DVD, it rocks!

So I think I might be back on to do Transformers 2!

So, basically, he made an uninformed decision in the first place. No surprises there. Then he posted rashly - "possibly" under some kind of chemical influence. Again, no surprises. Then the world jumped up and down for a bit and HD-DVD got some negative press and, before you know it, Bay's eating his hat and turning 180 degrees. Once more - not really any surprises there either.

I feel quite daft for not predicting all of this yesterday.

Every single statement out of Bay's official site has been an incredible frustration to me. Why is this man one of the most sought after and highly paid film directors in the world? What people think when they hear his name has nothing to do with his individual, specific capabilities or techniques as a filmmaker anyway. What they picture is a big budget action film that emphasises spectacle and excess over anything else. We'd get the same rubbish if somebody decided to bankroll Albert Pyun and surround him with slick technicians too. Bay brings nothing to his films that countless direct-to-DVD hacks wouldn't bring too if they were given the resources and collaborators that Bay has.

But his name means something to people, so he's going to keep getting gigs and big ones too. Adding that brand value is so much more of a concern to studios than getting the best filmmaker for the job. This isn't news, I know, but it is the heart of the Michael Bay problem and after another twelve hours or so of Bay showing his behind, I just had to get it off my chest.


skippy said...

completely agree with you on Michael Bay. somehow, the universe decided that he would receive the undeserved luck of having Hollywood studios throw boatloads of money at him to make big budget action films, even though you could easily take that money and make several dozen quality "indie" films by much more talented filmmakers.

further proof the universe isn't fair.

[directors cut: further proof there is no god.]

[anniversary special edition director's cut (international version): further proof that not only is there no god, but hell does exists and the devil is a Michael Bay fan.]


JD said...

the only thing good about Michael Bay flicks are the credits.