Blockbuster filmmaker most widely known for directing the Transformers series. His various other popular features consist of Armageddon, The Rock and roll, Bad Guys, The Isle, and Pearl Harbor. He started his professional profession as a movie director focusing on music movies aswell as advertisements. He received an MTV Film Award for Greatest Action Series for three different movies: Pearl Harbor, Poor Boys II, as well as the Rock. He grew up by his adoptive parents Harriet, a bookstore owner and kid psychiatrist, and Jim, a CPA. He and manufacturer Jerry Bruckheimer became longtime close friends and business companions.
Full Name Michael Bay
Date Of Birth February 17, 1965
Place Of Birth Los Angeles, CA
Height 1.85 m
Education Wesleyan University, Art Center College of Design, Crossroads School
Awards Saturn Award for Best Director, Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Commercials
Movies Transformers: Age of Extinction, Transformers, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Rock, Pain & Gain, Transformers: The Last Knight, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Island, Bad Boys II, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Friday the 13th, Project Almanac, Ouija: Origin of Evil, I Am Number Four, The Amityville Horror, Bad Boys, The Hitcher, The Purge: Election Year, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Unborn, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Mystery Men, The Purge, Coyote Ugly, Ouija, Bad Boys 4, Kenny Powers - The K-Swiss MFCEO, The Purge: Anarchy, Star Kid, ZONE 261, Friday the 13th Part 2 (3D), Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell II - Picture Show, Transformers 3 and 4 in 3D, The Mothman, Angry Birds
Was reported to be fine and uninjured after fending off two men who attacked him demanding money--and carrying an "air conditioner" as a weapon--on the set of the latest Transformers (2007) sequel shooting in Hong Kong in October, 2013.
One of 20 prominent filmmakers to sign a letter in protest of Premium Video on Demand, which allows films to be streamed by home viewers at a cost of $30 only 60 days after the film's release in theaters.
He considers himself an old school director, preferring analog over digital, both in shooting on film stock and keeping CGI shots to a minimum, staging practical action and stunts whenever possible.
Was challenged by German filmmaker Uwe Boll to a charity boxing match in 2008.
Uses a Mark V director's viewfinder while shooting a film. The viewfinder is often prominently featured in photographs of him, hung around his neck. It is engraved with his name and the names of every film he has directed.
Filmed the movie Armageddon (1998) with an eye towards Middle America. Has a love for Americana.
Since the age of 26, Bay has won every major commercial directing award, including the Gold and Silver Lions at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. He also won the Grand Prix Clio for Commercial of the Year for his "Got Milk/Aaron Burr" commercial, which also won him the Museum of Modern Art Award for Best Campaign of the Year.
All his films up to and including Armageddon (1998) made him the youngest director to reach the billion dollar mark world wide.
Joined Propaganda Films two weeks out of graduate school. He befriended actor Djimon Hounsou, who was working across the street at a modeling agency. Djimon Hounsou later appeared in The Island (2005).
In Bad Boys (1995), Bay paid $25,000 (one quarter of his fee) for the climax explosion scene. The initial shot was made impossible by a rainstorm, and the production company refused to pay for another try.
Shot over 1 million feet of film for Pearl Harbor (2001). Used only about 20,000 feet for the final, 9-reel cut.
"Movieline" revealed in 2001 that Bay's father is John Frankenheimer. Frankenheimer, who always denied paternity, took a DNA test in the 1980s which was negative.
[on shooting in 3-D]: Digital, no matter what people tell you, it's bullshit. They say, "Oh, it looks just like film." It doesn't look like film and never will. And it's like those people that are telling you are technicians. But I will be able to tweak film better than you tweak a digital image, because it just can't hold really bright skies to this black thing. You have to favor one thing. If I favored her, that would go much wider.Whereas film, you would be able to get more blue out of it or whatever. And you can't really do that with digital. So they're lying to you when they say it looks just like film. It doesn't. And when you shoot 3D, technically you give up some color, you give up some sharpness, you give up brightness. But you get the added benefit of seeing 3D. And what the audiences really are pissed about is dim 3D. So I did this special thing for the theater owner, I said, "You better turn your bulbs up."
To tell the truth, shooting action bores me now. But the audience has grown to like what I do and expect visually stimulating excitement. Staying in that genre is me being safe.
I'm one of the few directors - it seems like a dying art - that actually shoot a lot in the camera.
[on Transformers (2007)] Well, it's just, you know, listen, it's like...I didn't want to make the boxy characters, you know? Think about it, 30 feet in the air in the real world, just boxes, you know and it'd just look more fake, you know? And by adding more doo-dads, you know, stuff on the...stuff. Stuff on the robots, more car parts, and...you know you can just make it look more real.
There are tons of people who hate me. They hate my movies and whatnot. But you know, hey, my films have made a lot of money around the world. 2-something billion dollars, that's a lot of tickets. They said that I wrecked cinema. They said that my, uh...cutting style. They say I cut too fast. And yet now you see it in movies everywhere. Do I take pride in people knowing my style? I think it's nice people know a director has a style. And you can reinvent yourself too.
His most offensive criticism: Roger Ebert on Pearl Harbor (2001). He commented on TV that bombs don't fall like that. Does he actually think we didn't research every nook and cranny of how armor-piercing bombs fell? He's watched too many movies. He thinks they all fall flat - armor-piercing bombs fall straight down, that's the way it was designed! But HE's on the air pontificating and giving the wrong information. That's insulting!
I write my own action. There's a scene in The Island (2005) - a highway chase where a pile of train wheels fall off a truck and smashes into the oncoming cars. That thought came to me as I was driving next to a truck carrying rail wheels. My mind is very fertile, so I'm like, 'That's very dangerous!' I sent someone out to do research and found out those train wheels weigh a TON each . . .
[about the kissing scene in The Island (2005)] I should re-shoot that scene right now. Two characters who have never even heard of sex are now trying it for the first time - you could have actually made it really funny and touching. I kept saying to [Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor], 'I want you to feel like you're kissing for the first time'. I don't know if you heard it, but when they're bouncing lips, they go 'Wow!'
Lots of sci-fi movies are much ado about nothing. What I liked about [The Island (2005)] is that it's a universal thing: we all want to live longer. But how selfish would you be to achieve that? You could get a liver, a heart, kidneys, essential things. But I wanted to show people going for things that were just so crass, like fresh skin for a face-lift. For some woman who doesn't want to go through the pain of childbirth and have stretch marks, why not have your clone birth for you? How disgusting is that?
Quentin Tarantino called me once. Someone had written 'Is Michael Bay the Devil?' Quentin said, 'Don't worry, last year they called me the Antichrist.'
I know [critics] have [been tough on my movies]. And that's why I've taken Jerry Bruckheimer's advice: I don't read them, I really don't.
I make movies for teenage boys. Oh, dear, what a crime.
Directing is not a job. It's more like a career. Which is great!
I love it when people get really mean and call you a 'hack'. It's like, don't they see how well these movies are doing? They make an impression around the world. I met this guy in Bali who lives in a hut with a TV, and he loved The Rock (1996). That means something, doesn't it?
A lot of directors don't want the pressure of a movie the size of 'Pearl Harbor (2001)'. But I love it. I thrive on it.
His films often feature two male leads who have arguments, trivial discussions or are constantly trying to one-up each other (Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Bad Boys II, Pain and Gain)
Destruction of famous locations/landmarks; e.g. Alcatraz (The Rock), New York and Paris (Armageddon), Pearl Harbor (Pearl Harbor), The Pyramids (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen); Chicago (Transformers: Dark of the Moon).
All his films have at least one shot of a man screaming in slow motion. Usually as a battle cry.
Most of his films have a shot of pilots running toward their aircraft for takeoff.
Frenetic editing of action sequences
Is known for his high grossing action-packed movies. All of his movies have grossed more than $100 million, except Bad Boys (1995) and The Island (2005).
He occasionally makes cameo appearances in his films: in Bad Boys II (2003) he plays a guy driving a small beat-up old car which Martin Lawrence attempts to borrow, a NASA scientist in Armageddon (1998), and in Transformers (2007) he is the "disgusting" human that gets flicked away by Megatron.
Big explosions, often in slow-motion, with people running away in the foreground.
Frequently incorporates scenes that involve characters running or moving towards the camera (almost always shot in slow-motion)
Use of shots where the camera spins in slow-motion in a circle around the characters. (Bad Boys, The Rock, Bad Boys II, Transformers)
Often features a slow-motion shot of an object crashing into, or tumbling towards the camera.
Utilizes monotonic but intense musical cues during action-filled car chase scenes (Bad Boys II (2003), The Island (2005)).
Often has over-the-top visuals (i.e. key events taking place at sunset or dramatic events taking place behind actors doing routine activities).
Often uses lightflashes (i.e. lightbulbs and cameraflashes) to enhance scenes.
Actors/characters in his films are almost uniformly shot in tight, emphatic close ups, framed under the hairline and above the chin.
(2001) His last 3 films all share: a) two male leads at odds with another; b) a cataclysmic event as the narrative's fulcrumic point; c) the film's lead female character has i) been a long-haired brunette, and ii) watched the film's climax from a control room
Has the camera moving during most scenes Very rarely uses static shots
Films often feature a US President giving a major speech before a major action is to be committed.