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Michael Bay

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Biography

Michael Benjamin Bay (born February 17, 1965) is an American film director and producer. Bay has achieved financial success with such movies as Transformers, Armageddon, The Rock, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys, and Bad Boys II. Bay is also one of the members of the LA music video production company Propaganda Films.

Bay was born in Los Angeles and raised there by his adoptive parents. After being rejected by USC and other notable film schools, he settled for the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

His films are known for both their fast paced action sequences and ultra-kinetic cinematography reminiscent of director Tony Scott.

Bay's Transformers has broken the world record for largest seven day box office debut of a non-sequel at $153 million, beating Spider-Man.

Bay's films contain several common directorial and cinematographic trademarks. For example, there is often a 360-degree pan at some point in the movie, often with the character alone in some setting. Characters are very often framed in tight close ups just above the brow and above the chin. The camera is almost constantly in motion. All of his movies feature helicopters silhouetted in slow motion against a vivid sunset. Cinematographically, his films have a strong industrial feel to them and Bay uses lots of greys and blues to emphasize this. There is also usually a high-octane car chase or some other vehicle chase in every movie as well as multiple explosions with high levels of destruction of cities, buildings and vehicles (especially cars). Transformers featured a scene depicting an x-ray of a building with Megatron dragging Optimus Prime through one side and out the other. This is very similar to the scene in Bad Boys II where a slow motion bullet breaks through glass bottles. His films also tend to feature very modern, high-end vehicles, such as the Solstice Prototype and the Hummer in The Rock and the Fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro in Transformers. He typically makes cameo appearances in many of his movies. For example, in Bad Boys II he plays a guy driving a small beat-up old car which Martin Lawrence attempts to borrow, and in Armageddon he plays a small role as a NASA scientist. He often cannibalizes his own films, so visual motifs are relayed from one movie to the other; Grace Stamper (Liv Tyler)'s appearance in the latter half of Armageddon is almost identical to Kate Beckinsale's character in the latter half of Pearl Harbor; the car-hurling freeway chase in Bad Boys 2 is very similar to the train wheel-hurling freeway chase of The Island; the effect where Bay uses CGI to allow his camera's POV to perform physically impossible 360 dolly maneuvers during gunfights is first done in Bad Boys 2 and then again in Transformers; all of his movies feature a chiselled brunette women with ample cleavage, such as Tea Leoni in Bad Boys, Steve Buscemi's wife in The Island, Megan Fox in Transformers.

Critics have attacked Bay for a brash, shaky quick-cut editorial and directing style that many feel emphasizes superficial dramatization and pointless action. Bay is often criticized for directing films that lack character development and progression, thus making his films more of an eye candy appeal.

In the third season of Entourage, Vincent Chase gets upset when he hears that Michael Bay instead of James Cameron is directing Aquaman 2.



 


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