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Michael Bay

Michael Bay

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Also Known As: Michael Benjamin Bay Died:
Born: February 17, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: director, actor, photographer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

ime Bay chose a more story-driven, futuristic vehicle, focusing on two characters (Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson) who are confined to an indoor community because the rest of the world is deemed uninhabitable. Their only hope is winning the lottery for a one-way ticket to an idyllic place simply called The Island, the only place left on Earth capable of supporting life. But when they realize they are really clones created to provide replacement parts for their donors, the two escape to the outside world in order to find true salvation."The Island" received generally mixed reviews, but failed to become a hit at the box office, making it the first Bay flop. Adding insult to injury, the makers of an obscure 1976 film called "Parts: The Clonus Horror" - a sci-fi thriller about two clones escaping a closed-off community after finding out they are being bred for body parts - sued Dreamworks for copyright infringement and eventually settled for an undisclosed amount. With his detractors salivating over the possibility that the director was steering toward choppier waters, Bay returned to form with his next big-budget actioner, "Transformers" (2007), after buying the special effects company Digital...

ime Bay chose a more story-driven, futuristic vehicle, focusing on two characters (Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson) who are confined to an indoor community because the rest of the world is deemed uninhabitable. Their only hope is winning the lottery for a one-way ticket to an idyllic place simply called The Island, the only place left on Earth capable of supporting life. But when they realize they are really clones created to provide replacement parts for their donors, the two escape to the outside world in order to find true salvation.

"The Island" received generally mixed reviews, but failed to become a hit at the box office, making it the first Bay flop. Adding insult to injury, the makers of an obscure 1976 film called "Parts: The Clonus Horror" - a sci-fi thriller about two clones escaping a closed-off community after finding out they are being bred for body parts - sued Dreamworks for copyright infringement and eventually settled for an undisclosed amount. With his detractors salivating over the possibility that the director was steering toward choppier waters, Bay returned to form with his next big-budget actioner, "Transformers" (2007), after buying the special effects company Digital Domain from James Cameron and Stan Winston. Teaming up with Steven Spielberg, who produced the picture, Bay turned in a fairly well-received action movie complete with stunning special effects and an effective storyline that featured an out-of-his-element human (Shia LaBeouf) becoming an ally of the heroic Autobots, who have come to Earth to battle the evil Decepticons. Initially, fans of the original cartoon series and subsequent toy line were upset with the radical transformation of their favorite characters, particularly leader Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), although they later came around to Bay's more complicated versions. Aside from the positive reviews, "Transformers" marked a box office comeback for the director after his "Island" failure, earning over $700 million worldwide and having the highest-grossing non-sequel opening in movie history.

Bay returned to the well for the obvious sequel, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009), a bigger, louder and poorly received continuation that featured far less focus on character development - a surprising element of the first film - and more emphasis on special effects. Of course, that mattered little in terms of its box office success; "Revenge of the Fallen" took in a whopping $200 million during the first five days of its release. Bay did run afoul with some critics - more so than usual - because of his use of racial stereotypes in the voicing of two new Autobots, Mudflap and Skids, with decidedly unflattering African-American characterizations. Bay brushed aside criticism in the name of having fun and trying to add more personality to the characters. Meanwhile, the director was set to helm a third installment of the franchise, "Transformers 3" (2011), but the sequel was set to film without female lead Megan Fox, who had appeared as LeBeouf's love interest in the first two movies and had become an overnight star from her work on the films. When asked in September 2009 about her experiences with Bay, Fox compared him to Adolf Hitler, saying "He's a nightmare to work for on set, he's a tyrant." After the very public falling-out between director and leading lady, the studio failed to pick up Fox's option for the third film, citing her alleged weight loss as their reason. But speculation abounded that Bay had had her fired for her comments. The director went on an immediate search for her replacement just weeks before shooting was to commence.as well as a Silver Lion at that year's Cannes International Advertising Festival. His credentials were burnished further in 1994 when he received the Directors Guild of America Award for his commercial work, which inevitably led to him attracting the attention of Hollywood filmmakers. They came knocking in the form of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, who had previously been impressed with the director's work on the music video for their race car movie, "Days of Thunder" (1990).

At the age of 30, Bay crossed over to features to direct "Bad Boys" (1995), a action comedy about two bickering cops (Martin Lawrence and Will Smith) on the trail of a French drug kingpin (Tchéky Karyo) who leaves a trail of bodies after making off with $100 million worth of heroin. Bay demonstrated an ability to stage impressive action sequences, but like many filmmakers from the commercial/music video world, he relied on fast-paced editing and frenetic camerawork, albeit at the expense of the story and characterizations. However, audiences were impressed enough with the buddy movie to shell out some $70 million-plus in domestic box office and over $160 million worldwide, turning Bay's first feature outing into an unqualified hit. He continued his successful transition with "The Rock" (1996), a high-action thriller about an San Francisco-based FBI chemist (Nicolas Cage) and a former British spy (Sean Connery) who are recruited to infiltrate Alcatraz island, where a crazed Marine general (Ed Harris) holds people hostage and threatens to gas the city while demanding reparations for the families of fellow Marines killed in covert operations. Visually engaging and packed with explosions, flying bullets and chaotic chases, "The Rock" was again short on plausible plot lines or three-dimensional characters but it translated into huge box office numbers for Bay and made an action hero out of Cage.

Bay upped the testosterone for his next action flick, "Armageddon" (1998), which followed a rough-and-tumble crew of oil workers led by the world's top driller (Bruce Willis) on their impossible task of landing a space shuttle on an asteroid hurtling toward Earth in order to drill an 800-foot hole and blow it up with a nuclear warhead. Despite the wildly implausible plot - even refuted by Bay himself - and the underutilization of stars like Steve Buscemi, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler, "Armageddon" was a smashing success both domestically and internationally. For his next movie, Bay undertook a project that he hoped would dampen criticism that he was nothing more than a special effects-driven director. That project turned out to be "Pearl Harbor" (2001), a large scale epic about that fateful day in December 1941 that was infused with a love triangle between a military pilot (Ben Affleck) presumed dead in the European theater, a Navy nurse (Kate Beckinsale) and the pilot's childhood friend (Josh Hartnett). With Bruckheimer once again producing, Bay clashed with Disney over the budget, which led him to walk away from the project four different times during pre-production. But the producer persuaded the director to see the project through, with the latter even forfeiting his usual fee of $6 million. While praised for its spectacular effects and the battle scenes, "Pearl Harbor" was savaged by critics, who blasted everything from the trite love story to the wooden performances from the stars. Still, the movie went on to become a box office success and even earned an Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing.

Rather than follow "Pearl Harbor" up with another strenuous, sweeping mega-action film - like the long awaited new "Superman" movie he flirted with but did not ultimately make - Bay instead opted for a more commercially safe road, reteaming with Bruckheimer, as well as stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, to direct the loud, explosive-packed and critically maligned sequel "Bad Boys II" (2003). Naturally, the movie grossed practically twice the box office of the original; more importantly, the action comedy maintained Bay's perfect streak of successful movies intact. But that changed - much to the delight of detractors - with his next outing, "The Island" (2005), a sci-fi action thriller that marked the first time the director made a movie without Jerry Bruckheimer. This t

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
3.
4.
  Pain & Gain (2013)
7.
8.
  Island, The (2005) Director
9.
  Bad Boys II (2003) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bad Boys II (2003) Crappy Car Driver
3.
 Vengeance: The Story of Tony Cimo (1986) Sled Agent
5.
 Reel Comedy: Bad Boys II (2003) Interviewee
7.
8.
9.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
At age 15, worked in an office job at Lucasfilm
:
Was one of the principals in Propaganda Films; directed TV commercials for Budweiser, Milk, Coca Cola, Nike, etc.
1988:
Began directing music videos, re-launching Donny Osmond's career and also directing for Meatloaf, Tina Turner, etc.
1990:
First collaboration with Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, directed the music video for "Days of Thunder"
1995:
Made feature directorial debut with "Bad Boys"; produced by Simpson and Bruckheimer and co-starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence
1996:
Again collaborated with Bruckheimer and Simpson for "The Rock"
:
Formed Bay Films
1998:
Directed the big-budget film "Armageddon"; co-produced with Jerry Bruckheimer
1998:
Signed two-year multimillion dollar producing and directing deal with Disney
2001:
Directed the big-budget WWII-era set "Pearl Harbor"; again produced by Bruckheimer
2001:
Formed Platinum Dunes, with Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form, a production company designed to produce lower-budgeted films
2003:
First film released under Platinum Dunes was a 'reconceptualization' of the 1974 horror film "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
2003:
Re-teamed with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for the sequel "Bad Boys II"; also marked fifth collaboration with Bruckheimer
2005:
Helmed first film without Bruckheimer producing, "The Island"; co-starred Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson
2006:
Bought the special effects company Digital Domain from former owners James Cameron and Stan Winston
2007:
Teamed with Steven Spielberg (the executive producer) to direct "Transformers," a live action film based on the franchise and toy line
2009:
Returned as director of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"; re-teamed with Spielberg as producer
2011:
Returned once again to direct "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"; re-teamed with Spielberg who was the executive producer
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Education

Crossroads High School: Santa Monica , California -
Art College Center of Design: Pasadena , California -
Wesleyan University: Middletown , Connecticut - 1986

Notes

In a July 1998 profile in Entertainment Weekly, Bay claimed to have tracked down his birth parents and indicated that his father was a famous Hollywood director. Speculation ran rampant until some revealed it was thought to be John Frankenheimer. In a May 2001 article that appeared in the New York Post, Frankenheimer addressed the topic, confirming that he had had a one-night stand with Bay's birth mother who then tried to extort money from him by claiming to have been pregnant with his child. Frankenheimer paid the hush money and the woman went on to believe that he was the father of her child, but Frankenheimer insists he is not Bay's natural father, even telling the post that "tests" had determined that wasn't the case.

"I think a lot of times I'm a little bit misunderstood. I mean, from what I read in the press, they just make it sound so harsh. I don't know why that image comes across. I think one of the things is, basically, I've got a very soft heart and I'm a very shy person.

"There are times I can go out on the set and direct 600 extras and I can have 14 planes flying in and know exactly what I'm doing in terms of take charge with a loud voice out there, and there are times I can lecture to 600 students, but there are times when I can just be meeting someone and just be shy." --Michael Bay quoted in Los Angeles Times, May 20. 2001.

"I love doing big movies. It's awesome! You have all these toys. ... The thing I like about this movie is, like they always say, directors have the biggest train sets.! Don't tell anyone but I'd do this for free." --Michael Bay to USA Today, July 2, 1998.

"Working with Michael is very much about presenting stuff that looks cool to the audience." --"Pearl Harbor" digital effects supervisor Eric Brevig quoted in Premiere, May 2001.

"I don't take shit from actors. Getting 12 women into lipstick was the hardest thing about making this movie ["Pearl Harbor"]. I would have a shit fit. I'm the type of guy who will personally go knock on actors' trailers." --Bay quoted in Premiere, May 2001.

"The script [for "Pearl Harbor"] just felt so romantic, like a war epic. Then you get there, and you realize you are in a Michael Bay-Jerry Bruckheimer movie, and you find out what a blockbuster means." --actress Kate Beckinsale in Premiere, May 2001.

"There are stories that I'm tough. You know what? I know what I'm doing." --Michael Bay to Movieline, May 2001.

Asked what his strengths as a director are, Bay replied to Movieline (May 2001): "I am very good at handling a huge movie, with a million things going on. I'm very decisive, clear in what I want. I'm very cost-conscious, in terms of how to get the big bang on screen. I'm very good at making things happen fast."

Asked then what his weaknesses are, Bay replied: "Patience. Politics. I just want to shoot."

"I was talking to one of the writers about our target audience, and he was insulted that I used that term. But if you're given $60 million to make a film, you'd better know who your target audience is. That;s who's going to pay back the bills you run up." --Bay quoted in The New York Times, June 16, 1996.

"Commercials were a great training ground. I became a very fast shooter." --Bay in Los Angeles Times, June 11, 1996.

"One day I'm going to grow up as a filmmaker and do something as powerful as "Schindler's List". But right now my strength is in entertaining audiences, in making them escape for two hours." --Bay in Los Angeles Times, June 11, 1996.

"I go out there to win, People don't care if you DIE in this business. The only way I get back is with success." --Bay in Premiere, July 1996.

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