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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

Ever since he emerged from an incredibly successful commercial and music video career, director Michael Bay made some of the biggest, loudest and highest-grossing movies of all time. While he certainly made a lot of money for his studio bosses, Bay earned considerable scorn from critics and other detractors, who deplored his testosterone-fueled action vehicles that were full of incessantly moving camerawork and frenetic editing, as well as short on story and three dimensional characters. Bay first made waves in the commercial world with his CLIO-winning "Got Milk?" ad campaign, while helping to reinvigorating the music career of artists like Donny Osmond with high-end music video work. But he made his biggest splash - which included a healthy amount of criticism - with his first movie, "Bad Boys" (1995), which featured tons of car chases, snappy one-liners and flying bullets. He followed his successful Hollywood entrée with "The Rock" (1996), a high-octane action thriller that had as many fans as it did critics. Bay was roundly criticized for the impossible-to-believe "Armageddon" (1998), which centered around a space shuttle landing on an asteroid hurtling toward Earth, while his take on "Pearl...

Ever since he emerged from an incredibly successful commercial and music video career, director Michael Bay made some of the biggest, loudest and highest-grossing movies of all time. While he certainly made a lot of money for his studio bosses, Bay earned considerable scorn from critics and other detractors, who deplored his testosterone-fueled action vehicles that were full of incessantly moving camerawork and frenetic editing, as well as short on story and three dimensional characters. Bay first made waves in the commercial world with his CLIO-winning "Got Milk?" ad campaign, while helping to reinvigorating the music career of artists like Donny Osmond with high-end music video work. But he made his biggest splash - which included a healthy amount of criticism - with his first movie, "Bad Boys" (1995), which featured tons of car chases, snappy one-liners and flying bullets. He followed his successful Hollywood entrée with "The Rock" (1996), a high-octane action thriller that had as many fans as it did critics. Bay was roundly criticized for the impossible-to-believe "Armageddon" (1998), which centered around a space shuttle landing on an asteroid hurtling toward Earth, while his take on "Pearl Harbor" (2001) drew fire for its lazy accounting of historical events and overly sappy love story. Despite his detractors, Bay's movies were big box office earners until he made "The Island" (2005), which not only became his first flop, but also generated a lawsuit for allegedly ripping off the plot of an obscure 1976 movie. Bay bounced back, however, with "Transformers" (2007), a highly-successful and positively received adaptation the 1980s cartoon that spawned two sequels and retained Bay's title as being one of Hollywood's biggest hit makers.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Pain & Gain (2013)
5.
6.
  Island, The (2005) Director
7.
  Bad Boys II (2003) Director
9.
  Pearl Harbor (2001) Director
10.
  Armageddon (1998) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bad Boys II (2003) Crappy Car Driver
3.
 Vengeance: The Story of Tony Cimo (1986) Sled Agent
4.
 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
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

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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