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Michael Bay speaks to the Orange County Register:
A. We have finally reached the stage where you can do anything you can think of. You can make anything believable. And the 3-D really elevates this movie.
Q. There are studio types who insist that this film could single-handedly revitalize the entire 3-D field.
A. Listen, there are a lot of movies that have done it very poorly. They abused the technology, and it’s a shame. We have devoted a ton of money and a ton of time to make a very good 3-D movie. The entire movie was designed as a 3-D movie. It wasn’t an after-thought. People who believe that action is bad in 3-D are 100 percent wrong when the 3-D is done correctly.
Q. How can we tell when it’s done correctly?
A. We actually can guide your eye to the action. You can see and feel more in 3-D. I like when the robots are in your space. Not every movie should be 3-D, but the size difference between the humans and robots makes it more effective.
By MEKADO MURPHY
AFTER two films and more than $1.5 billion in global box-office sales, it’s no surprise that another installment in the “Transformers” franchise would soon be exploding in a theater near you. The battle between the Autobots (the good robots) and the Decepticons (the evil ones) continues in “Dark of the Moon,” opening Wednesday with more destruction, more robots and one powerful cinematic weapon: 3-D.
The film’s director, Michael Bay, opted to shoot the film primarily with 3-D cameras, rather than add the technology in postproduction, as has been done with many live-action projects. “We spent so much time devising our whole movie and the shots that play out around 3-D,” Mr. Bay said. He also noted that “the size differential between the robots and the humans makes it so appropriate” for the format.
The previous films have involved revisionist history placing Transformers and their tools for survival amid landmarks like the Hoover Dam and the Egyptian pyramids. With “Dark of the Moon,” the 1969 Moon landing takes a giant leap into the narrative.
Another important element of the film is the setting — downtown Chicago — of a third-act battle sequence. A typical Michael Bay frame is packed with activity, and the one here is no different, with the technology, setting and action all vying for attention. Mr. Bay and Scott Farrar, the film’s visual effects supervisor and second-unit director, explained what went into the shot.
BASE JUMPING Mr. Bay experimented with several kinds of stunts for this film. The parachutists in this shot play Special Forces paratroopers sent to counterattack Decepticons. In this frame, they are BASE jumping — leaping from buildings (though the activity can also include, as the acronym has it, leaps from antennae, spans and earth features like cliffs). “It’s a very dangerous technique,” Mr. Bay said, because of the brief time between the jump and the pulling of the rip cords. For this shot, Mr. Bay said, the parachutists jumped from Trump Tower across the Chicago River. For aerial shots, another jumper followed them with a small 3-D camera on his head. Three of the four paratroopers in the frame are real; the one in the center is computer generated, since he has to land on Shockwave’s shoulder.
35 EAST WACKER DRIVE This turreted 40-story landmark skyscraper, once known as the Jewelers’ Building, plays a significant role in the last part of “Dark of the Moon.” For the first years of its existence it was occupied by jewelry merchants, who, for security purposes, drove their cars into a special elevator at street level and were taken directly to their floors. This isn’t 35 East Wacker’s screen debut, though: it was also featured in “Batman Begins” in 2005.
AN ARM FOR DESTRUCTION The dominant creature here is Shockwave, a giant Decepticon making his first appearance in the film series and wreaking havoc on the cityscape. One of his primary tools is an arm-mounted energy cannon, which is fed by reactor cores on his back. Shockwave, designed and animated by Industrial Light and Magic, rises about 40 virtual feet and has more than 2,000 moving digital pieces. “He doesn’t stand around and talk,” Mr. Farrar said. “He just fights.” Shockwave took the animators about 30 weeks to build before he was ready to be added to a shot.
HOTEL 71 The Decepticon battle takes its toll on Hotel 71, an actual boutique hotel in Chicago. While the damage shown in this shot is the work of computer graphics, the base of the hotel and a five-block radius around it were dressed with debris for scenes of destruction. “Chicago gave us so much latitude,” Mr. Bay said. “We had blocks and blocks we were able to shut down at a time.” Rather than close, the hotel used the production to its advantage, making it known that the filming was happening there. “They got a lot of fans from around the country who sat in their windows and watched us shoot,” Mr. Bay added.
AN EYE FOR BATTLE Shockwave’s face is characterized by a single glowing red eye, which Mr. Farrar saw as an important part of the character’s design. “The eyes are critical and the mouth is critical,” he said. “If you can’t read those, you can’t understand what the character is doing or portraying. You have to read Shockwave through just the emotions of the face, almost like a silent-era movie star.” For this reason Mr. Farrar and his team sought to make Shockwave’s eye appear as real as possible, with a lens, a moving iris and a light inside that can oscillate.
Paramount Pictures announced today it will open Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON exclusively at 3D and IMAX locations across the country beginning at 9PM local time on Tuesday, June 28th, allowing moviegoers nationwide to be among the first to see the latest installment in the hit franchise, and the first to be shot in 3D. The movie will open wide beginning at 12AM on June 29th.
“Michael Bay has created an incredibly engaging and immersive 3D experience with this latest movie, one that will undoubtedly be among the most entertaining movie going experiences of the summer,” said Paramount’s Vice Chairman Rob Moore. “Providing fans an opportunity to see it early in 3D is a great way to kick off the movie’s opening.”
Source: PR Newswrire
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley , Josh and Patrick Dempsey on working with Michael Bay:
We put that very question not just to Rosie but also to her “Dark of the Moon” co-stars when we met up with them on the red carpet at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. If you were expecting to hear some juicy gossip about friction between the two, however, prepare to be disappointed: Rosie says that Bay’s work ethic was very much in line with her own.
“I met Michael Bay back in 2009 on a Victoria’s Secret commercial, and we’ve always gotten along,” she said. “The guy has a great sense of humor, he has a really tough work ethic, which I do. He works really hard, and he expects his team and his cast to be professional and work hard. That’s been my work ethic all along, so we get along fine.”
When we spoke with franchise veteran Josh Duhamel, who’s played special operative Lennox throughout all three “Transformers” films, he said that Rosie’s work on “Dark of the Moon” was especially impressive as far as big screen debuts go.
“They got along great. Rosie has a great attitude. She’s a very bright girl,” he said. “And she’s surprisingly good in this film. Who knew? Talk about pressure, your first job, to come on to such a large movie. The pressure was tremendous and she did a great job. She’s funny in it. The connection between her and Shia feels very real. I was really proud of her.”
Newcomer Patrick Dempsey weighed in on the overall dynamic between Bay and his actors on the set, admitting that the “Transformers” mastermind is “very demanding” — and that’s a good thing.
“He wants what he wants and you have to be on it,” said Dempsey. “That’s how he works. I loved working with him. I didn’t have any problems with him and I don’t think [Rosie] did either. He’s demanding. He’s fun, though. Look at the outcome. He’s phenomenal. He’s a great filmmaker.”
“He’s a laugh,” added Rosie. “And I love doing the stunts. I think he really respected a girl who can get her hands dirty! We had a lot of fun filming.”
Read the entire article at MTV.