Transformers 3 has been moved up for release on Wednesday, June 29th instead of the original July 1st date. With the exception of China (July 8th) and Japan (July 29th) the rest of the world will have the film in theaters by July 1st.
Michael Bay and James Cameron have a lot in common — they both blow up shiny things with a particular élan, wrangle their massive film crews military-style and earn studios the kind of money that makes a guy walk with a swagger. But, as evidenced by a talk the two action directors gave Wednesday night on the Paramount Pictures studio lot, they’re not entirely on the same page on the subject of 3-D.
Bay screened about 15 minutes of footage from this summer’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” much of which he shot using the Fusion 3D camera system Cameron designed for “Avatar.” In a technical and sometimes contentious conversation about shutter speeds, rigs and lenses that will probably be very informative for the half-dozen people about to direct a $200-million-plus movie in the next year, Bay and Cameron debated the virtues and faults of the format. But for anyone without a blockbuster on their to-do list, the real entertainment was seeing the dynamic between Hollywood’s biggest alpha males.
After Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore introduced the men responsible for the two highest-grossing movies in the studio’s history, “Titanic ” ($600 million domestic box office) and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” ($402 million domestic box office), Bay explained how he and Cameron met, when Bay visited the “Titanic” set in Mexico in the mid-1990s.
“He said, ‘We’re a lot alike,’” Bay recalled. “I said, ‘No, you’re just meaner, Jim.’” More than a decade later, Cameron invited Bay to the “Avatar” set to see his 3-D cameras in action. At the time, Bay was dubious about the format and bewildered by the nitty-gritty of “Avatar’s” visual effects. “Jim says to me, ‘God, Weta [Digital] has some great algorithms. I thought, ‘What the [heck] are we talking about?’”
Jay Fernandez of “The Hollywood Reporter,” which was hosting the event, played a clip of Bay at the movie-industry convention ShoWest in 2009, warning exhibitors that 3-D “might be a gimmick.” Enter action films’ elder statesman, Cameron, persuading Bay to give the nascent technology a shot.
In the final throes of completing his first 3-D film, Bay seemed to be suffering from a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, complaining about the difficulty of using 3-D cameras while shooting in the real-world environment of downtown Chicago. “It’s a brand new beast,” he told Cameron. “You were basically on a stage [on 'Avatar'].”
“You made the decision very close to the start of principal [photography],” Cameron said, defending the format. When Bay raised technical questions that had bedeviled his crew, Cameron nodded. “We can do that now, but literally just now.”
Bay estimated that the format had added $30 million to the cost of his film, to which Cameron countered, “The question is, how much more are you gonna make with a film in 3-D?”
The “Transformers” scenes Bay showed included the first five minutes of the movie, which melds archival footage of presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon and the Apollo 11 mission with 3-D shots of huge Cybertronian technology on the moon. The footage reveals the plot of “Dark of the Moon” — that the motivation for the space race was, well, more than meets the eye. A montage of action sequences included a scene of men diving out of planes among Chicago skyscrapers with 3-D cameras strapped to their helmets, a sequence Bay said had occurred to him after watching a base-jumping team on “60 Minutes.”
The footage prompted a discussion of where the directors get their ideas for action sequences, one of the rare moments of agreement during the night. Everywhere, was the answer. “When I’m writing an action scene, I crank up the music so loud I can barely think,” Cameron said. Bay confessed ideas often came to him, “while doing crunches.”
– Rebecca Keegan
Michael Bay — whose action style is known to include fast cuts and kinetic cinematography — admits his passion for the anamorphic format and Panavision film cameras.
But Bay stated that he is now also “in love with 3D,” during a conversation with James Cameron on Wednesday at a packed event at the Paramount lot, co-hosted by the studio and The Hollywood Reporter.
Urged by the Avatar helmer, Bay decided to make Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D. Most of the film was shot using Cameron-Pace Group’s 3D Fusion camera rigs, and the director also worked with Avatar crew members.
“It was fun; it was like a new toy,” Bay said, though he also acknowledged, “it is not easy shooting 3D.”
In the configuration used on Transformers — the Fusion rig with Sony F35 cameras — each rig weighed roughly 28 pounds and was put through it paces on location with Bay.
While known for his ambitious action sequences, Bay admitted that when it came to the use of 3D, “I love the intimate shots,” citing as an example the close-ups of Bumblebee.
Cameron explained that the amount of 3D can be controlled, and so for fast sequences, filmmakers can “dial back” the 3D.
As to the size of the camera system, Cameron related that following Bay’s start of production, lighter-weight cameras have become available — and more are on the way — that will help to reduce the weight of the rigs. “We are working to make the cameras smaller and more robust,” said Cameron, who suggested that 3D production is still in its infancy.
Bay admitted that “good 3D” is expensive and added roughly $30 million to the Transformers budget. Cameron was quick to point out that the studio, however, now stands to make significantly more revenue from the higher 3D ticket prices.
Bay cited areas of added costs, including production equipment, labor, and visual effects, where more work is required. There was also a 2D-to-3D conversion budget to make the film “technically perfect,” as well as for shots that were lensed in film.
“It is a little more warm when you shoot native 3D … you can do beautiful conversion,” Bay commented.
The director however warned against quick conversions and improper use of conversion. “Some are being turned off because it is BS 3D,” he said.
To that point, Cameron added, “3D is getting people back to cinemas, but we are abusing it.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Jay Fernandez moderated the discussion.
Bay to attend ceremony at TRANSFORMERS “BOTCON” Fan Convention in Pasadena, California, on June 4
Pawtucket, R.I. (MAY 18, 2011) — Earlier today on its official TRANSFORMERS Facebook page, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) announced the induction of film industry legends Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg—the director and executive producer of the blockbuster TRANSFORMERS film franchise—into its TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame. The second annual TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame ceremony, which celebrates more than 25 years of “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE” action, will take place during the 2011 TRANSFORMERS “BOTCON” fan convention in Pasadena, California, and will feature TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON director Michael Bay in person to accept his honor and share some special surprises with the audience.
Founded in 2010 to honor those influential in creating and building the iconic TRANSFORMERS franchise, as well as actual “ROBOTS IN DISGUISE,” the 2011 TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame will induct the two legendary filmmakers who were instrumental in launching the live-action film franchise that brought the TRANSFORMERS brand to more fans than ever before. Bay and Spielberg will join previous honorees Bob Budiansky, Peter Cullen, Yoke Hideaki and Kojin Ohno in the TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame.
For the last sixteen years, Michael Bay has been one of the world’s boldest filmmakers as both director and producer. His films have grossed over $4 billion worldwide. Since his 1995 breakout Bad Boys, Bay has directed a succession of international hits that have redefined the action genre, including The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys 2, The Island, and three Transformers films. The third movie in the franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, will hit theaters July 1; it is Bay’s first live-action film shot in 3D. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Art Center College of Design, Bay began his career as a distinguished commercial and music video director. He has won virtually every major award in the commercial industry, including Cannes’ Golden Lion, the Grand Prix Clio, and the Directors Guild of America’s Commercial Director of the Year award. His “Got Milk?” campaign resides in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Bay is also co-owner of production company Platinum Dunes and owner of Digital Domain, one of the entertainment industry’s premier special effects companies.
One of the industry’s most successful and influential filmmakers, Steven Spielberg has directed some of the top-grossing films of all time, including Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and four Indiana Jones films, including the most recent, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner, earning two Oscars® for Best Director and Best Picture for Schindler’s List, and a third Oscar® for Best Director for Saving Private Ryan. He has been awarded the Academy’s prestigious Thalberg Award. He earned his first Directors Guild Award for The Color Purple and has been nominated by the DGA a record ten times. He has received the Kennedy Center Honor for his body of work. Last year he served as an executive producer on the Academy Award nominated film True Grit, which was directed by the Coen brothers. A principal partner of DreamWorks Studios, he is also the producer of Super 8, directed by J.J. Abrams, an executive producer on TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, directed by Michael Bay and Cowboys & Aliens, directed by Jon Favreau, all of which will be released this summer.
Hasbro will also induct four more iconic robot characters into the TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame. Heroic AUTOBOTS RATCHET and IRONHIDE, as well as evil DECEPTICON SOUNDWAVE will join 2010’s class of five robots, as chosen by Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERSHall of Fame internal panel of judges. In addition, TRANSFORMERS fans around the world voted on Transformers.com for a fourth robot to receive the 2011 “Fans’ Choice” honor. The winner, from among the nominees GRIMLOCK, SHOCKWAVE, ERECTOR, WASPINATOR and JAZZ, will be revealed for the first time at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at “BOTCON” on June 4, 2011.
First introduced in 1984 by Hasbro and Takara as a toy line, the TRANSFORMERS brand has provided kids with hours of MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE fun with their action figures that convert from robot to vehicles and back again. Legions of boys around the world grew up creating fantastic adventures and battles set on both the planet CYBERTRON and Earth that featured the “good-guy” AUTOBOTS and the “bad-guy” DECEPTICONS. Since then, more than 7500 robots have been introduced in countless animated TV series, comic books and two live-action feature films. A third film, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, will be released on July 1, 2011, as the first 3D film in the franchise.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The new trailer for Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” has been downloaded more than 6 million times in its first 24 hours on iTunes Movie Trailers (http://www.apple.com/trailers), becoming the most-viewed trailer in the site’s history.
The trailer, which recently debuted exclusively on iTunes Movie Trailers, gives fans a visually stunning sneak peak at this summer’s highly anticipated “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” When a mysterious event from Earth’s past erupts into the present day it threatens to bring a war to earth so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save us. The third installment of the hit franchise, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” stars Shia LaBeouf, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, with John Malkovich and Frances McDormand.
“Transformers represents big summer fun at the movies and iTunes Movie Trailers was the ideal place to debut the latest installment to a global entertainment audience,” says Amy Powell, Paramount Pictures’ Executive Vice President Interactive Marketing & Film Production.
With ‘Dark of the Moon,’ the director wants to blow up the memory of ‘Revenge of the Fallen.’
By Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Times
Michael Bay stood with his hand on his hip and inspected the surface of the moon — the gray dunes and silent ridgelines spread out before him, stretching off into the dark distance. He turned to a visitor and grinned. “C’mon, that’s pretty great, right?”
It was just another day on the Playa Vista set of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” and the fast-moving filmmaker was passing by the lunar surface set that filled one hangar-sized soundstage on his way to a neighboring set where returning star Shia LaBeouf and franchise newcomer John Malkovich were waiting for their camera call.
“The cast this time is terrific, you can’t even compare it really, and that was important to me. We needed to take everything up a few levels and that starts with story and with acting,” Bay said of the movie that arrives in theaters on July 1.
If franchise history holds, “Dark of the Moon” will be one of the year’s top box-office contenders — the second film in the series, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” piled up $836 million at theaters worldwide in 2009 despite some truly savage reviews. Still, the reviews are what Bay remembers most and he has for months been publicly slagging on the last movie and promising that this third edition will strive for better instead of bigger.
“Dark of the Moon” brings back John Turturro as the wild-eyed Seymour Simmons, and Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson are also back. Along with Malkovich, two other veteran actors who are joining the cast are Oscar winner Frances McDormand and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey. Megan Fox, the female face of the franchise, is out (she and Bay didn’t see eye to eye, to say the least) and Bay is betting on an unproven actress in Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as her replacement as the love interest for LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky.
For the uninitiated, the “Transformers” films feature Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee and the other shape-shifting mecha-giants that became popular in the 1980s as a toy and animation brand. The films continue the cartoon heritage of the warring alien factions of the Autobots and Decepticons — robots that can turn into any number of vehicles and weapons. The visual effects made the first film a huge hit but in the second movie, which was rushed into production in the face of the Hollywood writers strike, the cosmic tale of good and evil was more cartoon than it was epic.
Bay has been the first to say that installment was hollow under all that chrome and steel: “We had three weeks to get our story and, really, we were going into the movie without a script,” he said. “It’s tough to do that. It was too big of a movie. There were too many endings or too many things that felt like endings.”
At 46, Bay is a lean, mean machine when it comes to his work but the people in his longtime circle of collaborators say he’s found a way to create less friction than he used to while he’s putting the pedal to the metal. The newcomers around him wonder why for years they heard tyrant talk about the director.
“I think the guy is great, I loved working with him,” says Dempsey, one of the new imports meant to bring some acting chops to a franchise that had become far too fixated on special effects and a barrage of gags. “The scale of the movies he makes and the way his crew works for him and the things that they can accomplish, it’s pretty awesome to see in action. And I think he believes this movie is going to be a great one.”
Bay mentions “Black Hawk Down” as an unlikely compass point for some of the action scenes in this script, but he’s referring to the commando tension and gritty urban warfare elements of that Ridley Scott film, not its wrenching R-rated casualty rate.
This new movie starts in the 1960s with the moon landing — hence that lunar landscape set — and weaves a new mythology of government conspiracy into the Autobot and Decepticon battle. Both of those tribes learn that a Cybertronian spacecraft lies hidden on the moon and may hold secrets that will tilt the balance of power in their ongoing struggle.
The script by Ehren Kruger (“The Ring”) gave Bay a chance to stage military battles in Chicago and create in Dempsey’s role an elusive character that may bring more to the movie than first appears. For fans, there’s considerable excitement too in the presence of sci-fi icon Leonard Nimoy, who gives voice to Sentinel Prime. (Not only are Nimoy and Bay cousins by marriage, the actor also has some history with the brand as a voice actor for 1986′s “Transformers: The Movie.” Nimoy, though, hadn’t been approached by his relative for the previous films. “I asked him why he didn’t ask sooner and he said he assumed I would be too expensive,” Nimoy said with a chuckle in a recent phone interview. “We figured it all out.”)
Bay says he’s a man on a mission and he assumes this will be the last “Transformers” film. After spending so much time with the brand — he began work on the first movie in 2005 — he wants to go out with a bang. He also wants to wipe out the memory of that second film.
Setting up a shot in which Malkovich’s shady character tussles with an otherworldly opponent, Bay rattled off the reasons that this will be a new and improved model of his movie machine. “We got rid of the dorky comedy and we brought in some new acting talent. We have a good script. We’re shooting in 3-D and there’s a mystery in this story. It’s smarter. And we still have the robots and the best special effects that you’ll see.”
Click on the image below to download the high resolution poster.
April 28, 2011
New York 7Pm
29 April 2011
Tel Aviv 02:00
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What are you looking forward to this summer?
What else? Oh. [Laughs] Oddly, I’m excited about Transformers 3 because technically, I know what Michael Bay’s been up to, and I think he’s going to blow people’s minds with what he’s going to do.
Do you dig 3-D?
I’m not a huge fan of 3-D. What he’s doing in on another level; it’s not just the 3-D. I’m not a huge fan of 3-D, though. Honestly, I think that movies are an immersive experience and an audience experience. There’s nothing like seeing a film with 500 people in a theater. And there’s something about putting on 3-D glasses that makes it a very singular experience for me. Suddenly I’m not connected to the audience anymore. I think once they solve the glasses issue it’ll be a huge step forward. You know what I’m talking about? You put them on, and suddenly you’re there alone. It’s not like you can turn to your friend and share a look during an amazing scene. They have their glasses on and you can’t really see. So it becomes a very singular experience to me, 3-D, which is the opposite of the audience experience I love so much.
But that said, I was talking about Transformers 3, and it wasn’t the 3-D part that was really exciting. I know Michael Bay, I’ve talked to Michael Bay, and the enthusiasm with which he’s brought me through some of the stuff that he’s doing was just infectious. I’m really excited to view it.
I think a lot more people look forward to Michael Bay movies than would let on. I mean, I do. I’ll admit it.
It’s good to hear that you admit that. I certainly know filmmakers and directors who know how hard it is to make a movie, and when you look at a movie on the scale of what Michael does, and you just can’t help but be blown away. Knowing all the moving parts that go into these things, and then he just kicks it up to 11? You’ve just gotta respect that.
Click on the image below to download the high res movie frame.
Click on the image below to download the high res movie frame.
Click on the image below to download the high res banners of Optimus, Shockwave, and BumbleBee.