Michael Bay sat down with a few reporters recently to present the Transformers 3 teaser. He also took the opportunity to talk about his new found love of 3D, his new leading lady, and his sh*tty sense of humor. And this guy’s a talker, so I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible.
On the new film versus Transformers 2:
“On the second movie we got burned. We had a writers strike, we had to agree on a story in three weeks, and then we knew they were going on strike. It was a fucked scenario all the way around, it wasn’t fair to the writer, it wasn’t fair to me, it wasn’t fair to anybody. It was still an entertaining movie, but I think we failed on certain aspects. What we did with this movie is I think we have a much better script, and we got back to basics. I think there’s some really cool action on this movie, there’s some very cool conspiracy, there’s great robot stuff in this that people were missing in the second one, you’ve got great robot conflict. So I’m excited about this movie.
It’s more serious. I got rid of the dorky comedy, I mean we’ve got two little characters, that’s it, but the dorkiness is not there. Dork-free Transformers. It’s much more serious. It’s still entertaining, it’s big looking. I think it’s much more compelling, what we did, how we funneled our action, what we’ve got our characters doing, they’ve got a lot more to do.”
“I would never hire a model. ["Yeah right. - Ed.] I’ve shot plenty of the Victoria’s Secret stuff and they’ve been good clients of mine for years. She was very spunky and she has this cute English accent. She has a great head on her shoulders in terms of smart, intelligent, and well-spoken. And I just said to her “have you ever been interested in being an actress?” and she goes “yea.” And [the casting woman] came in, and she said, “I gotta tell you Michael…this girl can be a star.” So we looked at the tape, and showed Steven [Spielberg] the tape and everyone was really intrigued. We brought her on set with Shia [LaBeouf] and the crew, and we shot with her for six hours. We put her with an acting coach and I kept telling her to be herself. She did really well in the tests and Shia really liked her and she did a really good job. I saw her really improve, and she’s so sweet. It was good; I think it was a good change. I love her English accent.”
He’d also like to get the word out that the film was primarily shot on 3D:
“There is a right way to do it and a wrong way. I think, personally. If you want to do proper 3D it’s a $30 million price tag. You don’t to admit it, but that’s what it really is to do proper 3D. Studios will sometimes do it or $10 million, or $12 million. $30 million, in terms of the equipment, the crew. That camera equipment is really expensive to rent. And if you want to do dual eye-rendered robots, you got another 30% charge, because you got two eyes now, two different visual effects that have got to be blended. There’s more work on the visual effects shots. Does that make sense? We spent about seven months or eight months before the movie investigating all the conversion companies.
What I decided to do, in terms of my 3D, the only way I was gonna make a 3D schedule—what I did when I did my test is I shot film alongside video. We shot most of my close-ups with faces with anamorphic film, cause that stuff’s easier to convert and it’s just more beautiful than the digital. And then there’s stuff where it’s just not ready for primetime: it can’t really do slow-motion, it can’t be around giant dustballs, I mean you’re dealing with electronics here.”
He also goes on to say that this will probably be his final Transformers film. Until James Cameron invents a new film technology of course. (Collider)