Bay’s ‘Transformers’ collaborators speak of preparation, emotion and a drive to excel
Star, the ‘Transformers’ trilogy
“Mike understands the entire process and the director’s job is just to focus on the shots. The reason Mike’s movies look the way they do is because there’s no fucking ice sculptures, there’s no frivolous spending. It’s amazing how people give him a bad rap, but if you speak with artisans everyone loves him.
“Nobody shoots like Michael. I don’t have to conjure up imagery of a bus exploding. That’s a hard thing to just stand on a mark in front of a green screen and have director say to you ‘OK there’s a bus exploding next to you.’ It’s hard to pretend that emotion. It is however easy to stand on a mark with an actual bus exploding right next to you. It’s gung-ho.
“Mike’s made me stronger. I know if you work on a Michael Bay film you can do anything. It doesn’t get harder than Mike. I just don’t know of any director that pushes as hard as Mike, the infused intensity.”
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Producer, the ‘Transformers’ trilogy
“He’s amazingly prepared. He has visually in his mind what he’s going to accomplish and he is an incredibly good business man and producer so he understands the cost of things and he designs things in away stretches your dollar.
“He has tremendous loyalty to his crew and people that work with him and so there’s a real collective atmosphere on his set because everyone’s worked together so much.
“I think one of the things that Michael doesn’t get credit for is he has a great sense of human emotion. I think the people who are able to convey that most exceptionally are the people that do it in a simple fashion and not elaborate and it takes more skill to do that.”
Sound re-recording mixer, 14-time Oscar nominee
“The one thing I can be sure of (going into a project with Michael) is that the film is going to somehow top everything else he is ever done. Each and every outing he raises the bar just that much higher on every level. All of us involved have to do the same in regards to meeting him there each and every film.
“The challenges I have met trying to bring to life each of his films has elevated my game to where I am much better mixer. Those are the most demanding films for a sound mixer to work on. I have had to hone in my craft to accommodate what his films require.
“The toughest part of it, the downside, is the schedules are so grueling, we seemingly work incredibly long hours. That’s been consistent since the very first one I did which was ‘The Rock’ in ’96.
“It’s my eighth collaboration with him. I look forward to each and every Michael Bay film because I know once again it’s going to take me to a place I’ve never been and for a creative individual that’s an extraordinary opportunity every time.”