Thursday, February 19, 2009

GM Cars Picked By Bay, Influenced Movie

In an interview with GM VP of Global Design Ed Wellburn, MTV blog reveals that Michael Bay hand-picked the various Autobot alt modes from their concept designs and those designs influenced the movie.
"With the first movie, there wasn’t a whole lot of dialogue back and forth between Michael Bay and myself,” GM Vice President of Global Design Ed Wellburn told MTV News, reflecting on how GM’s relationship with Bay began. “We were building the concept in secret we didn’t want anyone to know, and he was building the movie in secret. He was looking for something special from us, and we showed him a couple of cars.”

“I didn’t want to share with him Camaro unless he told me more about the movie,” Wellburn said. “There was a little negotiating, and then there it was.” The success of the Camaro’s appearance, which helped GM by raising awareness of the newly redesigned car, literally opened some big doors for Bay in “Revenge of the Fallen.”

“When it comes to the sequel, it was different because the relationship had built quite a bit,” Wellburn explained. “Michael came to Detroit, and he and I just walked the studios. He was looking for one, maybe two new vehicles. He came here, and he pretty much had it in his head what the sequel would be. I’ll never forget it. One third of the way through the tour he said, ‘I need a notepad. There are just too many designs that we may want to use in the movie.’”

Some models, like the Beat and Trax, which will appear as the Autobots Skids and Mudflap for “Revenge of the Fallen,” even affected how the characters functioned.

“That day that he visited us and walked the halls of the studios, the movie developed and in some ways changed,” he revealed. “[Bay] was inspired by things like the two small cars that maybe could work together in some way. That’s all I can say right now.”
A question I have is how many concept models did Bay have to choose from? I wouldn't imagine there were not that many, near ready for market, models on the list limiting his options (may explain how Audi entered the picture).

Of note is that near last line "...two small cars that maybe could work together..." From what I have been reading, people have interpreted this to mean the twins might merge together. I guess that could be possible but so far none of the leaked toys and images shows it. However, the Devastator toy has shown that Hasbro is happy to step away from the norm and present merging and non-merging designs for the same character. I think "work together" means less "merge" and more "teamwork". I would think the Twins could work together better than the other Autobots making for some dynamic fight/chase sequences.

46 comments:

  1. c-mon bay...lets get some new ones for the 3rd

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  2. come on bay put on some euro class sports car.

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  3. None of the Decepticons are GM cars... it's bad for their image. That's how the Audi came in, the same way the Saleen Mustang came in in the first one.

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  4. ...And I'm sure that the twin merge in robot form once they get their concept modes--why else would they merge in vehicle form during the Chinese segment of the movie?

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  5. bay shouldnt but too many GM cars in the movie.. it looks so much like a comercial like that :|

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  6. None of the Decepticons are GM cars... it's bad for their image. That's how the Audi came in, the same way the Saleen Mustang came in in the first one.

    That's kind of lame because who wouldn't rather drive a badass Decepticon, than a sissy Autobot? Other than Megan Fox and Rachel Taylor, Barricade was the best looking thing in that movie.

    bay shouldnt but too many GM cars in the movie.. it looks so much like a comercial like that :|

    this is a joke right

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  7. Counterpunch2/20/2009 2:04 AM

    like I said, even though I hate their stupid gremlin squashed heads the Twins I will salute if they go down fighting in tandem against Devastator & the Fallen.

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  8. Barricade was the best overall toy in the first movie, since their making a new bumblebee with a figure of sam that can ride bb's camaro form, it would be even more bada**! to redo barricade and frenzy to where you can recreate the air force one landing scene, tell me thats not a good idea. No matter what happens in ROTF, barricade stills rules!

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  9. cars pick their own driver not bay!

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  10. If the first movie felt like a GM commercial in desguise, this thing will be more proeminent in ROTF, how all new autotts that are cars are Chevy cars.

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  11. Who gives a shit!! It's still going to be a bad ass movie...Here we go again with all the whiney little bitches again...You don't like it then don't go see the movie!!!

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  12. You don't like it, then don't read our comments.

    I said it before in another post, looks like another GM commercial, or at least a Buy American commercial.

    The point is sure VW might be out of the picture (for thier own reason ) there are other car compnaies out there like Honda, Mitsubishi, Lamborghini (sideswipe), Aston Martin, Nissan, but he only goes with GM. I know it is old news, but I would have believed BumbleBee as a Hatchback Civic more than the Camero.

    Jdopp had posted before that "Bay also didnt use foreign cars because he said he is against them, granite he drives one he doesnt want to promote them, he wanted to support strictly american cars and Chevy paid the most."

    This is sad if he wants to strictly support american cars when he is using a Japanese Cartoon/Toy Line/Idea to do it. Know what I mean? It was Japan's first, now you are making money off of it and you are only going to prompt US made Vehicles?

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  13. To Bozzak: Well VW is not "out of the picture". That Audi R8 is owned by VW. The Audi company is a subsidary of Volkswagen.

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  14. Chevy paid the most

    Only part of the post that bears mentioning. GM reportedly knocked $3 million off the cost of the first movie (5% of the total budget) which is nothing to be sneezed at.

    You want more Decepticons demolishing Chinese bridges with their front tires? Might just have to give up your dreams of Bumblebee being a Daewoo then

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  15. Japanese cars sell themselves. In case you hadn't noticed, GM needs a little help.

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  16. taco bell, taco bell!! product placement by taco bell!!!
    this is from the "Kung pow" movie, one of the best and worse martial arts movie ever. i know it has nothing to do with transformers, but in every single movie there is product placement of some sort. And any ways we are talking Transformers here they are cars... and the movie was placed on the US kind of obvious why American Muscle was places as the Alt modes.

    Besides thank god that Blumblebee was made as a bad ass Camaro (sweet car by the way) than a femenine-gay WV beatle... can you imagine him like that??? would totally suck. guess this is one of the main reasons why bumblebee didn't appear in most of the cartoon versions to lame of a car and a character to be in any of them. But now he is placed as a hero, as a Sam's bad ass protector and friend, of course they needed a cool car to be placed here and no better on than Chevy's Camaro.

    I mean seriuslly just imagine in the 1st movie when bumblebee changes to the new Camaro with all that cool music... Now imagine this same scene with a 2008 VW beatle... not the same huh..

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  17. my guess is they do merge, just check out Skid's right arm and Mudflaps left arm, they are bigger than the other arm in each bot.

    CAN'T WAY TO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!

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  18. How does no one remeber the ice cream truck, reme,ber when it splits in half and the comes back together? Yeah, Skids and Mudflap, their cars weren't at the Bethlehem shoot.

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  19. "snortpocket said...
    Chevy paid the most

    Only part of the post that bears mentioning. GM reportedly knocked $3 million off the cost of the first movie (5% of the total budget) which is nothing to be sneezed at."

    And now they are getting billions of our taxpaying money, so we paid for it.

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  20. To Anonymous: "To Bozzak" I didn't know that Audi was a subsidary of Volkswagen. But with that, the reason why Bumble Bee wasn't a VW was because VW didn't want their name accosiated with (at the time) a "War Machine".


    To Kalyrules: I agree, the Camaro is a Bad Ass car and I for one would buy it (not becaue of the movie).

    I have also thought about that scene and the rest with Bumble Bee. All would still work, though probably with a bit more humor to it. ((why did he choose a beat up old VW Bug? *BB kicks them out and drives of changing into the VW Bug Turbo and then pulls up beside them and as last touch a spoiler forms*)) Not the same WOW as seeing the Camero for the first time, but same effect with extended humor.

    Bumble Bee was the little guy trying to keep up with th big guys and being just a brave when doing it. I think to have seen him taking on Barricade would have been good. He might not have B slapped him, but still would have put up a good fight. Chase scenes would't matter since I am sure the Transformers don't copy the same Horse Power and Speed of the vehicles they choose. Starscram flew of into outerspace at the end, I don't know of a plane that can lift of from earth and fly into space like that with out help.

    "guess this is one of the main reasons why bumblebee didn't appear in most of the cartoon versions to lame of a car and a character to be in any of them" Funny cause Bumble Bee is one of the more liked and know of the Transformers and also why he was in the first movie. Bay wanted him as the Bug, but VW didn't want it.

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  21. To snortpocket: "Only part of the post that bears mentioning. GM reportedly knocked $3 million off the cost of the first movie (5% of the total budget) which is nothing to be sneezed at."

    Not even 5% of the budget. First Movie had a $150 million budget, 3 miilion is only about 2% and has made $708,272,592.00 to date.

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  22. And now they are getting billions of our taxpaying money, so we paid for it.

    Well, isn't it nice to see our tax dollars going to something worthwhile for once? Transformers movie or 2 days in Iraq, your choice.

    guess this is one of the main reasons why bumblebee didn't appear in most of the cartoon versions to lame of a car and a character to be in any of them.

    Uhh... did you ever actually watch the cartoon? Not only was Bumbleebee Spike's best friend throughout the series (and his coworker on Moon Base 2 some 20 years later), he was one of the few original Transformers to survive the movie, thus solidifying his importance to the franchise.

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  23. If the first movie felt like a GM commercial in desguise, this thing will be more proeminent in ROTF, how all new autotts that are cars are Chevy cars.

    Most people don't watch a movie saying ... "oh those are chevy cars!" Most people won't care. They will get into the movie and see characters, cars, action, and whatever is going on in the film. Very few people will analyze it.

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  24. Personally, I found all the product placement a little distracting. Focusing on phones, memory cards, etc... does the movie not make enough on its own without compromising pacing in lieu of an extra buck during production?

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  25. GM autobots:
    http://www.gm.com/experience/autoshows-events/autobots/index.html

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  26. Personally, I found all the product placement a little distracting. Focusing on phones, memory cards, etc... does the movie not make enough on its own without compromising pacing in lieu of an extra buck during production?

    No. Every movie does this. Remember Egon Spengler and the Twinkies? E.T.'s Reese's Pieces fixation?

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  27. Other movies don't a have a two-second closeup of the PANASONIC SD CARD. I'm not saying that it doesn't have to happen, it just doesn't have to be so overt. It felt like a hiphop video at times.

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  28. I want my answerphone message to be Peter Cullen saying "Messages are the right of all sentient beings."

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  29. Personally, I found all the product placement a little distracting. Focusing on phones, memory cards, etc... does the movie not make enough on its own without compromising pacing in lieu of an extra buck during production?"

    Everyone does this! But you normally don't notice unless you are in that industry or interested in that produce. iRobot product placed Converse trainers, Ovaltine, Audi, FedEx, Dos Equis, and JVC. All modern movies place products and even shows. Stargate places Dell computers heavily and Oracle. Nobody cares though unless its something in your head already.

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  30. To Snortpocket: "Uhh... did you ever actually watch the cartoon?"

    haha, I was going going to ask that of Kalyrules also, but then changed it.


    I agree almost every Movie does have product placement, just that this is a type of movie where you would think that the Autobots would look at more than just the GM cars to change into or that Bay wouldn't go with "Buy American" when using a Japanese creation to make money off of.

    Guess it could also all fall down to us (older) fans wanting to see the original characters closer to the original car designs transforming, and not the newer chosen cars. I personally think the new robot designs work better in a live action movie than the bulky cartoon designs would have, but just would have liked to have seen that VW Bug or Porsche and now Lamborghini transforming.

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  31. somehow I can't see moviegoers "ooh"ing and "aah"ing over Ironhide's dramatic transformation into a shitbox 80's Toyota minivan

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  32. I agree almost every Movie does have product placement, just that this is a type of movie where you would think that the Autobots would look at more than just the GM cars to change into or that Bay wouldn't go with "Buy American" when using a Japanese creation to make money off of.

    No ... that is what YOU would think. Trust me ... most people don't care. Most people just enjoy the damn movie and don't look into brand names. Except of course in the case of Demolition Man ... where they openly SAID Taco Bell 50,000,000 times!

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  33. somehow I can't see moviegoers "ooh"ing and "aah"ing over Ironhide's dramatic transformation into a shitbox 80's Toyota minivan

    Yup. The cars they pick are flashy. People are usually impressed when they see a bunch of flashy cars like that. If I saw an old box rig, a vw bug, a minivan, a white ambulance, a transforming gun, and a tiny transforming cassette tape .. I would not be impressed at all.

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  34. The only twins my heart has room for are Sides and Sunny, and they are always to be Lamborghinis in my mind.

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  35. Obviously these bots will combine, I can put money on it.

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  36. Yup. The cars they pick are flashy. People are usually impressed when they see a bunch of flashy cars like that. If I saw an old box rig, a vw bug, a minivan, a white ambulance, a transforming gun, and a tiny transforming cassette tape .. I would not be impressed at all.

    I am not arguing the Gun and Cassette Tape/Player, I like the fact that there is no size morhping, but for the rest if that is what they used in the first place, you would have been.

    And duh, of course they wouldn't have been 80's vehicles, they would have been updated ones. Don't think I am saying they should have been they 80's style, just along those lines like a Murcielago LP 640 for Sideswipe.

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  37. So... Ironhide should be a Chrysler Pacifica then?

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  38. Other movies don't a have a two-second closeup of the PANASONIC SD CARD. I'm not saying that it doesn't have to happen, it just doesn't have to be so overt. It felt like a hiphop video at times.

    Dude do you not watch movies? Yes ... they do. iRobot focused in on the Audi logo and the shot panned to his converse shoe. When they videophone in Stargate you clearly see the brand they use. Just relax and enjoy the movie you are being too critical of it. Again ALL movies do it. The fact you haven't picked up on it just means you were not as interested in it as much as you were this movie.

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  39. And duh, of course they wouldn't have been 80's vehicles, they would have been updated ones. Don't think I am saying they should have been they 80's style, just along those lines like a Murcielago LP 640 for Sideswipe.

    I don't know why some people are not okay with changing the vehicle modes for a different continuity. The alt modes have changed over time. Optimus prime was a freightliner, cybertronian truck, a cobra sentry missile system tank, 1920 style truck, kenwork truck, a tanker truck, a dump truck, a fire truck, and even a Dodge Ram! Yet ... nobody has a problem with all of the changes because its a cartoon? Bay changes the alt modes of some bots and you numb nuts freak out?

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  40. I watch lots of movies, and iRobot is one of the first and worst offenders for blatant product placement. Movie haven't always been like this-- tyring watching something that's more than 20 years old.

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  41. I watch lots of movies, and iRobot is one of the first and worst offenders for blatant product placement. Movie haven't always been like this-- tyring watching something that's more than 20 years old.

    Ummm .. James bond had an extensive use of AMC cars in their earlier days. Later Bond movies featured cars from Ford. Casino Royale placed many Sony products. In 1946, Its a wonderful life placed National Geographic with a prominent view of its cover. In 1932 there was a prominent placement for livesavers candy in Horse Feathers. The first known prominent placement of a product was Hersheys in the film Wings released in 1927.

    Demolition Man had Taco Bell EVERYWHERE. The only reason you are all recognizing it now and making a huge hissy fit about it is because this is Transformers and you are all critical of the film as Transformers geeks. But you all need to get lives and realize THIS IS ONLY A FREAKING MOVIE and go about your life without bitching about every tiny little thing that comes across.

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  42. Because we are purists. Just what we need, another different continuity to screw up things up.

    I wonder who Arcee is going to be dating in this movie? Or if she is Transsexual in this movie too...

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  43. Just imagine a Toyota or any other ricers turning into Robots, It would be so funny. We need American here. Shows better of a Robot!!!

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  44. somehow I can't see moviegoers "ooh"ing and "aah"ing over Ironhide's dramatic transformation into a shitbox 80's Toyota minivan

    I like that!!!

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  45. what butt?

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  46. butt what?

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