Monday, March 28, 2011

Michael Bay Comments on 3D in Movies

A USA Today article asks the question "Can 3-D technology save the moviemaking business?" and one of the people they reached for comment was Transformers: Dark of the Moon director Michael Bay. Bay has been a vocal opponent to using 3D until he decided to try it out himself and use the latest gen digital cameras to film TF3 in 3D. Having said that it doesn't mean he is completely sold on the tech or at least how the studios are trying to take advantage of it. The full article is here, the Bay related snippets are below.
"The short answer is we did too much with technology that wasn't ready for prime time," says director Michael Bay, whose Transformers: Dark of the Moon was shot digitally, in 3-D and on traditional 35mm film.

"Studios are turning everything they can into 3-D without considering whether it should be done at all," he says. "We're already wearing the experience out. Look, there are simply some movies that shouldn't be shot in 3-D," he says. "It doesn't add anything."

But when it does, Bay is a 3-D booster. No stranger to eight-figure film budgets, Bay says that studios need to make the financial commitment to 3-D instead of doing clean-up work. "It's different, shooting in 3-D," Bay says. "You need more cameras. You need different sets. It needs to be a forethought. Right now, studios are treating it as an afterthought."

Directors also need convincing, Bay says. Several months before Avatar was released, Bay says, Cameron invited Bay to the Avatar set. Shot primarily with computer-generated backdrops, the set consisted of bare walls, green screens and rows of computers.

"I first thought, 'This is a fad. And a pain in the ass,' " Bay says. Then he began shooting the third Transformers film in 3-D, with a reported budget north of $200 million. "It isn't cheap, but it shouldn't be," Bay says. "What I love is you really can create new worlds. But you have to commit to it. Fans are right to be more skeptical of it now."
I agree with Bay on this one across the board. If the studios are not willing the commit the time, resources and cost to create quality 3D films, then the film should not be in 3D. Rush conversion process, poor use of the tech or basically slapping the "3D" label and having a few things thrown at the screen is pretty much a guarantee that this will become a fad (again). Right now, with all the films coming out in 3D and most of them clearly not benefitting from the tech in any meaningful way, the only thing the studios are succeeding at is making audiences think they wasted their money. At that point the diminishing returns of "fool me once..." starts kicking in and guarantees a drop in ticket sales. (via TFW2005)


  1. From a reliable source .. The next tv spot will be aired during the kids choice awards on nick. They already have a DOTM contest going


  3. couldnt agree more.

  4. The fact is both Avatar and Transformers3 were shot in native 3D only in part, 30-40% of both movies was shot in 2D and needs 2D->3D post-conversion...

  5. I'd say that most studios are just trying to cash in on it, without any clear thought of:
    1)How to use 3-D to actually enhance the STORYTELLING ASPECTS of a film (hint, hint);
    2)Like Bay said, all the production aspects needed to really do it right.
    It's like they follow a cinematic version of an old mantra way too many times of SHOOT (pun intended) first, ask questions later (or none at all), and as a result, most 3-D experiments suffer tremendously, with a few exceptions.

    I'm wondering if the 3-D will actually enhance the storytelling of DOTM, and also Michael J. Bassett is shooting Silent Hill: Revelation in 3-D, which by the looks of it (over at his blog), he may be going about it the right way. We'll see.


  6. Too bad the studios will blame piracy for the lack of ticket sales instead of looking at how they could have other issues. I've seen a couple of movies in 3D and I am not sold on the idea of 3D yet as there really isn't anything on the market yet to make me go 'Hey that went right in my eye'!

  7. There are two types of people in this world. Those who make art out of passion, and those who replicate art for money.

    Unfortunately, the latter is more dominate.

  8. @Sablebot
    I don't think Michael filmed DOTM for storytelling... I think he did it for eye-candy. The first two movies had instances where if 3D had been "the thing", it would've blown your mind away, and you know that. Now imagine DOTM, where there are more bigger and meaner 'bots. Just epic awesomeness!

    That's just my opinion though..

    And I agree with Michael on this one, if it's going to be in 3D, then it must be shot with 3D cameras. Of course, the whole movie is not going to be filmed with 3D cameras. There could be post-conversion here and there... I believe that Michael did the right choice with this one.

  9. there has been only one movie ive seen in 3D that was actually cool to watch.....My bloody valentine 3D was awesome...and i hate dumbass horror movies but you went in knowing this movie wasn't gonna win oscars so you let you mind be open and it was hilarious. more crap came poking,shooting,flying out at me and it actually looked like it was. not like "ooooooo floating pollen in the air" (avatar was gay) thats besides the point, he's right some movies need to not be in 3D then again some movies just shouldn't get made. i mean really,mars needs moms? movies that i wish were shot 3D the first time i saw them....All 3 Rambo's, T-2, Jurassic Park (think about the raptor's head through the cables and t-rex through the top of the jeep,shit your pants)star wars would be awesome (orignals the new ones can go....themselves) but alas we are stuck with shitty movies bein made just to take advantage where if they would just go with movies the would work it would make 3D amazing. Peace out....oh yeah the iron eagle movies.

  10. Michael Bay is the least qualified director to speak about what should be going into movies quite honestly

  11. ^haha fair point

  12. ^his answer about what should go in movies is always "explosions."

  13. Hahaha ^^ this guy, ...answering his own comments, and pretending to be someone else ! ...sad !! LOL

    I think what Bay said about 3D makes a lot of sense, having said that...its too bad there was no director out there who was already a "big fan" of TF growing up. Look at the TF war for cybertron game for example, you can easily tell that game was made by hardcore G1 really shows.
    Bay has done a great job with what he has got...and that is, no real background or childhood in the TF world. Thats no easy task...really! Fingers crossed for TF3 :D!!!

  14. "Bay has done a great job with what he's got"....this clown is old are you little one?

  15. ^^ "Bay has done a great job with what he's got..."

    3/30/2011 2:28 AM
    You need to finish the sentence in order to understand it. Anyone with grade 5+ reading skills can figure that out.

    It very simply states that Bay may not have had transformers in his childhood, and that he has done a pretty good job with it, considering.

    lemme know if you still have trouble understanding this basic concept, so I can dull it down a lil' more for ya ;)

    Remember kids...stay in school :) don't wanna be like this guy ^^ :D

  16. I love that Transformers 3 Dark of the moon is going to be in 3D. I hope the movie will be good though unlike the previous 2 transformers. Avatar was awesome in 3D.

  17. let me know if 3d is worth watching


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