What Michael Bay's Films Can Teach Us About Visual Storytelling
While his films are incredibly successful financially, director Michael Bay is one of the more polarizing filmmakers working today. Many consider his style the downfall of entertainment as we know it, while others love the non-stop action that oozes from nearly every frame. If fewer people watched his films, they may still be interesting visual specimens, but the fact that his movies have grossed billions and earned him two Criterion Collections makes him a different case entirely. Tony Zhou has put together a video exploring "Bayhem," a visual style that is rather unique to Michael Bay and his brand of storytelling.
A brief intro to the piece from the Vimeo description:
There are filmmakers we love and then there’s Michael Bay. Even if you dislike him (as I do), Bay has something valuable to teach us about visual perception. This is an exploration of “Bayhem” — his style of camera movement, composition and editing that creates something overblown, dynamic and distinct.
For educational purposes only.
For further reading/viewing, I recommend
Letterboxd user sydney’s review of Bad Boys 2: bit.ly/1iZe7SX
Michael Bay watches West Side Story: nyti.ms/Vg7ErY
Werner Herzog Talks About Wrestlemania & Anna Nicole Smith: bit.ly/VfQ9Iu
Bay's style is certainly unique, even though the constant action and complex layers can actually numb our senses in a negative way. His work has absolutely influenced the rest of Hollywood -- because if there's one thing we can be sure of in this business, it's that anything successful will be copied and imitated to death. As Zhou mentions in the video, Bay has even cannibalized himself with certain visual techniques.
From a producing point of view, he's mentioned that he gets his films done on time and under budget. There is no doubt putting these giant movies together is a colossal feat, but with the exception of one film, The Island, there are no financial flops in his portfolio (and that movie likely made money after all is said and done). That's impressive even if you consider him a hack.
Be sure to check out the rest of Tony's videos over on his page, a number of which we've shared here.
Link: Tony Zhou -- Vimeo