March 7, 2017

Watch: The 6 Ingredients Needed to Make a Film like Michael Bay

Grab some low angles, circular camera movements, and more explosions than you can shake a stick of dynamite at, and you've got yourself a Michael Bay film.

Some people just want to watch the world burn, and if his films are any indication, one of those people is director Michael Bay. Whether you love his work or hate it, the Transformers director certainly knows how to get an audience's attention. In this hilarious video, the Studio Binder team, yes, totally pokes fun at the director's obsession with speed, hot chicks, and explosions, but also provides some great insight into how to craft a heart-pumping action flick. Check it out below.

From Bad Boys to Transformers, Michael Bay has made a career out of blowing stuff up and making things look super epic and sexy on-screen, whether it's Martin Lawrence defying death as a Miami detective or Megan Fox turning working on a motorcycle into a sex act. This brand of cinema has been dubbed "Bayhem" and it certainly has its hallmarks, many of which were mentioned in the video above.

  • Move the camera around a lot
  • 360-degree hero shots
  • Super low angles
  • Watch West Side Story (Bay is a huge fan boy for this movie.)
  • Explosions...lots of 'em
  • Edit the film in a bouncy castle so the visuals are almost unwatchable

Bay likes to move his camera around a lot, capturing extremely low angles, handheld tracking shots, or those 360-degree "hero shots" he has included in his films for the last three decades. And of course, you can't talk about Michael Bay without talking about the egregious number of explosions in all of his movie—the latest count says nearly 1000, but that number is already six years old and doesn't account for his last three films, one of which was a part of theTransformers franchise, historically his greatest conduit for 'splosions, bro.

All ribbing aside, Michael Bay's work has inspired plenty of filmmakers who love a good action flick. Studio Binder's video, though it's meant for laughs, is actually pretty helpful in studying the director's style. If you want to learn more, they also wrote a companion blog post that is certainly worth a read, thought it too pokes fun at his love for explosions and cleavage.      

Your Comment

5 Comments

Literally just a low-effort ripoff of Every Frame's "Bayhem" video, which was posted on your own site, here: http://nofilmschool.com/2014/07/michael-bay-bayhem-visual-storytelling

March 7, 2017 at 9:21PM

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Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer
1487

Thank you so much for posting that link. It was really useful to see.

March 8, 2017 at 1:42PM

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hehe, Bayhem is something everyone should at least try once :-p

March 7, 2017 at 10:21PM, Edited March 7, 10:21PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8772

Here is the formula so you can be like Michael Bay!
C17 H21 No4

Your welcome! :)

March 9, 2017 at 2:29PM, Edited March 9, 2:29PM

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Mike Mack
DMX TECH
154

I love MB films.. say what you will about the man, but he knows how to make an action flick!

March 9, 2017 at 4:53PM, Edited March 9, 4:53PM

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Wentworth Kelly
Director/DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2097

I totally agree. People knock him, but a ton of people have tried to be him (I'm looking at you Bruckheimer) and he still holds the throne of crappy, mindless, entertaining action. People may not enjoy his particular craft, but he is a master of it.

March 12, 2017 at 8:34PM

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