Because I am a massive Michael Bay fan, I have some big issues a single line that frames your article. Michael Bay was not a “struggling director trying to break into the film world.”
In 1994, when Bad Boys was made he was already a massively successful commercial director. You allude to this, but I don't think you take in the extent which he was a god in that industry.
He had already won his Clio award for the Got Milk commercials. He already worked at the biggest commercial production company of the 90s, Propaganda Films (with Fincher, Fuqua, Proyas, etc). He was already a millionaire from directing.
Going into Bad Boys, he had already directed over 100 days on union sets. He was wealthy enough that he loaned production his $80,000 Porsche. He gave up a quarter of his directing fee to get an extra explosion shot.
Speaking of his fee, it was a mere $100,000. He has gone on record saying that ‘94 was a massive step-down in terms of his earnings, because he stepped away from commercials to do low-budget Bad Boys. He also said if Bad Boys didn’t work out, he was fine because of how successful he was at commercials.
Your article seems to come from the point-of-view that he learned on the fly during Bad Boys how to roll with the punches, which is probably at best just a half-truth. He already knew how to manage big egos, deal with celebrities, contain chaotic shooting days, and how to milk a budget. I find it disingenuous to suggest he was struggling coming into Bad Boys. He came in with his eyes open and knew what he was doing, it was a culmination of a near decade in the industry for him.
PS sorry Jason, my comment may have come off as rude. Michael Bay is one of my favorite directors, and I think Bad Boys was a difficult shoot and a massive achievement for a first-time director. But the way you frame it as a pull-yourself-by-your-bootstraps success story doesn’t square with the success he already was.
It’s worth listening to the Bad Boys directors commentary to really get a sense of how he viewed that movie’s production. For him Bad Boys wasn’t a film school, he didn’t learn much making it. Bad Boys was more about applying the lessons that had made him a success in commercials onto the feature film process.
I'm sorry Deeder, I'm pretty sure your argument is flawed.
Are you saying I can't judge a song on the radio unless I also have a song on the radio? Are you saying I can't judge my dinner unless I am a chef? Just because I don't work in a restaurant doesn't mean I can't decide if the meal looks appetizing and tastes good.
On the flip side, if Roger Deakins tells you this trailer looks like bad, does that mean you are obligated to agree with him? Because he is one of the best cinematographers working today, and his comments have "credibility" and he "absolutely has ground to stand on," do his feelings make your opinion wrong?
Regardless, I see why you might want that (flawed) opinion. It means the films that you've made can only be judged by filmmakers who have achieved the same level of notoriety as you. That's a nice worldview, that general audiences opinions don't matter. I wonder when people tell you they liked (or disliked) your movies, do you ask them if they have ever made a movie to decide if their opinion is of value?
Have you seen this article?
Awesome article. Would love to read more about your making of this movie.
Not to call you a liar Matt, everyone is of course entitled to their own opinions & has had their own experiences, but calling c100 soft flies in the face of conventional wisdom. I've always had the impression that c100 has as sharp and detailed image as any other sub $20,000 camera. I'd love to hear more, as I have been thinking of moving to a c100 as the price has dropped.
(Yes, that c100 is tough in post has been well documented.)
Use whichever one the particular shot calls for.