When “Transformers: Age of Extinction” hits theatres this weekend, it’s bound to be another hit in Michael Bay’s explosive filmography.
Yet, some do see a method in Bay’s madness.
“I think that the critical revulsion that Michael Bay inspires actually is itself a kind of proof of his distinctiveness,” film critic Justin Chang told Variety. “There are a million hacks in Hollywood but there’s only one Michael Bay.”
Bay utilizes a 360 shot that has the camera slowly spin around one or more characters (usually the protagonists) as they come up from below frame.
One of the first uses of it was in 1995’s “Bad Boys” starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Bay used it again a year later with Nicholas Cage in 1996’s “The Rock.”
Smith and Lawrence returned in 2003’s “Bad Boys II” along with another 360 spin.
In 2001, Bay changed it up a bit and didn’t focus on an important character but rather used it to show fighter planes flying in for an attack in “Pearl Harbor.”
In 2007, Bay combined the CGI transformation of Autobot Optimus Prime with his signature shot for “Transformers.”
Bay expanded the shot further in a shootout in “Bad Boys 2.” Instead of focusing on a single actor, Bay used spinning to wrap around an action scene that occurs in two completely different rooms.
According to a behind the scenes featurette for the film, Bay used the spinning shot to attempt to show both sides of the shootout without cutting away.
Bay spun the cameras around the different rooms and then digitally added in the doors.
The shot has been noticed online by many (YouTube channel ScreenJunkies compiled a supercut of the shots), and while some don’t find his work to be anything special, Bay isn’t too worried about what the critics have to say.
“I really, really don’t care,” Bay told Mother Jones. “I make movies for people. I make movies for audiences to enjoy. A few sour apples are not going to spoil my fun.”
Bay’s next film, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” hits theatres Friday.
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