|Born||Michael Benjamin Bay
February 17, 1965
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Education||Art Center College of Design|
|Alma mater||Wesleyan University|
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, camera operator, actor|
|Notable work(s)||Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Transformers film series|
|Relatives||Leonard Nimoy (cousin-in-law)|
Michael Benjamin Bay (born February 17, 1965) is an American film director and producer. He is known for directing big-budget action films characterized by fast edits, stylistic visuals and extreme use of special effects. His films, which include the science fiction disaster thriller Armageddon (1998), the epic war film Pearl Harbor (2001) and the science fiction action films in the Transformers film series (2007–present), have grossed over US$5 billion worldwide. He is co-founder of commercial production house The Institute, a.k.a. The Institute for the Development of Enhanced Perceptual Awareness. He is co-chair and part-owner of the digital effects house Digital Domain. He co-owns Platinum Dunes, a production house which has remade horror movies including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Amityville Horror (2005), The Hitcher (2007), Friday the 13th (2009) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).
Despite his considerable success at the international box office, Bay has had mixed reviews for his work from film critics. While his films such as The Rock, The Island, Pain & Gain, and Transformers received mildly positive reviews by critics and audiences, his three sequels in the Transformers film series were panned by critics, as were Pearl Harbor, the Bad Boys movies, and Armageddon.
Michael Bay was born in Los Angeles, California. He was raised by his adoptive parents Harriet, a bookstore owner/child psychiatrist, and Jim, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He was raised Jewish. His grandfather was from Russia. His cousin, Susan Bay, is the widow of the late Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy (whom he eventually cast as the voice actor for Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon). He attended the exclusive Crossroads School, in Santa Monica, California. Bay often traces his interest in action films back to an incident during his childhood. As a boy, he attached some firecrackers to a toy train and filmed the ensuing fiery disaster with his mother's 8 millimeter camera. The fire department was called and he was grounded.
Bay got his start in the film industry interning with George Lucas when he was fifteen, filing the storyboards for Raiders of the Lost Ark, which he thought was going to be terrible. His opinion changed after seeing it in the theater and he was so impressed by the experience that he decided to become a film director. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1986, majoring in both English and Film. He was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity and a favorite student of film historian Jeanine Basinger. For his graduate work, he attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he also studied film.
Michael Bay began working at Propaganda Films, directing commercials and music videos, two weeks after finishing his post-graduate degree. His 90-second World War II-inspired Coca-Cola advertisement was picked up by Capitol Records. His first national commercial for the Red Cross won a Clio Award in 1992. He directed Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Got Milk? advertisement campaign for the California Milk Processors Board in 1993.
Bay's success in music videos gained the attention of producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, who selected him to direct his first feature-length film, Bad Boys. The film was shot in Miami in 1994 and starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The action film proved to be a break-out role for Smith, who was segueing from television to films at that time. Shooting in Miami was a good experience for Bay who would later own a home in the city and spend a great deal of time there. The film was completed for $19 million and grossed a remarkable $141 million at the box office in the summer of 1995. Bay's success led to a strong partnership and friendship with Jerry Bruckheimer.
His follow-up film, The Rock (1996), was an action movie set on Alcatraz Island, and in the San Francisco Bay area. It starred Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris. It was also produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, the latter of whom died five months before the film's release. The film is dedicated to him. Connery and Cage won 'Best On-Screen Duo' at the MTV Movie Awards in 1997 and the film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Achievement in Sound category for the work of Greg P. Russell, Kevin O'Connell, and Keith A. Wester.
In 1998, Bay collaborated with Jerry Bruckheimer again, this time as a co-producer, as well as directing the action-adventure film Armageddon. The film, about a group of tough oil drillers who are sent by NASA to deflect an asteroid away from a collision course with Earth, starred Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler. It was nominated for 4 Oscars at the 71st Academy Awards including Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, and Best Original Song. The film earned 9.6 million dollars on its opening day and a total of 36.5 million through the first weekend. The production budget, $140 million, was one of the highest of the summer of 1998. Armageddon went on to gross over $553 million worldwide.
In 2001, Bay directed Pearl Harbor. It starred Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The film was released on Memorial Day weekend in 2001. Again, Bay produced the film with Jerry Bruckheimer. The film received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing and Best Song. Again, Kevin O'Connell received another nomination for Best Sound, but he did not win. Pearl Harbor won in the category for Sound Editing, making it Bay's first (and, to date, only) film to win an Oscar. Michael Bay also directed the music video for nominated track "There You'll Be" by vocal artist Faith Hill.
Bay reteamed with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for Bad Boys II, a sequel which also marked Bay's fifth collaboration with Jerry Bruckheimer. The film grossed $138 million domestically, enough to cover the production budget, and $273 million worldwide, almost twice as much as the first movie. In 2005, Bay directed The Island, a science-fiction film starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. It was the first film Michael Bay made without Jerry Bruckheimer. The Island cost $126 million to produce. It earned $46 million domestically and $172 million worldwide. Bay stated that he was not comfortable with the domestic marketing campaign as it confused the audience as to the true subject of the film.
In 2007, he directed and teamed up with Steven Spielberg to produce Transformers, a live action film based on the Transformers franchise. The film was released in the U.S. and Canada on July 3, 2007, with 8 p.m. preview screenings on July 2. The previews earned $8.8 million, and in its first day of general release it grossed $27.8 million, a record for Tuesday box office attendance. It broke the record held by Spider-Man 2 for the biggest July 4 gross, making $29 million. On its opening weekend, Transformers grossed $70.5 million, amounting to a $155.4 million opening week, giving it the record for the biggest opening week for a non-sequel. As of November 2007, the film has made over $319 million domestically and over $708 million worldwide. Bay returned as director and executive producer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which was released on June 24, 2009 and went on to gross over $832 million worldwide. Although it received mostly negative reviews by critics, including aggressively critical reviews by American film critics such as Roger Ebert, Michael Phillips and David Denby (who referred to Bay as "stunningly, almost viciously, untalented"), the film was well received by its intended audience and was one of the highest-grossing films of 2009. In 2010, it earned seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations and winning three: Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Screenplay. It was also one of the best selling DVD and Blu-ray Discs of 2009, second only to Twilight in DVD format and the number one of all time in Blu-ray format until it was surpassed by Blu-ray sales of James Cameron's Avatar in April 2010. Bay directed Transformers: Dark of the Moon, released on June 28, 2011. His next film was a "small" film he had been developing for years, called Pain & Gain. The true crime story, based on events described in a Miami Herald article written by Pete Collins, concerns a group of bumbling bodybuilders working together to commit a robbery.
Bay produced DreamWorks' I Am Number Four, based on a series of novels by Pittacus Lore published by HarperCollins Children's Books. D. J. Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) directed. Bay will co-produce One Way Out, a reality series that pits ordinary people against each other as they try to keep their pasts hidden and builds toward a showdown where all those secrets will be revealed.
Gideon's Sword, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's novel set for release in February 2011, was optioned by Bay Films and will be produced by Michael Bay. The main character, Gideon Crew, avenges the death of his father. On February 13, 2012, Paramount Pictures announced that Bay would produce and direct a fourth Transformers movie. The film, titled Transformers: Age of Extinction, was released in June 2014. Bay will team up with Warner Bros. to direct a live action of Ghost Recon, based on the video game series.
Production and effects companies
Bay founded this production house with fellow producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form in 2001. Platinum Dunes is named after one of Bay's first student films at Wesleyan University. Brad Fuller also graduated from Wesleyan and worked for Bay as an executive assistant before joining him in this business venture. The company's first film, a remake of the 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, grossed $107 million worldwide. Platinum Dunes produced lucrative remakes of classic horror films and introduced new directors like Sam Bayer and Marcus Nispel to feature film audiences. Their most recent horror film production, A Nightmare on Elm Street starring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger, was released April 2010. The film made 32.9 million dollars in its opening weekend, covering nearly its entire 35 million dollar budget and went on to gross over 100 million dollars worldwide.
Paramount Pictures signed a first look deal with Platinum Dunes in 2009. As part of this new relationship, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon brought the Platinum Dunes producers on to produce the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, rebooting the film series launched by New Line in 1990. Bay, Fuller and Form co-produced with Galen Walker, Scott Mednick and Marina Norman and are working on the sequel for a June 3, 2016 release date.
Platinum Dunes is currently in the process of selling an unnamed TV series to a "major cable network" with Bay in talks to direct the pilot.
Bay and Wyndcrest Holdings, a Florida-based investment firm, acquired the digital effects company Digital Domain from James Cameron and Stan Winston in 1996, infusing the struggling business with a $50 million investment. Digital Domain considered an initial public offering in 2009 but ultimately withdrew the offer, because of the lack of interest. Currently a work for hire visual effects production house, Digital Domain plans to expand its efforts in the video gaming industry and become a full-fledged motion picture production house. Headquartered in Venice, Los Angeles, California, the company is also working to open branches in Vancouver, Canada and the state of Florida.
After leaving Propaganda Films, Bay and producer Scott Gardenhour, also formerly at Propaganda, formed The Institute for the Development of Enhanced Perceptual Awareness (now known as The Institute), to produce commercials and other projects. Through The Institute, Bay has directed and produced spots for Victoria's Secret, Lexus, Budweiser, Reebok, Mercedes-Benz, and Nike. His most recent advertisement for Victoria Secret was the 2009 "A Thousand Fantasies" holiday campaign.
Bay lives in Los Angeles and Miami with his two bullmastiffs, Bonecrusher and Grace, named for characters in Transformers and Armageddon, respectively. As a boy, he donated his Bar Mitzvah money to an animal shelter and often includes his bullmastiff dogs in his films. Bay previously had another dog, Mason, whose final appearance in a film was as Miles' dog in Transformers. Mason died during production of that film in March 2007.
Despite his box office success, Bay has found little critical praise. The 2004 puppet film Team America: World Police directed by Matt Stone and Trey Parker (creators of South Park) features a song titled "The End of an Act", which bashes Bay and Pearl Harbor. In response to the criticism, Bay has said: "I make movies for teenage boys. Oh, dear, what a crime."
|2003||Bad Boys II||23%|
|2009||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||19%|
|2011||Transformers: Dark of the Moon||36%|
|2013||Pain & Gain||50%|
|2014||Transformers: Age of Extinction||18%|
Awards and nominations
Bay has received five MTV Movie Awards: Best Movie and Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet for Transformers and Best Action Sequence for Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys II and The Rock. In 1994, Bay was honored by the Directors Guild of America with an award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials.
Bay received the ShoWest 2009 Vanguard Award for excellence in filmmaking at the confab of theater owners.
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1194). Feb 17, 2012. p. 26.
- Curtis, Brian (2005-06-15). "The Bad Boy of Summer". Slate.com. The Slate Group. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Sobel, Ian (2009-06-23). "The Michael Bay Explosion Tournament". ScreenJunkies.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Pomerantz, Dorothy (2009-06-22). "Michael Bay: Making Movies, Enemies and Money". Forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 2010-07-03.; grosses for films released since 2009 added in July 24, 2014
- "The Institute". Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- "Digital Domain". Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Fleming, Michael (2008-01-29). "New Line Sets Up New 'Nightmare'". Variety (Reed Elsevier). Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- "Michael Bay Biography (1965–)". FilmReference.com. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Michael Bay Jewish Virtual Library - retrieved July 23, 2013
- "Linkin Park Rocks Russian Transformers Premiere". Orange News. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Carroll, Larry (2009-04-21). "Michael Bay Afraid to Offend Leonard Nimoy With Transformers Family Reunion Offer". MoviesBlog.MTV.com. MTV. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Boucher, Geoff (2009-05-24). "Michael Bay, master of the 'huge canvas'". Los Angeles Times (Sam Zell). Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Breznican, Anthony (2009-06-18). "'Transformers' blasts back: Another Michael Bay direct hit". USA Today (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Vary, Adam B. (2010-06-30). "Optimus Prime Time". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Lauren, Nelson. "Biography". Michael Bay Dot Com – Official Site. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Pomerantz, Dorothy (2009-06-22). "Michael Bay: Making Movies, Enemies and Money". Forbes.com. Forbes. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Basinger, Jeanine (1999-06-21). "Armageddon". Criterion.com. The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- "Michael Bay- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
- Hochman, David (1998-07-10). "Is Michael Bay the Devil?". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- "Shootout – Michael Bay". AMC TV. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- "Got Milk? (Aaron Burr)". The Inspiration Room. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Wilson, Stephanie (2008-09-05). "Behind the Camera". Haute Living. Seth Semilof. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- "Martin Lawrence Says Bad Boys 3 is Real". Worst Previews.com. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- Simon, Alex (2008-2-28 [orig. June 2001]). "Jerry Bruckheimer: The Hollywood Interview". reprinted by The Hollywood Interview.com (originally published by Venice Magazine). Nancy Martinez. Retrieved 2010-07-05. Check date values in:
- Ascher-Walsh, Rebecca (1996-02-06). "Death of a Hollywood Bad Boy". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- "1997 MTV Movie Awards – Winners". MTV.com. 1997-06-10. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- "Nominees and Winners for the 69th Annual Academy Awards". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 1997-03-24. Retrieved 2010-07-06.
- Henckel, Guido (1999-2). "DVD Review – Midas Touch of Destruction". DVD Review. Retrieved 2010-07-09. Check date values in:
- Grover, Ronald (2004-05-31). "Jerry Bruckheimer: Hollywood's Most Wanted". Businessweek – BW Online. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
- "Nominees & Winners for the 71st Academy Awards". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. 1999-03-21. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
- Gray, Brandon (1999-07-01). "Daily Box Office: Mild, Mild West". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
- "Armageddon (1998) – Box Office Mojo". 1998-10-11. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
- "Nominees and Winners for the 74th Annual Academy Awards". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2002-05-24. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
- Horn, John (2005-07-17). "You Call This Paradise?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- Rotten Tomatoes – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- Ebert, Roger (2010-06-23). "Reviews – Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Philips, Michael (2009-06-24). "And the popcorn transforms into earqplugs". Live!. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Denby, David (2009-07-06). "Tommy Guns and Toys". The New Yorker. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- Nusair, David (2009-06-26). "The AM Take". AskMen.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Pols, Mary (2009-06-24). "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Falls Short". Time (Time Warner). Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- "30th Annual Dis-Honors for Cinematic Dreck: RAZZIE Voters Spread the Loathe Around". Golden Raspberry Awards. 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- "Top-Selling DVDs of 2009". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Drawbaugh, Ben (2010-10-29). "Transformers 2 tops chart, best selling Blu-ray of all time?". Engadget. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Lawler, Richard (2010-04-26). "Avatar smashes Blu-ray sales records, has some owners ready to smash incompatible players". Engadget. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- Barr, Merrill (2010-01-09). "Transformers 3 Set for 2011 at The Film Stage". The Film Stage. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Lauren, Nelson (2009-09-13). "Transformers 3, Pain & Gain, Bad Boys 3". Michael Bay Dot Com – Official Site. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
- Collins, Pete (1999-12-23). "Pain & Gain". Miami New Times. Kevin Thornburg. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- 'Transformers' Director Michael Bay On His Next Movie, Taylor Lautner And 'Bad Boys 3'
- Kit, Borys (2010-01-20). ""Disturbia" director counts on "Four"". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Motoko, Rich (2009-07-01). "HarperCollins Buys Series From James Frey". The New York Times. Sulzberger family. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Abrams, Natalie (2010-04-14). "Michael Bay Announces Reality TV Adventure Series". TVGuide.com. Lionsgate. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- McNary, Dave (2010-05-24). "Paramount picks up 'Sword'". Variety. Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Franklin, Garth (2010-05-25). "Michael Bay Wields Preston/Child's "Sword"". Dark Horizons. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- 'Transformers 4' arriving in June 2014, CNN, February 14, 2012.
- Graser, Marc (June 11, 2013). "Michael Bay to Develop Ubisoft’s ‘Ghost Recon’ Film at Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
- Fuller, Brad (2009-12-21). "Platinum Dunes: The Official Site". Bloody Disgusting. Brad Miska and Tom Owen. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "Box Office Mojo – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)". Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- Box Office Mojo – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Retrieved on 6-16-2010.
- Fleming, Michael (2010-06-09). "Paramount signs with Platinum Dunes". Variety. Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- Marnell, Blair (2010-08-20). "'Iron Man' Screenwriters Hired For 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'". MTV. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Sequel Underway; Bay To Return". Deadline.com. August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- "'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' sequel set for 2016". Entertainment Weekly. August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- "Michael Bay Talks Transformers 4, Pain & Gain". MichaelBay. 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- Verrier, Richard (2009-10-13). "Digital Domain, whose backers include Michael Bay, is opening a Florida branch". The Los Angeles Times (Sam Zell). Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- The Institute
- Vimeo.com – Bay's Official Page
- Diamond, Jamie (2003-07-17). "AT HOME WITH – Michael Bay – A Slam-Bang Master with a House of Om". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Lauren, Nelson (2007-05-06). "Sunday Post". Michael Bay Dot Com – Official Site. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- "Mason Rock Bay". IMDB – Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
- Rodriguez, Rene. "The Mere Mention of His Name Is Enough to Make Movie Critics Hiss and Groan". MichaelBay.com. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
- Curtis, Bryan (2005-06-15). "The Bad Boy of Summer: Michael Bay vs. his Critics." Slate.com. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Bad Boys". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of The Rock". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Armageddon". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Pearl Harbor". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Bad Boys II". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of The Island". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Transformers". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Transformers: Dark of the Moon". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Pain & Gain". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- "Transformers: Age of Extinction". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- "DGA Awards – Commercials (1990s)". Director's Guild Association. 1994. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
- McClintock, Pamela (2009-03-23). "ShoWest lauds Michael Bay". Variety. Reed Elsevier. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- The Transformers Hall of Fame Inducts Michael Bay, Immediately Explodes
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Bay.|