The Return of the Michael Bay Blogs! This Time, With More Scathing Evisceration and Burnt Bridges

Love him or hate him, you have to admit Michael Bay isn't afraid of speaking his mind. Especially when he's seeing red. This time, it's not a hard-to-eliminate Hollywood actor in Bay's sights, but a couple of producers of his own record-breaking flick, "Transformers."

Remember back when Bruce Willis sounded off on how working with Bay was, like, the worst experience ever? (Bruno later told us he bears no ill will towards his "Armageddon" director and would be getting in line to see "Transformers.") Well, Bay responded then with a miffed-sounding blog post -- then slyly injected the lament, "I mean it would be sad if he felt this way?I say sad, in that he wouldn't be man enough to say it to my face."

Bay has returned to the sounding board with his latest blog entry, this time in response to media suggestions that "Transformers" producers Tom DeSanto and Don Murphy had more than a little bit of influence on the massive success that is "Transformers." [Who, you ask, is Don Murphy?]



Bay on the set of "Transformers"


In an entry titled "Let's Get Some Facts Straight," Bay begins by recounting the arduous, yet rewarding (at $65.7 million and climbing, I'll say) journey that was the "Transformers" production; 365 days of work, 36,000 miles of promotion touring, and this gem: "The most difficult actors I've ever worked with, besides Bruce Willis, are Optimus Prime and Bumblebee."

He addresses his $150 million budget and the internet speculators who put it at a much higher number: "Anyone want [sic] to challenge me I'll put a ten thousand dollar bet down on the table right now."

One interesting tidbit comes as he reveals that, rather than shoot in Canada or Australia per studio requests, he lowered his own salary in order to keep production in America. "I cut my fee 30% so I could make this at home," Bay writes. "I knew this was right for the movie so I asked the other producers to join?"

And who of the film's four producers also reduced their pay for the film? "Ian [Bryce] and Lorenzo [di Bonaventura] did, and the two others (that came attached to the project) Tom DeSanto and Don Murphy did not. That was my introduction to them - they did not want any part of their fee going to make a better movie."



Producers Ian Bryce and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (AKA the Autobots of Bay's producing team)


So naturally, while on press rounds to promote "Transformers," Bay felt the need to obliterate the mere suggestion that DeSanto and Murphy deserve credit for the film's success. Here's his full three paragraphs on the subject, thanks to some quick-thinking archiving by Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke (the blog post has since been removed):

"Tom had one creative meeting with me for one hour and ten minutes to be exact about a year ago. He told he was the über fan boy and was going to protect me from the minefields. The type of minefields on the Net like 'Damn you Michael Bay' 'You wrecked my childhood Michael Bay' and other various web death threats I received. Tom proceeded to tell me how much he had problems with the robot designs and script issues. I realized he was worlds apart in my vision. I said thank you very much, and then showed him my office door - I never really spoke to him again other then to mutter hello. He would occasionally come to the set with guests like it was some theme park. I never spoke creatively with Don. I read his notes kind of trashing the script and making me and the writers feel like a big shit pile. But during production Don was nice to me, he knew I was not going to talk creative with him.

One day not too long ago, the writers of our movie Alex and Bob called me in a panic saying all of a sudden after the movie was almost finished in post that Tom was applying for writer's or story credit. I was appalled because neither the writer's nor I ever saw any treatment. Well, he applied for credit, but the Writer's Guild shot him down, denied him.

But what made my blood curl was something that was on the Net with Tom at the Saturn awards on IESB.net where they interviewed him about the movie - a movie I might add he had not seen yet. He acted very much like he did. Check it out as he vamps through the questions, and how Hugo put his 'thumb print on it'. Give me a break, the guy was lying through his teeth - he had seen nada, nothing, until the press screening."

Meanwhile, Bay's got plenty of time to coast on his uber-alien robots money maker, and has a couple of high-octane projects -- the "Prince of Persia" vid-game adaptation and the sci-fi pic "2012: The War For Souls" -- on his upcoming slate. Oh, and the inevitable "Transformers" sequel, which he's in talks to make. Let's hope that means more candid Bay blogs!

Comments

cgcbooks

Robert Kimberlin

Damn you Michael Bay!

Jul 6 - 02:08 PM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

You stole my childhood, Michael Bay.

I have to agree, you may or may not like him, but I admire that he pulls no punches and speaks his mind. Hollywood would probably be better off if more people did that.

Jul 6 - 02:23 PM

IMAmoose24

Eric Schulze

No, they should just shut up and make some movies. THAT would make hollywoood a better place.

Jul 6 - 07:23 PM

Moonscream

Moon Scream

Reportedly there were either comments or rebuttals from Murphy and Orci on Murphy's board, but those were erased as well. I would be interested to hear what they had to say about it.

Jul 6 - 02:28 PM

screwhead100

Ben Wellick

im going to have to agree with Ashron

Jul 6 - 02:34 PM

moviemonkey2

J P

I agree with Ashron too. Seems like people are too quick to shake each others hands and pat each other on the back. I'm not saying I want Hollywood to turn into a flame war, but honesty (brutal or otherwise) can always be appreciated. It's certainly a nice change of pace from the standard fake smiles and obligatory compliments.

Any actor, on working with anyone on any movie: "It was just great working with _____. They were so great. And all the crew. We just had a special group working on _________ and I would love to work with ___________ or ____________ again in the future."

Seriously. I doubt every set of every movie is as sunshiningly happy as we're led to believe.

Jul 6 - 03:02 PM

Segkee

Lochhead Seth

Michael Bay is now my hero. Working with producers and execs who think they are creative is a pain in the neck, ass, and balls. Murphy sounds like a real cocksucker. My advice to those who want to enter this business is to treat the creators like god. The creator can be the writer or the source material. The others, no matter they're salaries or credits, service the creators. They do not pretend to be creators. They're so afraid of losing money that it taints their work and they fulfill their on fears. Once Hollywood can get their thick skulls around this notion, begin to worship the creator, the film world will be a better, more creative place and the money will still fall from the sky.

Jul 6 - 03:10 PM

ksao

Kee Sao

[b]Segkee in 2003 DeSanto was the first writer on the[/b]
As a long time Transformers fan you don't have your facts right. When Hasbro announced DeSanto and Murphy had gotten the rights in 2003 and were producing it also stated that DeSanto was writing the story. Imdb shows he wrote on X-Men and an upcoming Teen Titans flick so he is a creative not a studio guy. Murphy and DeSanto were championing online a lot of the stuff that worked in the film like Peter Cullen while Bay resisted hiring him. One of the other producers, Lorenzo something also pissed off the fans by saying they were not going to hire Peter. I don't know all the details of what happened on set but the development of this movie is very well documented and judging from the facts it seems like Bay is lying about DeSanto and Murphy having no involvement. That would make sense as he took the post down. Here is one of the many fan sites which talk about the development of the property. http://www.transformerland.com/transformers-the-movie.html
There is an interesting article from Sept 2003 almost four years ago which Tom describes the tone of the film even calling it an homage to Spielberg before Spielberg was attached. It seems to be the film in the theaters with a lot of Bay action (which is great by the way although it does get way confusing at the end). Something is not adding up with Bay's story as Transformers fits much better along side DeSanto's projects X-Men, Battlestar Galactica, and Teen Titans then Michael Bay's Bad Boys, Pearl Harbor, and The Island. Who knows what the truth is but I hope they can fix their bullshit and make the fans happy with a bigger better Transformers sequel.

Jul 7 - 05:13 PM

STFU_Donny

Chris W

They should make a new reality show and just follow Bay around, call it - Baywatch!

Jul 6 - 03:46 PM

SukmyPikachu

omair hussain

Its about someone set half these producers right. Trying to take the credit when its a success but blaming if it had failed. And Baywatch sounds like a good idea.

Jul 6 - 04:35 PM

IronStarSavior

Tim Cain

Well, Bays stock just went up in my book. That producer sounds like a sleazeball, but I don't blame him for wanting to give some notes on the script. Hell, I would have loved to give some notes on the script. Then after I saw some footage, I would have given even more notes. Things like "less shaky cam!", and "Pan the camera out!" immediately come to mind. There were also some plot goofs that should have been ironed out as well.

Lastly, I am absolutely shocked they made this movie for $150. Seems like a higher budget movie.

Jul 6 - 05:06 PM

mojodaddy

joe fish

Those are some pretty ballsy things to say. I respect Bay a little more after reading that.

Jul 6 - 05:17 PM

kfarschman

Kurt Farschman

Maybe he should have listened to the criticism of the script and the busy, flame covered robot designs instead of taking it as an attack on his ego.

Tom DeSanto: I'd like to run some things by you Mr. Bay.
Michael Bay: How dare you talk to me!! I don't care what you say!
TD: Yeah whatever. I just want to run some constructive criticism about the script and maybe even some of the robot designs.
MB: What!! Everything is f***ing perfect! Do you know who I'm am?
TD: Ofcourse I know who you are, I'm a producer on the movie and was just--
MB: I'm Michael F****ing Bay!!!
TD: Are you retarded?
MFB: No, your mom is!!
TD: Just Shut Up!! We have hundreds of million of dollars put into this project and I think we may have some problems with the script and we should work on it more before we get too far into shooting.
MFB: Don't get tough with me. I'll beat your ass like I did to Bruce Willis.
TD: You didn't beat up Bruce Willis and if you did fight him, you'd be lucky to still be alive. Now about the script, many of us feel you and the writers have WAY too much stupid cheesy comedy in it and some of the serious scenes just seem to be bad soap opera melodrama. Just the script is awful, what did these writers write before?
MFB: Oh just my favorite two non-Bay movies of all time: Legend of Zorro and Mission Impossible 3!! They also wrote for the tv series Hercules and Xena. They are the best that money can buy!! You just have to imagine blaring overdramatic music playing over the serious dialogue.
TD: God help us. Well we've heard lots of negative feed back about Optimus' flames. I have to say that is one of the lamest things I've ever seen and it's pissing all the Transformer's fans off too.
MFB: Screw them and screw you. I have those flame graphics on ever single car I own and everyone thinks I'm the coolest bad-ass that has ever lived!! I might put flames on every single Robot in the movie. What about that?
TD: No. No your not.
MFB: I can do anything I want, Speilberg loves me. Actually I'm done talking with you, I'm done talking with you forever. Leave!!
TD: Fine. Whatever. I don't really care, I'll get paid either way so what do I care if Transformers becomes a laughable movie. Have fun douchebag.

Jul 6 - 06:22 PM

Jen Reviews Movies

Jenni Vanderlay

[b]That was funny but...[/b]

I think you were wrong what you said about the film. Bay just updated the bots for fans of cartoon, not against them. Transformers was huge for me as a kid and I still loved every minute of Bay's creation. I'm not even a Bay fan! You can see Spielberg's subtle influence like a blanket over the movie. I'd hate to see what happened if he wasn't involved! The Island sucked ballz, however Prince of Persia sounds like it could be good!

Jul 6 - 06:31 PM

kfarschman

Kurt Farschman

I didn't really hate the movie Jen. I was pretty entertained. There was some good action, the robots transforming was really cool, and some of the comedy was pretty funny. But I also did alot of MST300ing of the movie which also was entertaining. Most the comedy was out of place and cheesy and just unneeded. Alot of the action was indecipherable. And when it did get serious it was just way too Bay with laughably bad dialogue with overdramatic music recycled from his other films blaring in the background.

I know it may seem weird saying this about a movie about robots from space based on toys but I thought what I saw in the trailers that this had the potential to be a really badass, great movie. It just turned out to be a entertaining cheesy mediocre action movie filled with bad Bay-isms though.

Imagine if Speilberg directed it.

Jul 6 - 06:51 PM

Thomjones

Thomas Jones

[b]Recycled Bay-isms[/b]
I'm glad someone else noticed the misplaced music. I will give Bay credit for doing a pretty solid job on the robots. They were most lifeless without much personality, but for the most part they were good.

The more I think about this movie the more I think how disconnected it was. Some scenes or storey lines were pointless. What was the point of the whole code-breaking storyline with Anthony Anderson? And why did the scene where they're looking for the glasses in LeBeouf room take so frickin' long?

I hope they put the sequel in the hands of a director with some storytelling capabilities.

Jul 8 - 04:17 PM

Jen Reviews Movies

Jenni Vanderlay

[b]That was funny but...[/b]

I think you were wrong what you said about the film. Bay just updated the bots for fans of cartoon, not against them. Transformers was huge for me as a kid and I still loved every minute of Bay's creation. I'm not even a Bay fan! You can see Spielberg's subtle influence like a blanket over the movie. I'd hate to see what happened if he wasn't involved! The Island sucked ballz, however Prince of Persia sounds like it could be good!

Jul 6 - 06:31 PM

kfarschman

Kurt Farschman

I didn't really hate the movie Jen. I was pretty entertained. There was some good action, the robots transforming was really cool, and some of the comedy was pretty funny. But I also did alot of MST300ing of the movie which also was entertaining. Most the comedy was out of place and cheesy and just unneeded. Alot of the action was indecipherable. And when it did get serious it was just way too Bay with laughably bad dialogue with overdramatic music recycled from his other films blaring in the background.

I know it may seem weird saying this about a movie about robots from space based on toys but I thought what I saw in the trailers that this had the potential to be a really badass, great movie. It just turned out to be a entertaining cheesy mediocre action movie filled with bad Bay-isms though.

Imagine if Speilberg directed it.

Jul 6 - 06:51 PM

Thomjones

Thomas Jones

[b]Recycled Bay-isms[/b]
I'm glad someone else noticed the misplaced music. I will give Bay credit for doing a pretty solid job on the robots. They were most lifeless without much personality, but for the most part they were good.

The more I think about this movie the more I think how disconnected it was. Some scenes or storey lines were pointless. What was the point of the whole code-breaking storyline with Anthony Anderson? And why did the scene where they're looking for the glasses in LeBeouf room take so frickin' long?

I hope they put the sequel in the hands of a director with some storytelling capabilities.

Jul 8 - 04:17 PM

kfarschman

Kurt Farschman

I didn't really hate the movie Jen. I was pretty entertained. There was some good action, the robots transforming was really cool, and some of the comedy was pretty funny. But I also did alot of MST300ing of the movie which also was entertaining. Most the comedy was out of place and cheesy and just unneeded. Alot of the action was indecipherable. And when it did get serious it was just way too Bay with laughably bad dialogue with overdramatic music recycled from his other films blaring in the background.

I know it may seem weird saying this about a movie about robots from space based on toys but I thought what I saw in the trailers that this had the potential to be a really badass, great movie. It just turned out to be a entertaining cheesy mediocre action movie filled with bad Bay-isms though.

Imagine if Speilberg directed it.

Jul 6 - 06:51 PM

Thomjones

Thomas Jones

[b]Recycled Bay-isms[/b]
I'm glad someone else noticed the misplaced music. I will give Bay credit for doing a pretty solid job on the robots. They were most lifeless without much personality, but for the most part they were good.

The more I think about this movie the more I think how disconnected it was. Some scenes or storey lines were pointless. What was the point of the whole code-breaking storyline with Anthony Anderson? And why did the scene where they're looking for the glasses in LeBeouf room take so frickin' long?

I hope they put the sequel in the hands of a director with some storytelling capabilities.

Jul 8 - 04:17 PM

MattBaerFTW

Matt Baer

I was a big fan of bad boys... the island was id say disappointing i didn't think it sucked terribly but i wanted a lot more out of it...Transformers gave me faith in bay that movies such as pearl harbor and the island took away...Prince of Persia is a kick ass game and if he goes overkill bay with the time reversal and slow mo shots like the game...that could also be one hell of a movie adaption i think and 2012 movie has a cool title sounds like it could be a pretty sweet movie...or it could be the island again who knows but Mr bay deserves more respect then what he gets. l

Jul 6 - 06:59 PM

IMAmoose24

Eric Schulze

No, they should just shut up and make some movies. THAT would make hollywoood a better place.

Jul 6 - 07:23 PM

Xynotyro

Rob Wadleigh

"makes my blood curl"...? That's a new one...and just because he's good at making action sequences doesn't mean he's a cinematic god. Maybe he should start listening to the criticism and work on the areas he's ridiculed for, like the script, instead of just throwing it back in everyone's face. And it's one thing to push back against producers for creative control, that happens all the time in Hollywood; but by taking the most immature route possible and bragging about it online to all his web groupies, he's obviously just trying to get some street cred. Damn you Micheal Bay! And your little script too!

Jul 6 - 09:03 PM

Atomix

Joe Labar

The problem is... the geeks notes were probably dead on balls accurate. Michael Bay's artistic intuition sucks.


He's not Tim Burton... He's Michael Bay. Technically amazing, artistically devoid. All his spins and plots and even his characters are atrocities. Ewan Mcgregor MADE The Island by shining through an archtype a 12 year old could write lines for

Jul 6 - 09:39 PM

Siskel+Ebert Fan

D T

Here's what I like. Bay is candid and speaks his mind. Bay is patriotic and cares about America.

Here's what I don't like. Bay personifies the stereotype that American's are arrogant egotistical yanks and gives us a bad name. He completely disregarded the fans, Hasbro's characters, and Tom DeSanto who got this thing going in the first place. I also don't like how Bay already had his own vision to do this kind of (alien invasion war) movie and basically USED Transformers to make it, not caring if they turn out to look like Transformer,s or even Robots or not. I hate that his vision including making them look like beast monsters that fall in asteroids from the sky. I hate how he shoved DeSanto to the door and ignored his original Treatment.

Simply put I hate how Bay is a close minded arrogant egotistical jerk. And I also wouldn't be suprised if he was stealing a little bit of credit from the producers after all. (What I mean is simply not giving the credit that they do deserve. Make no mistake, Bay is mostly responsible for the monstrocities in the movie.)

Jul 6 - 11:12 PM

Herberbaly

Greg White

The movie kicked ass, and Michael Bay and the producers, everybody, did a good job. So far, this was easily the most fun I've had at the movies this summer. Flame the movie all you want, everybody... Just because you hate the director, it doesn't mean he created a terrible movie. Lest we all forget, the cartoon the film is based on was based on toys..... I loved the cartoon as a kid, but still know that, as cartoons, they weren't really that great. Oh MY GOD, OPTIMUS PRIME HAS FLAMES NOW?!?!?! Who cares, he was still Optimus Prime, and he still kicked ass. All the huge Transformers fans I know who watched the cartoon as a kid loved this movie; everybody who hated it generally seems to fit into the "I hate Michael Bay" crowd whose only real knowledge of the cartoon comes from episodes they've streamed on Youtube.

Jul 6 - 11:32 PM

gemini0577

Ricky Rodriguez

I was really entertained by this movie. I collected the toys as a kid and watched the cartoon when I could... and I was not at all disapointed by this flick. Sure, Bay is not an artistically astute director, but you got give him props in that his films usually succeed at what they are intended to succeed at: entertainment. Not all films have to be art house perfection... stupid dialogue and cheesy plots can sometimes yield great fun... as Transformers proves...
plus, Shia Lebouff... need I say more... hehehehehe...

Jul 7 - 12:03 AM

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