Michael Bay’s Unique Use Of Film Form

 Michael Bay’s -Bayhem

Michael Bay  is the most explosive guy in the film industry. He is very successful and earns tons of money. One thing common about all his films is explosions. Many people do not like his movies, but I do. His movies are entertaining. and I like most of his explosions. He has his unique style of storytelling and sometimes I like it. Even some universities studied his explosions and found out that the more he uses explosions the more he earns.

He earns approximately 3.2 million $ for every explosion in his movies and a Michael Bay movie without explosions would earn 154.4 million $.This means that if Michael Bay wants to make a movie that earns more than Avatar’s 2781.5 million $ he has to have 817 explosions in his movie. Even someone made a trailer called What if Michael Bay Directed “UP”? and its fantastic, suits the style of Michael Bay.

That is very amusing, isn’t it? But this post is not about all these explosions.  This post is about analyzing Michael Bay’s unique visual style. Tony Zhou has a fantastic video essay about the visual style of Michael Bay and it will help you to become a better filmmaker for sure.

As always the tony Zhou is fantastic. If you watch the full video you will understand that Michael Bay likes to compose complex shots and also an explosion. Here are the extracts from the video essay.

  • Michael Bay loves circular camera movements in which he likes his characters move vertically from a low angle shot and at slow motion.
  • He loves a shot in which multiple movements are integrated…  movement of the camera, movement of the background, movement of the actors, expansion of time and then they stand still look off camera creating stillness.
  • Michael Bay loves multiple layers of depth, and unlike others more complex shots. That is why his frames seems to have a lot of stuff going on like lots of dust, dirt or his favorite explosions between the layers.
  • How can you make something feel big? Put lots of thing with different sizes in one shot and move the camera to emphasize.
  • How to utilize off screen space? Show something important in the frame and ask your actors to look opposite which means there are more important things which we can’t see. In this way shot feels huge.

There are many other things Zhou has explained about Michael Bay’s visual style. Go through the video to find out.

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