Michael Bay Talk 3D Within the Movie Business
“The short answer is we did too much with technology that wasn’t ready for prime time,” says director Michael Bay, whose Transformers: Dark of the Moon was shot digitally, in 3-D and on traditional 35mm film.
“Studios are turning everything they can into 3-D without considering whether it should be done at all,” he says. “We’re already wearing the experience out. Look, there are simply some movies that shouldn’t be shot in 3-D,” he says. “It doesn’t add anything.”
But when it does, Bay is a 3-D booster. No stranger to eight-figure film budgets, Bay says that studios need to make the financial commitment to 3-D instead of doing clean-up work. “It’s different, shooting in 3-D,” Bay says. “You need more cameras. You need different sets. It needs to be a forethought. Right now, studios are treating it as an afterthought.”
Directors also need convincing, Bay says. Several months before Avatar was released, Bay says, Cameron invited Bay to the Avatar set. Shot primarily with computer-generated backdrops, the set consisted of bare walls, green screens and rows of computers.
“I first thought, ‘This is a fad. And a pain in the ass,’ ” Bay says. Then he began shooting the third Transformers film in 3-D, with a reported budget north of $200 million. “It isn’t cheap, but it shouldn’t be,” Bay says. “What I love is you really can create new worlds. But you have to commit to it. Fans are right to be more skeptical of it now.”