“I mean, it was just massive”: Michael Bay’s Stubbornness Gave us Arguably the Greatest Transformers Scene in History But It Was a Total Nightmare for the Crew

Michael Bay's loud and extravagant approach paid off.

michael bay, transformers
Credits: Simon Davison/Wikimedia Commons

SUMMARY

  • Despite mostly being a rehash of the original's ideas, Revenge of the Fallen didn't disappoint in the visuals and action department.
  • And thanks to Michael Bay's way of filming, it saw one of the best openings the franchise has to offer.
  • Moreover, despite the huge magnitude of the sequence, Bay opted to film it at the beginning of the shoot.
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While the 2009 sequel to the original Transformers failed on many fronts and committed the cardinal sequel sin of rehashing the ideas of the first movie, it still delivered with its visuals. Despite being 15 years old, Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen still puts many modern blockbusters to shame following its impressive visuals and on-location action sequences.

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This is prominent during the film’s opening, which is often deemed one of the most impressive scenes the franchise has to offer and we’ve Bay’s stubbornness to thank for it.

Michael Bay Opted to Shoot the Massive Sequence on the First Week of Filming

Although it’s common for filmmakers to start productions on a small note and gradually catch pace after growing familiar with the crew, Michael Bay isn’t any other filmmaker. Known for making everything extravagant and loud, Bay prefers to “start ’em hard and fast”, as according to him, the first week of the movie “sets the entire tone for the show”.

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As a result, Bay chose to film the Bethlehem Steel scene, which is also the film’s opening, during the first week of filming, and it was far from smooth for the entire crew. Following the magnitude of the sequence, which saw Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, it took them three massive night shoots to film the opening.

Michael Bay's Revenge of the Fallen
A Still from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen | Paramount Pictures

Speaking of its scale, Special Air Service Forces member Matthew Marsden detailed:

I think at one time we had two Apache helicopters, two Blackhawk helicopters, and also two additional filming helicopters along with Humvees, Rangers. You know, I mean, it was just massive

The scale isn’t surprising, as Bay is currently one of the few modern-day action filmmakers, who wholeheartedly relies on practical effects, which was also apparent in his adrenaline-filled thriller Ambulance.

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Studio Begged Michael Bay to Do More Transformers

While it was The Last Knight, which ended Michael Bay’s tenure in the Transformers franchise, the Ambulance filmmaker was contemplating leaving the franchise after the third one. Speaking with Unilad, Bay recalled that Steven Spielberg advised him to move on from the IP after the third film, and even though Bay did agree to stop at three, the studio begged him to stay.

Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: The Last Knight
A still from Transformers: The Last Knight | Paramount Plus

As the story goes, the Pain & Gain director did return for the fourth installment, whose billion-dollar success resulted in him helming the fifth one too.

I made too many of them. Steven Spielberg said, ‘Just stop at three’. And I said I’d stop. The studio begged me to do a fourth, and then that made a billion too. And then I said I’m gonna stop here. And they begged me again. I should have stopped. They were fun to do.

Although Bay parted ways with the IP in 2017, he did serve as a producer on Rise of the Beasts and even gave director Steven Caple Jr. hints and tips to shape the film.

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is available to stream on Max.

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Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1608

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1500 articles.