“We lost some machinery that night”: One Michael Bay Transformers Movie Had Such Insane VFX the Computers Exploded With “Little puffs of smoke”

Michael Bay's intense CGI scenes in the Transformers franchise forced ILM's computers to shut down!

michael bay's transformers movie


  • Michael Bay is a veteran director known for directing the iconic Transformers franchise until 2017.
  • With some heavy action scenes alongside a heavy emphasis on CGI and VFX, the making of Transformers wasn't easy.
  • A VFX supervisor at ILM (the VFX company) revealed that their computers would often shut down while rendering Transformers!
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Back in 2009 veteran director Michael Bay created the iconic film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Being a sequel to the 2007 film Transformers, the 2009 film had to be bigger and better than the previous one and that is what Bay was hoping for.

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
A still from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

What was supposed to be a grand cinematic film turned into a nightmare for the visual effects company ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) because of the heavy CGI scenes that they had to render. As per the reports, the rendering even caused a small fire to the computers of ILM because they were so awesome and action-heavy!

Michael Bay’s Transformers 2 Caused ILM To Lose Some Machines!

Being an iconic film starring Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, and, Isabel Lucas, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen proved to be an even bigger project than Michael Bay’s 2007 film Transformers. Being a sequel to the film, the film had to be more than what was already showcased in the first film.

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
A still from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

With the film relying mostly on CGI and VFX to depict the Autobots, Decepticons, and every Transformer that you see in the film, the animation was a pretty extensive work while filming Transformers 2. On top of the pre-existing VFX, the animators had to further include action-heavy fight scenes with explosions and building destruction.

It all seemed too much for the VFX studio ILM’s (Industrial Light & Magic) computers to handle. Since the computers weren’t as powerful in 2009 as they are today, Visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar revealed to SyFy (via GeekyTyrant) that the rendering of these scenes caused the ILM computers to release smoke!

“We did, we lost some machinery that night. Little puffs of smoke, just like in the movie.”

Although it wasn’t good for the people making the movie, Transformers was eventually made and released to the world. On the other hand, veteran director Michael Bay wasn’t able to help himself but be happy about the prospect of his movies breaking ILM computers!


Stating that they break an ILM computer every year, Michael Bay talked about how ILM would get the heaviest computers out there and then it would randomly shut down because of the rendering load on it!

Michael Bay Talked About Why His Movies Crash The ILM Computers!

It is quite a formidable thing to make an ILM computer shut down. While promoting his 2017 film Transformers: The Last Knight, the 6 Underground director couldn’t help but talk about the ILM computers.

Mark Wahlberg Transformers: The Last Knight
Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: The Last Knight

In an interview, Bay revealed that despite ILM getting the heaviest computers, the system would fail every time. He continued to talk about why these systems failed (via SlashFilm).


“We always break the ILM computer. We have the heaviest model ILM has ever had. They gotta shutdown ILM for a weekend and it breaks the computers.”

He further continued,

“It’s because of the heaviness of the models. They’re so dense, so many pixels they can’t…like, a heavy model is a building that fell down. Built a real building. All that reflective, every window had its own little piece of software. If it moves…that shuts the computers down. And we’re gonna have models way heavier than that but their computers get faster and faster each year.”

Michael Bay further revealed that people over at ILM cleared the whole deck and did not work on other shows just so that they could give all of their computer power to the creation of the Transformers franchise.

The veteran director directed the 2017 film Transformers: The Last Knight in the Transformers franchise following which, he became a producer. The 2017 film received a rating of 5.2/10 on IMDB and a low of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Despite the low ratings, there is no doubt that Michael Bay can indeed transform random explosions into a thing of beauty. Transformers: The Last Knight is available to stream on Paramount+ in the U.S.


Written by Visarg Acharya

Articles Published: 2097

Visarg Acharya, Associate Content Writer, has been heavily involved in movies, series, and history. Having an experience of 2 years in the field of content writing, Visarg is a seasoned writer. Having a degree in Physics, Visarg Acharya has published a dissertation alongside a plethora of poems and short stories along the way.