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Capone's full TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON set visit report, including the truth about Michael Bay's use of 3D!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Last August, I posted a preview of what was/is going to be a much longer report from my day-long visit on the set of Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, set for release July 1, 2011. Since the July 4 weekend, the city of Chicago turned into one giant playground for Bay and his hard-working team to pretend to destroy its streets, bridges, and building exteriors.

What's inspired me to post the full report now are two things. The first of which is all of this discussion about Bay shooting in 3D vs. conversion. I know exactly how they shot this movie because I saw the cameras and had long discussions with Bay and others about their 3D process. What's distressing about all of the negative reports about Bay "lying" about shooting in 3D is that clearly the people accusing him of this didn't read what I wrote in my initial preview piece, which was that one of the people I spent a great deal of time talking to on set was Manning Tillman, the 3D camera supervisor/operator (who also worked on AVATAR and TRON: LEGACY) on the PACE 3D camera rig, which was running pretty much non-stop. I'm hardly a Bay apologist, and, no, I don't expect that everyone in the world reads my work. But if you're going to accuse Bay of fabricating or stretching the truth, at least do your fucking research, people.

There was a 3D monitor (with a PACE logo on it) on set showing exactly what was being shot by the 3D camera. I often walked over to it, put on the glasses, and watched what was being shot in real time. Unless there were conversion elves inside the monitor, nearly everything was shot in 3D. I also mentioned in my initial report that Bay screened for me a 3D sizzle reel running about five minutes long. None of the material in that reel was material shot in Chicago, but it had all been shot fairly recently and it clearly was all shot in 3D. There simply wouldn't have been time to post-covert the amount of footage I was shown.

That being said, there were also non-3D cameras in use all the time. When I was first brought on set, I was taken right to Michael Bay, and the first thing he told me was that initially he was against the idea of shooting the movie in 3D (this has been reported, and this is true), and there was a brief time when only a handful of sequences were going to be shot in 3D. Bay had heard about how it slowed down the production process, it was limited in terms of camera movement, etc. If memory serves, he told me he spent one full day testing the camera and working out how to minimize the slowdown time and maximize is maneuverability. He also discovered its limits. "It doesn't work well with close-ups or when there's a lot of smoke in the air," he said. The decision to shoot 3D was made three days into shooting the movie, Bay told me, and the entire film had to be re-budgeted, but Paramount seemed pleased with the decision.

According to Bay, about 60 percent of the movie you'll see in the theater will have been shot in 3D. The rest will be either CGI (which is much easier to make look good in 3D) or post-converted. I'm fairly certain that nearly the entire film was shot using both 3D and standard cameras, giving Bay the option of either using the 3D footage or post-converting the regularly shot footage as appropriate.

And if you think that 60 percent doesn't sound like a lot, I hate to break it to you but most "shot-in-3D" movies you see aren't 100 percent shot in 3D. Some are, but not all of them. Plus, what will likely separate Bay's post-conversion work from some others you've seen is time. They will have roughly nine months to convert this footage. I keep hearing from some folks in the post-conversion industry that, if given enough time, converted footage can look pretty great. I don't know if the world has actually seen a properly converted 3D movie as yet. If I'm not mistaken, THE GREEN HORNET might be the first one we see where enough time and supervision was given to give us the proper quality control that seems so sadly lacking in other forced 3D movie. Bay swears we won't be able to tell the difference in going between the two types of footage. Time will tell, but I do know the man is obsessive about technical details (maybe on par with James Cameron, in that respect), so I kind of doubt he'd release a subpar-looking movie into the wild. I can't make any promises about the quality of the story or acting or anything else, but I have a strong suspicion the 3D will look astonishing.

The second, more newsworthy, reason for writing this report now is that the first TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON trailer is going to be attached to prints of the new CHRONICLES OF NARNIA film (opening this Friday) and TRON: LEGACY (opening next week). However, I can also tell you that before either of those films open, the trailer will launch online at 4pm (PST) on Wednesday, December 8 on Apple Trailers. As a Chicagoan who witnessed so much of this movie getting made over the summer, I'll admit, I'm excited as all hell to see how the city will look getting all blown up and with big alien robots stomping all over it. Okay, let's dive into the report (some of which I'll pick up from my preview piece, filling in the many blanks).

About a week or so before my visit to the set, I was in the lobby of one of the higher-end hotels in Chicago waiting to be taken up to a suite to do an interview that was completely unrelated to TRANSFORMERS. I was going over questions in my notepad, when I looked up and saw Shia LaBeouf come into the lobby. He looked at me, staring a little longer than necessary, and I thought I knew why. I knew he was a fan of Ain't It Cool, because we'd met a few years earlier when he was promoting DISTURBIA, and he told me as much. I remember how excited he was at finding out my real name.

At that first meet, we talked about Quint's visit to the set of the first TRANSFORMERS, and how excited he was about heading to Austin in the days to come and meeting Harry. So in this hotel lobby, I was pretty sure he recognized me but couldn't place it. So I finally got up and re-introduced myself. He seemed someone relieved, and I mentioned to him that I was actively trying to secure the set visit and he gave me the name of the unit publicist. I never did contact that publicist because I was going through different channels to make the visit happen, and I don't even know if that run in had anything to do with the timing of my 10-hour visit to the set the following week, but it was a great coincidence.

When I did get on the Wabash and Lake streets set in August, it was like I was walking into the middle of a war zone. The location was an actual parking garage that I walk by regularly during any given week because it's located about a block from the screening room here in Chicago where local film critics see a great percentage of our weekly press screenings. There was a burned-out Chicago Transit Authority bus across the street, a flipped over school bus on the parking lot's ground level, and a few smoking car husks. The ground was littered with concrete debris, twisted rebar, a thick layer of fake ash, spent bullet casings.

The parking lot itself has a bit of a flat entrance way that leads to a ramp that takes you into a four-story garage. When I took the time to examine the garage, I realized that it was devoid of cars except for, I believe, four cars on the fifth and sixth partial levels. The crew had actually built the corner of two extra levels, just enough room for the cars (presumably the remainder of the level could be completed with CGI. I had a sneaking suspicion that those cars would not stay up there for long. By the end of the day ear plugs were my new best friend, and my clothes were covered in a thin layer of soot and fake debris.

Within the first couple hours of me being there, all of the people who I would be talking to on and off during the course of the day were introduced to me, including the film's producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura; Ian Bryce, one of the industry's best line producers, whose many accomplishments included the task of switching the entire production to 3D; John Frazier, the special effects supervisor; veteran visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar of Industrial Light & Magic; Brian Goldner, the president & CEO of Hasbro (who just happened to be visiting with this daughter the same day); stunt coordinator Kenny Bates; Colin Follenweider, stunt double for Shia LaBeouf, who has been in many civilian-shot set photos, misidentified as Shia; Simone Bargetze, stunt double for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley; the aforementioned Manning Tillman, the 3D camera supervisor/operator; and, of course, executive producer-director Michael Bay. Oh, and there may have been an actor or two floating around with names like Shia, Rosie, Josh, but it was pretty dusty so it was tough to tell. And while I was told I wouldn't be talking to any of the actors this day, stuff happened.

Strangely enough, one of the most important names to the TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON production was someone who never came to the set, but his name was spoken more often than Bay's or anybody else. Chicago's soon-to-be-ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley was being hailed by all as the man who made it all possible. And while this isn't the first film to be shot in Chicago, this is the first to so completely disrupt the city's existence for such a prolonged period. Line producer Bryce explained that even THE DARK KNIGHT (the last film of this magnitude to shoot in Chicago) shot mostly at night or on the weekends, and only truly took over Lower Wacker Drive, whereas TRANSFORMERS caused the complete rerouting of bus routes and traffic patterns for weeks on end. And what was even more encouraging was that the city's residents didn't seem to mind because they were getting a show in return--guys base jumping off tall building and landing on Upper Wacker Drive, explosions, cars flipping end over end, and the occasional movie star run in.

As I mentioned before, I was brought to meet Bay immediately. Of course, I've heard the stories about how he behaves on set, and I saw quite a bit of the yelling. Again, you can say what you want about his movies, but you have never seen anything quite as fast paced and kinetic as a Michael Bay set. Things are always moving, and he manages to keep the energy up at an exhausting pace. He also likes to work on the fly, changing up shots at the last minute because he's evaluated the look of the set and sees an opportunity to get a better scene out of it. And the crew reacts instantaneously, keeping things safe but still feeling a little dangerous.

And lest you think Bay might dial back his method or personality just because there was a reporter on set, think again. His well-documented way of peppering his speech with some of the great four-letter words that make life worth living was in full effect on this day, but it became clear that getting yelled at by Bay is just part of the day's work; some even consider it an honor. He even yelled at me once, and I had to hold back from smiling. But it's clear, the yelling is not a sign of him being angry. In fact, he was an attentive and gracious host to me, always making sure I was nearby when shooting was going to take place so I could see over his shoulder at the monitors, answering every question, and volunteering his thoughts on all manner of topics. If I wasn't nearby, he'd have someone find me before rolling to make certain I could look through his monitors. He also talked a lot about people's reaction to him and, in particular, TRANSFORMERS 2. More on that in a second.

Right off the bat, the first shot of the day I saw was Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's stunt double, Simone, diving over a jersey barrier. Although I never spoke to her, Victoria's Secret model Huntington Whiteley was around most of the day, and it's tough to imagine a woman more beautiful. But what was incredible to me was that they found a stunt woman with the same body type (the tight gray pants hid nothing) and of equal beauty, often doing stunts in heels. After this shot, Rosie was brought in to replace Simone for some close ups and a scene during which a big explosion near Rosie sends three large trash dumpster into the air landing with a crash just few feet behind her.

Around this time, I met producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and we chatted a bit about how I had just seen him at Comic-Con the month before on panels for SALT and RED. He pointed to Rosie and commented on her ability to step into such a high-profile role right off the bat. "We had a bit of a learning curve with her, but she's really stepped up," he added. Right after he said that, Rosie walked toward us to watch the playback of the explosion sequence, and Lorenzo started talking to her. Even with dirt on her face and clothes, the combination of stunning good looks and that lovely British accent had me a little loopy. It's probably best we didn't speak.

During some of the rare downtime, I started to notice who some of the people standing around actually were. In addition to the crew, there was an abundance of police, fire fighters, private security, even CTA employees whose job appeared to be keeping the portion of the adjacent 'L' track platform clear of onlookers. They weren't so much worried about photos or video being taken as they were about seeing people at all. The city is supposed to have emptied out at this point in the story, so two dozen looky-loos would be kind of conspicuous.

Perhaps the coolest thing I saw all day was when on set was a fairly lengthy (close to 10 minutes, non-3D) sizzle reel of footage shot in the first three weeks in Chicago. You can say what you want about Bay or the TRANSFORMERS movies (lord knows I have) or any of Bay's other films, but dammit, the man knows how to make explosions and action look about as badass as anyone. And this sizzle reel was unstoppable, even without a single robot to be seen. Bay showed me this personally and stood right next to me while we watched it. He knew it looked great, and it absolutely did. The footage also revealed a few things about plot and characters that I'm not going to spoil. But there are some moments that look more like BLACK HAWK DOWN than a TRANSFORMERS movie, with the cavalry coming in at such a massive scale it's almost impossible to wrap your brain around it. Also, the reel was the only time I got a glimpse of Patrick Dempsey, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, or John Malkovich. Bay was pretty open about plot details that probably shouldn't be shared, including showing me the entire animatic on his iPad for the sequence he was shooting that day.

When Hasbro president & CEO Brian Goldner arrived with his daughter later in the day, I took the opportunity to watch the sizzle real again. During a sequence that shows some newly tricked-out Transformers vehicles barreling down Chicago's streets, Goldner was clearly excited. Bay leaned over and whispered, "He's looking at it from a toy perspective. Those cars are called Wreckers, they don't try to hide what they are and are fully loaded with weapons."

One of the busiest people on the set was definitely stunt coordinator Kenny Bates, who I talked to about some of the crazy stuff they did on Wacker Drive in recent weeks, especially the base jumping off the top of the Trump Hotel & Tower, the second-tallest building in Chicago after the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), where additional base jumping occurred earlier in the shoot. In talking about the base-jumping sequence, Bay explained to me later that, in the story, the base jumping was necessary because the alien ships shoot down any aircraft that comes within range. Bates also talked about trying to let the actors do as much as possible within safe reason. He was a little distracted while we spoke, because clearly something big was about to happen.

Again, without giving away too much, the scenes I watched pretty much only involved Rosie, Shia, Josh Duhamel and his Nest team. ILM's Scott Farrar was perhaps the man Bay communicated with the most on this day, since clearly a Decepticon was going to be a big part of the finished sequence. One of the nicest guys I met this day, Farrar explained to me how ILM has to recreate the lighting environment for each outdoor set, get the reflectivity right on the robots, and make sure the needs of the special effects team are met during the shoot, sometimes resulting in everything changing once they arrive on set. The crew is currently shooting plates for the coming sequence involving the parking garage and cars. A crane camera extends as high as it can possibly go, and Farrar laughs and says something like,"Now you have an idea how tall this robot will be."

Bay explains the general beginning of the film having to do with alien spacecrafts descending on Chicago, messing up the city, and sending the downtown residents fleeing. Later that day, Farrar showed me an animatic of what the spacecraft would look like going through the city and eventually latching onto the side of a building. It gave me a chill.

At this point, Bay took me aside to give me a chance to ask question about the production in general, and it resulted in our longest uninterrupted talk of the day. Right off the bat, Bay admits there are many flaws with TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN. He said the writers' strike forced the production to use what he called a "too-crowded script" on TF2 that he was unable to make changes to, and that he believed this new film would make up for the faults in that film. "[TRANSFORMERS 2] was fun, but this will be better," he said. He also explained that at some point they realized that trying to stop onlookers from photographing or filming the production shooting was pointless. "It's not like they can see the robots, so really all they're getting are actors, crew, some stunt work. The most important thing, they're missing," he explained.

In the final moments of preparation for the sequence involving the cars, Bay makes sure fires amongst the debris are lit and carefully explains to everyone the order and timing of the events about to transpire. Then Bay spots a crew member taking a photo of something on the set with his phone, and he slightly loses his shit as he shuts the guy down. "There are shots on the internet from my own crew," he yells to everyone within ear shot, with good reason.

What happened next can only be described with the carefully chosen words "Holy shit." Not wanting to spoil much, the sequence is essentially a robot climbing up the side of the parking structure. Tiny explosions go up the side of the building, representing the robot's hands pulling him up the side (Bay yells, "Scratch, scratch" to mark off the timing of the explosions). When the robot is at the top of the building--where the cars are--all hell breaks loose.

First, a couple of cars simply roll off the building into the alley next to it. They break through the wall and fall five or six stories. Then, the loudest, biggest explosion happens sending another car right for the sidewalk where we're all standing. While all of the cars are on wires, they are not being held up by them, simply being guided to where they are supposed to land on the ground. But for that split second, when you see a car in the air hurling in your general direction, your legs get a little weak. It was one of the most exciting things I've ever been a party to, and when all the destruction stopped, a loud applause erupted among the onlookers. And as much as Bay would have rather not have them watching the filming, his smile gave away the fact that he was clearly happy that he had dazzled them. It was some of the best live theater I've ever seen.

For a large part of the day, I'd been maneuvering myself around the few actors on set, choosing, instead, to meet some of the stunt crew. One of my favorite talks of the day was with Colin Follenweider, Shia's stunt double who is eerily an almost carbon copy of LaBeouf. He's also an extremely nice, modest guy who was strapped to a wire at one point and hurdled from the ground across the distance of the parking lot and back, screaming and twisting, to simulate being caught on a cable attached to the robot climbing the building. At one point, Josh Duhamel's stunt double is attached to the same wire, doing a scene where his character attempts to cut the wire and free Shia.

Up to this point, Shia LeBeouf hasn't been in a single scene, even though he's been on set most of the day. He's kept pretty much to himself, sitting off to the side, largely unbothered by the onlookers. Josh Duhamel has also been on set a while and finally gets to be in a scene where he leads his Nest team into the alley where the cars dropped earlier. The scene is a brief incidental shot, but D.P. Amir M. Mokri wants to wait until the sun comes out from behind the clouds before Action is called. Bay wants to roll and yells, "This is just some transition piece of shit. Let's go!" At some point, Bay informs me that most of the men in the Nest team are/were real Navy SEALs.

Bay never lets up the entire day. He movies like lightning and mostly deals with the stunt coordinators and camera positioning and less with the actors. At one point, he even grabs a handheld camera himself and runs being Duhamel's Nest team through the debris to the car wreckage. It's fascinating to watch his spontaneity, and even more so watching his crew react in kind. The ideas pop in Bay's head, and they make them happen…fast.

Filming the sequence more or less in order, Bay sets up a sequence involving the Nest team taking up position and unloading on the unseen robot. This scene will lead to the first time Josh and Shia's characters see each other in the film. Because of all the smoke in this portion of the film, the 3D camera isn't always used. "My style has had to change a bit with the 3D. I can't be as jarring with those cameras," Bay said. "The 3D camera technology is still so archaic and not at all practical [laughs]." This began a discussion with Bay about his favorite handheld cameras that went way over my head.

The 3D camera operator, Manning Tillman, told me how shooting in Chicago lent itself to some fantastic 3D images: "The architecture of Chicago is so layered, it made it really easy to establish the depth of field in most shots." Tillman showed me something I'd simply never seen before--a handheld 3D camera, which weirdly resembled an old-fashioned 3D still camera. It was clear that this little camera was a major deciding factor in Bay going full 3D with his third TRANSFORMERS movie.

For the first time since the cars had fallen off the parking garage, I walked onto the set proper next to the smashed vehicles. Work was being done setting up the next shot, and Bay found himself surrounded by his cast and crew, holding court, telling stories about previous shoots and relaying stories he'd been told by military types he'd known in his life. It was this level of camaraderie that I think keeps his key players coming back time and again.

It was right around this time, just as the production was in danger of losing light, when I found myself standing on a largely empty main set, while Bay, Shia, and Rosie set up a small sequence by the overturned school bus. I looked on the ground and saw literally hundred of spent shells from the automatic weapons being discharged for several hours prior. Then I heard a voice say, "Are you the press person on set today?" I looked to see Josh Duhamel standing in front of me. I'll be honest, I'm not much of a fan of Duhamel's film choices, but he could not have been nicer if I'd paid him to be.

He started asking me question about the city, telling me how excited he was that the plot of this third TRANSFORMERS film was more streamlined than the second, even talking about his wife, Fergie. And his good looks are downright intimidating, and certainly got the crowds watching him going whenever he gave them a wave. Now, you have to remember, this was in August and in he's in full battle gear, so the guy is sweating balls. But it was clear that he likes talking to new people, folks he didn't see every day on the job. I got the same vibe when I met Vince Vaughn right around the same time.

The final sequence I saw shot that day was staged under the front end of the school bus (which read Bay City School District on the side). Shia is rescuing Rosie from the robot, and the two run toward the bus, slide in the debris-ridden ground and take cover under the bus's front end. At first Shia and Rosie were going to do the sliding themselves, but Bay changes his mind about that and brings in the stunt doubles for a quick shot of them sliding under the bus and then running through its broken windows into the bus. For the close-ups, however, the actors are needed to do some mild sliding. During one take Shia cuts his hand. A single Band-Aid is all that is required to stop the bleeding, but everyone held their collective breath when he realized he was hurt since on his hand, one of which had been severely damaged a couple years back in an accident. Shia's biggest concern is that the Band-Aid will show on camera. Another take, this time Rosie twists her ankle, perhaps because of the silly heels she's wearing. But she recovers and they continue on into the bus.

It was clear that things were winding down for the day, so I said my goodbyes and within in few steps I went from a version of Chicago that had been partially leveled by alien invaders to the city that I woke up in that morning. Surreal is a horribly overused word, but there's no other one to describe the day. I'm not sure how the final film will turn out, but I cannot wait to see just how completely fucked up my city becomes in Michael Bay's hands. I'm not sure if I should say this, but Bay made it very clear to me that he does read the comments about any story concerning him on many website, including this one (as can be evidenced by his recent comments concerning his use of 3D), so Talkbackers, your voices will likely be heard today.

As I did in my preview piece, I especially want to thank Gabriela from Paramount who arranged the visit and did her best to keep an eye on me so I didn't get crushed by falling vehicles. Thanks for reading, everyone.

-- Capone
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Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Say what you will about Bay

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

    But he nailed at least one of those Victoria's Secret models.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Say what you will about Bay

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

    But he nailed at least one of those Victoria's Secret models.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Say what you will about Bay

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

    But he nailed at least one of those Victoria's Secret models.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:57 a.m. CST

    I'm sorry for the triple post

    by RedLeaderStandingBy

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:09 a.m. CST

    I'm still gutted Megan Fox wont be in it

    by theyreflockingthisway

    Say what you will about her - I reckon she'll be missed in this instalment.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    I saw Tron at a press event in London

    by 20goto10

    And yep, was not all filmed 3D, but quite a lot of post-work and it looked great. Its all about the sector growing to meet the quantity demand from film-makers. I am sure that this will look amazing and I reckon Mr Bay is right about the writers strike. A lot of people dont understand the real implications of that event. I liked the first TF and not the 2nd. i have a fair amount of faith in this chapter. Well Done Mr B!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Nightmare Before Christmas

    by Right Bastard

    Not a lover of Bay, and I've never seen a Transformers movie; but NmBC is proof that, given enough time, a 3-D post conversion CAN work.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:32 a.m. CST

    My 5 year old can't wait...

    by knight_of_Ni!

    ...but I don't know if he'll be able to handle 2 1/2 hours of 3D Bay style. I too thought this was gonna be a conversion, so I'd written the 3D off for good, but using Cameron's system, I'm kinda back on board. As for my boy, he loves the 2nd movie for the kitchen bots and Devastator. I mean he's obsessed with those things and points to every blender, toaster, and construction vehicle so that I know a decepticon is around! Flawed as ROTF is, I kinda gotta love it for how my boy thinks now. Oh, and he refers to Devastator's testicles as "bells", hehe.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    The Power of Bay Compels You!

    by gonkdroid

    where is that TBer? makes me laugh every time.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST


    by D o o d

    You know, even though you AICN guys do a good job and I see and feel your passion. I just don't think you guys can distance yourself from the geek inside you to ask hard hitting questions.<p>Transformers 2 wasn't just flawed, it was an abomination. He can't just blame it on the Scriptwriters strike, if so, then how do you explain his other abominations?<p>I think you should've been much more aggressive with him without being rude or offensive.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Michael Bay is a GOD

    by Joely_Boy

    I think he's one of the most important and original directors working today, along with David Lynch, Guy Ritchie and Gaspar Noe. <P>Artists that have a true sense of style and aren't afraid to write the rules, not follow them.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 11:09 a.m. CST

    And as a director, there's nothing more I would

    by Joely_Boy

    want than for people to either really love or really hate my work. <P>I think that's what a great piece of art is all about. There's nothing worse than creating something that people are indifferent about and not much more.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Can't wait for this!!!

    by krod

    Chicago will look awesome in this

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Spider-Man vs. Transformers...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    ..."Turn Off The Dark Of The Moon."<P>Really, dark SIDE of the moon? Is that the thing? (I'm not paying very close attention to news of this project. Derp.)

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Joely_Boy, best joke I've heard all day

    by MattmanReturns

    Good one, I don't usually laugh that hard this early in the morning on a Monday, but you got my week off to a great start.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 12:12 p.m. CST

    90's Bay was the best

    by DrPain

    All his work in the 00's have sucked. And please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks "dark of the moon" is a horrible tittle. And I don't care how many sorrys this production says for part 2, anything with LaBeef aka LaDouch is going to suck. It's a fact. Please Bay, stop reading talkbacks and get back to caring about every aspect of your film (even though it's probably tough to care about a toy movie) even the transitional scenes.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I had thought Shia did do some of that wire-hanging work

    by Kamaji

    I swear I recall a take where he was bouncing around on it screaming and yelling-either that or his stunt-double does a killer vocal impersonation. Though part of me still has this feeling that the war-torn Chicago is something that takes place in an alternate future, give the amount of destruction I saw, which just puts to shame all that I've seen in the first film's battle. Though I am still curious as to the one scene involving a 'drill-bot' that one of the crew members was briefing some of his colleagues on.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 12:27 p.m. CST

    All I took away from this article...

    by buggerbugger that the third 'Transformers' movie won't be filmed in 3D.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by bobjustbob

    'nuff said

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Bay as an Artist?

    by ShallowDepths

    What I take away from this, is that Michael Bay's art is more in process, than finished product. Sometimes that works for people. This license has meant a lot to me since i was 5 years old, so I do not feel it's been done justice. I see the influence of the films now pouring into the new animated series, and video games and it pains me as I really want to see these robots characterized much more, and utilized as such - not as plot devices for the humans these stories are about. I long for a cohesive transformation that both my eyes and mind can comprehend. I'll watch the films, but I doubt I'll ever love them.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Always manages to make a fun movie

    by RichardLuzT

    Even if I quickly forget about what happened during the course of it, his movies always keep me excited, wondering and a bit horny I must say. I'd like to see him do one movie that is less of an action piece where the plot is what really matters. That'd be epic.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Are we going to see Shockwave?

    by IceTitan

    I heard rumors that Shockwave might be in this one. Hopefully they do him justice unlike Soundwave the monstrous satellite dish thing. These movies are fun but hopefully we can get a Transformers story in this one because so far it's just been "Sam And The Spacebots" part 1 and part 2. In fact if there were no human characters at all that'd be just fine.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    objectivity or access?

    by troz32

    Bay had no power to make any changes to the script for TF2? The process was well documented (see Harry's review, if I remember correctly). If you're not going to challenge the statement, why print it when we all know it's crap? The trend of trading objectivity for access on this site is getting out of hand.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Did Transformers 2 warrant such a long article...

    by Rupee88

    ...about a sequel. I can't wait to the retards out there go give their money to the filmmakers for another POS. You get what you deserve.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 1:52 p.m. CST


    by SuperWelling


  • Dec. 6, 2010, 1:57 p.m. CST

    BAD BOYS 3D anyone?

    by palimpsest

    Martin Lawrence lumbering toward the camera in three gut-busting dimensions while heavy things fall off lorries in car chases (twice) and Will Smith's ears clip the audience every times he turns around? Aw hell no!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 2:18 p.m. CST

    "We should check to see is Capone has written on this subject"

    by RETURN_of_FETT

    Seriously? Everyone on the internet should check with you first to see if you have any insight? That's a whole new level of arrogance flatlander.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Bay day! Bay day!

    by 2dope

    We need a Michael Bay version of Robert Rodriguez's 10 minute film school, or possibly even better, a Michael Bay reality show where the crew simply follows him on set of a film shoot for an entire production, and we get to see the animal at play.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 3:26 p.m. CST

    I think Michael Bay rules

    by Kammich

    And I have only one real reason for saying that: his Verizon Fios commercial that he did like 2 or 3 years ago. The man won my fandom right then and there. I think that, for every meditative genius "auteur" like Paul Thomas Anderson or Terrence Malick, the filmic world absolutely NEEDS a whacked out, white pony riding, metrosexual nutcase like Michael Bay. It keeps everything in balance.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Bay's Verizon commercial

    by Kammich <p> awesome.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Just because you're good at making commercials

    by D o o d

    does not (automatically) make you good at making films!<p>There have been a few successes, but I would definitely put Bay in the fails! Unless, off-course, you consider explosions, fast cut editing bad dialogue, bad script, bad acting and bad direction as a success!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 3:52 p.m. CST


    by BlaGyver

    Never saw that commercial. I dig it. Awesome.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by Capone

    Yes, sir. That's exactly what I meant, just like you phrased it. You've hit the nail on the head without an ounce of ignorance. My point is a simple Google search of Michael Bay, Transformers 3, and 3D would have resulted in several articles (including my original preview piece) that could have avoided the bad reporting going on around this particular non-news story from the last couple of weeks.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Watching robots transform away

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 5:22 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    that wasn't attached to a skateboard or placed at ankle height?

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 5:24 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 6:07 p.m. CST



    I am NOT a "Bay-basher" ... I really enjoyed the first Transformers movie, and I thought the second was, while not up to the first, basically entertaining. HOWEVER, I do think the movies would benefit from a concerted effort to make the fight sequences easier to follow. The robot-designs are extremely busy to begin with... when they are in rapid motion they too often become a jumbled blur. You can appreciate the scenes much better on DVD/Blu-ray, where you can slow the action down, repeat-view, etc, but ideally that shouldn't be necessary. Contrast, for example, with the Hit-Girl action in KICK ASS, where a lot happens, very very quickly, and yet you can follow every bit of it, easily. Be nice if the robot combat scenes were easier to follow and enjoy on the big screen!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I don't think anyone had a problem with that.<p>SCRIPT CHOREOGRAPHY - That's where it's at!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I don't think anyone had a problem with that.<p>SCRIPT CHOREOGRAPHY - That's where it's at!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I don't think anyone had a problem with that.<p>SCRIPT CHOREOGRAPHY - That's where it's at!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 6:54 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I don't think anyone had a problem with that.<p>SCRIPT CHOREOGRAPHY - That's where it's at!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Robots in disguise as motion blur.

    by Toilet_Terror

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 7:48 p.m. CST


    by klytusnotdead

    Capone, end of line.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 7:59 p.m. CST

    "You can appreciate the scenes much better on DVD/Blu-ray"


    "...where you can slow the action down, repeat-view, etc" <p> When the only way to tell what's going on is to use the slow motion option on your Blu-ray player then you know the movie in question is fundamentally flawed.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Fight choreography is not more important than

    by MattmanReturns

    characters and plot. Batman Begins proved that shitty fight choreography does not make or break a good movie. Transformers' choreography was the least of its troubles.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Michael Bay makes movies for winners

    by Joely_Boy

    You can tell his films aren't for people who are generally more negative then positive in their everyday life: those people can't enjoy seeing successful and happy characters onscreen in his films. They can't identify with them.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST


    by Joely_Boy

    What reasons do you watch a Bruce Lee movie for?

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:49 p.m. CST


    by MattmanReturns

    Bruce Lee performing martial arts. And I'm actually very curious to see how you're going to compare Bruce Lee to Michael Bay. This will be a laugh riot.

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 9:59 p.m. CST

    You answered my question perfectly

    by Joely_Boy

    You didn't even mention character and plot... oops!<P> I watch Transformers to see TRANSFORMERS fighting and tearing it up.<P>Oh, and Michael Bay doesn't perform martial arts :/

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    That's such an idiotic response! First of all Bruce Lee was a master of his art. secondly, Michael Bay is master of no art! It's people like you that keep him in the film business!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    get a feeling

    by Boborci

    michael is goanna knock our socks off!

  • Dec. 6, 2010, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Check it out, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

    by SithMenace

    Yet more unreported news on AICN...<p>

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:19 a.m. CST

    It Hurts My Eyes

    by Unlabled

    Paragraph spacing needed!

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:38 a.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    This is shit.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    What the fuck<BR><BR>This blows.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Ok -- testing

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    hello hello hello This sucks.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Line breaks don't exist.

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Terrific <P> Testing.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Holy wall of text

    by vini77

    WTF is up with AICN?

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Dear god, this blows.

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I only can hope that this is a work in progress.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Everyone has cutesy, lower cased names?

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    How... sweet.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 12:23 p.m. CST

    The propaganda worked!

    by louisse

    I am getting a little bit more excited about seeing the film.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by leisuredrummer

    Needs a Bad Boys/Transformers crossover.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST



    Changes are strange. Indeed.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Paragraphs are your friend.

    by Weezy

    For real. Good stuff though.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 1:29 p.m. CST

    attack of the giant block of text

    by Tall_Boy66


  • Dec. 8, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Trying to read that . . .

    by Moa Kaka

    sent me into an epileptic fit.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 1:33 p.m. CST

    What the hell?

    by Moa Kaka

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    No paragraphs in Transformers article.

    by JoeD

    Still better than Transformers.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 1:58 p.m. CST

    This is the new format?

    by SithMenace


  • Dec. 8, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    CGI Crapfest

    by BradZuhl

    Shit in 3-D is still shit.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I'm on to you.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    what a clusterfuck

    by cool_britannia79

    seriously i didn't think this site could get any worse, I was wrong.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Make it bigger

    by Chariowalda_Barbarossa

    ... so my message fills the complete screen. Testing 1 Testing 2 Testing 3 Testing 4

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    So, what's this about the Ferrari having an Italian accent?

    by Soundblaster

    Some kind of joke?

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 5:03 p.m. CST

    60% in 3D

    by ricarleite2

    Sure. And AICN is AWFUL now. AWFUL.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 6:51 p.m. CST

    What has happened?

    by andrew coleman

    I know people complained about the old format... But I loved it! This is just hard to look at. The other version I could easily go article to article and glance down the TB. Now it's just a wall of text. Hope big changes are still coming because this is rough!

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Did this update...

    by Shepard Wong

    include an edit button in talkback?

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin discovered the Transformers?

    by Orionsangels

    I knew it!

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Damn you, MCMLXXVI.

    by my colon sucks

    I read that entire wall of text, and I didn't even get a t-shirt.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Capone tried to get Duhamel to talk to him.

    by my colon sucks

    Duhamel just laughed, and kept texting.

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 10:49 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

  • Dec. 8, 2010, 10:50 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    It keeps asking me to login. Damn you new site!

  • Dec. 9, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Your coment about people not being able to appreciate Bay's TRASHFUCKMERS movies because they don't have some 5.1 sound system is just bullshit. Utter bullshit. In case you are not aware yet, some people actualy, enjoy such stuff as story and character and well made storytelling and are not just limited to some dubius technical qualities a movie might had. And let me just say this to you: if a movie needs a wholesome super-duper sound systme to work, then that movie failed. The sound editors failed. You know what the sound editor of SEVEN did when he was doing his work on the movie? Whneever he wanted to know if his work was making the desired effect, he listene dto the movie on a little mono TV. His idea is that if the movie sounded good in that, he knew he had done his job well. And he's absolutly right. So, if those Bay's Trashfuckmers movies need top of the art sound systems to work, the movie failed. There's more to sound design then just shoving wall-to-wall loud noises. That's the stuff of amateur filmmakers. As any real sound desginer will tell you, the hardest thing to do in movies is not loud sounds but silence.

  • Dec. 9, 2010, 11:30 a.m. CST

    ?!Dark of the Moon?!

    by SpazMatic1074

    Really? They couldn't come up with a different title than this? Are they gonna get Pink Floyd to do the soundtrack? Fucking lame. Are they gonna have Prime leaping off the Golden-Gate Bridge to the "The Great Gig in the Sky?" in slow motion? Change the title man, that thing sucks. Might as well keep it "Dark Side of the Moon" just to verify to the public that your blatantly ripping it off.

  • Dec. 9, 2010, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Wow, i'm jealous!

    by BetaSword

    Damn, reading that Wall-of-Text made me jealous. I can barely await the third Movie, and watching the Trailer for TF3 made me even more excited. About that Wall-of-Text, I suggest readers to sim ply mark a portion every now and then , to not loose sight of the current text, this really helps. I also understand, that CAPONE wrote it this way, simply because he's excited about his visit on the Set, while the Movie was being shot. Simply the fact, that he's able to visit the shooting of an upcoming Blockbuster, that will most-probably blow my mind, is actually bound to be thrilling. In the end, I don't care, if I have to read so much text without paragraphs, getting sooooo much information. Also, Alien-Ship? - That's either a Decepticon-Cruiser, or it could be TidalWave. Just remembering Transformers:Armada which aired on german TV, and had about it's middle50% cutted away by not being shown (thanks RTL2, you Bitch-Channel, that even cut's Anime-Episodes, that got a clearance for Ages6+)

  • Dec. 10, 2010, 6:34 a.m. CST

    hmm. new interface

    by drave117

    Much better. I like the instant expando-text for single comments!

  • Dec. 10, 2010, 7:45 a.m. CST

    William_Faulkner is my big sister who I want to fuck

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    "He" confessed it earlier. Hey, Sis. Also, William_Faulkner is THE_CHOPPAH. Love ya, Sis! I mean... REALLY.

  • Dec. 10, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    There are these things called "paragraphs"

    by SG7

  • Dec. 11, 2010, 5:29 a.m. CST

    That's a lot of ink for the worst franchise in movie history...

    by Pdorwick

    Seriously, people aren't actually looking forward to this garbage are they?

  • Dec. 11, 2010, 1:04 p.m. CST

    2 CAMPS

    by RowKseat25

    I think movie geekdom... or filmnerdom has spilt into two camps... those who used to love film so much they could resite cool dialogue and character moments from movies as well as awesome effects scenes... and those who just get excited about effects scenes and 3-ZZZZZ D... and can't even remember the dire-logue... or don't want to... and dont even give a shit about characters... or a decent script... I am, will always be in camp 1... oldschool... AIC is camp 2... and from what I've read lately of posts... you are in a dwindling monority... I'm out of here, the last few days of Bay ass-licking and that Green Lantern ring article by Harry has killed it for me... but I guess that's what you're best at... I'm going elsewhere... you know the places that AIC used to be... Merry Christmas to all Camp 1 movie geeks and to all those a Merry Christmas... Camp 2 have a great 3-D CGI characterless, plotless empty 2011 movie experience.

  • Dec. 11, 2010, 1:05 p.m. CST

    2 CAMPS

    by RowKseat25

    I think movie geekdom... or filmnerdom has spilt into two camps... those who used to love film so much they could resite cool dialogue and character moments from movies as well as awesome effects scenes... and those who just get excited about effects scenes and 3-ZZZZZ D... and can't even remember the dire-logue... or don't want to... and dont even give a shit about characters... or a decent script... I am, will always be in camp 1... oldschool... AIC is camp 2... and from what I've read lately of posts... you are in a dwindling monority... I'm out of here, the last few days of Bay ass-licking and that Green Lantern ring article by Harry has killed it for me... but I guess that's what you're best at... I'm going elsewhere... you know the places that AIC used to be... Merry Christmas to all Camp 1 movie geeks and to all those a Merry Christmas... Camp 2 have a great 3-D CGI characterless, plotless empty 2011 movie experience.

  • Dec. 11, 2010, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by RowKseat25

    I'm compelled to say Quint should win best article of 2010... because even though I think Cowboys and Aliens is an awful title... his article made me realise why I'm a film geek... put lead in my pencil... gave us a real on-set vibe... a passion piece... on so many different levels... wasn't just an ass-licking report of some screening of some director to convince us to waste bucks seeing another lameBay movie... or related to some self-indulgent glowing green studio freebie... More of Quint may bring me back... coupled with less self-indulgent in the pockets of studio Harry and Capone articles... here endeth the lesson.

  • Dec. 11, 2010, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Just ditch the dork humor, the kiddie humor, and the douche humor.

    by Particularly Hard Vato

    The slapstick crap, the stupid focus on what are attempts to build character with stupid comments from the robots, the leg humping crap. Basically, ditch the jar-jar binks stuff. Take the movie seriously. Then, Mr. Bay, you will have multiple ticket prices from me, like the first one. As opposed to one single ticket price from me on the second one.

  • Dec. 13, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Who cares if it's in 3D?

    by photoboy

    A pile of shit looks the same in 2D or 3D.

  • Dec. 15, 2010, 3:49 p.m. CST


    by alesyc

    Seriously, one of the most annoying things, and also incomprehensible, is how there seems to be no editing done on any submissions. Really, is it that difficult to hire a kid with at least a BA in English? It's not like anybody else is. This whole review is one massive paragraph. This site has been up for over 10 years now, come on people pull it together. Professionalism would not kill you. And yes, I was an English major.

  • Dec. 15, 2010, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Did Michael Bay write this article?

    by ImperialMarchFace

    Paragraphs?! Who needs 'em?! The audience just wants words! Throw more words in! BOOM!

  • Dec. 15, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Are you going to reload this...

    by dvdhound79

    ...when aicn is finished with its "new direction"? This pile of words is what I remembered seeing in high school English class when the dumbass students had no idea about paragraph and spacing. this article was a fucking mess.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Hey capone, how about some paragraphs in your story

    by theplant

    just saying -- it's unreadable in full formated that way

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 7:09 a.m. CST

    by F-18

    test <p> test

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Saw the trailer for this...

    by thot

    ...right before True Grit. Couldn't figure out what it was for the first minute or so. I thought it was some sci-fi/horror film I hadn't yet heard about. And then.....the awful truth was revealed and I started laughing! Couldn't believe it was the Transformers DOTM trailer. Talk about lipstick on a pig. Nice try guys, but no sale here.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 5:49 a.m. CST

    This thread is a disgrace.

    by goatherdingclownhunter

    Where is the outrage? Where are the disparaging, rageful comments about how much Bay sucks? The man is an utter talentless hack, and every "film" he has ever made is a steaming turd. You boot-licking, celebrity enamored talk-backers have not given Capone NEARLY enough shit for taking Bay's miserable joke-of-a-creative-process seriously.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 2:59 p.m. CST

    goatherdingclownhunter is agree Bay can be awesome.

    by Smashing

    Bay on form gave us the 1st TF movie which has enough sparkle to give me the chance to let him dazzle me again after the awfulness of TF2.

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    by kenichi tanaka


  • Dec. 28, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Honestly, how can anyone be expected to read this?

    by JThomasC

  • Dec. 28, 2010, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Apologies for the above, I accidentally hit enter.

    by JThomasC

    The point I wanted to make was that the page lacks any formatting. Its one giant block of text in a bold black font. I'm sure it's a great article with great news and insight but it hurts my eyes. Could you please try to make these articles readable. I don't want to come off like a trolling dick but as much as I would like to know what Capone has to say about his set visit the design of this page hurts my head. Best, J.

  • Dec. 30, 2010, 4:53 a.m. CST

    How long before Bay had his cock out?

    by Onin Solstice

    Every on the set visit is like Bay showing you how large his balls are and then he measures them to see exactly how much larger his balls are in relation to a normal pair of balls.