As soon as you hear the name Michael Bay associated with an upcoming project, any film buff can be forgiven for instantly thinking “oh shit, which part of my childhood is he going to ruin next“.
I mean sure, his films rake in an absolute stack of money. It’s probably because people like watching epic movies where epic stuff happens epically, or in other words, people like watching giant fucking testosterone-filled explosions.
Credit where credit is due, he does make some incredible looking movies with impressive, expensive CGI effects. That said, it gets to the point where you stop noticing how epic it is because its just too much for our tiny human brains to comprehend. It’s just a full on brain overload, because explosions are explosions and explosions… or something.
Watching a Michael Bay movie can be a physically exhausting experience. I watched Transformers Age of Extinction the other day and I was still seeing things blow up 30 minutes after the movie ended.
Keep reading to learn how to make a Michael Bay movie of your very own.
How to make a Michael Bay movie
Get an insane budget
You can’t make a movie without a budget. Explosions aren’t cheap and you are about to make a fuckton of them so you’re going to need a lot of money.
A good way to do this is to whore yourself out by offering product placement at every possible point in your movie so that it becomes a 3 hour long advert for consumerism.
Whether is namedropping a product in the script, slapping a giant poster for a fast-food shop far to obviously on the wall behind somebody when they are talking, or something completely irrelevant to the plot like the protein powder scene in Transformers Age of Extinction, Bay is an expert at this.
Have no plot, logic or reason in the script
Absolutely zero percent of the budget should be used for developing a script because nothing in your movie needs to make sense. Thats because every single plot point can simply be replaced by an explosion.
Imagine a logarithmic scale where the logic of something and how it fits into the story is inversely proportional to the size of the explosion… coz explosions!
Include car chases
Every movie needs a car chase because car chases are cool right? They also provide the perfect opportunity for plenty more explosions as cars drive over things, drive through things and crash into each other… coz explosions!
An American flag must be prominantly displayed
Like most countries, Americans are patriotic towards their flag and there is nothing wrong with a bit of patriotism towards your country, except Michael Bay takes it to the next level.
Every single one of his movies prominently shows an American flag as part of his thinly veined love letter to the power of the American military… coz ‘Murica… and explosions!
Blow lots of shit up
Every single scene needs to have an explosion in it. It doesn’t matter whether its a spaceship, a car, a building, a person, an item of clothing, a piece of gum, a pen, or anything else, it just needs to explode in the biggest, most dramatic way possible. When you run out of man-made shit to blow up, literally blow some shit up because by this point people won’t even care.
You need to keep making things explode until your audience loses the ability to distinguish one explosion from another. Once all the explosions begin to look the same to the audience, they will be left so dumbfounded by the epicness of the action that they will think your movie is incredible… coz explosions!
Slow motion makes things extra epic
Second only to the explosions are slow motion explosions. Slow motion is a key part of the Michael Bay movie making playbook. If there was less slow motion he could probably cut the runtime of his movies in half, which would be a good thing.
The movie needs to be long, like stupidly long
Michael Bay movies are far longer than they need to be.
To master this technique simply create a movie, then double its length by randomly adding extra scenes of things blowing up throughout. It doesn’t matter whether its in the middle of a fight scene, a driving scene or a romance scene, because we’ve already established that the plot doesn’t need to make sense so you can literally just put them anywhere.
Just when you think its over, that’s your cue to add an extra 30 agony-filled minutes of explosions for absolutely no reason… coz explosions!
Characters must show zero regard for human life
If somebody dies in the movie it needs to be in the most dramatic way possible even if it doesn’t fit in with anything happening at the time. Then after watching somebody get absolutely annihilated, there should be absolutely no reference made to their horrible death and zero emotion displayed by other characters.
For example, in Transformers Age of Extinction, Mark Whalberg watched his lifelong best mate get burnt alive by a Transformer and there was literally no reference to it afterwards and not one hint of emotion.
It doesn’t matter though because acting , dialogue and emotion come second to the explosions anyway… coz explosions!
Quick edits and twirling cameras everywhere
Your movie needs to have jump cuts and quick edits at the rate of about 1 per second. If you do this correctly you should be able to completely disorient your audience and add to the wild ride you are taking them on.
To further disorient your audience you need to twirl the camera around during action shots. Anything under 180 degrees isn’t good enough.
If you utlalize both of these techniques correctly, you should be able to make your audience think they have gone on a drug trip without them actually having to take drugs. This will create a complete mess which confuses people enough that they have no idea what’s actually going on, which will distract people in the audience from noticing that your the movie has no script.
Include plenty of shit puns and cheesy one-liners
Michael Bay movies are notorious for having some of the worst attempts at comedy ever put on the big screen. Much like the explosions, jokes and one-liners don’t need to be logical, funny or make any sense so long as they are there.
If you can add a cheesy one-liner at the exact point where something epically blows up, then you have hit the sweet spot of Michael Bay movie making.
Hot female characters are essential
Acting ability comes second to how hot they look in a pair of short shorts, which is essential because every single Bay movie has a shot of the female lead characters ass in it from an unskirt angle.
The role of a female character in a Michael Bay movie is to have a nice ass, get into a dangerous situation, get sweaty, be rescued, scream a lot, and wear suspiciously disaterproof makeup.
Now go and make your amazingly epic movie
There you have it, you have just read the Michael Bay playbook of making an awesomely awesome, bro-fisting, pun-packed, explosion ridden movie that will make you a billion dollars at the box office.
Please find some original material though and stay away from ruining the childhood memories of your audience.
If you want to see some more Michael Bay GIFs to inspire you, head over to this subreddit.