Lucky ILM Technicians Survive Lengthy Collaboration With Michael Bay


Positing that just-released Michael Bay blowing-shit-up-tacular Transformers might have the most impressive specials effects work ever, Popular Mechanics profiles the brave Industrial Light & Magic technicians charged with the near-impossible task of translating the notes that the notoriously demanding director shouted at them through his omnipresent megaphone into workable computer models involving tens of thousands of virtual moving parts. Revealed one engineer on the pressures of toiling underneath such a hands-on taskmaster:

And he couldn't screw up. Not while he was working for the guy who re-ignited Pearl Harbor, who told Bruce Willis how to nuke an asteroid from a Space Shuttle. No way. "Michael's a very, very particular person when it comes to...." Jaegar trails off. Better be careful with Boss Bay. "This is a man who's shot many a car commercial, so he's very particular on the finishes and the materials on the cars as well as the robots."

Perhaps the most contentious moments between exacting fauxteur and effects wizards came in the painstaking perfection of Optimus Prime's lips, unacceptable early models for which Bay repeatedly sent back for revisions, complaining. "I want you to slap a big ol' pair of DSLs on that fucker. I want it to look like Prime could blow Megatron all the way back to Cybertron if that's what turned him on." In the end, Bay got the look he wanted, but did briefly touch off a controversy in the fanboy community decrying the autocratic director's utter disregard for the franchise's sacred history.