Michael Bay knows how to make visually stunning, crowd-pleasing content. His production techniques earned him some of the highest achievements in the advertising world, all within a few years of graduating school. In addition, two of his films have cemented their way into the Criterion Collection (the holy grail of laudable films). So, whatever you think of Bay’s plot style, the man knows how to produce a movie. It’s worth picking up a few tips from him.
Remember this commercial? It pretty much dominated the airwaves of the 1990s and bred a generation of milk lovers. The direction of the video is practically flawless. Bay captures the humor of every moment, starting with the details of the museum around the subject, and perfectly captures the thirst-spawned desperation of his situation.
Humor and satire are the most difficult, but effective, means to convey your message via online video. Unless you happen to accidentally catch a goose flying out of a hen house and stealing the toupee off of a famous politician on video, you’re going to need to do quite a bit of planning and perfecting from every vantage point.
Explosions, chases, beautiful people, these are all things that tend to attract viewers. While it’s not recommended that you simulate giant explosions without the help of trained professionals, you can still enact some BIG ideas from the comfort of your home or studio.
Your explosions don’t have to be huge to make an impact. Take “The Rock,” starring Nicolas Cage, where the closest thing to an explosion was the threat of those little green glass balls exploding all over the San Francisco Bay. Although, fire and melting skin do look cool, the threat is what drove the audience’s adrenaline in the theater. How can you cultivate big emotions with your viral videos?
If Bay doesn’t have the right equipment to capture the shot exactly how he wants it, then he invents it. On the set of “Bad Boys II,” instead of relying on locked-off cameras, Bay wanted them moving, bringing you right into the action. So he proposed the idea of the “Bay Buster,” built by John Frazier. It’s basically a Chevrolet 3/4-ton pickup truck with a reinforced front end, roll bars, and safety cage for the stunt driver, and something that looks like a cowcatcher on the front end, like you might see on a train. It’s Y-shaped, low to the ground, and cameras are protected with armor plating. The Y-shaped device on the front picks up oncoming objects and flips them over the vehicle.
Bay’s movies are a staple of Saturday afternoon cable reruns. Learn more about your local cable providers at www.directstartv.org.