30 Unknown facts about Michael Bay, the American filmmaker


Known to direct some big budget action films and yet poorly rated by critics here are some very interesting and also unknown facts about Michael Bay, the American filmmaker.

  1. Michael Bay has a unique fete as a director where all his movies have under-performed domestically but grossed handsomely overseas. He once stated that he was not familiar with the domestic marketing campaign where the audience gets confused with the true subject of the movie.
  2. In 1995, he was honored by the Directors Guild of America as Commercial Director of the Year.
  3. He was born Michael Benjamin Bay on February 17, 1965 in Los Angeles, California, US.He has a sister Lisa Bay.
  4. He was raised as a Jewish by his adopted parents Harriet, a book store owner and Jim, a Certified Public Accountant.
  5. He attended the exclusive Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California and graduated with a double major in English and Film from ‘Art Center College of Design’ from ‘Wesleyan University in 1986.
  6. Bay’s destiny in show business was very much evident from his childhood. He attached some firecrackers to a toy train and filmed the outbreak with his mother’s 8mm camera.
  7. He kick started his career as a fifteen year old, working under George Lucas as intern while filing the storyboards for Raiders of the Lost Ark. This experience also helped him in pursuing direction.
  8. The film historian and Professor of Film Studies, ‘Jeanine Basinger’ was so impressed with Bay’s still photograph which depicted his inherent talent for composition and implied narrative. He was her favorite student appreciative of his short stories, novels, plays, ceramics, paintings, sculptures, prints, fashion design, video, computer art and movies in 8mm and 16mm.
  9. He began his work for Propaganda Films as director of commercials and music video just after his graduation. He is well known for his Coca- Cola, Got Milk and national commercial for the Red Cross, which won him a ‘Clio Award’ for his innovation and creative excellence in 1992.
  10. Bay has won every major commercial directing award, including the Gold and Silver Lions at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and won the Grand Prix Clio for Commercial of the Year for his "Got Milk” commercial, which also won him the Museum of Modern Art Award for Best Campaign of the Year.
  11. He made his feature film directional debut with the 1995 “Bad Boys” after gaining appreciation with his musical videos. The film was a box office success with $ 141 million against production cost of $ 19 million.
  12. In 1996 he directed his second film “The Rock” also for Jerry Bruckhemier production which was of moderate success. The film was dedicated to Don Simpson the co-producer who died few months before its release.
  13. Bay and investment company “Wyndcrest Holdings” acquired “Digital Domain” a digital effect company from James Cameron and invested $ 50 million to revive it. The company was sold later to Galloping Horse in 2012.
  14. His 1998 film “Armageddon” which he directed and co-produced, became highest grossing film of the year with $ 553 million against a budget of $ 140 million. The film was nominated for 4 Oscars. The cast of the film are the only civilians ever to wear NASA spacesuits, which cost over three million dollar each.
  15. In 2001, he directed and co-produced another film with Bruckhemier: “Pearl Harbor.” The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning the Oscar for Sound Editing. It was released on the Memorial Day.
  16. The film “Pearl Harbor” earned Bay his first and only Oscar till date had the ignominy of being nominated for six ‘Golden Raspberry Awards,’ including Worst picture. The first instance of Worst Picture winning the Oscar.
  17. Bay directed next film “The Island” in 2005, and was sued for copy wright infringement by Clonus Associates, which was later settled out of court for undisclosed seven-figure sum.
  18. In 2007, he directed science fiction action film “Transformers” and went on to make its sequels, ‘Revenge of the Fallen,’ ‘Dark of the Moon,’ ‘Age of Extinction’ and the fifth installment titled ‘The Last Knight’ was released on June 21, 2017.
  19. He spent most of the film’s $ 150 million budget on fifteen practical action sequences, making sure the visual effect did not overwhelm the live actions.
  20. In 2011, he produced teen science fiction action thriller ‘I Am Number Four’ based on series of novels by Pittacus Lore.
  21. His 2013 comedy crime film ‘Pain & Gain’ is loosely based on a series of article published in Miami New Times.
  22. In 2016, he produced and directed his third drama film ’13 Hours’ which is based on real-life events. Although the film dipped on the box office, it made up with its DVD sales.
  23. In 2001, he along with Brad Fuller and Andrew Form created a production company ‘Platinum Dunes,’ which specializes in horror films. The name of the company was derived from his own film during his student days at Wesleyan University.
  24. He along with Scott Gardenhour, formed ‘The Institute for the Development of Enhanced Perceptual Awareness,’ to produce commercials and other projects.
  25. In June 2016, Bay joined ‘The Rogue Initiative,’ a production studio and technology company, as a strategic advisor and stakeholder.
  26. Bay is very fond of animals and has three English mastiffs named after characters in his films. Even in his childhood, he donated his Bar Mitzvah money to an animal shelter.
  27. It is reported that Bay owns a $ 50 million Gulfstream G550 jet, as well as Bentley, a Range Rover, an Escalade, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and Camaro.
  28. Despite his making a name for himself in Hollywood, he is still looked as niche market,rather than mass market director. The song ‘The End of an Act’ from the film Team America: World Police, bashes Bay and Pearl Harbor.
  29. He owns a two-story, 10,000-square foot, five bedroom house, so high on a hill that gives a clear view of the Pacific Ocean and the city. It was his dream as budding music director.
  30. Bay along with Doug Nunes, John and Anthony Gentile, co-founded ‘451Media Group’ a technology –focused intellectual property development & Entertainment Company.
  31. Michael Bay’s net worth: $ 430 million.

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