So blockbuster helmer Michael Bay is very, very angry at two of the producers of his latest Transformers, Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto. How do I know this? Because Bay wrote an extraordinary screed about them on his blog last Friday. And then he removed the posting shortly after. An eagle-eyed source saw the original, forwarded it, and I’ve confirmed it’s genuine. (Update: Michael thought better of it and took it down,” a source close to the pic emailed me tonight. “Do you have to keep it up?” Well, don’t blame me, blame Google.) This is one of the most nakedly honest insights into a director’s personality that I’ve ever come across. As well as a reminder that success in Hollywood has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. How much you wanna bet, now that Transformers has made $36 mil in 36 hours, all is forgiven?:
LET’S GET SOME FACTS STRAIGHT
06/29/2007 11:20 PM
The movie is over.
Wow that was a hard one, but I must tell you it was so much fun. The most difficult actors I’ve ever worked with, besides Bruce Willis, are Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. They took every single one of my days for a year. But they are well worth the work. I’ve just traveled 36,000 miles around the world (in two weeks) and had the most amazing premiere at the Taormina film festival in an ancient, Greek-built theatre that existed well before the birth of Christ. I loved seeing the reactions to the film from so many different cultures. This movie really travels around the world. I’m so excited for everyone to see it. Thanks to all you that supported me on this film.
Just so I set the story straight, my budget started at $145 Million, it crept to $150 and some change – I’m very proud of that – the fact that we are half the cost of all these other summer blockbusters. I see people doubt that out on the net, but anyone want to challenge me I’ll put a ten thousand dollar bet down on the table right now.
Even when the studio tried to ship me out to Canada or shoot down with Aussies – I looked but I knew we were dead up there. I needed my crew that I have been loyal to for years, they are the best in the world. Besides I believe American movies that portray America, should be made in America. I cut my fee 30% so I could make this at home. I knew this was right for the movie so I asked the other producers to join – Ian and Lorenzo did, and the two others (that came attached to the project) Tom Desanto and Don Murphy did not. That was my introduction to them – they did not want any part of their fee going to make a better movie. Things like that don’t usually sit well with me.
Now that the movie is done I get strange questions from the press. Like ‘how did Tom control the set’? What? ‘How did Tom and Don control you?’ What the fuck. ‘How was it working with Tom and Don who knew Transformers so well?’ ‘We heard Tom wrote the story – he had a 90 page treatment, right?’ Okay stop. Let me take you back in time. Tom and Don are very nice guys, but let’s get some facts straight.
Tom had one creative meeting with me for one hour and ten minutes to be exact about a year ago. He told he was the über fan boy and was going to protect me from the minefields. The type of minefields on the Net like ‘Damn you Michael Bay’ ‘You wrecked my childhood Michael Bay’ and other various web death threats I received. Tom proceeded to tell me how much he had problems with the robot designs and script issues. I realized he was worlds apart in my vision. I said thank you very much, and then showed him my office door – I never really spoke to him again other then to mutter hello. He would occasionally come to the set with guests like it was some theme park. I never spoke creatively with Don. I read his notes kind of trashing the script and making me and the writers feel like a big shit pile. But during production Don was nice to me, he knew I was not going to talk creative with him.
One day not too long ago, the writers of our movie Alex and Bob called me in a panic saying all of a sudden after the movie was almost finished in post that Tom was applying for writer’s or story credit. I was appalled because neither the writer’s nor I ever saw any treatment. Well, he applied for credit, but the Writer’s Guild shot him down, denied him.
But what made my blood curl was something that was on the Net with Tom at the Saturn awards on IESB.net where they interviewed him about the movie – a movie I might add he had not seen yet. He acted very much like he did. Check it out as he vamps through the questions, and how Hugo put his ‘thumb print on it’. Give me a break, the guy was lying through his teeth – he had seen nada, nothing, until the press screening.
So that’s the real truth, I had to say it, cause I’m tired of answering these questions.
What these guys did do was stuck with a ‘silly toy movie’ and pushed it around town and kept the faith after everyone turned them down, always with the hope that maybe someone somewhere would make it. Now I commend them on that. Hats off to them, but trying to taking creative credit in the press let me just say it – irks me. Too many credits are given to too many people who had nothing to do with the movie. Hell, even investment bankers with not the slightest idea of how to make a movie all of a sudden are big producers in town.
I guess that’s how it goes in Hollywood.