Just so we’re clear, I haven’t actually seen Transformers 3 yet.
I will see it eventually though, mostly out of obligation.
Sure, seeing the first 2 in theaters is a pretty good reason to do the same for the third, but in all honesty; it’s my lifelong passion for the Gen 1 cartoon that keeps me coming back to the Michael Bay movies, regardless of their overall level of quality.
Reviews and opinions mean close to nothing to me at this point, so don’t bother trying to dissuade me from wasting my money or what have you.
If it’s got Optimus Prime in it, doing anything vaguely Prime-like, it’s my civic duty to go see it.
Fan boy-i-ness aside, I’d like to change the subject of this wildly unfocused post, and draw attention to something I stumbled across on Topless Robot.
What the fuck is up with the stock footage Michael Bay!?
In this day and age, where blockbuster movies routinely cost upwards of $100 million to produce, are we to believe that Paramount and Michael Bay were forced to cut corners to the point of cannibalizing their own films from only 6 years ago I.E. The Island?
The use of stock footage, in films of all budgets is pretty much standard practice, but even so; this just seems kind of lame from an artistic standpoint.
I mean, if you’re going to strut around town calling yourself the “Cars, Asses, Explosions, Racial Stereotypes and Sunsets Guy” wouldn’t it be in your best interest to go balls out and stage your own shit for every movie, rather than, I don’t know; STEAL FROM YOURSELF?
Oh well, from a technical standpoint it makes sense for Mr. Bay to borrow footage from his own films.
As many personal touches as the man is known to add to his films, color correction is probably the most noticeable, meaning it would probably be easier to match stock footage from pre-existing movies in his filmography as opposed to grabbing someone else’s and having to color correct the shit out of it.
Anyway, as much as this sounds like a pissy rant, it’s really not.
From what I understand, these 2 shots are the only instances of cannibalized stock footage; (not counting the truck load of military footage) and really that’s not too bad.
Truth be told, I’m used to far worse.
I grew up watching movies like Godzilla vs. Gigan, which made extensive use of stock footage from previous Godzilla movies.
Hell, virtually every Godzilla movie of the 70′s was produced on the strength of special effects footage ripped from Toho’s film libraries.
And that’s not to say this practice was only restricted to the Japanese film market, rather it was; and largely still is, common practice in virtually all film markets, big and small alike.
Take for instance, Hollywood in the 1950′s:
That, ladies and gentleman, was Bela Lugosi… Uh, saying stuff, while pretending to look upon stock footage of a busy street.
The only reason the use of stock footage in Transformers 3 stands out at all, is because the footage is borrowed from the director’s own filmography, and is still relatively “fresh” as opposed to the more typically employed public domain type stuff.
Borrowing from nature documentaries and military archives is one thing, but outright stealing tailored and personalized shots from your own filmography, and then compositing special effects over them is indeed quite low.
Oh well, it’s not like this is something that’s going to offend anyone on a personal level or anything.
At most, it just reflects poorly on Michael Bay and Paramount, making them look lazy and/or inept.
In any case, I’m hoping to see the movie sometime soon; and no, I won’t be going into it looking for reasons to hate it.
Here’s hoping Optimus Prime does something cool over the course of 2 and a half hours, as that’s all I’m really asking for!