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Michael Bay Relishes Blu-ray's Victories

12 Feb, 2008 By: Fred Topel


Transformers


When Paramount Home Entertainment decided to support HD DVD exclusively, Michael Bay was vocally opposed. Since the decision came just as his Transformers would debut on high-definition home video, Bay threatened to back out of the sequel.

He took back his drastic comments and is hard at work developing Transformers 2, but now that Blu-ray is the format that is gaining momentum, Bay cannot help but remind us he told us so.

“Blu-ray's better, and I told everyone,” Bay said at the Visual Effects Society's sixth annual award show, where he presented the award for animated character in a motion picture. “I was very vocal about it. I knew HD [DVD] was not going to make it.”

With HD DVD being edged out of competition by sheer volume of product moving to Blu-ray, Bay is all but gloating.

“Am I thrilled? It really wasn't my fight, but remember what I said in the press? I was kind of saying HD [DVD]'s going to lose,” he said. “No one believed me.”

Many of Bay's films were produced by studios that have supported Blu-ray from the beginning. The Rock is already available on Blu-ray from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, with Pearl Harbor and Armageddon possibly on the way. Sony's Columbia owns the “Bad Boys” films.

Bay personally supervises his Blu-ray transfers and says he loves his preferred format.

“It's just sharper,” he said. “It's just [that] the tools are better. I just think it's closer to what it should look like.”

Should Armageddon make it to Blu-ray, there may be even more work in store. Original materials were destroyed.

"Believe it or not, we have to remaster Armageddon,” he said. “The Armageddon [master] was burned in a fire apparently, so we've got to re-master the whole movie.”

With many of Bay's films 10 years old or more, it is possible that Blu-ray editions will reveal flaws just by bringing them into sharper focus.

“I'm sure that's going to be apparent, probably in Armageddon,” he said.

The Rock, Bay's second film after Bad Boys, was released in 1996. The Blu-ray edition appears grainy in certain shots, but Bay likes it that way. He uses it as an artistic choice, even in his more recent film.

“Yeah, there's some grain, pushing film, shooting at night,” he said. “There's actually some grain in Transformers. We pushed it just a little too much. I don't mind grain. Grain has a vibe.”

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