Bayhem: Michael Bay’s Filming Style Explained in Latest ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

July 3, 2014 Updated: July 3, 2014

Hollywood filmmaker veteran, Michael Bay, has been credited for some of the most successful blockbusters in the industry like “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon.” But what exactly makes his films so attractive? Well, fans took a stab at trying to identify his filming style which make his scenes stand out among the competition. 

His technique, which was dubbed Bayhem (from mayhem), includes epic scenes of blowing stuff up in slow motion, typically during sunsets, and fast action sequences.  

Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) has also come a long way, especially in Michael Bay films who has mastered the spectacle in his action films. His most recent “Transformers: Age of Extinction” offers the audience just that: a grand spectacle full of Bayhem. 

In a video posted by Youtube user “Every Frame a Painting,” Tony explains just what makes the Michael Bay shots unique and successful. The panning of the camera, choice of lenses, angles, and choice of background. 

“Break down any Michael Bay shot, and that is basically what you will see: layers of depth, parallax movement, character, and environment to give this a sense of epicness,” Tony explains. Although many shots are similar to what other filmmakers try to copy, Bay’s shots include more layers of complexity and more movement to create a very busy Bayhem effect. 

The trick is to make the sequences too fast to perceive for the brain, but not for the eye.

One other unique feature the YouTuber spotted in Bay’s action scenes is lampposts. “Lots of lampposts,” he reiterated. 

But no matter the complexity and grandness of the Bayhem effect, the Transformers sequel failed to deliver in terms of plot and character development. “The Transformers: Age of Extinction” had an 18 percent critics approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of Thursday, July 3, 2014.