Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Michael Bay Screamfest

Today, I worked on a movie called “The Island”.

We shot at an active DWP generating plant in Long Beach – that’s an electrical generating plant.. huge turbines spewing steam, puddles of toxic waste (no, I’m not kidding), caustic chemicals, live power everywhere, etc..

When the plant went on line about 9 am, the temperature inside shot up to about 100 degrees, and the noise level went well over 100 decibels.. We had been given hard hats and ear protection, but with the ambient noise, it was impossible to hear anything anyone said to me.. either over the walkie talkie or standing next to me. Condensation formed on the metal grating that was the flooring for the upper levels, making it hot, steamy, noisy and slippery.. I found myself wishing I had a bigger CF card in my camera, though, because it was really cool looking inside.

I’ll post pictures later.

The bottom floor of the plant was covered with liquid which looked like water but was, in fact, a slurry of caustic chemicals which we were warned not to walk in unless we had to – of course, that’s exactly where the director staged a shot..

One of the guys slipped on the metal grating and cut his shin really badly.

The director of this particular movie is Michael Bay. Michael Bay is a screamer. He screams ALL day long, even when he doesn’t have to. For example:

Normal Person: “What’s the holdup? This set up seems to be taking a very long time.”
Michael Bay: “Goddammit, SHOOOT! SHOOT IT NOW! WHY ARE WE FUCKING WAITING!?!?!”

Normal Person: (to D.P.) “I’m a bit antsy to wrap, and I’d like to just roll without that additional light you wanted.”
Michael Bay: “NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! Take that fucking light out of the set! WHY DON’T YOU LISTEN TO ME? I TOLD YOU MOTHERFUCKERS NO THREE TIMES!!!!”

You get the picture.. That guy’s at Defcon 5 all the time. Near the end of the day, he got tired of trying to scream over the 100 decibel drone of the turbines, so he went and got a megaphone, and screamed at people using that. That’s better, though.. I’m told that he used to grab a walkie talkie, and randomly scream into it.. until the production staff got wise and hid all the extra walkies from him.

I called a friend of mine to dish, and he told me that crew members have been quitting because he’s being such an asshole.

Call time: 7 am.
Wrap time: 10 pm.

I have to be back at 9 am tomorrow, and I have two loads of laundry to get through before I can go to bed.

Filed under: Work

One Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent account — extremely useful.
    Thank you!
    I just attended a press conference with Bay and a few actors from The Island and they all made several ‘joking’ references to Bay screaming.

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