Michael Bay’s upcoming blockbuster sci-fi sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had its Los Angeles premiere last week and of course all of the main players turned up, including director Michael Bay and stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and Josh Duhamel. Following the premiere there were a couple of press conferences, in which Bay and others answered questions about various different aspects of the giant robot sequel.
Today Screen Rant has the photos from the red carpet premiere of Transformers 2, as well as tons of information on what was said by the likes of Bay, screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and some of the film’s stars.
The day after the Transformers 2 premiere, there were a couple of press conferences held where questions were answered about the various different aspects of the movie. I’ve tried to include only the least spoilerific details as possible so only a mild SPOILER warning is in place.
Press Conference 1
Michael Bay, Lorenzo di Bonaventura (producer), Scott Farrar (visual effects supervisor), Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (screenwriters)
The most obvious question asked was “How is Transformers 2 bigger and better than the first movie?” Farrar replied that it was because there are a lot more (robot) characters (he specified 40) and what the filmmakers have done has upped the game at every level. Kurtzman weighed in with a quick story that at one point a computer at ILM was rendering the visual effects and the computer literally blew up.
When it comes to how complicated the mechanics of the Transformer robots are (pun intended), Farrar explains that for Optimus Prime, there were 10,000 moving parts and 80,000 for Devastator, and that the movement is all correct. I guess that basically means if a giant 80,000 part robot were to exist, the way it functions in the movie is how it would really happen.
In reference to having Soundwave in Transformers 2, Bonaventura said that the way his voice sounded when they first tried to implement him didn’t work like they wanted it to, and that presented a problem for them since he delivers important dialogue within the movie.
One of the problems with the first Transformers movie was that there was not enough of the robots and too much human “stuff,” and that issue was been explained within this press conference since the amount of human scenes has actually been increased. It was explained that, “audience is human, and since autobots are hiding, they must be hiding from humans so focusing on humans is inherent in the idea.” Kurtzman explains that the robots, particularly Optimus Prime, play a big role in the story even if they’re not on-screen.
Even if you haven’t seen Revenge of the Fallen (most of you won’t have since it doesn’t open in the US until tomorrow), going by the first one and all the promo stuff we’ve seen, it’s not hard to tell that the main priority is action. Kurtzman says that they’ve never gotten a note from anyone (Bay or otherwise) saying, “there’s too much action [in the script].” He said everyone’s job is to collectively keep the story alive within the context of the action, and says they’ve built the film on the idea that, “the journey helps the audience invest in the action.” Kurtzman said that he loves movies like Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Superman 2, and that (subsequently) the Transformers franchise is built on them (really?).
Producer Bonaventura said they’re not thinking about the next movie yet, and they want to wait and see how the sequel does (to see what the fans want, what they think is missing and so forth). However, even if they don’t have specifics in mind, I’ll bet that $$ fill their field of vision…
Press Conference 2
Michael Bay, (stars) Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Kevin Dunn, Tyrese Gibson and Ramone Rodriguez
Someone bluntly asked whether Bay feels guilty about causing havoc at certain historical landmarks, like the pyramids in Egypt (we know this location from the promos, so that’s not really giving anything away). Bay answered that it’s a summer action movie and therefore no guilt is felt on his part. Megan Fox revealed she had to try on 18 different outfits and head to Bay’s office during filming to show them off (wait… what!?). I guess that’s okay with her since she apparently “trusts Michael.”
Although everything about Transformers 2 screams that it’s essentially a “boys movie,” Bay believes that it’s for audiences of all types and ages, and that women will enjoy the humor and the relationships between Shia LeBeouf’s Sam and Fox’s Mikaela, and between parents and their kids (I’m assuming he means LaBeouf and his parents within the movie). Kevin Dunn (who plays LaBeouf’s father) was asked if he feels that both his character and Optimus share fatherhood of Sam, which he replied to with a funny comment of, “as far as I know I conceived him, and Optimus Prime didn’t get in there, but sure.”
Bay talked about the IMAX version of the film being exactly 2hrs and 20 minutes, with it being maybe one minute shorter than the non-IMAX version (which is strange since the runtime is listed as almost 150 minutes for the latter version. Hmmm…). Bay reveals he hasn’t seen it in IMAX himself yet, but says he’s excited for it.
Fox was asked about real military members being used in the movie instead of just extras pretending (that’s outwith the stars who play military, such as Duhamel and Gibson). She said that she loves the fact that they’re all, “well behaved and chivalrous,” and she feels they add authenticity to the movie. The military can rest assured they have the respect of Miss Fox.
Gibson talked about how it was less intense this time around playing a member of the military because they had an idea of what to do this time, whereas in the first movie they had no clue. He says it was hard to keep the balance of correct air force dialogue and still making it work for, “common folks.” Co-star Duhamel weighed in with the fact that there was always military people on-set to help them out if they ever needed them.
Gibson also talked about how he and the other military guys’ roles were much more serious this time around, saying that he loved doing the funny stuff but he enjoyed doing the serious stuff, too. He said an explosion in the film was the biggest practical explosion with actors, with Bay weighing in that it’s a, “world record.”
You don’t have to have seen Transformers 2 to know about the twin robot characters that everybody is calling the Jar-Jar Binks of the movie. That’s never a good thing to hear, particularly about a mega blockbuster like this. Bay revealed that he wanted to have younger Transformers (presumably also to make the kids laugh), and that the characters were built in layers, bit by bit i.e. record dialogue, do some animation, record more dialogue, do some more animation and so forth.
It appears that the guys playing the military weren’t the only ones who’s experience helped them out. Fox says having done the last movie, amongst the easiest scenes to shoot were those which involved the Transformers because they’re not really there when filming and all you have to do is imagine them.
Other information revealed about Transformers 2:
- Bay didn’t shoot the Shanghai section in the real Shanghai because of budget constraints – it was either Egypt or Shanghai and he says pyramids are too expensive to recreate digitally, so they went with actually filming in Egypt.
- Bay included the name-check of President Barrack Obama instead of just a fictional President apparently because he met him in an airport once.
- Bay doesn’t like using stock footage.
- Bay convinced Dunn to do a stunt sequence in which he was injured, which was the shot that was used in the final cut (Bay kept insisting).
- Fox feels that the franchise has opened up a lot of doors for her that wouldn’t have been opened otherwise.
And finally, photos from the L.A. red carpet premiere are on the following few pages…
Well there you have the Transformers 2 LA premiere and press conference(s). I know it was a lot but I’m sure you Transformers fans out there didn’t mind!
I just want to say that I’ve already seen Transformers 2 (you can check out my review here), since I live in the UK and for some reason it was released there days before the US. I enjoyed it – the action was improved this time around (with us actually being able to see what was going on unlike in the last movie) and the visual effects are still outstanding. However some of the first movie’s problems remain (some even being even more of a problem this time): too much human stuff, too much of the out-of-place humor, too long and there are at least two robot characters that made me want to pull my hair out repeatedly (to name but a few of the issues I had it with).
Screen Rant head honcho Vic will have his review of Transformers 2 up tomorrow.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen hits US theaters on Wednesday June 24th (TOMORROW).