Alumni Stories

Michael Bay

BFA 88 Film

Transformers. Armageddon. Pearl Harbor. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Michael Bay is the award-winning director and producer behind these and other blockbuster films. One of the most bankable feature film directors across generations, Bay has brought the biggest stars in Hollywood together to create electrifying cinema—actors such as Bruce Willis, Sean Connery, Will Smith, Scarlett Johansson, Nicolas Cage, Martin Lawrence, Ben Affleck, Ewan McGregor, Shia LaBeouf, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Josh Duhamel and Megan Fox, to name a few.

Bay is founder and principal partner of production company Platinum Dunes and founder of The Institute, for commercial production. Films that he has directed and produced have grossed $6.5 billion worldwide. Two of his films, The Rock and Armageddon, have been chosen by the Criterion Collection, which is committed to gathering and publishing “defining moments of cinema.” The Transformers franchise has grossed over $2.4 billion, with Transformers: Age of Extinction breaking box office records in China with its $300 million global opening. Transformers 5 is scheduled for release in 2017.

In addition to his reputation as a film director, Bay has drawn accolades as a music video and commercial director, with video-directing credits for Aerosmith, Tina Turner, Meatloaf, Lionel Ritchie, Donny Osmond and the Divinyls. His commercial work for clients such as Nike, Budweiser and Coca-Cola has garnered a number of Clios, most notably a Grand Prix for his 1995 “Got Milk/Aaron Burr” commercial, which is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Other awards include the MOMA award for Best Campaign of the Year, Best Commercial Director awards from Creativity magazine and the Directors Guild of America, and Gold and Silver Lions from Cannes. The Hollywood Reporter named him and his Platinum Dunes partners (Andrew Form and Brad Fuller) producers of the year in 2014 and one of the 30 most powerful film producers in Hollywood in 2015.

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