In a manner similar to his bluntly delivered, incredibly specific directions as to the angles of his leading ladies’ spines, Michael Bay has set about ensuring that viewers get the best possible Transformers: Dark Of The Moon experience the only way he knows how—by loudly haranguing both theaters and their potential audiences. Of course, this time his methods are a means to a more important end than just the sensibilities of 16-year-old boys: Bay is on a mission to save 3-D before it’s completely dragged down into the murk by the dim, diminished returns of Green Lantern and the like.
Last week, the director kicked off his campaign by imploring theater chains to screen Transformers in a special print that’s twice as bright, thus burning through projector bulbs much faster than usual. This week he issued a similar plea to the nation’s projectionists who would be responsible for maintaining those brightness levels, writing a letter in which he insists “we’re all in this together” as he calls upon them for their help in “making the audience believe again.”
While you’d imagine the average projectionist would be thrilled to get confirmation from no less an authority than Michael Bay that they, too, are part of the magic of movies—that they are the locally designated weavers helping to thread his giant tapestry of dreams—The Playlist has already obtained a "response letter" from the "East Coast branch of the Projectionist’s Guild Of America" that is slightly less than awed. “If we’re all in this together, how about throwing us a bone and making a movie with recognizably human characters, plotting that wasn’t put together by a developmentally challenged robot that once read a Robert McKee book, and that doesn’t resemble a two-and-a-half-hour beer commercial?” the letter from one Mr. "Carl Fake" reads in part, before adding, “I’m kidding. I would never tell you how to do your job. So stop telling us how to do ours.” [UPDATE: In case it wasn't obvious from the name, the response letter is fake—though no doubt the feelings of the nation's projectionists are real.]
Nevertheless, Bay obviously remains optimistic that the plea to his many honorary collaborators has worked: He’s posted a “thank you” note on his website saying, “I think theatre owners heard their audience that they need to respect the specs of the projectors and not dim the bulbs to save money,” and urging audiences to seek out those local fellow visionaries. “Dark Of The Moon has some of the most technically challenging sequences ever shot,“ Bay says. ”And shot in 3D. I must urge you to find the very best theatre and see this movie in that format. “ As you can see, Bay put the most important call to arms of all—the one to you, the viewer—in boldface and italics, then added the underline. Those are three dimensions of urgency. Hopefully it’s enough to make you believe again.