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Transformers (Movies)
Transformers (Movies)
Author: visionFez
Transformers (Movies)
Transformers (Movies)
Transformers (Movies)
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Information about Transformers

Transformers is a 2007 (14 years ago) live-action movie adaptation of the Transformers franchise, directed by Michael Bay and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager involved in a war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery. The Decepticons desire control of the All Spark, the object that created their robotic race, with the intention of using it to build an army by giving life to the machines of Earth. Megan Fox (273 walls), Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson and John Turturro also star, while voice-actors Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving voice Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively.

Producers Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto developed the project in 2003 (18 years ago), with a treatment written by DeSanto. Executive producer Steven Spielberg came on board the following year, and hired Orci, Kurtzman and United States Military and General Motors lent vehicles and aircraft during filming, which saved money for the production and added realism to the battle scenes.

Hasbro organized an enormous promotional campaign for the film, making deals with hundreds of companies. This advertising blitz included a viral marketing campaign, coordinated releases of prequel comic books, toys and books, as well as product placement deals with GM and eBay. The movie was a box office success despite mixed critical reaction to the radical redesigns of the characters, and reviews criticizing the focus on the humans at the expense of the robots. It is the thirty third most successful movie released and the fifth most successful of 2007 (14 years ago), grossing approximately US$708 million worldwide. The movie won four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for three Academy Awards. The movie became the first in a series, it revitalized media interest in the franchise, and a sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (5 walls) was released on Jun. 24, 2009 (12 years ago).


The movie opens with Optimus Prime, heroic leader of the benevolent Autobots, describing in a voice-over the destruction of the Transformers' home world, Cybertron. It was destroyed by the malevolent Decepticon leader Megatron in his quest to get hold of the All Spark. The Autobots want to find the All Spark so they can use it to rebuild Cybertron and end the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, while the Decepticons want to use it to obliterate the Autobots and take over the universe. Megatron had managed to locate the All Spark on Earth, but crash-landed in the Arctic Circle and froze in the ice. After stumbling upon his frozen body in 1897 (124 years ago), explorer Captain Archibald Witwicky accidentally activated Megatron's navigational system and his eye glasses were imprinted with the coordinates of the All Spark's location, an incident that left him blind and mentally unstable. Sector 7, a secret government organization founded by President Herbert Hoover, discovered the All Spark in the Colorado River and built the Hoover Dam around it to mask its energy emissions. The still-frozen Megatron was moved into this facility and was used to advance human technology through reverse engineering.

In the present day, the group of Decepticons named Blackout, Scorponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Starscream, Brawl and BonecrUsher (4 walls), have landed on Earth and assumed the disguise of Earth vehicles (except Scorponok and Frenzy, who hide within Blackout and Barricade respectively). Blackout and Scorponok attack the U.S. SOCCENT forward operations base in Qatar and try to hack into the U.S. Military network to find the location of Megatron and the All Spark. Their mission is thwarted when the base staff cuts the network cable connections. While Blackout destroys the rest of the base, Scorponok pursues a small group of survivors, led by Captain William Lennox and Sergeant Robert Epps, who have photographic evidence of the robots. Scorponok is eventually repelled and hides in the sand after the humans damage his tail. During this battle, the military discovers the only effective weapons against the Decepticons' armor are high-heat sabot rounds.

After Blackout's failure, Frenzy infiltrates Air Force One to again hack into the military network, planting a computer virus. He finds the map imprinted on Captain Witwicky's glasses. While the Pentagon interferes with Frenzy's plan, he finds that Witwicky's descendant Sam Witwicky intends to sell the glasses on eBay. Frenzy and Barricade begin tracking Sam's location. Meanwhile, Sam buys the Autobot scout Bumblebee (also on Earth disguised as a 1976 (45 years ago) Chevrolet Camaro (9 walls),) as his first car. After Bumblebee helps Sam woo his crush, Mikaela Banes, he leaves at night to transmit a homing signal to the rest of the Autobots. Sam pursues Bumblebee, thinking someone is stealing his car, but is shocked to find his car is actually a giant robot, which he regards as evil as first. Sam then gets arrested, and in the police station, tries to explain to the police officer what happened, but the apathetic and impassive officer just assumes he's drunk. When Bumblebee (in car mode) returns the following day, Sam flees, believing the car is stalking him. While out, Barricade attacks Sam and ferociously interrogates him about his grandfather's glasses. Bumblebee saves him (as well as Mikaela). In the process, Mikaela severs Frenzy's head but he transforms into her cellphone and hides in her purse. They leave to meet with the rest of the Autobot team — Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide, and Ratchet — who have landed on Earth and taken the forms of Earth vehicles as well. Sam, Mikaela, and the Autobots return to Sam's home and obtain the glasses; however, agents from Sector 7 arrive and take Sam and Mikaela into custody. The Autobots intervene, but Sector 7 captures Bumblebee and sends Sam and Mikaela away.

Sam and Mikaela are taken to Hoover Dam, as are Lennox and Epps, under Defense Secretary John Keller's orders. Frenzy sends an alert to the other Decepticons and sneaks into the technology system, freeing Megatron from his frozen state. Sam convinces the Sector 7 agents to release Bumblebee so that he can deliver the All Spark to Optimus Prime. Frenzy's hacking has shut down government communications, but Keller and two hackers, Maggie and Glen, manage to establish a signal to the Air Force in order to support the Autobot-human convoy that has gone to nearby Mission City to hide the All Spark. The Decepticons attack; BonecrUsher (4 walls), Frenzy, Jazz, Barricade and Blackout are all killed during the ensuing battle. Sam, who was instructed to put the All Spark into Optimus Prime's chest (subsequently destroying it and Optimus Prime if the battle went in favor of Megatron), instead chooses to ram the All Spark cube into Megatron's chest. The All Spark disintegrates, and its power obliterates Megatron. Optimus takes a fragment of the All Spark from Megatron's corpse, but admits that with its destruction, their home world Cybertron cannot be restored. The government orders the closure of Sector 7 and has the destroyed Decepticons dumped into the Laurentian Abyss. Lennox and Epps are reunited with their families, and Sam and Mikaela form a relationship. Optimus transmits a message to all surviving Autobots in space, telling them that they have a new home on Earth.

During the credits, Starscream, the only Decepticon to survive the battle, escapes into space.


  • Humans:
  • Shia LaBeouf stars as Sam Witwicky, the teenager who unknowingly buys Bumblebee as his first car. The character is based upon the mechanic Spike from the TV series, but the nickname was considered inappropriate because the character's profession was dropped from the adaptation. Bay wanted Sam to be an average Joe, and not a geek. He initially considered LaBeouf too old, having only seen his performance in Constantine, but he was bowled over by the actor's enthusiasm. A Transformers fan, LaBeouf also reminded the filmmakers of the young Tom Hanks. He worked out five days a week for three months and gained twenty-five pounds of muscle to prepare for the role, but realized during shooting that his role required agility rather than strength. LaBeouf performed his own stunts, including a scene in which Sam clings to a statue as Megatron approaches, with only a safety harness to protect the actor. "There are action stars who wouldn’t have been as dumb," he joked.
  • Megan Fox (273 walls) plays Sam's crush, Mikaela Banes, whom he woos with Bumblebee's help. Mikaela is mechanically skilled because her father was a grease monkey and former car thief. Fox had previously auditioned for Bay's production of The Amityville Horror. To encourage a tough performance from Fox, Bay often threatened to repeatedly movie takes at night so she would appear frustrated and tired. Fox gained ten pounds of muscle during shooting to support the physicality of the role.
  • Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson play the soldiers/airman, United States Army Special Forces Captain William Lennox and United States Air Force Combat Controller Technical Sergeant Robert Epps, respectively. The characters are part of a seven-man Joint Special Operations Command team in Qatar, who survive Blackout's attack on the base. Lennox has a wife and newborn daughter in the United States. Duhamel and Gibson were fans of the toy line as children, and Gibson paid the filmmakers so he could be in the film. They spent three days in boot camp to prepare for the role. Gibson met combat controller Ray Bollinger, and spent time learning technical terms and military code to make his dialogue sound convincing.
  • John Turturro plays Agent Simmons, an arrogant and paranoid Sector 7 agent. Bay wanted Steve Buscemi for the role, but he was busy, so Turturro, whom Bay had wanted to work with ever since seeing The Big Lebowski, was cast instead. Turturro gave a slapstick performance, which was intended to be in contrast to the serious military scenes, so that a sense of fun would not completely disappear. The actor claimed to have based his performance on the director, although Bay stated he couldn't see anything of himself in Turturro's performance. A backstory was fashioned for Simmons, explaining his family had served in Sector 7 for generations, giving him a "mother's boy" personality. Bay cut these jokes as they were too crude.
  • Rachael Taylor plays Maggie Madsen, who assists the Department of Defense in decoding the virus left by Frenzy. She realizes that those hacking into the government's data files cannot be human, due to the ease with which they made the attack. The writers had initially envisioned Maggie as quirkier and more cyberpunk. The filmmakers opted for Taylor's natural Australian accent to give the movie a global sensibility. She found many of her scenes difficult because of the high heels she wore. It is unexplained why she disappeared from the rest of the movie after Frenzy accidentally kills himself.
  • Anthony Anderson plays Glen Whitmann, a computer hacker and friend of Maggie. He too, without explanation, disappeared from the rest of the movie after Frenzy defeated himself.
  • Jon Voight plays the United States Secretary of Defense John Keller.
  • Michael O'Neill plays Tom Banachek, the head of Sector 7's Advanced Research Division.
  • Kevin Dunn and Julie White play Sam's parents, Ron and Judy.
  • Amaury Nolasco and Zack Ward play ACWO Jorge "Fig" Figueroa and First Sergeant Donnelly, respectively. They are two soldiers who survive the destruction of the SOCCENT base and trek to rescue alongside Lennox, Epps, and other soldiers. Donnelly is impaled by Scorponok and Figueroa is wounded by a rocket fired by Scorponok.
  • Autobots:
  • Peter Cullen voices Optimus Prime, the altruistic Autobot leader who comes to Earth to destroy the All Spark in order to end the war. Don Murphy decided after discussions with fans on his website that they wanted the surviving voices from the original 1980 (41 years ago) cartoon series, The Transformers. Cullen described reprising the role as easy as "slipping into an old pair of very comfortable shoes that you haven't worn for a while", and was grateful to the fans for wanting him back. His performance consisted of much improvisation with Bay, and portraying the traditional heroism of the character as well as bringing a sense of humor. Bay told the animators to seek inspiration from Liam Neeson to inspire Optimus' body language. Optimus transforms into a Peterbilt truck. The original cab over design was rejected because that would only transform into a twenty-feet tall model of the character, whereas the filmmakers wanted him to stand twenty-eight feet tall. Optimus has red flame artwork on his blue body. This was a compromise between Hasbro, who wanted to retain the character's iconic red chest, and Bay, who felt red alone would not photograph well. Hasbro had previously rejected designs of Optimus which were too blue. Optimus' head was built on set as a prop.
  • Mark Ryan voices Bumblebee for the character's two lines at the end of the film, when he regains his voice. For most of the film's duration, Bumblebee communicates with radio soundbites because of his damaged vocal processor, but his throat begins healing after Ratchet fires a regenerative laser when they meet again on Earth: this was not clarified on screen, and Orci feels that Bumblebee being healed by touching the AllSpark is also a valid explanation. Before being cast in the role, Ryan had acted as a stand-in for the robots during filming, reading out their lines. The decision to make Bumblebee silent was inspired by Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, to show that his bond with Sam was beyond words. The filmmakers had considered using lines from various Paramount films, including "I feel the need for speed!" from Top Gun, but decided such lines would be too obvious. Credited clips used in the movie include John Wayne from El Dorado and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura from the Star Trek TV series. A full scale puppet of Bumblebee was also used for the film. The animators modeled Bumblebee's performance on Michael J. Fox. Bumblebee transforms into a 1976 (45 years ago) Chevrolet Camaro (9 walls), and upgrades into the 2009 (12 years ago) model. Bay rejected the character's 1980 (41 years ago) form of the Volkswagen Beetle, as it reminded him of Herbie the Love Bug. Hasbro did not mind as long as the car remained yellow. In reference to his original form, the Beetle is parked next to Bumblebee when Sam is buying him. The modern Camaro was chosen for its friendly appearance, while the old model was chosen to show that Sam's father could only buy him the cheapest car he could find. In the film, Bumblebee upgrades because Mikaela calls his choice of form a "piece of crap Camaro".
  • Darius McCrary voices Jazz, a lieutenant who develops a fondness for urban culture. McCrary said he was honored to follow in the footsteps of Scatman Crothers, who voiced Jazz on The Transformers. "When I was actually [recording], I really did feel Scatman's presence," he said. Mark Ryan had tried out numerous voices for Jazz, including a Sean Connery (5 walls) impersonation, before McCrary was cast. Jazz transforms into a modified Pontiac Solstice, a car the director felt was too small, but he decided not to argue with GM. Hasbro felt it was still a "cool sports car" reminiscent of his original Porsche 935 form. The screenwriters chose to kill off Jazz as they felt he was the most likable character after Optimus and Bumblebee, although they did not have time to make it effective due to budget constraints.
  • Jess Harnell voices Ironhide, who transforms into a modified GMC TopKick C4500 medium-duty truck. The character is a cantankerous weapons specialist. Peter Cullen also voiced Ironhide on TV and auditioned to reprise the role. When Harnell was voicing the character on set, he used a Southern accent as Cullen did.
  • Robert Foxworth voices Ratchet, the team's medical officer. He transforms into a search and rescue Hummer H2. The writers had wanted to keep his original ambulance form, but the producers wanted something else. Hasbro did not mind if the character was either an ambulance or a fire apparatus.
  • Decepticons:
  • Hugo Weaving voices Megatron, the Decepticon leader who crash-landed in the Arctic years ago in his quest to obtain the All Spark. When he is defrosted, he keeps his original alien jet form out of vanity. Frank Welker, who played the part on TV opposite Peter Cullen, auditioned to reprise the role. Bay considered his voice too soft and felt it would be disrespectful to ask Welker to change it. Weaving's voice had been the inspiration Bay gave to his animators for the character, and the character's voice had become that of Weaving in the director's mind. Weaving recorded his lines in Australia, directed by Bay through iChat. The deviation from Megatron's 1980 (41 years ago) Walther P38 pistol form was done to avoid morphing. Orci and Kurtzman also felt it would be "the equivalent to Darth Vader [becoming] his own lightsaber and having someone else swing him around". Fans disliked leaked images (wallpaper) of the character's head design, so it was redesigned during filming. The prototype design had a much narrower face than the one seen in the finished film. Optimus calls Megatron his brother; Cullen interpreted this line literally, but while the writers state this was the case in early drafts, they consider the line in its final context to be metaphorical.
  • Charlie Adler voices Starscream, Megatron's second-in-command. Despite being a popular character, his role is limited because of the film's running time. A post-credits scene of him escaping Earth was added because audiences at test screenings wanted to know what happened to him. He transforms into a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jet, which is the successor to his original form, the F-15 Eagle. This keeps the character's role as the powerful and technologically advanced air commander.
  • Reno Wilson voices Frenzy, a small and vicious spy who transforms into a boombox, and later into a mobile phone. Frenzy was primarily animated by one man, who gave the character quirky movements: Bay could tell which shots were not done by him and felt the character totally changed in those scenes. A puppet was also used on set. Frenzy was originally meant to be Soundwave, but the writers decided to rename him because he was significantly different from the original character. Other names given to him during production include Boombot and Soundbyte. Also, in early scripts, before Bay determined there would be no mass shifting in the movie, Frenzy — called Soundwave at the time — could turn into a humvee.. His vehicle transformation eventually became the character we now know as Barricade.
  • Jess Harnell voices Barricade, a Saleen S281 police car, whom Frenzy guides to Sam. The character was inspired by the G1 Autobot Prowl, because the writers thought a Decepticon displaying authority would use the police car form. Frenzy ejects from a flap in Barricade's chest when he attacks Sam, which was presumably added during post-production. Takara and Hasbro had designed the flap for his toy and were unaware ILM had taken inspiration from their depiction of the character.
  • Jimmie Wood voices BonecrUsher (4 walls), who attacks Optimus on the highway to Mission City. The animators modeled his fighting styles on hockey and football players, and his alternate form of the Buffalo H Mine-Protected vehicle was modified with a larger fork.
  • For Brawl, the crew chose to use an M1 Abrams tank prop built for xXx: State of the Union. The character was intended to be named Brawl (which appears on all the merchandise), but a subtitled Cybertronian line reads "Devastator reporting". It was not fixed despite recognition of the error.
  • Blackout, a Decepticon who transforms into a MH-53J Pave Low III helicopter, with his minion Scorponok attaching to him. Soundwave had been considered for this role, with Ravage as his minion, but Hasbro insisted Soundwave have a music-based role. Scorponok was chosen after the writers discovered him in the pages of The Ultimate Guide and felt he was appropriate to the setting. A model of his head and tail was built, while primacord explosives were used for his ripple movements in the sand. This was potentially dangerous to cast members, generating genuine terror in the actors' performances. During production, Blackout was preliminary named Incinerator, Grimlock, Devastator and Vortex, being referred to by Ben Procter as the Transformer with "the most name changes during development".



"In all the years of movie-making, I don't think the image (wallpaper) of a truck transforming into a twenty-foot tall robot has ever been captured on screen. I also want to make a movie that's a homage to 1980 (41 years ago) movies and gets back to the sense of wonder that Hollywood has lost over the years. It will have those Spielberg-ian moments where you have the push-in on the wide-eyed kid and you feel like you're ten years old even if you're thirty-five."
— Tom DeSanto on why he produced the movie

Producer Don Murphy was planning a G.I. Joe movie adaptation, but when the United States launched the invasion of Iraq in Mar. 2003 (18 years ago), Hasbro suggested adapting the Transformers franchise instead. Tom DeSanto joined Murphy because he was a fan of the series. They met with comic book writer Simon Furman, and cited the Generation 1 cartoon and comics as their main influence. They made the Creation Matrix their plot device, though Murphy had it renamed because of the The Matrix movie series. DeSanto chose to write the treatment from a human point-of-view to engage the audience, while Murphy wanted it to have a realistic tone, reminiscent of a disaster film. The treatment featured the Autobots Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Jazz, Prowl, Arcee, Ratchet, Wheeljack, and Bumblebee, and the Decepticons Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Ravage, Laserbeak, Rumble, Skywarp and Shockwave.

Steven Spielberg, a fan of the comics and toys, signed on as executive producer in 2004 (17 years ago). John Rogers wrote the first draft, which pitted four Autobots against four Decepticons, and featured the Ark spaceship. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, fans of the cartoon, were hired to rewrite the script in Feb. 2005 (16 years ago). Spielberg suggested that "a boy and his car" should be the focus. This appealed to Orci and Kurtzman because it conveyed themes of adulthood and responsibility, "the things that a car represents in [the United States]". The characters of Sam and Mikaela were the sole point-of-view given in Orci and Kurtzman's first draft. The Transformers had no dialogue, as the producers feared talking robots would look ridiculous. The writers felt that even if it would look silly, not having the robots speak would betray the fanbase. The first draft also had a battle scene in the Grand Canyon. Spielberg read each of Orci and Kurtzman's drafts and gave notes for improvement. The writers remained involved throughout production, adding additional dialogue for the robots during the sound mixing (although none of this was kept in the final film, which ran fifteen minutes shorter than the initial edit). Furman's The Ultimate Guide, published by Dorling Kindersley, remained as a resource to the writers throughout production. Prime Directive was used as a fake working title. This was also the name of Dreamwave Productions first Transformers comic book.

Michael Bay was asked to direct by Spielberg on Jul. 30, 2005 (16 years ago), but he dismissed the movie as a "stupid toy movie". Nonetheless, he wanted to work with Spielberg, and gained a new respect for the mythology upon visiting Hasbro. Bay considered the first draft "too kiddie", so he increased the military's role in the story. The writers sought inspiration from G.I. Joe for the soldier characters, being careful not to mix the brands. Because Orci and Kurtzman were concerned the movie could feel like a military recruitment commercial, they chose to make the military believe nations like Iran were behind the Decepticon attack as well as making the Decepticons primarily military vehicles. Bay based Lennox' struggle to get to the Pentagon phoneline while struggling with an unhelpful operator from a real account he was given by a soldier when working on another film.

Orci and Kurtzman experimented with numerous robots from the franchise, ultimately selecting the characters most popular among the filmmakers to form the final cast. Bay acknowledged that most of the Decepticons were selected before their names or roles were developed, as Hasbro had to start designing the toys. Some of their names were changed because Bay was upset that they had been leaked. Optimus, Megatron, Bumblebee and Starscream were the only characters present in each version of the script. Arcee was a female Transformer introduced by Orci and Kurtzman, but she was cut because they found it difficult to explain robotic gender; Bay also disliked her motorcycle form, which he found too small. An early idea to have the Decepticons simultaneously strike multiple places around the world was also dropped.


The filmmakers incorporated valid physics into their designs, establishing the necessity for a robot's size to correspond to that of its disguise. The layout of Optimus Prime's robotic body within his truck mode is seen here.The filmmakers created the size of each robot with the size of their vehicle mode in mind, supporting the Transformer's rationale for their choice of disguise on Earth. The concept of traveling protoforms was developed by Roberto Orci when he wondered why "aliens who moonlight as vehicles need other vehicles to travel". This reflected a desire to move to a more alien look, away from the "blocky" Generation 1 Transformers. Another major influence in the designs was samurai armor, returning full-circle to the Japanese origins of the toy line. The robots also had to look alien, or else they would have resembled other cinematic robots made in the image (wallpaper) of man.

A product placement deal with General Motors supplied alternate forms for most of the Autobots, which saved $3 million for the production. GM also provided nearly two hundred cars, destined for destruction in the climactic battle scene. The military of the United States provided significant support, enhancing the film's realism: the movie features F-22s, F-117s, and V-22 Ospreys, the first time these aircraft were used for a film; soldiers served as extras, and authentic uniforms were provided for the actors. A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and Lockheed AC-130s also appear. Captain Christian Hodge joked that he had to explain to his superiors that the filmmakers wanted to portray most of their aircraft as evil Decepticons: however, he remarked "people love bad guys".


Director Michael Bay filming at Holloman Air Force BaseTo save money for the production, director Michael Bay reduced his usual fee by 30%. He planned an eighty-three day shooting schedule, maintaining the required pace by doing more camera set-ups per day than usual. Bay chose to shoot the movie in the United States instead of Australia or Canada, allowing him to work with a crew he was familiar with, and who understood his work ethic. A pre-shoot took place on Apr. 19, 2006 (15 years ago), and principal photography began on Apr. 22 at Holloman Air Force Base, which stood in for Qatar. To movie the Scorponok sequence at White Sands Missile Range, a sweep was performed to remove unexploded ordnance before building of a village set could begin; ironically, the village would be blown up. The scene was broken down for the pilots flying the AWACS aircraft, who improvised dialogue as if it were an actual battle.

The company also shot at the Hoover Dam and the Pentagon, the first time since the sep. 11, 2001 (20 years ago), attacks that movie crews had been allowed at these locations. The external Hoover Dam scenes were shot before tourists arrived daily at 10:00 a.m., with shooting moving inside for the remainder of the day. Production in California was based at Hughes Aircraft at Playa Vista, where the hangar in which Megatron is imprisoned was built. Six weekends were spent in Los Angeles, California shooting the climactic battle, with some elements being shot on the Universal Studios backlot and at Detroit's Michigan Central Station. The crew was allowed to shoot at Griffith Observatory, which was still closed for renovations begun in 2002 (19 years ago). Filming wrapped on Oct. 4, 2006 (15 years ago).

Michael Bay returned to movie at the same place he had previously shot for Armageddon for the romantic scenes between Sam and Mikaela. Bumblebee breaks down when Sam takes Mikaela back home at the same exact place where AJ and Grace spend the last day on earth before AJ goes to the Asteroid. In Transformers we see this place once again at the ending of the movie where Optimus Prime sends the message to other Transformers out in the Universe.


Spielberg encouraged Bay to restrict computer-generated imagery to the robots and background elements in the action sequences. Stunts such as BonecrUsher (4 walls) smashing through a bus were done practically, while cameras were placed into the midst of car crashes and explosions to make it look more exciting. Work on the animatics began in Apr. 2005 (16 years ago). Bay indicated that three quarters of the film's effects were made by Industrial Light & Magic, while Digital Domain made the rest, including the Arctic discovery of Megatron; Frenzy's severed head; a vending machine mutated by the All Spark, and the Autobots' protoforms. Many of the animators were big Transformers fans and were given free rein to experiment: a scene where Jazz attacks Devastator is a reference to a scene in The Transformers: The Movie where Kup jumps on Blitzwing.

"I just didn't want to make the boxy characters. It's boring and it would look fake. By adding more doo-dads and stuff on the robots, more car parts, you can just make it more real."
— Michael Bay on the level of detail he wanted for the robots

ILM created computer-generated transformations during six months in 2005 (16 years ago), looking at every inch of the car models. Initially the transformations were made to follow the laws of physics, but it did not look exciting enough and was changed to be more fluid. Bay rejected a liquid metal surface for the characters' faces, instead going for a "Rubik's Cube" style of modeling. He wanted numerous mechanical pieces visible so the robots would look more interesting, realistic, dynamic and quick, rather than like lumbering beasts. One such decision was to have the wheels stay on the ground for as long as possible, allowing the robots to cruise around as they changed. Bay instructed the animators to observe footage of two martial artists and numerous martial arts movies to make the fights look graceful.

Due to the intricate designs of the Transformers, even the simplest motion of turning a wrist needs 17 visible parts; each of Ironhide's guns are made of ten thousand parts. Bumblebee uses a piece below his faceplate as an eyebrow, pieces in his cheeks swivel to resemble a smile, and all the characters' eyes are designed to dilate and brighten. According to Bay, "The visual effects were so complex it took a staggering 38 hours for ILM to render just one frame of movement;" that meant ILM had to increase their processing facilities. Each rendered piece had to look like real metal, shiny or dull. This was difficult to model because the aged and scarred robots had to transform from clean cars. Close-up shots of the robots were sped up to look "cool", but in wide shots the animation was slowed down to convincingly illustrate a sense of weight. Photographs were taken of each set. These were used as a reference for the lighting environment, which was reproduced within a computer, so the robots would look like they were convincingly moving there. Bay, who has directed numerous car commercials, understood ray tracing was the key to making the robots look real; the CG models would look realistic based on how much of the environment was reflecting on their bodies. Numerous simulations were programmed into the robots, so the animators could focus on animating the particular areas needed for a convincing performance.


Composer Steve Jablonsky, who collaborated with Bay on The Island, scored music for the trailers before work began on the movie itself. Recording took place in Apr. 2007 (14 years ago) at the Sony Scoring Stage in Culver City, California. The score, including the teaser music, uses six major themes across ninety minutes of music. The Autobots have three themes, one named "Optimus" to represent their friendship with Sam, and another played during their arrival on Earth. The Decepticons have a chanted theme which relies on electronics, unlike most of the score. The All Spark also has its own theme. Hans Zimmer, Jablonsky's mentor, also helped to compose the score.


Transformers fans were initially divided over the movie due to the radical redesigns of many characters, although the casting of Peter Cullen was warmly received. Transformers comic book writer Simon Furman and Beast Wars script consultant Benson Yee both warmly received it as spectacular fun, but Furman argued there were too many human storylines. Yee felt that being the first in a series, the movie had to establish much of the fictional universe and therefore did not have time to focus on the Decepticons.

The movie created a greater awareness of the franchise and drew in many new fans. Transformers' box office success led to the active development of movies based on Voltron and Robotech, as well as a Knight Rider remake. When filming the sequel, Bay was told by soldiers the movie helped their children understand what their work was like, and that many had christened their Buffalos – the vehicle used for BonecrUsher (4 walls) – after various Transformer characters.

After the film's 2009 (12 years ago) sequel was titled Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (5 walls), Roberto Orci was asked if this movie would be retitled, just as Star Wars was titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope when rereleased. He doubted the possibility, but said if it was retitled, he would call it Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye.


  1. "What I've Done"
  2. "Doomsday (3 walls) Clock"
  3. "This Moment"
  4. "Before It's Too Late (Sam and Mikaela's Theme)"
  5. "Pretty Handsome Awkward"
  6. "Passion's Killing Floor"
  7. "What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?"
  8. "Second to None (ft. Mike Shinoda)"
  9. "End of the World"
  10. "Retina and the Sky"
  11. "Technical Difficulties"
  12. "Transformers Theme"


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