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Old 07-30-2014, 08:20 AM   #1
DA_Champion
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Default Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

I had no idea.

Bay
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bay
He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1986, majoring in both English and Film.[15][16] He was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity and a favorite student of film historian Jeanine Basinger.[17] For his graduate work, he attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he also studied film.[18]

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Bay went to film school at Wesleyan, where his professor Jeanine Basinger says he eschewed "film majors all dressed in black" for the brighter company of his Psi Upsilon fraternity brothers. Frat-boy adventuring is one of the hallmarks of Bay's films, which always involve a group of men on a mission. In Armageddon, his troupe consisted of BruceWillis, Ben Affleck, Owen Wilson, and Steve Buscemi—a honey of a pledge class, though you wonder what Buscemi would bring to the spring formal. Bay's fealty to the Greek aesthetic made him something of a curiosity at Wesleyan. While his classmates angsted over mannered senior projects, Bay submitted a film about a very good-looking guy driving very fast in his yellow Porsche. The movie's exuberant texture, says Basinger, was recognizably that of a "Michael Bay film."
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a...of_summer.html

Jeanine Basinger says a lot of good things about Bay, here's her review of Armageddon:
http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/48-armageddon
Quote:
Despite what you may have heard, Armageddon is a work of art by a cutting-edge artist who is a master of movement, light, color, and shape—and also of chaos, razzle-dazzle, and explosion. (It was no surprise to me to learn that as a thirteen-year-old, director Michael Bay blew up his toy train set with firecrackers so he could photograph the result with his mom’s 8mm camera.) If he weren’t working in Hollywood, Bay would be the darling bad boy of the intelligentsia. As it is, he sometimes falls under suspicion for having been nominated for multiple MTV Awards, and for having won every accolade available to directors of commercials, including the Clio and the prestigious Director’s Guild of America “Commercial Director of the Year” title. Armageddon is only his third movie, but it came under fire from some critics who had praised his second, The Rock, and for its same characteristics: fast cutting, impressive special effects, and a minimum of exposition.
Whedon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joss_Whedon
Whedon graduated from Wesleyan University in 1987

If you look at this book preview and go to page 13:
http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=...page&q&f=false

Basinger qualifies him as one of the top 4 or 5 students she's ever had. There's a three page interview about the kind of student Joss was.

Here's a comment Joss Whedon made on Michael Bay's student film:
Quote:
The “Avengers” director Joss Whedon, who was a classmate of Mr. Bay’s at Wesleyan University in the 1980s, remembered him as being “very sweet” and for making a student film in which Mr. Bay’s car, a yellow Porsche, featured prominently. “It was way better than mine,” Mr. Whedon said of the film. “I don’t mind making fun of his because I burned the negative of mine.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/mo...=2&ref=movies&

************

Here's an article on many of Jeanine Basinger's former students talking about her:
http://variety.com/2008/biz/news/stu...er-1117983033/

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Old 07-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

You've gotta be kidding me...

...Michael Bay studied filmmaking?

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Old 07-30-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

The point of this thread is...
But I do remember reading this somewhere

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Old 07-30-2014, 04:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

It doesn't shock me that Bay was in a frat...

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Old 08-07-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

Very interesting perspective. It's always refreshing to see an article on Bay that does not consist of incessant bashing.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

These two were graduating college when I was born. So weird.

It's interesting, though, isn't it? I mean, for one, you think of them as being two very different kinds of film makers. Everyone says the Avengers isn't very cinematic, which I never even noticed because I'm so caught up in the characters and dialog that it probably could have been shot as a home movie and I wouldn't have cared. Then you have Bay's style, which I don't think has ever been criticized for lacking that cinematographic look but which could be said to eschew things like "characterization" and more formal story telling aspects.

What I think is really cool, though, is that the professor seems to admire both men and recognizes their very different talents. She sounds like she would have been an awesome teacher. Honestly, I had college professors that I absolutely loved and a lot of them eschewed the whole idea of angsty, high-art types. My favorite Shakepearian professor in the world directly compared the bard to James Cameron and on the first day stressed to us how in Shakespeare was in the business of the Elizabethan Blockbuster at a time when theater was seen as rather common (poetry was the haven of the True Artist and while many playwrights only wrote plays to support their poetry, there is no proof Shakespeare did the same. If anything it appears as if he wrote his sonnets only to help find a patron to keep him funded so he could do his plays! That's the equivalent to a filmmaker going out and making a black and white, dour indie piece in order to film his next High Action Crime franchise.)

Anyway, I had plenty of other professors, as well, who focused on what made a particular poem or story good and how those traits could be found in works outside the classical canon rather than confined by it, and I think my education was better for it. I think it would take a really neat professor to look at Bay's rather visual style and to Whedon's penchant for quirky dialog and tendency to create something that has elements of deconstruction while still being firmly in genre and to be able to spot the talents of both. It would have been easy for her to force Bay and construct a senior film more in line with others or to discourage Whedon's love of genre and instead she appears to embraced both. That's admirable.

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Old 08-26-2014, 09:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

Yes, she sounds like a great professor, and if you google her she's actually had a lot of very famous former students. It's not just Bay and Whedon.

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Old 08-30-2014, 01:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Joss Whedon and Michael Bay were classmates !

Wow, you don't say? Yawn.

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