There's been a lot of kerfuffle recently about the fact that Michael Bay has reused shots from his film The Island in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. There's nothing new about this, filmmakers have been recycling footage and sound effects for decades - but is that a good thing?

Related Posts on Kermode Uncut
Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon - watch Mark's incredible, wordless review
Transformers 3 and the Truth About Blockbusters - can you handle the truth?

Mark's reviews on 5 live
Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.

Tagged with:

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments.

  • Comment number 116. Posted by dsm32

    on 9 Sept 2011 09:27

    Further my last post: it isn't merely footage that can be re-used. In Star Trek: First Contact, during the initial space battle, the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars can be briefly spotted.

    Recycled space-ships: the future is green.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 116: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 116: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 115. Posted by TomBeasley

    on 3 Aug 2011 15:03

    I wasn't familiar with this practice at all. I knew of the Wilhelm Scream, but I had no idea that it was so common to recycle shots from other movies. Not sure there's a huge amount wrong with it to be honest, as long as it serves a purpose.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 115: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 115: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 114. Posted by johnoshea

    on 1 Aug 2011 09:13

    Every Michael Bay Movie Summarized In Under A Minute

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6552528/every-michael-bay-movie-in-under-a-minute

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 114: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 114: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 113. Posted by I_am_I

    on 27 Jul 2011 21:39

    I can't really recall any movie examples of this, but a few podcasts back, a listener pointed out that while watching a Star Trek marathon of 1-6, they laughed when noticing that numerous shots of the Enterprise leaving space-dock had been reused from previous Star trek films. These included a shot of a spaceman on a gantry, and another spaceman flying past the camera. The reason they did this was simply to save time and money; in those days such shots took a long time to put together and it was easier just to reuse the shots when needed. In the Star Trek universe they do it often; for example they reuse shots of the same planet for a different episode; they reuse backdrop matte paintings for locations. They even use the same actor to play different characters, but only have a sufficient length of time has past. Tony Todd, for example, has played both a Klingon (Star Trek:TNG) and a Hirogen (ST:Voyager).

    I know this isn't exactly reusing something, but in Star Trek: The Next Generation, in an episode called 'Justice', they used a sewage treatment plant as a location for an alien colony! With its fountains, flowers and trees you would have never have guessed what it actually was. I'm pretty sure they used that location more than once for other episodes. My point is that cost and time often determine whether a director chooses to reuse something they've done in the past, or something someone else has done. But in the case of Michael Bay, he just does it because he's a walking creative vacuum.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 113: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 113: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 112. Posted by DuncanMaitland

    on 26 Jul 2011 23:42

    There's a sound effect of children playing that is used very quietly at the end of the original cut of "The Exorcist" that can be heard in "Halloween" in the scene where Tommy is teased by kids as he leaves school with his pumpkin - don't know if that counts but I thought you might enjoy the "Exorcist" inclusion! PS - this comment in itself is recycled from a similar comment I left for this subject on YouTube under the name "cornology"....(and a straight repeat of the comment I somewhat embarrassingly left by mistake under the WRONG subject earlier today!)

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 112: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 112: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 111. Posted by spektijim

    on 26 Jul 2011 13:39

    I would say, barring copyright, recycling footage is just as artistically valid or in-valid as any other technique- if it helps to tell the story, adding dimensions and improving the narrative, then use it! If it doesn't, and you are just padding out an already overly long piece of special effects vomit, then don't.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 111: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 111: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 110. Posted by deathstardisko

    on 25 Jul 2011 15:14

    I think this kind of recycling can be justifeied when put to comedic use. A good example of this can be seen in several Troma films; a shot of an aerial car stunt has been used many times over. But this can be seen as more than just for budgetary reasons (as I imagine Troma films to have zero budget in the first place), as due to the cult-like community who watch Troma films it can be seen as a running joke between the films which can be picked up on by the followers of the studio's work.
    Another example of reused footage for comedic effect is Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. While not a brilliant film it is a good example of a new film being constructed from the remnants of an old one.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 110: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 110: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 109. Posted by MargeGunderson

    on 25 Jul 2011 14:34

    I don't see any problem with recycling footage/sound effects and music if it fits the movie. It's both sensible and economical and one really can't single Bay out. At the end of the day it's no different to creating an exact copy of a shot (just cheaper) and that's certainly been done by many a quality director.

    I love the reuse of a piece of music from the score for Aliens at the end of Die Hard when Sgt Powell shoots Karl, I felt like true film fan when I spotted that :D
    Den of Geek did a good article on this subject, including recycled props as well:
    http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/195769/50_assets_hollywood_reused.html

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 109: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 109: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 108. Posted by Mike

    on 25 Jul 2011 13:29

    You need a shave there Doctor ;)!

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 108: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 108: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 107. Posted by Mike

    on 25 Jul 2011 13:27

    To be fair to Michael Bay (something I didn't think I'd ever say :P), I believe the scene in question was the one where a stuntman was quite severely injured and thus he used that footage instead. Everything goes by so quickly anyway that in all honestly, I couldn't tell.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 107: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 107: 0
    Loading…
More comments

More Posts

Previous

Next