When I was sitting in the screening for ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ last week, Luke Hickman leaned over to me during a big action set-piece, the one where the Autobots try to evade oncoming Decepticons on a busy freeway, and said, “I think this is footage from ‘The Island’.” Well, it turns out he was 100 percent right.
The big news on the ‘net this weekend was a YouTube video that shows split-screen comparisons of ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ and Michael Bay’s earlier sci-fi thriller ‘The Island‘.
It’s true that directors sometimes use their old stock footage if it works in context of the new movie they’re filming. Is this any different? First of all, ‘Transformers’ was shot in 3D, but of course these reused scenes couldn’t have been shot in 3D at the time. So they were obviously 3D conversions. Secondly, this is one of the most important and intense action scenes in the movie, and all Bay has done is digitally insert giant robots into footage he’d already used in another movie.
Take a look at the video. Let us know what you think. Is this a perfectly legitimate repurposing of old footage, or just laziness?