michael_bayBy now, you are well aware that Michael Bay decided that trilogies are for suckers and got a green light for a fourth Transformers movie. You’re also probably aware of the fact that the latest installment of giant robots vs. giant robots takes place mostly in China. What you might not be aware of is that while shooting in Hong Kong, Bay’s crew was confronted by some young Chinese extortionists. Look for it in the blooper reels.


If you missed it, Michael Bay was filming some non-explosion scenes for Transformers: Age of Extinction when some young men began reeking havoc on the set by playing loud music and harassing actors. Their goal was to separate Bay from roughly $13,000 to allow him to film in their territory. Later on, another man high on drugs and rage, wielded an air-conditioning unit and attempted to KO Bay himself. Fortunately, with the assistance of several Hong Kong police in riot gear, he was unsuccessful.


Was Michael Bay deterred from continuing to film in Hong Kong? If you think that’s the case, then you obviously don’t know Michael Bay. He made Megan Fox bend over a motorcycle once, so the man can do anything explosion related.


Not only is the Armageddon director going to continue filming wherever he pleases, he actually enjoys Hong Kong. In an interview with South China Morning Post, Michael Bay gushes about the time he’s spent in China and even says that Hong Kong is “a very visual city.” So Bay thinks Hong Kong is “visual.” Literally every city is visual, if you can see it. I guess if you’re used to spending your time in Los Angeles or a green-screen studio, everything else seems so pretty.


You may have drug-addled extortionists, Hong Kong, but Michael Bay hearts you.Transformers-4-Autobot-Cars


As of this post, Bay is still shooting his latest CGI infused masterpiece, which has relocated to mainland China. The next scenes will be shot in Beijing and the Great Wall, which will be blown up for your entertainment. Catch it in June 2014.


HTS0080_v001.1052_R.JPG Remember that insanely profitable third chapter of the insanely popular film franchise based off of the insanely popular comic book hero? Of course you don’t do. The last installment of the Iron Man trilogy, Iron Man 3, has been doing a victory lap around the globe, raking in ticket sales from the good people of Earth who either waited until the last minute to see it or had to wait until it opened in their country. The Metal Man, as Thor calls him, made his most recent victory in Hong Kong, where he raked in $13.6 million in its two month run. It is currently sitting pretty at the highest grossing film in Hong Kong for the first half of 2013.


In addition to Iron Man 3’s victory, World War Z takes second place on Hong Kong’s greatest hits list of ’13. It’s only been in theaters for two weeks, but the zombie-infused thriller has pulled roughly $4 million from Hong Kong’s box office. However, it’s still running in theaters, so it may have the opportunity to snatch the number 1 spot from Iron Man 3. Sitting at number 3 is A Good Day to Die Hard, Bruce Willis’ latest (last?) installment in the long running Die Hard saga, which received $3.7 million form Hong Kong moviegoers. For those of you who were wondering who would win in a fight between Iron Man and John McClane, there’s your answer.20130320174420625


Way down at number 4 is Journey to the West, Stephen Chow’s epic fantasy, which earned $3.66 million. The Chinese film is a homegrown favorite in the mainland, but on a very short list of Chinese-language films that screened in Hong Kong. After the first half of 2013, Hong Kong’s box office has sold over $98 million in tickets.


No, it’s not a wacky sit-com premise that I’m certainly not writing a pilot script for. Let me explain . . .


the_great_gatsby_trailerPrime Focus, the Indian VFX major, Hong-Kong’s AID Partners Capital, and Chinese partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua recently forged a joint venture to bring Chinese film/TV to India. At the Shanghai International Film Festival, Prime Focus announced that it would be opening a new office in Beijing later this year. Prime Focus, which is based in Mumbai, already has offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, and London.


Even if the name “Prime Focus” doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’ve most likely seen their work without realizing it. The VFX Company has collaborated on numerous Hollywood projects like The Great Gatsby, which opened the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where they provided 3D conversion and archive footage colorization. Prime Focus was also responsible for the 3D conversion of the 1987 Academy Award-winning film The Last Emperor, which also screened at Cannes. Two of this summer’s major blockbusters, World War Z and White House Down, were both given Prime Focus’ 3D treatment. Their past credits include Men in Black 3, Wrath of the Titans, Star Wars: Episode one – The Phantom Menace, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the list goes on and on . . .world-war-z-poster-banner


The CEO of Prime Focus, Ramki Sankaranarayanan, recently remarked, “We are all set to bring the best of Prime Focus to China, one of the largest content markets in the world.” Sounds like someone tipped him off that China has become the second largest film market in the world. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be waiting by the mailbox for my check.